AFWI: Relevant Research Compilation


The AFWI regularly compiles relevant research articles from recent academic journals. Take a peek at the compilation and click the links to read more!

Impact of a Mobile E-Health Intervention on Binge Drinking in Young People: The Digital-Alcohol Risk Alertness Notifying Netword for Adolescents and Young Adults Project.

Carrà, G., Crocamo, C., Bartoli, F., Carretta, D., Schivalocchi, A., Bebbington, P. E., & Clerici, M.

Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(5), 520–526.

Binge drinking (BD) is common among young people. E-Health apps are attractive to them and may be useful for enhancing awareness. We aimed to investigate the impact of a publicly available evidence-based e-Health app (Digital–Alcohol Risk Alertness Notifying Network for Adolescents and Young Adults [D-ARIANNA]), estimating current risk of BD by questions, matching identified risk factors, and providing in percent an overall risk score, accompanied by appropriate images showing mostly contributing factors in summary graphics.

The Effect of Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Hughes, K., Bellis, M. A., Hardcastle, K. A., Sethi, D., Butchart, A., Mikton, C. et al.

The Lancet. Public Health, 2(8), e356–e366.

A growing body of research identifies the harmful effects that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs; occurring during childhood or adolescence; eg, child maltreatment or exposure to domestic violence) have on health throughout life. Studies have quantified such effects for individual ACEs. However, ACEs frequently co-occur and no synthesis of findings from studies measuring the effect of multiple ACE types has been done.

Defang ACEs: End Toxic Stress by Developing Resilience Through Physician-Community Partnerships.

Jichlinski, A.

Pediatrics, 140(6), e20172869.

This paper examines the role of clinical practitioners and clinical researchers internationally in establishing the utility of harm-reduction approaches to substance use. It thus illustrates the potential for clinicians to play a pivotal role in health promoting structural interventions based on harm-reduction goals and public health models. Popular media images of drug use as uniformly damaging, and abstinence as the only acceptable goal of treatment, threaten to distort clinical care away from a basis in evidence, which shows that some ways of using drugs are far more harmful than others and that punitive approaches and insistence on total abstinence as the only goal of treatment often increases the harms of drug use rather than reducing drug use.

Developmental Pathways from Child Maltreatment to Adolescent Substance Use: The Roles of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Mother-Child Relationships.

Yoon, S., Kobulsky, J. M., Yoon, D., & Kim, W.

Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 271–279.

While many studies have identified a significant relation between child maltreatment and adolescent substance use, the developmental pathways linking this relation remain sparsely explored. The current study examines posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, mother-child relationships, and internalizing and externalizing problems as potential longitudinal pathways through which child maltreatment influences adolescent substance use. Structural equation modeling was conducted on 883 adolescents drawn from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). The pathways of PTS symptoms linked physical and sexual abuse to substance use, and the pathways of mother-child relationships linked emotional abuse and neglect to substance use. None of the four types of maltreatment affected substance use via internalizing or externalizing problems. The findings suggest that intervention efforts aimed at addressing posttraumatic stress symptoms and improving mother-child relationship quality may be beneficial in reducing substance use among adolescents with child maltreatment histories.

Impact of Tobacco Control Policies on Adolescent Smoking.

Hawkins, S. S., Bach, N., & Baum, C. F.

Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 679–685.

Over the past decade, state tobacco control policies have strengthened considerably. Between 2005 through 2015, cigarette taxes have increased on average from $0.92 to $1.60, the number of states with 100% smoke-free restaurant legislation increased from 10 to 34, workplaces from 9 to 34, and bars from 6 to 28. However, more recently, only a few studies have examined the effects of cigarette taxes or smoke-free legislation on adolescent smoking behaviors, and there is limited evidence on how the effects of these policies may differ across the adolescent years. Whether and to what extent these policy changes continue to impact adolescent smoking remains unresolved. Identifying the age groups benefiting (or not) from these policies will help inform the next steps for tobacco control prevention.

Changes in tobacco control policies across and within the US states has created a natural experiment, which we evaluated using repeated cross-sectional data from a state-representative survey of more than 700,000 adolescents. Our aims were to examine the impact of cigarette taxes and smoke-free legislation on current adolescent smoking and smoking frequency overall as well as test whether there were differential policy effects by age.

Resilience and Risk for Alcohol Use Disorders: A Swedish Twin Study.

Long, E. C., Lönn, S. L., Ji, J., Lichtenstein, P., Sundquist, J., Sundquist, K., & Kendler, K. S.

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41(1), 149–155.

Resilience has been shown to be protective against alcohol use disorders (AUDs), but the magnitude and nature of the relationship between these 2 phenotypes are not clear. The aim of this study was to examine the strength of this relationship and the degree to which it results from common genetic or common environmental influences.

Building Resilience in Regional Youth: Impacts of a Universal Mental Health Promotion Programme.

McAllister, M., Knight, B. A., Hasking, P., Withyman, C., & Dawkins, J.

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

Mental health is a leading health issue facing young people today, particularly those living in rural and regional areas. Although public policy supports schools-based health promotion, there is limited evidence of the efficacy of such programmes and the elements that enhance successful implementation in rural and regional areas. A study was designed to evaluate a mental health promotion programme, delivered collaboratively by nurses, guidance officers, and teachers, to 850 young people from 23 rural and regional high schools in Queensland, Australia. The study aims were to determine what effect the intervention had on young peoples’ resilience, coping, and self-efficacy, and to understand the implications of delivering the programme in the regional Queensland school setting. Students completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, resilience, and coping strategies pre- and postprogramme, as well as at 8-week follow-up. We found that after programme completion there was a significant increase in self-efficacy and in the number of positive coping strategies used by the participating young people. Qualitative data indicated that participants benefited from the collaboration between health and education sectors; that is, nurses, guidance officers, and teachers delivered the programme together in ways that were perceived to be respectful of young people and effectively discussion-based, and engaging.

When one Childhood Meets Another – Maternal Childhood Trauma and Offspring Child Psychopathology: A Systematic Review.

Plant, D. T., Pawlby, S., Pariante, C. M., & Jones, F. W.

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

This systematic review aimed to synthesise the existing empirical literature on the association between a mother’s history of maltreatment in her own childhood and her children’s experiences of psychopathology, and to characterise potential mediating pathways.

Developmental Pathways from Prenatal Marijuana Exposure to Cannabis Use Disorder in Young Adulthood.

Sonon, K., Richardson, G. A., Cornelius, J., Kim, K. H., & Day, N. L.

Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 58, 46–52.

Earlier studies reported an association between prenatal marijuana exposure (PME) and cognitive and behavioral problems in the offspring. A recent publication demonstrated the relation between PME and offspring marijuana use at age 22. There are no reports of the association between PME and Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) at 22 years, the age when use of marijuana and CUD peak.

Subjects are from the Maternal Health Practices and Child Development Study, a longitudinal study of PME and other exposures during pregnancy. The cohort of mothers and their offspring has been followed since the fourth prenatal month through 22 years of age. A path analysis was conducted on 590 mother-child pairs, representing 77% of the birth cohort, to examine potential pathways from PME to CUD in offspring at 22 years of age.

Early-Life Adversity and Long-Term Neurobehavioral Outcomes: Epigenome as a Bridge?.

Vaiserman, A. M., & Koliada, A. K.

Human Genomics, 11(1), 34.

Accumulating evidence suggests that adversities at critical periods in early life, both pre- and postnatal, can lead to neuroendocrine perturbations, including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation and inflammation persisting up to adulthood. This process, commonly referred to as biological embedding, may cause abnormal cognitive and behavioral functioning, including impaired learning, memory, and depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors, as well as neuropsychiatric outcomes in later life. Currently, the regulation of gene activity by epigenetic mechanisms is suggested to be a key player in mediating the link between adverse early-life events and adult neurobehavioral outcomes. Role of particular genes, including those encoding glucocorticoid receptor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, as well as arginine vasopressin and corticotropin-releasing factor, has been demonstrated in triggering early adversity-associated pathological conditions. This review is focused on the results from human studies highlighting the causal role of epigenetic mechanisms in mediating the link between the adversity during early development, from prenatal stages through infancy, and adult neuropsychiatric outcomes. The modulation of epigenetic pathways involved in biological embedding may provide promising direction toward novel therapeutic strategies against neurological and cognitive dysfunctions in adult life.

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