June 1st, 2016

Stress in America Survey 2015: the impact of discrimination

By Phyllis Hanlon

The American Psychological Association conducted its tenth annual Stress in America survey and released results in March. This particular survey focused on the impact discrimination has on an individual’s stress level. A total of 3,361 participants took part in the online survey. The results indicated that 69 percent or seven in 10 adults, report having experienced discrimination; 61 percent reported day-to-day discrimination. According to the survey, minorities experienced high levels of discrimination on an everyday basis, i.e., 76 percent of Black adults, 74 percent of Asian, 72 percent of Hispanics and 81 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives. Thirty percent of [More]

June 1st, 2012

Stress in America: a chronic condition

By Phyllis Hanlon

Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association (APA) released findings from its 2011 survey Stress in America™: Our Health at Risk. In January, a distinguished panel discussed the findings, identified key areas of concern and offered their thoughts on ways to address stress-related problems. Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of the national peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, moderated the event, which included panel members Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D., CEO and executive vice president of APA; Suzanne Bennett Johnson, Ph.D., 2012 APA president; Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D., executive director for professional practice at APA; and Jonathan Lever, JD, Ed.M., vice president of health strategy [More]

April 1st, 2015

Stress in America: financial issues top list

By Phyllis Hanlon

Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has conducted its Stress in America™ survey, which measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public, as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign. Recently released findings from the 2014 survey indicated that money issues have prevailed again as the leading stressor. The survey noted that 72 percent of adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time. Specifically, parents (34 percent), Millennials (36 percent), Gen-Xers (30 percent) and women (30 percent) report the highest finance-related stress rates. Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., associate executive director, Practice Research and Policy at the [More]

January 1st, 2010

Stress on campuses also on the rise

By Ami Albernaz

As enriching as the college years are for most students, they undeniably come with some stress, as students are – for the first time, in many cases – squarely in charge of their routine, and are forging an identity away from the familiar strictures of hometown and family. Recently, the economic downturn has added another layer of pressure, as students worry both about their prospects for work after college and how they or their parents will afford ever-climbing tuition bills. “I’m surprised at the number of students who tell me one or both of their parents are unemployed,” says Tom [More]

May 10th, 2018

Striking a Digital Balance

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Technology is only going to keep invading the nooks and crannies of our life. We can help ourselves and our clients by treating it like a tool that needs our active guidance, instead of welcoming it passively into our lives as the enemy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – these are all services designed not only to gain your attention and brain cycles, but to keep it for as long as possible. They are designed from a neurocognitive perspective to take advantage of the stimulus-reward system – and they work wonderfully in keeping you captive. The solution to technologies designed to take [More]

February 5th, 2020

Struggle to find affordable, in-network mental health treatment is real

By Janine Weisman

Health insurers are failing to comply with mental health parity laws for Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage and their families, according to a recent report. As a result, there are increasing disparities in access to behavioral health services for employees and their dependents who end up having to seek care from out-of-network providers at higher out-of-pocket costs. The report “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement” outlines problems with access to affordable in-network care for mental illness and substance use disorders. The report by the independent actuarial and research institution consulting firm [More]

April 1st, 2016

Stuck

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

He said he didn’t care what happened to him so he didn’t seem to be bothered that he was still in the custody of the court and confined to the hospital. His indifference was part of his depression and his depression had invaded the very core of his identity. If he had his way, he would end his life and pass on to the next world or to no world at all. Anything was better than living with the loss of the dream that he was so close to achieving before it all crashed. The man was stuck. Despite the [More]

May 11th, 2019

Study attempts to identify at-risk babies for autism treatment

By Susan Gonsalves

Babies who are at risk of developing autism have better outcomes if they are identified early and given intensive treatment. That’s the premise of the Infant Sibling Project, spearheaded by Rebecca MacDonald, Ph.D., BCBA-D, director of that initiative at The New England Center for Children in Southborough, Mass. MacDonald explained that her work attempts to replicate and expand research by Graupner and Sallows of the Wisconsin Early Autism Project in 2017. That project identified 60 siblings of children who already had an autism diagnosis. Researchers studied the babies, who were up to six months old, and conducted bi-weekly developmental screenings, [More]

December 1st, 2015

Study boosts belief that anorexia is brain-based illness

By Pamela Berard

A new study may help explain why anorexia nervosa is so hard to treat: those who struggle with it activate a different part of the brain when making food choices than those who don’t. The study, “Neural mechanisms supporting maladaptive food choices in anorexia nervosa,” which was published in Nature Neuroscience, demonstrated that when making decisions on what to eat – women with anorexia nervosa showed increased activity in the dorsal striatum area of the brain compared to women without anorexia. The dorsal striatum has a critical role in the establishment and expression of action control and learned automatic behaviors. [More]

May 1st, 2013

Study documents high cost of keeping Taunton State Hospital open

By Janine Weisman

An independent consultant for the Massachusetts State Legislature estimates it would cost the Department of Mental Health (DMH) $12.77 million to keep 45 beds open at Taunton State Hospital. No such funding is included in the FY2014 state budget, acknowledges Abt Associates in a study for the Mental Health Advisory Committee. Legislators formed the committee last year after voting to override Gov. Deval Patrick’s veto of $5.1 million to fund keeping 45 of Taunton’s 169 beds open, citing concerns the closure jeopardized jobs and posed a hardship for patients and families The committee was tasked with examining the closure’s impact [More]