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Mental Health

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In recent years decision makers have increasingly come to acknowledge the role mental health plays in the public sphere. IPR researchers are leading the charge to understand both the causes and implications of various mental health conditions.

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Research Roundup

Studying Mental Health

For National Mental Health Month in May 2019, IPR collected the work of researchers from across a diverse group of disciplines, highlighting the strides made toward identifying the effects of public policy on mental health.

The Impact of Violent Crime on Sleep and Stress

IPR developmental psychobiologist Emma Adam and Jenni Heissel (PhD 2017) studied the health effects of nearby violent crime on adolescents, finding evidence that it can disrupt sleep and lead to a spike in the stress hormone cortisol – both of which have been linked to decreased academic performance.

Reward Processing and Mood-Related Symptom

IPR psychologist Robin Nusslock demonstrates how psychiatric illnesses can affect the brain’s ability to process rewards, proposing that his findings might lead to further research on the connection between the two factors.

Taking on the Stress-Depression Link: Meaning as a Resource in Adolescence

IPR developmental psychologist Emma Adam and IPR health psychologist Edith Chen examine the link between stress and depression symptoms in adolescents and what they call “meaning” in life, demonstrating a link between the presence of the former and absence of the latter.

Does It Get Better? Psychological Distress and Victimization in LGBTQ Youth

 As the “It Gets Better” project has attempted to comfort a generation of LGBTQ youth, professor of medical social sciences and IPR associate Brian Mustanski and co-authors examined the arc of psychological distress across their adolescence's.

Protecting Unauthorized Immigrant Mothers Improves Their Children’s Mental Health

The effect of deportations on families has become a flashpoint political issue, and law and finance professor and IPR associate Bernard Black with co-authors examined its psychological effect on children.

College Degrees Predict Lower Depression and Worse Health for Disadvantaged Minorities

In this study, IPR health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller explore the cost paid by young minorities who receive a college degree, possibly at the expense of their health. They find that black and Hispanic college graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds frequently have higher metabolic syndrome than their counterparts, putting them at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.

Peer Mentorship as an Effective Support for Student 'Grit'

IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin and his co-authors studied how slightly older peer mentors can affect their charges’ success in school, discovering that students with mentors displayed more positive attitudes about academic challenges and higher levels of “grit” when faced with difficult scenarios.