Tag Archive for 'youth'

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Cog mod for PTSD

In the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Joanna Kowalik and colleagues reported that their review of studies on the use of cognitivie behavioral therapy for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) revealed that cog-mod appears effective in changing raters’ responses on some of the widely used scales of the Child Behavior Checklist. However, the results of their literature review are not as powerful as one might hope, given the small number of studies and substantial variability in the studies themselves.


Background and objectives There is no clear gold standard treatment for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An annotated bibliography and meta-analysis were used to examine the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of pediatric PTSD as measured by outcome data from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

Method A literature search produced 21 studies; of these, 10 utilized the CBCL but only eight were both 1) randomized; and 2) reported pre- and post-intervention scores.

Results The annotated bibliography revealed efficacy in general of CBT for pediatric PTSD. Using four indices of the CBCL, the meta-analysis identified statistically significant effect sizes for three of the four scales: Total Problems (TP; ?.327; p = .003), Internalizing (INT; ?.314; p = .001), and Externalizing (EXT; ?.192; p = .040). The results for TP and INT were reliable as indicated by the fail-safe N and rank correlation tests. The effect size for the Total Competence (TCOMP; ?.054; p = .620) index did not reach statistical significance.

Limitations Limitations included methodological inconsistencies across studies and lack of a randomized control group design, yielding few studies for meta-analysis.

Conclusions The efficacy of CBT in the treatment of pediatric PTSD was supported by the annotated bibliography and meta-analysis, contributing to best practices data. CBT addressed internalizing signs and symptoms (as measured by the CBCL) such as anxiety and depression more robustly than it did externalizing symptoms such as aggression and rule-breaking behavior, consistent with its purpose as a therapeutic intervention.

Because they are integrating so few studies it is very difficult to have a sensitive meta-analysis in this case. However, that Professor Kowalik and her collaborators found differences at all is encouraging. I hope they’ll continue to follow this literature. Also, I hope researchers will be using other measures of outcomes and that those other measures will be examined in future integrative literature reviews, too.

Kowalik, J., Weller, J., Venter, J., & Drachman, D. (2011). Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42, 405-413. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.02.002

Counselling explained. You can find counselling services in your local private hospital in Nottingham, UK.

Virginia campaign promotes action agenda

The Campaign for Children’s Mental Health outlined an agenda for improving mental health policy for children and youths in the US commonwealth of Virginia on 14 June 2011. The “Action Agenda” expresses the need for Govenor Bob McDonnell to exert leadership in three policy areas so that the problems of 100,000 minors with mental health issues are addressed:

  • Children with mental health disorders and their families need to have a full array of high quality treatment and support services in their own communities, no matter where in Virginia they reside.
  • Children with serious mental health disorders who require public sector services need to have access to the same array of services regardless of payment source or custody status in order to maximize the impact of and curb inappropriate use of public dollars in the treatment system.
  • Children with mental health disorders and their families should be recognized and included as experts on their own and their children’s treatment needs.

Visit the 1 in 5 Website (see it over in the sidebar, too) and download the full statement of the Action Agenda.

I am very glad to have and I hope others will join me in signing a petition to support this effort. Isn’t it great to have this effort right here in Virginia? Do you have similar efforts in the area where you live?

50 Cent’s anti-bullying book

According to the Publishers Weekly, rap artist 50 Cent is writing a book with an anti-bullying theme.

50 Cent, whose book Playground was bought by Razorbill publisher Ben Schrank, will address the topic of bullying in novel format; the book is planned to be a first person fictional account and the title will be edited by Laura Arnold. Marc Gerald at the Agency Group brokered the world rights deal, and Playground is scheduled for January 2012.

Other news reports indicate that the novel will be aimed at the young-adult market and that it draws on Mr. Cent’s personal experiences as a youth. The lead character is a 13-year old “who finds redemption as he faces what he’s done.”

Here’s the link to the Publishers Weekly story; the quote is at the bottom of it. In an interesting twist, as I searched for the original press release I found that the blog on Mr. Cent’s Web site quotes a story from MTV about the book. Here’s a link to that post. I would have thought that the rapper’s site would have had the authoritative source…?


No, it’s not alphabet soup, and yes, discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth does belong here. Some parents of children and youth with EBD will need to know about how to respond to questions about children’s sexuality.

Follow up of Fast Track

These are the lead researchers in the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group with their current universities (over the years, some have changed affiliations):

The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, a team of composed of seven of the most eminent US scholars studying the development of childhood behavior disorders, published another in its series of papers tracking the outcomes of the children it has been following in a long-term study about preventing acting out disorders. In this longer-term follow-up analysis, the team found that the effects were still present for the children who showed the most risk of having behavior disorders in the first place.

This project and these folks are the big time. The work has been conducted very carefully and cannot be represented as an example of over-hyped findings.
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The Congressional Mental Health Caucus

Sadly, mental health has been in the US news of late. I’m reminded that in the US legislature there is the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, which takes as its goals reducing negativism and stigma, aiding efforts to access mental health services, improving work-related productivity, and protecting veterans who have mental health problems. Although the caucus does not explicitly state child mental health as a focus of concern, it has supported awareness efforts such as National Children’s Mental Health Day.
Continue reading ‘The Congressional Mental Health Caucus’

More props for Mr. Artest

Professional basketball player Ron Artest, who admits that he experienced difficulties as a youth and an adult, has been promoting mental health awareness over the past few years. Recently I posted a note acknowledging some of his efforts, and today I call attention to another of them. At the release of the accompanying public service announcement 21 December 2010 in support of mental health awareness, Mr. Artest not only spoke in support of those efforts, but he also donated $50,000 to local clinics in the Los Angeles (CA, US) area.

In a blog post for the Los Angeles Times entitled “Ron Artest debuts his PSA on mental health awareness,” Mark Medina reported about the press conference and the production of the PSA. If you’re a Lakers fan, as am I, you’ll find a couple of tidbits of interest there. But, there are also noteworthy nuggets about mental health advocacy and even about the entertainment industry in Mr Medina’s report, too. He has an audio interview with Gary Foster, who produced the video (as well as the noted movie “The Soloist,” also about mental health), and additional notes about Mr. Artest’s efforts.

According to Mr. Medina, on Christmas Day, another of Mr. Artest’s fund- and awareness-raising efforts on behalf of mental health will be in the spotlight. The ring that Mr. Artest received as a member of the world championship Los Angeles Lakers team of 2010 will be awarded to the winner of a raffle. That raffle has reportedly raised over $500,000 US. (I bought my raffle tickets, of course.)

As a fan of the Lakers for 50 years, I’m glad Mr. Artest is playing for my team, but I’m especially happy to have him on the mental-health advocacy team. My hat’s off to you, Mr. Artest.

Read all of Mr. Medina’s entry, Ron Artest debuts his PSA on mental health awareness. Check my earlier post from 11 November 2010.

Fish oil and adolescent psychosis

During the 40 weeks after receiving a brief course of ω-3 (“omega three”) polyunsaturated fatty acids, adolescents at risk for psychotic disorders were less likely to progress to psychotic status than similar peers who did not receive the supplement. In the study by G. Paul Amminger and colleagues, the youths in the treated group also had fewer positive, negative, and general symptoms of psychosis and improved overall functioning than those in the control group.

The youths in the treated group received a supplement of two fish-oil capsules twice a day for 12 weeks, and the controls received a placebo of coconut-oil capsules. The researchers then monitored their status and symptoms for the following 40 weeks.
Continue reading ‘Fish oil and adolescent psychosis’