Articles, Leading Stories

January 1st, 2016

Report: one in 45 children has autism spectrum disorder

By Rivkela Brodsky

A new report using 2014 data suggests that one in 45 children aged 3-17 has autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. That number is up from one in 80 children in 2011-2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics Nov. 13 report. A big reason for the increase is a change in the way researchers asked parents questions about their children having autism. “We believe this increase we saw from previous years of the National Health Interview Survey was the result of three changes we made to the survey in between those years,” [More]

January 1st, 2016

Researchers tackle issue of male abuse victims

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There is probably no greater stigma affecting the world of psychology than the one that surrounds male victims of domestic violence. From being accused by support hotlines of being the perpetrator to being harassed by the police when they call for help to a general response of “Why would a guy let a woman hit him?” male victims face immense hurdles. What is most shocking, according to Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., associate research professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., is not so much the stigma faced or the lack of help available but the high prevalence of the problem. [More]

January 1st, 2016

Study: Youth bored and stressed

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In perhaps the largest study ever done in such a short time, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence teamed up with Born This Way Foundation to execute a survey of more than 22,000 high school students conducted over a three-month period. Reaching out to adolescents through schools and through the social media net of the Foundation’s founder, singer Lady Gaga, researchers were able to attract an overwhelming number of responses in the set time period, far more than expected. “We had 45,000 responses in total,” said Marc Brackett, Ph.D., director of the Yale Center, “and for this study, we used [More]

January 1st, 2016

Hasbro expands programs

By Pamela Berard

Meeting a growing national need for integrated care for children dealing with combinations of psychiatric and physical illness, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with Bradley Hospital, recently expanded its medical/psychiatric programs. The expansion doubles the number of inpatient beds and extends capacity in its partial hospital program. The Medical/Psychiatric Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island and its multidisciplinary team address the needs of children and adolescents ages six to 18 with complex pediatric illnesses such as eating disorders or medical illness complicated by psychiatric co-morbidity. Renovations at the Inpatient Medical/Psychiatric Program expanded the program from eight to 16 [More]

January 1st, 2016

Sleep disorders: solutions to shut-eye shortage

By Phyllis Hanlon

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sleep insufficiency has become a major problem, linked to motor vehicle and industrial accidents as well as to some chronic physical conditions. The issue of sleep deprivation is complicated and multi-faceted. While seemingly a medical problem, sleep may have psychological underpinnings that mental health professionals can address. Heather C. Finley, Ph.D., sleep medicine specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, cited the 3P model, a framework comprising predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors developed by Paul Glovinsky and Art Spielman, as a way to better understand sleep disorders, particularly insomnia. The [More]

January 1st, 2016

Top workplaces’ list includes mental health agencies

By Susan Gonsalves

Commonwealth Psychology Associates LLC was named one of the “Top Places to Work,” by The Boston Globe for the past two years. The distinction is based on confidential surveys filled out by employees that are assessed by Workplace Dynamics of Exton, Penn., an independent third party that specializes in employee engagement and retention. In all, 357 companies, divided into four groups by size, completed the questionnaire with input collected from 77,000 employees. The participants responded to two dozen statements related to their work experiences. Andrea Piatt, Ph.D., ABPP, who founded the practice in 2004, attributes employee satisfaction to the fact [More]

January 1st, 2016

Panelist: Hybrid careers likely for newcomers

By Rivkela Brodsky

Having a hybrid career in psychology – a mix of academic, clinical, and work in other industries – is more likely in the near future with fewer full-time academic job opportunities in the field of psychology, said Steven N. Broder, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of counseling, psychology, and applied human development at Boston University’s School of Education. “It’s the nature of the world and the changing economy; people will be doing a variety of things,” Broder said. But, there are also some personality factors that should be considered when choosing a hybrid career versus a traditional full-time academic or clinical [More]

January 1st, 2016

Research uses MRI to identify attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

By Catherine Robertson Souter

When magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, was first introduced as a diagnostic tool in the 1990s, a new world was opened to researchers as the scans provided a novel way to look at the inner workings of the human body. Now, researchers at Yale University have found a way to use the MRI to see even further into the human psyche to identify attention problems. In a study recently published in Nature Neuroscience, the Yale team presented evidence that they could correctly identify adults and children with a range of attentional issues through MRI scans that focused on connectivity between [More]

December 1st, 2015

Celebrity stalking: a dangerous combination of obsession, delusion

By Phyllis Hanlon

When Robert John Bardo murdered actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989, he drew public attention to the issue of stalking. In response, California passed the first stalking legislation in the country in 1990; by 2000, all 50 states had enacted similar laws, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. While stalking most often involves perpetrators and victims who are acquainted or related, celebrity stalking captures headlines. According to Gerald Sweet, Ph.D., forensic and police psychologist, co-developer of the Military Veterans Psychology Program and faculty member at William James College (formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology), celebrity stalking falls [More]

December 1st, 2015

NAMI forum offers multi-faceted workshops

By Susan Gonsalves

Preventing unnecessary arrests and prison time for people with mental health disorders is the goal of the Criminal Justice Diversion Project, a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) initiative, said June Binney, J.D., director. Personnel from the Fitchburg and Cambridge police departments presented a workshop on “Best Practices in Law Enforcement/Mental Health Partnerships,” at NAMI’s Massachusetts state convention in Leominster on Oct. 31. The Department of Mental Health awards approximately $1.5 million in annual grants to cities and towns to implement specialized training so that officers are better able to respond to incidents involving people with mental illnesses. NAMI created [More]

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