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Heiervang E.,Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health | Goodman R.,Kings College London
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

Background: Web-based surveys may have advantages related to the speed and cost of data collection as well as data quality. However, they may be biased by low and selective participation. We predicted that such biases would distort point-estimates such as average symptom level or prevalence but not patterns of associations with putative risk-factors. Methods: A structured psychiatric interview was administered to parents in two successive surveys of child mental health. In 2003, parents were interviewed face-to-face, whereas in 2006 they completed the interview online. In both surveys, interviews were preceded by paper questionnaires covering child and family characteristics. Results: The rate of parents logging onto the web site was comparable to the response rate for face-to-face interviews, but the rate of full response (completing all sections of the interview) was much lower for web-based interviews. Full response was less frequent for non-traditional families, immigrant parents, and less educated parents. Participation bias affected point estimates of psychopathology but had little effect on associations with putative risk factors. The time and cost of full web-based interviews was only a quarter of that for face-to-face interviews. Conclusions: Web-based surveys may be performed faster and at lower cost than more traditional approaches with personal interviews. Selective participation seems a particular threat to point estimates of psychopathology, while patterns of associations are more robust. © 2009 Springer-Verlag. Source

Oerbeck B.,University of Oslo | Stein M.B.,University of California at San Diego | Pripp A.H.,University of Oslo | Kristensen H.,Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is generally considered the recommended approach for selective mutism (SM). Prospective follow-up studies of treated SM and predictors of outcome are scarce. We have developed a CBT home and school-based intervention for children with SM previously found to increase speech in a pilot efficacy study and in a randomized controlled treatment study. In the present report we provide outcome data 1 year after having completed the 6-month course of CBT for 24 children with SM, aged 3-9 years (mean age 6.5 years, 16 girls). Primary outcome measures were the teacher rated School Speech Questionnaire (SSQ) and diagnostic status. At follow-up, no significant decline was found on the SSQ scores. Age and severity of SM had a significant effect upon outcome, as measured by the SSQ. Eight children still fulfilled diagnostic criteria for SM, four were in remission, and 12 children were without diagnosis. Younger children improved more, as 78 % of the children aged 3-5 years did not have SM, compared with 33 % of children aged 6-9 years. Treatment gain was upheld at follow-up. Greater improvement in the younger children highlights the importance of an early intervention. © The Author(s) 2014. Source

Waaktaar T.,Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health | Torgersen S.,University of Oslo
Behavior Genetics

The aim of this multi-informant twin study was to determine the relative role of genetic and environmental factors in explaining variation in trait resilience in adolescents. Participants were consenting families (N = 2,638 twins in 1,394 families), from seven national cohorts (age 12-18 years, both sexes) of monozygotic and dizygotic twins reared together. Questionnaire data on the adolescents' Ego-resilience (ER89) was collected from mothers, fathers and twins, and analysed by means of multivariate genetic modelling. Variance in trait resilience was best represented in an ADE common pathways model with sex limitation. Variance in the latent psychometric resilience factor was largely explained by additive genetic factors (77% in boys, 70% in girls), with the remaining variance (23 and 30%) attributable to non-shared environmental factors. Additive genetic sources explained more than 50% of the informant specific variation in mothers and fathers scores. In twins, additive and non-additive genetic factors together explained 40% and non-shared environmental factor the remaining 60% of variation. In the mothers' scores, the additive genetic effect was larger for boys than for girls. The non-additive genetic factor found in the twins' self ratings was larger in boys than in girls. The remaining sex differences in the specific factors were small. Trait resilience is largely genetically determined. Estimates based on several informants rather than single informants approaches are recommended. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

Jegannathan B.,Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health | Kullgren G.,Umea University
BMC Psychiatry

Background: Suicide among young people is a global public health problem, but adequate information on determinants of suicidal expression is lacking in middle and low income countries. Young people in transitional economies are vulnerable to psychosocial stressors and suicidal expressions. This study explores the suicidal expressions and their determinants among high school students in Cambodia, with specific focus on gender differences.Methods: A sample of 320 young people, consisting of 153 boys and 167 girls between 15-18 years of age, was randomly selected from two high schools in Cambodia. Their self-reported suicidal expressions, mental health problems, life-skills dimensions, and exposure to suicidal behavior in others were measured using the Youth Self-Report (YSR), Life-Skills Development Scale (LSDS)-Adolescent Form, and Attitude Towards Suicide (ATTS) questionnaires.Results: Suicidal plans were reported more often by teenage boys than teenage girls (M = 17.3%, F = 5.6%, p = 0.001), whereas girls reported more attempts (M = 0.6%, F = 7.8%, p = 0.012). Young men scored significantly higher on rule-breaking behavior than young women (p = 0.001), whereas young women scored higher on anxious/depression (p = 0.000), withdrawn/depression (p = 0.002), somatic complaints (p = 0.034), social problems (p = 0.006), and internalizing syndrome (p = 0.000). Young men exposed to suicide had significantly higher scores for internalizing syndrome compared to those unexposed (p = 0.001), while young women exposed to suicide scored significantly higher on both internalizing (p = 0.001) and externalizing syndromes (p = 0.012). Any type of exposure to suicidal expressions increased the risk for own suicidal expressions in both genders (OR = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.06-3.91); among young women, however, those exposed to suicide among friends and partners were at greater risk for the serious suicidal expressions (OR = 2.79, 95% CI = 1.00-7.74). Life skills dimension scores inversely correlated with externalizing syndrome in young men (p = 0.026) and internalizing syndrome in young women (p = 0.001).Conclusions: The significant gender differences in suicidal expressions and their determinants in Cambodian teenagers highlight the importance of culturally appropriate and gender-specific suicide prevention programs. School-based life skills promotion may indirectly influence the determinants for suicidal expressions, particularly among young women with internalizing syndrome in Cambodia. © 2011 Bhoomikumar and Kullgren; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Kaale A.,University of Oslo | Fagerland M.W.,University of Oslo | Martinsen E.W.,University of Oslo | Smith L.,Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Objective This study reports 12-month follow-up data from a randomized controlled trial of preschool-based social communication treatment for young children with autism. Method A total of 61 children (48 males) with autism, 29 to 60 months of age, had earlier been randomized either to 8 weeks of preschool-based social communication treatment in addition to standard preschool program (n = 34) or to standard preschool program only (n = 27). Significant short-term effects on targeted social communication skills have previously been published. Long-term gains in social communication, language and global social functioning and communication were assessed from video-taped preschool teacher-child and mother-child interactions, Early Social Communication Scales, Reynell Developmental Language Scale, and Social Communication Questionnaire. Results Compared with those in the control group, the treated children achieved significantly larger improvements in joint attention and joint engagement from baseline to 12-month follow-up. However, no effects were detected on language and global ratings of social functioning and communication. The treatment effect on child initiation of joint attention increased with increasing level of sociability at baseline, whereas nonverbal IQ and expressive language had no moderating effect. Conclusions This study is the first to show that, similar to specialist-delivered treatment, preschool-based treatment may produce small but possibly clinically important long-term changes in social communication in young children with autism. The treatment did not affect language and global ratings of social functioning and communication. More studies are needed to better understand whether treatment effects may be improved by increasing the intensity and duration of the treatment. Clinical trial registration information - Joint Attention Intervention and Young Children With Autism; http://clinicaltrials. gov/; NCT00378157. © 2014 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Source

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