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Journal article

An examination of how far close relationships are essential for our mental health

Author:
TAYLOR Rod
Journal article citation:
Applied Community Studies, 1(1), 1991, pp.5-15.
Publisher:
Whiting and Birch

Questions assumptions about close relationships in a social network ensuring a high level of support and promoting the mental health of clients.

Journal article

Psychological distress as a key component of psychosocial functioning in community-dwelling older people

Authors:
SCHNITTGER Rebecca I. B., et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 16(1-2), January 2012, pp.199-207.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Psychological distress is a critical issue affecting the quality of life in older adults with implications for both mental and physical health. The aim of this study was to explore the key components of psychosocial functioning in older adults with a focus on identifying the constituents of psychological distress. Another aim was to examine the relationship between these components and health outcomes such as frailty. The study was conducted at the Technology Research for Independent Living Clinic, a comprehensive geriatric assessment facility in Dublin. As part of a structured clinical assessment, 579 participants completed 9 primary psychosocial measures as well as a broad range of health and demographic secondary assessments. Principal factor analysis identified 3 core dimensions of the construct of psychosocial functioning. The first is related to a core internal component of psychological distress. The 2 other components are related to external and physiological functioning, specifically social support networks and sleep. These components, particularly psychological distress, were found to be associated with health outcomes associated with frailty.

Journal article

Self-reported life events, social support and psychological problems in adults with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
HULBERT-WILLIAMS Lee, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24(5), September 2011, pp.427-436.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between life events and psychological problems in people with intellectual disabilities. However, these studies have typically relied on proxy informants, usually professional carers or family members. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between life events and psychological problems in people with intellectual disabilities using self-report data. In addition, the study aimed to examine the direct effect of social support on psychological problems, and its moderating influence on the relationship between life events and psychological problems. The participants, 38 adults with intellectual disabilities, completed 3 psychological measures in a semi-structured interview setting: the Bangor Life Events Schedule for Intellectual Disabilities Self-Report; the Brief Symptom Inventory; and the Social Network Map. The findings showed that exposure to life events, such as death of a close friend or relative or a permanent change in staffing, were positively associated with measures of psychological problems. Social support was generally not found to be associated with psychological problems, although more psychological problems were reported by participants who also reported more criticism of them by others.

Journal article

Like talking to a wall

Author:
-
Journal article citation:
Health Service Journal, 2.9.10, 2010, p.20.
Publisher:
Emap Healthcare

The Big White Wall is an innovative initiative offered in 12 primary care trust. The online service uses social networking principles to create a community of people who are experiencing mental health problems. It also offers five clinically informed interventions (eg creative self-expression) to help people cope with mental health problems.

Journal article

Impact of social support on cognitive symptom burden in HIV/AIDS

Authors:
ATKINS Jana H., et al
Journal article citation:
AIDS Care, 22(7), July 2010, pp.793-802.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

As many as 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS report cognitive difficulties, which can be associated with objective neuropsychological impairments and depression. A number of studies have demonstrated an association between higher social support and lower rates of depression. This study examined the role social support may play in attenuating the effects of both neuropsychological status and depression on cognitive difficulties. A cross-sectional survey of 357 adult men with HIV in Toronto, Canada completed a battery of neuropsychological tests, questionnaires about cognitive difficulties and depression, and an interview that included an assessment of perceived level of social support. A multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that higher levels of cognitive symptom burden were significantly associated with depression while lower levels of cognitive symptom burden were significantly associated with greater social support and higher level of education. There was a significant interaction between neuropsychological status and depression; the presence of neuropsychological impairment with depression was associated with higher levels of cognitive symptom burden. There was also a significant interaction between social support and depression. Interestingly, social support was also associated with a lower cognitive symptom burden for non-depressed individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The article concludes by discussing the clinical implications of these findings for promoting psychological well-being in persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Journal article

The relationship between spiritual experiences, transpersonal trust, social support, and sense of coherence and mental distress - a comparison of spiritually practising and non-practising samples

Authors:
KOHLS Niko, WALACH Harald, WIRTZ Markus
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Religion and Culture, 12(1), January 2009, pp.1-23.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

The pathways from exceptional experiences (measured with the Exceptional Experiences Questionnaire, EEQ), transpersonal trust (TPV), social support (F-SoZu) and sense of coherence (SOC) scales towards mental distress within a spiritually practising (SP) and a non-practising sample (NSP) were compared, using structural equation modelling. A high amount of variance explained for SOC, a moderate amount for F-SoZU and for TPV a very small amount only in the SP sample were found. In contrast, for the EEQ, which grasps positive and negative spiritual, psychopathological, and visionary dream experiences, a strong relationship was found for the NSP sample but only a moderate relationship for the SP sample. Further analysis revealed that the path coefficients from positive, negative spiritual, and psychopathological experiences to distress were significantly lower in the SP sample. Thus, as regular spiritual practice seems to alter the pathways to distress derived from positive and negative spiritual and psychopathological experiences, unidimensional questionnaires only grasping positive spiritual experiences seem to be inappropriate for explaining the intrapersonal mechanisms associated with regular spiritual practice.

Journal article Full text available online for free

The role of social work in mental health services

Author:
SOCIAL CARE INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 17.7.08, 2008, pp.32-33.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

This article discusses the role of social workers in co-ordinating and delivering services for people with mental health problems.

Journal article

The role of social capital in reducing non-specific psychological distress: the importance of controlling for omitted variable bias

Authors:
SCHEFFLER Richard M., BROWN Timothy T., RICE Jennifer K.
Journal article citation:
Social Science and Medicine, 65(4), August 2007, pp.842-854.
Publisher:
Elsevier

This paper examines the relationship between area-level social capital and non-specific psychological distress. It demonstrates that not controlling for non-time-varying omitted variables can seriously bias research findings. The authors use data from three cross-sections of the US National Health Interview Survey (1999, 2000, and 2001): 37,172 observations nested within 58 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Data was also added from the Area Resource File and County Business Patterns. A validated measure of social capital, the Petris Social Capital Index (PSCI), which measures structural social capital was used. The authors estimate a two-level multilevel linear model with a random intercept. Non-specific psychological distress is measured using a valid and reliable indicator, the K6. Individual-level variables include sex, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, family income, smoking status, exercise status, and number of visits to a health professional. Area-level covariates include the PSCI, the unemployment rate, psychiatrists per 1000 population, non-psychiatric physicians per 1000 population, and area-level indicators to account for non-time-varying area-level omitted variable bias. Time dummies are also included. It was found that lagged area-level social capital is negatively related to non-specific psychological distress among individuals whose family income is less than the median. These associations are much larger when we control for non-time-varying area-level omitted variables.

Journal article

Friendships as strong as bamboo

Authors:
CHAN Jason, et al
Journal article citation:
A Life in the Day, 9(4), November 2005, pp.29-31.
Publisher:
Emerald

The Yao Yao Social Group was set up three years ago to tackle the social isolation of people from London Chinese community who have mental health problems. The group provides a safe environment where people can feel comfortable and speak their mother tongue, and participate in a wide range of activities and outings. The authors describe the group and what it means to them

Journal article

Bridging the gap between professionals and the community in mental health services: findings and policy implications of two demonstration projects

Author:
GUAY Jerome
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 2(2), March 1994, pp.95-103.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Reports on two projects in Canada which targeted citizens as key players in the well-being and mental health of local communities and which have tapped the mutual aid resources of informal helping resources.

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