Now showing 1 - 10 of 24
  • Publication
    Alcohol and youth mental health- The evidence base
    The My World Survey- Second Level (MWS-SL) assessed alcohol-related behaviours in 6,085 adolescents. Findings demonstrated a significant shift in the frequency, binge drinking and volume of alcohol consumed across the school year. Alcohol use in the Senior Cycle was a particular concern, with 35% outside the low risk category for alcohol behaviour. The MWS-SL found a strong relationship between alcohol use and mental health distress. Risky alcohol behaviour was associated with family conflict and other negative behaviours
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  • Publication
    Reductions in Specific First Memories in Depression: Influences of Distraction, Referential Set and Cue Word Valence on First Memory Retrieval
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2005) ; ; ;
    This study examined the association between depression and autobiographical memory deficits. Sp e cifically, it evaluate d the impact of depression, complexity of a distraction task, self - or other - referential set and positive or negative cue - word valence on the retrieval of specific autobiographical memories . A sample of 24 depressed women and 24 matched controls completed the Autobiographical Memory T ask (AMT) before and after either a high - or low - complexity distraction task. Compared with the control group, the depressed group retrieved fewer specific first memories and had longer retrieval latencies for these. In the self - referential condition this pattern was more pronounced than in the other - referential condition. This suggests that depression is associated with a particular vulnerability in recalling specific self - referential memories. Distraction task complexity and cue - word valence did not affect AMT performance.
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  • Publication
    Prevalence and correlates of psychotic like experiences in a nationally representative community sample of adolescents in Ireland
    Adolescent psychotic like experiences (PLEs) are an important area of research, yet only a small number of community surveys have investigated their psychosocial correlates. This study presents the prevalence and correlates of three types of PLEs in a nationally representative community sample of 12–19 year olds in Ireland (N = 5910). Correlates are considered across five domains: demographic, stressful life experiences, emotional/behavioral problems, substance use, and personal resources. Auditory hallucinations were reported by 13.7% of participants, 10.4% reported visual hallucinations and 13.1% reported paranoid thoughts. Participants who had experienced two of the three PLEs were assigned “risk” status (10.4%; n = 616). Using binary logistic regression, PLEs were associated with a range of correlates across the five domains. Key correlates of risk status include depression (OR 4.07; 95% CI 3.39–4.88), low self-esteem (OR 4.03 95% CI 3.34–4.86), low optimism (OR 3.56; 95% CI 2.96–4.28), school misconduct (OR 3.10 95%; CI 2.56–3.75), and high avoidance coping (OR 2.86 95% CI 2.34–3.49). These associations remained significant in a multivariate analysis. While correlates for each of the three PLEs were similar, there were some nuances in these patterns. Notably, demographic and substance use variables were the weakest groups of correlates. Personal resources (e.g. self-esteem, optimism and coping) have been poorly studied in the adolescent PLE literature and these findings provide important insights for future research and intervention design.
      418Scopus© Citations 41
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  • Publication
    Profiles of resilient survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland
    In a group of 247 survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland, 45 cases (18%) did not meet the diagnostic criteria for common DSM IV axis I or II disorders. This resilient group was compared with a poorly adjusted group of 119 participants who met the criteria for 1-3 DSM IV axis I or II diagnoses, and a very poorly adjusted group of 83 participants who had 4 or more disorders. Compared with the very poorly adjusted group, the resilient group was older and of higher socio-economic status; had suffered less sexual and emotional institutional abuse; experienced less traumatization and re-enactment of institutional abuse; had fewer trauma symptoms and life problems; had a higher quality of life and global level of functioning; engaged in less avoidant coping; and more resilient survivors had a secure adult attachment style. The resilient group differed from the poorly adjusted group on a subset of these variables. The results of this study require replication in other contexts. Therapeutic interventions with survivors should focus on facilitating the use of non-avoidant coping strategies and the development of a secure adult attachment style.
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  • Publication
    Investigating the psychometric properties of the revised child anxiety and depression scale (RCADS) in a non-clinical sample of Irish adolescents
    Background: The psychometric properties of the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) have been established cross-culturally, yet psychometric evidence is lacking for an English-speaking European population. Aim: This research sought to further cross-validate the measure in a non-clinical Irish adolescent sample, and to test for gender and age-based differential item functioning in depression and anxiety. Method: Participants were Irish second-level school students (N = 345; 164 male; 12–18 years, M =14.97, SD = 1.44). Confirmatory factor analysis for categorical data (confirmatory item factor analysis) and multiple-indicator multiple-cause (MIMIC) modelling to identify items displaying possible metric invariance were conducted. Results: A six-factor model fit the data well in both gender samples and both school cycles, as a proxy for age samples. Gender-based metric invariance for 5 of 47 items and age-based metric invariance for three items were identified. However, the magnitudes were small. Internal consistency and validity were also established. Conclusions: While, a number of items demonstrated minor metric invariance, there was no evidence that they influenced overall scores meaningfully. The RCADS can reasonably be used without adjustment in male and female, younger and older, adolescent samples. Findings have implications for the use of the RCADS in an English-speaking European population.
      906Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Methodology on the My World Survey (MWS) : a unique window into the world of adolescents in Ireland
    Background Internationally, 75% of all mental health problems emerge before the age of 25 years, and adolescence represents a critical period that strongly influences the course of these problems. To date, there is limited research on the mental health of young people aged 12–25 years in Ireland. The My World Survey (MWS) national study provides data on risk and protective factors of mental health among 14306 young people. The MWS was conducted in two phases: Phase 1 – MWS-Second Level (MWS-SL) with adolescents aged 12–19 years, and Phase 2 – MWS-Post Second Level among young adults aged 17–25 years. Aim This article provides a comprehensive overview of the development of the MWS-SL study. Another aim is to identify key learning points when conducting research in the second-level school system. Methods The MWS-SL study was conducted with 6085 adolescents aged 12–19 years in 72 second-level schools. The MWS consists of standardized reliable and valid measures that have been used internationally to assess a range of risk and protective factors associated with adolescent mental health. Results Schools recruited for the MWS-SL study represented quite well the national distribution of second-level schools based on gender composition, disadvantaged/non-disadvantaged status and geographic location. Conclusions Key learning points when collecting survey data in schools include pilot testing of survey instruments; building relationships with key stakeholders to ensure buy-in for the study from schools; establishing rigorous data collection and processing protocols; and recognizing the value of online surveys.
      1049Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    Validation of a 28-item version of the Systemic Clinical Outcome and Routine Evaluation in an Irish context: The SCORE-28
    This paper describes the development, in an Irish context, of a 3-factor, 28-item version the Systemic Clinical Outcome and Routine Evaluation (SCORE) questionnaire for assessing progress in family therapy. The 40-item version of the SCORE was administered to over 700 Irish participants including non-clinical adolescents and young adults, families attending family therapy, and parents of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities and cystic fibrosis. For validation purposes, data were also collected using brief measures of family and personal adjustment. A 28-item version of the SCORE (the SCORE-28) containing three factor scales that assess family strengths, difficulties and communication was identified through exploratory principal components analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the factor structure of the SCORE-28 was stable. The SCORE-28 and its 3 factor scales were shown to have excellent internal consistency reliability, satisfactory test-retest reliability, and construct validity. The SCORE-28 scales correlated highly with the General Functioning Scale of the Family Assessment Device, and moderately with the Global Assessment of Relational Functioning Scale, the Kansas Marital and Parenting Satisfaction Scales, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Mental Health Inventory – 5, and the total problems scale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Correlational analyses also showed the SCORE-28 scales were not strongly associated with demographic characteristics or social desirability response set. The SCORE-28 may routinely be administered to literate family members over 12 years before and after family therapy to evaluate therapy outcome.
      1118Scopus© Citations 37
  • Publication
    Profiles of adult survivors of severe sexual, physical and emotional institutional abuse in Ireland
    Adult survivors of institutional abuse were interviewed with a comprehensive assessment protocol which included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Institutional Child Abuse Processes and Coping Inventory, the Structured Clinical Interviews for Disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV axis I disorders and personality disorders, the Trauma Symptoms Inventory, a Life Problems Checklist, the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Profiles were identified for subgroups that described severe sexual (N = 60), physical (N = 102), or emotional (N = 85) abuse as their worst forms of maltreatment. Survivors of severe sexual abuse had the most abnormal profile, which was characterised by higher rates of all forms of child maltreatment and higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, trauma symptoms and life problems. Survivors of severe emotional abuse were better adjusted than the other two groups. The profile of survivors of severe physical abuse occupied an intermediate position between the other two groups. A thorough assessment of abuse history and current functioning should be conducted when providing services to adult survivors of institutional abuse, since this may have important implications for the intensity of services required. Survivors of severe sexual abuse may require more intensive services.
      927Scopus© Citations 30