Special Issue "The Association Between Cognitive Function and Adolescent Mental Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gabrielle Simcock
Website
Guest Editor
Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Interests: youth mental health, cognition, memory processes, developmental psychopathology, developmental originis of health and disease
Prof. Daniel F. Hermens
Website
Guest Editor
Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Interests: youth mental health, cognitive psychophysiology, youth substance misuse, mental disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is estimated that 20% of adolescents aged 10 to 15 years have a diagnosable mental health disorder, with half of adult disorders emerging by 14 years of age. A core feature of mental illness is cognitive dysfunction, with increased dysfunction associated with the severity and duration of the illness. A large body or research demonstrates that cognitive impairments (e.g., attention, learning, memory, processing speed, and executive functioning) are evident early in the course of mental illnesses. Cognitive impairments are also evident in young people seeking help for mental ill health who do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder, but who are at increased risk of progressing to full-threshold disorder. Importantly, cognitive impairments are associated with poor functional outcomes in youth with mental illness, who achieve poorly academically and have difficulties maintaining social connections. 

This Special Issue aims to increase our understanding about the association between cognitive impairments and mental health problems in youth. Papers addressing issues relevant to youth mental health with a focus on cognition are invited. Interdisciplinary papers are encouraged as these issues are relevant to different professional areas including pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, educators and teachers.  

Dr. Gabrielle Simcock
Prof. Daniel F. Hermens
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Youth mental health
  • Neurocognition
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Adolescence
  • Substance use.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Simple Monte Carlo Framework to Assess Suicide Risk in Adolescents: A Study at a High School in Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103674 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
It is very common to perform statistical tests to obtain insights about populations based on samples. For instance, in the context of psychology, when a set of instruments are applied to individuals, psychologists typically look for an explanation of particular psychological constructs (variables), [...] Read more.
It is very common to perform statistical tests to obtain insights about populations based on samples. For instance, in the context of psychology, when a set of instruments are applied to individuals, psychologists typically look for an explanation of particular psychological constructs (variables), such as personality, intelligence, or emotional functioning. It is common to cross statistical information from the results of different psychological tests to measure certain variables or to confirm prior beliefs. Here, we estimate the Joint Probability Density Function of suicide-related vulnerability and protective factors to assess suicide risk in adolescents. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo Method is employed to move away from the typical Gaussian assumption on data. This allows us to estimate probabilities of the development of suicidal ideation based on samples (which form a Markov chain). We employ our proposed statistical method at a high school in Colombia. The results reveal that adolescents can develop suicidal ideation as a consequence of the following factors, together with their corresponding probabilities: poor school performance 52%, low academic expectations 27%, school integration problems 68%, risky eating behaviors (binge-purge) 42%, risky eating behaviors (compensatory measurements) 21%, risky eating habits (restriction) 22%, and low family functionality 16%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Facial Emotion Recognition and Mental Health in Early Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010330 - 03 Jan 2020
Abstract
Research shows that adolescents with mental illnesses have a bias for processing negative facial emotions, and this may play a role in impaired social functioning that often co-exists with a mental health diagnosis. This study examined associations between psychological and somatic problems and [...] Read more.
Research shows that adolescents with mental illnesses have a bias for processing negative facial emotions, and this may play a role in impaired social functioning that often co-exists with a mental health diagnosis. This study examined associations between psychological and somatic problems and facial emotion recognition in early adolescence; as any processing biases in this age-group may be an early indicator of later mental illnesses. A community sample of 40 12-year-olds self-rated their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatization via two mental health screeners. They also completed a computerized emotion recognition task in which they identified photographs of 40 faces showing expressions of anger, fear, sadness, happiness, or neutral expression. Results showed that increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatization were significantly associated with fewer correct responses to angry expressions. These symptoms were also associated with faster and more accurate recognition of fearful expressions. However, there was no association between mental health and recognition of sad affect. Finally, increased psychological and/or somatic symptomology was also associated with better identification of neutral expressions. In conclusion, youth with increased psychological and/or somatic problems exhibited a processing bias for negative anger and fear expressions, but not sadness. They showed better processing of neutral faces than youth with fewer psychological and/or somatic problems. Findings are discussed in relation to indicators of mental illnesses in early adolescence and the potential underpinning neural mechanisms associated with mental health and emotional facial recognition. Full article
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