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Special Issue "Child Mental Health in a Modern World"

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: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 11454

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Barry Wright
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hull York Medical School and Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Interests: deaf children; autism; child mental health interventions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over many years, there have been various twists and turns in the development of child mental health services and the interventions they provide. In recent times, there has been a tendency for formal child mental health services to focus more around severe and enduring mental illness, which begins to mirror adult mental health services. This takes the focus away from prevention. More importantly, many child mental health interventions that are being researched or implemented have been used in adult mental health services. Is it time for a fundamental rethink about how we develop interventions for child and adolescent mental health, working much more closely with children, young people and their families to understand their needs and developing our own child-friendly, child-oriented interventions?

There are a number of child mental health challenges facing young people internationally in the modern world. These include the pressures created by changes in societies across the globe, a world pandemic, rapid technological advances, poverty, disease and inequalities. This Special Issue will devote itself to examining the causes of these pressures and potential solutions to them, including innovative proposals, service delivery, strategies or interventions. Please, submit any articles for consideration with this in mind.

Prof. Barry Wright
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2500 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

  • child mental health
  • inequalities
  • global health
  • technological advances
  • society
  • deaf children
  • neurodevelopmental problems

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Comparison of Diagnostic Profiles of Deaf and Hearing Children with a Diagnosis of Autism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032143 - 24 Jan 2023
Viewed by 333
Abstract
There is limited research comparing the presentation of autism in deaf and hearing children and young people. These comparisons are important to facilitate accurate diagnosis, as rates of misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis amongst deaf children and young people are high. The aim [...] Read more.
There is limited research comparing the presentation of autism in deaf and hearing children and young people. These comparisons are important to facilitate accurate diagnosis, as rates of misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis amongst deaf children and young people are high. The aim of this study was to compare diagnostic assessment profiles of a UK cohort of autistic deaf and hearing children and young people. The Autism Diagnostic Interview—Revised—Deaf 5 adaptation was completed with the parents of 106 children and young people (deaf children = 65; hearing children = 41). The majority of items explored showed no significant differences between deaf and hearing children and young people. Differences were found in peer relationships, where autistic deaf participants were less likely to respond to the approaches of other children or play imaginatively with peers. These findings need to be taken into consideration by clinicians in the assessment process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
Article
BOAM: A Visual, Explanatory Diagnostic and Psychoeducation System Used in Collaboration with Families—Feasibility and Acceptability for Children Who Are Non-Responsive to Treatment as Usual
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214693 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Many children referred to mental health services have neurodevelopmental problems, which are not always recognized because the resulting emotional and behavioral problems dominate diagnosis and treatment. BOAM (Basic needs, Order, Autonomy and Meaning) is a new diagnostic system consisting of imaginative models that [...] Read more.
Many children referred to mental health services have neurodevelopmental problems, which are not always recognized because the resulting emotional and behavioral problems dominate diagnosis and treatment. BOAM (Basic needs, Order, Autonomy and Meaning) is a new diagnostic system consisting of imaginative models that explain the complexity of symptoms and underlying neuropsychological problems in a simple way. It is designed to be used in a transparent, collaborative process with families, so that family members can better understand the nature of mental health problems, thus increasing self-knowledge and mutual understanding. In this study, the feasibility of the BOAM diagnostic trajectory and subsequent treatment informed by this trajectory are evaluated clinically in 34 children who have not responded to or relapsed after treatment as usual (TAU). Parents completed questionnaires pre-test, post-test and at a 3-month follow-up. The treatment drop-out rate was 2.9%. Post-test, parents rated the BOAM trajectory positively. The questionnaires (measuring child psychopathology, attention, executive functioning, family functioning, partner relationships and parenting stress) demonstrated sensitivity to change, and therefore, seems appropriate for a future effectiveness study. A limitation was the high percentage of missing measurements both post-test (41%) and at the follow-up (41%). The BOAM diagnostic trajectory and subsequent treatment may be a feasible alternative for children who do not respond to or relapse after TAU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
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Article
The Use of Binaural Based Spatial Audio in the Reduction of Auditory Hypersensitivity in Autistic Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912474 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are characterised as experiencing impairments in social-emotional interaction and communication, alongside frequently displaying repetitive behaviours and interests. Further to this, they are often described as experiencing difficulties in processing sensory information, with particular prevalence within the [...] Read more.
Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are characterised as experiencing impairments in social-emotional interaction and communication, alongside frequently displaying repetitive behaviours and interests. Further to this, they are often described as experiencing difficulties in processing sensory information, with particular prevalence within the auditory modality. Provoked by common environmental sounds, auditory hypersensitivity can result in self-regulatory fear responses. Rather than a physiological pain reaction, literature suggests that these hypersensitivities are resulting through irrational fear of the sounds. This investigation evaluates the use of binaural based spatial audio as a rendering technique for delivering realistic simulations of averse stimuli within a virtual reality (VR) exposure based computer game intervention for auditory hypersensitivity in autism. Over multiple experimental sessions, 20 autistic participants experiencing auditory hypersensitivity were exposed to either spatial audio or stereo renders of target stimuli during the intervention. Measurements of self-reported emotions displayed significant reductions in associated negative emotional reactions to target stimuli for all participants. However, significant improvements were experienced by those listening to spatial audio simulations. Moreover, tracked voluntary interactions with exposure based game-mechanics increased as the study progressed. Providing further evidence of increased tolerance towards averse auditory stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
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Article
Family Socioeconomic Status and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Preschool Children: The Mediating Role of Executive Function
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11608; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811608 - 15 Sep 2022
Viewed by 667
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the relationship between family socioeconomic status (SES) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in preschool children and the mediating role of executive function (EF). A total of 361 parents of preschool children were surveyed using the self-reported Family [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the relationship between family socioeconomic status (SES) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in preschool children and the mediating role of executive function (EF). A total of 361 parents of preschool children were surveyed using the self-reported Family Situation Questionnaire, the Child Executive Functioning Inventory, and the Child Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The results revealed that (1) there were significant pairwise correlations between SES, EF and its dimensions, and ADHD, except for a non-significant correlation between SES and regulation ability; (2) after controlling for preschool children’s age and sex, SES directly predicted preschoolers’ ADHD and EF partially mediated the association between SES and ADHD; and (3) among the EF dimensions, working memory and inhibitory ability significantly mediated the association between SES and ADHD, whereas the mediating effect of regulatory ability was not significant. These results suggest that SES can affect the ADHD of preschoolers both directly and through EF, especially through working memory and inhibitory ability. This supports the family stress model and family investment model of the relationship between SES and the development of children to some extent, and provides a reference for the early prevention of ADHD in children with low SES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
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Article
Linking Leeds: A Social Prescribing Service for Children and Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031426 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1544
Abstract
The use of social prescribing interventions for common mental health issues is expanding as clinicians seek to diverge from the traditional medical model of treatment. This intervention allows for the referral of patients to a nonclinical social activity via a link worker. Evidence [...] Read more.
The use of social prescribing interventions for common mental health issues is expanding as clinicians seek to diverge from the traditional medical model of treatment. This intervention allows for the referral of patients to a nonclinical social activity via a link worker. Evidence for the benefits of social prescribing is growing. Most evidence is based on adults; however, a smaller number of studies involving children and young people have produced encouraging results. This evaluation reports on data routinely collected by the Linking Leeds service between 9 January 2019–11 January 2020. Linking Leeds provides Social Prescribing for people aged 16 years and above; however, the current paper focuses on service users aged between 16 and 25. Their aim is to connect people to services and activities in their community in order to benefit overall health and mental wellbeing. This evaluation of the Linking Leeds program supports the growing body of evidence to support the benefits social prescribing can have on young people’s mental health. Two main mechanisms were identified which underpin social prescribing in young people: social connectedness and behavioural activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
Article
The Depression: Online Therapy Study (D:OTS)—A Pilot Study of an Internet-Based Psychodynamic Treatment for Adolescents with Low Mood in the UK, in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412993 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
Introduction: Face-to-face therapy is unavailable to many young people with mental health difficulties in the UK. Internet-based treatments are a low-cost, flexible, and accessible option that may be acceptable to young people. This pilot study examined the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of an [...] Read more.
Introduction: Face-to-face therapy is unavailable to many young people with mental health difficulties in the UK. Internet-based treatments are a low-cost, flexible, and accessible option that may be acceptable to young people. This pilot study examined the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of an English-language adaptation of internet-based psychodynamic treatment (iPDT) for depressed adolescents, undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Methods: A single-group, uncontrolled design was used. A total of 23 adolescents, 16–18 years old and experiencing depression, were recruited to this study. Assessments were made at baseline and end of treatment, with additional weekly assessments of depression and anxiety symptoms. Results: Findings showed that it was feasible to recruit to this study during the pandemic, and to deliver the iPDT model with a good level of treatment acceptability. A statistically significant reduction in depressive symptoms and emotion dysregulation was found, with large effect size, by the end of treatment. Whilst anxiety symptoms decreased, this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: The findings suggest that this English-language adaptation of iPDT, with some further revisions, is feasible to deliver and acceptable for adolescents with depression. Preliminary data indicate that iPDT appears to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
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Article
Mental Health Provision in UK Secondary Schools
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212222 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Research reports high levels of mental health problems faced by young people in the UK. Schools provide a range of mental health support services, although these are often not robustly evaluated. This paper aims to explore the mental health provision of secondary schools [...] Read more.
Research reports high levels of mental health problems faced by young people in the UK. Schools provide a range of mental health support services, although these are often not robustly evaluated. This paper aims to explore the mental health provision of secondary schools across two large regions in the North of England and provide comparisons to the mental health questionnaire scores of their pupils. Results are part of a wider study providing an overview of the mental health of secondary school pupils. Measures include the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, distributed to year 8, 9, and 11 pupils attending secondary schools and a bespoke mental health service provision questionnaire for school staff at the same schools. A total of 6328 pupil questionnaires and 36 staff questionnaires were returned from 21 schools. Results showed a non-significant correlation between provision and young people’s mental health scores and highlight a range of factors to take into consideration. There is a need to improve the evaluation and recording of school-based mental health provision. Mental health difficulties in young people are prevalent in schools. Future research is needed to elucidate which types of services are most helpful in preventing, supporting, and signposting those with mental health problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
Article
Self-Concept in Primary School Student with Dyslexia: The Relationship to Parental Rearing Styles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189718 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1917
Abstract
Dyslexic children may be more likely to form a negative self-concept, especially with poor educational experiences and negative parenting. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the self-concept of Chinese dyslexic children in primary school, and explore the influence factors of [...] Read more.
Dyslexic children may be more likely to form a negative self-concept, especially with poor educational experiences and negative parenting. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the self-concept of Chinese dyslexic children in primary school, and explore the influence factors of self-concept as well as its relationship with parenting style. A total of 50 children with dyslexia and 50 non-dyslexics matched for age, grade and gender participated in the study. We used the Piers-Harris children’s self-concept scale (PHCSS) and the Chinese version of Egna Minnen Beträffande Uppfostran for Children (EMBU-C) to evaluate the self-concept and parenting styles of the study population. Our results indicated that the academic competence, popularity and general self-concept in the dyslexic group were significantly lower than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Based on the multivariate linear regression, we also found that residence (β = −0.32, p < 0.05) and physical activity (β = 0.36, p < 0.01) may influence factors self-concept in dyslexic children. In addition, a moderate and positive correlation was found between the self-concept of physical appearance and maternal emotional warmth (r = 0.36, p < 0.05) by using the Spearman correlation analysis. Our outcomes suggested that children with dyslexia have a poorer self-concept than typical developing children. The self-concept of dyslexic children should be improved in order to achieve better physical and mental development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
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