August PD Blog

Professional development

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Webpage

Youth alcohol and other drugs learning hub for workers provides access to free self-directed learning modules

Read – professional reading  

Available from the library database

Atkinson, J. A., Prodan, A., Livingston, M., Knowles, D., O’Donnell, E., Room, R., … & Wiggers, J. (2018). Impacts of licensed premises trading hour policies on alcohol‐related harms. Addiction.

Couto E Cruz, C., Salom, C., Maravilla, J., & Alati, R. (2018). Mental and physical health correlates of discrimination against people who inject drugs: A Systematic Review. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79(3), 350-360.

Geia, L., Broadfield, K., Grainger, D., Day, A., & Watkin‐Lui, F. (2018). Adolescent and young adult substance use in Australian Indigenous communities: a systematic review of demand control program outcomes. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(3), 254-261.

Hawke, L. D., Koyama, E., & Henderson, J. (2018). Cannabis use, other substance use, and co-occurring mental health concerns among youth presenting for substance use treatment services: Sex and age differences. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 91, 12-19.

McKetin, R., Lubman, D. I., Baker, A., Dawe, S., Ross, J., Mattick, R. P., & Degenhardt, L. (2018). The relationship between methamphetamine use and heterosexual behaviour: evidence from a prospective longitudinal study. Addiction.

Whiteside, M., MacLean, S., Callinan, S., Marshall, P., Nolan, S., & Tsey, K. (2018). Acceptability of an Aboriginal wellbeing intervention for supporters of people using methamphetamines. Australian Social Work, 1-9.

Open Access Articles

Moss, M. J., Warrick, B. J., Nelson, L. S., McKay, C. A., Dubé, P. A., Gosselin, S., … & Stolbach, A. I. (2018). ACMT and AACT position statement: preventing occupational fentanyl and fentanyl analog exposure to emergency responders. Clinical Toxicology, 56(4), 297-300.

Mustonen, A., Niemelä, S., Nordström, T., Murray, G. K., Mäki, P., Jääskeläinen, E., & Miettunen, J. (2018). Adolescent cannabis use, baseline prodromal symptoms and the risk of psychosis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 212(4), 227-233.

Thompson, T. P., Taylor, A. H., Wanner, A., Husk, K., Wei, Y., Creanor, S., … & Wallace, G. (2018). Physical activity and the prevention, reduction, and treatment of alcohol and/or substance use across the lifespan (The PHASE review): protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 7(1), 9.

Young, J. T., Heffernan, E., Borschmann, R., Ogloff, J. R., Spittal, M. J., Kouyoumdjian, F. G., … & Kinner, S. A. (2018). Dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use disorder and injury in adults recently released from prison: a prospective cohort study. The Lancet Public Health, 3(5), e237-e248.

Open access online journal

QNADA Focus: The latest edition focusses on LGBTIQ+ issues

Useful resources

Psychology tools – the library has just purchased Professional Team Membership for HOA  to the leading online resource for therapy tools.

Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Status Report 2017

NHRMC Comorbidity newletter New Horizons includes an article on developing a culturally appropriate AOD prevention program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

Positive choices This contains resources including factsheets and videos about AOD use in youth aimed at teachers, youth and parents. There are also resources specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and youth that are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

CleanM8 provides digital tools to provide support for those suffering from addiction, along with their significant others and clinicians, particularly in regional areas. It has been developed by the University of Newcastle

Lowitja Institute provides access to free e-books and reports pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research

 

e-Book of the month

Helping Male Survivors Of Sexual Violation To Recover : An Integrative Approach – Stories From Therapy  by Sarah Van Gogh

Placing the experiences of men at the heart of this book, Sarah Van Gogh outlines an integrative approach to effective therapeutic treatment of male sexual abuse. In a culture where to be male is often to be expected to embody strength, power and being in control, male victims of sexual abuse can be particularly challenging to help. This book outlines seven composite detailed case studies representing men from a wide range of backgrounds and demographics. It lays out how the author’s pioneering model of an integrative approach which includes psychodynamic, humanistic, relational, cognitive/behavioural, body-based and arts-based approaches can offer an effective model for working with this client group. This key text provides a valuable resource for all those working with male survivors of sexual abuse.

(copied from EBSCO site)

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Insight Queensland

Free training sessions including:

1st August, 09:00-16:30 – AOD Crash Course at St George

2nd August, 08:30-12:30 – Crystal Clear: Responding to Methamphetamine Use at St George

2nd August, 13:00-16:30 – Brief Interventions at St George

9th August, 09:00-16:30 – Advanced Harm Reduction at Toowoomba

10th August, 09:00-16:30 – Introduction to Withdrawal Management at Toowoomba

16th August, 09:00-16:30 – Introduction to Withdrawal Management at the Gold Coast

23rd August, 09:00-16:30 – AOD Crash Course at Ipswich

 

30th August, 09:00-16:30- Advanced Harm Reduction at the Sunshine Coast

Attend – conferences 

The 16th Annual Conference for the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders will be taking place at the Melbourne Convention Centre on the 3rd & 4th of August, 2018. The theme for  this year will be Courageous Conversations: Furthering Understanding, Embracing Change. See the conference website:  http://conference.2018.anzaed.org.au for more info and details on how to register.  Cost $100-660

Write – presentations and papers

Call for papers: Australian Social Work  – Working with involuntary clients. Guidelines available here.

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Insight presentation recordings available now here

LGBTIQ young people share their stories on the podcast “Hear and queer

Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

Lighthouse resourses

6th August: Assessing family dynamics: cost  $245

29th-31st August: Introduction to a strengths approach: cost $660

Workshop Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

Moss, M. J., Warrick, B. J., Nelson, L. S., McKay, C. A., Dubé, P. A., Gosselin, S., … & Stolbach, A. I. (2018). ACMT and AACT position statement: preventing occupational fentanyl and fentanyl analog exposure to emergency responders. Clinical Toxicology, 56(4), 297-300.Moss, M. J., Warrick, B. J., Nelson, L. S., McKay, C. A., Dubé, P. A., Gosselin, S., … & Stolbach, A. I. (2018). ACMT and AACT position statement: preventing occupational fentanyl and fentanyl analog exposure to emergency responders. Clinical Toxicology, 56(4), 297-300.

Annotated bibliography: Unemployment and mental health

Annotated bibliography

 Bidargaddi, N., Bastiampillai, T., Schrader, G., Adams, R., Piantadosi, C., Strobel, J., & … Allison, S. (2015). Changes in monthly unemployment rates may predict changes in the number of psychiatric presentations to emergency services in South Australia. BMC Emergency Medicine, 15(1), 1-6.  

The aim of this paper was to establish if monthly presentation rates to Mental Health Emergency Departments (MHED) in South Australia Public Hospitals (SAPH) was associated with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unemployment rates. The data was collected using times series modelling of relationships between monthly MHED SAPH presentations obtained from the Integrated South Australian Activity Collection (ISAAC) and the ABS South Australia unemployment figures between January 2004 and June 2011. The study found that over 32% of MHED presentations in males could be predicted by male unemployment rates from the two months prior. Over 63% of MHED presentations in females could be predicted by male and female unemployment in the previous months. They concluded that small shifts in unemployment rates can increase MHED presentations particularly in women and that ABS unemployment statistics can be a useful tool for predicting future MHED. A limitation of this study is that it establishes an association between MHED presentations and unemployment but not causality, so increased unemployment might not be the cause of the increase in MHED presentations.

 Buffel, V., van de Straat, V., & Bracke, P. (2015). Employment status and mental health care use in times of economic contraction: a repeated cross-sectional study in Europe, using a three-level model. International Journal for Equity in Health, 14(1), 1-19.

 This study aimed to compare the mental health care use of the unemployed with that of the employed and whether the relationship between unemployment status and mental health care use varied across different economic climates. They wanted to establish whether the economic context affected mental health care use due to its impact on mental health or irrespective of mental health. Data from three waves of the Eurobarometer (2002, 2005/6 and 2010) was utilised, which consists of a repeated cross-sectional and cross-national design. The data was analysed using linear and logistic multi-level regression in which mental health and contacting a medical practitioner for mental health issues were considered variables. They found that mean unemployment rate was negatively associated with mental health, although in women this only applied to those employed. There was no association found in women between changes in the macro-economic climate and mental health.  Men’s care use however is associated with changes in the unemployment rate and gross domestic product (GDP) irrespective of mental health. This is true of both employed and unemployed men. They conclude that it is important to consider macro-economic conditions when studying mental health care use, particularly in men. A limitation noted in the study is that the Eurobarometer records employment status at the time of the interview and mental health in the twelve months preceding the interview. Therefore it is not able to distinguish between causation and reverse causation for any association between mental health and employment. 

Crowe, L., Butterworth, P., & Leach, L. (2016). Financial hardship, mastery and social support: Explaining poor mental health amongst the inadequately employed using data from the HILDA survey. SSM – Population Health, 2(1), 407-415.

 Data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey were analysed to try and establish if there was a relationship between employment status and mental health, along with the effects of financial hardship, mastery and support. They also wanted to explore how duration of unemployment impacted on mental health. Three waves of data were analysed from the HILDA Survey which encompassed 4965 adult respondents. The relationship between employment status and mental health was assessed using longitudinal population-averaged logistic regression models to explain associations between employment groups (unemployed vs. employed; employed vs. underemployed). The effect on duration of unemployment on mental health was evaluated using regression analysis. Unemployed or underemployed respondents exhibited poorer mental health than their employed counterparts. Mastery, financial hardship and social support ameliorated this association particularly in the underemployed. Transition to unemployment was associated with a decline in mental health among a broad age range of respondents.  The relationship between mental health and unemployment duration was not linear but mental health showed a marked decline in the first nine weeks. The study concluded that mastery, financial hardship and social support are important factors to consider in the understanding of the relationship of poor mental health and un- or underemployment. It also suggests intervention should commence immediately after job loss with deterioration in mental health being most severe in the first weeks before plateauing.  A limitation in this study is the possibility of reverse causation or low mastery and lack of social support causing unemployment.

 Limm, H., Heinmüller, M., Gündel, H., Liel, K., Seeger, K., Salman, R., & Angerer, P. (2015). Effects of a Health Promotion Program Based on a Train-the-Trainer Approach on Quality of Life and Mental Health of Long-Term Unemployed Persons. Biomed Research International, 2015(1),

 The authors of this study state that long-term unemployment is associated with poorer mental health. They therefore conducted this study to evaluate the effectiveness of a health promotion program to improve the mental health and health related quality of life (HRQL) utilising the train-the-trainer approach. A parallel-group study was performed using 287 unemployed participants (179 were in the intervention group and 108 in the control group), who were reassessed after 3 months. The intervention comprised individual sessions based on motivational interviewing and participatory group sessions, with the control group receiving no health promotion. Within 3 months HRQL improved and symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased in the intervention group, but not in the control group. The trainers were all professionals (mainly social workers) who had received three days training to deliver the interventions.  A limitation of this study was that participants were not “blinded” and the positive results may be influenced by this. 

Olesen, S., Butterworth, P., Leach, L., Kelaher, M., & Pirkis, J. (2013). Mental health affects future employment as job loss affects mental health: findings from a longitudinal population study. BMC Psychiatry, 13(1), 144.

 Internationally, participation in the workforce is regarded as an important factor in mental health policies and social inclusion. This study aimed to examine simultaneously the effects on mental health on unemployment and how mental health effects employment prospects and participation. The data was derived from respondents who completed the nine waves of the HILDA Survey in Australia. They were all of working age (20-55 years) at commencement of the study (n=7176). Simultaneous relationships between employment and mental health were tested over time using cross-lagged path analysis, whilst adjusting for sociodemographic differences. They found that poor mental health was both a result of and a predisposing factor for unemployment. Poorer mental health in people who are unemployed can be both attributable to the unemployment and existing mental health issues. In women both these factors had equal rating, whereas in men the impact of unemployment on mental health was weaker than mental health on subsequent unemployment. The data available in the HILDA survey meant that the researchers were limited to using the respondents’ concept of their mental health rather than diagnosed mental illnesses.

 Strandh, M., Winefield, A., Nilsson, K., & Hammarström, A. (2014). Unemployment and mental health scarring during the life course. The European Journal of Public Health, 24(3), 440.

 The long-term relationship between unemployment and mental health over the life course has been little researched. This study examined the relationship between youth unemployment along with periods of adult unemployment and mental health at several life stages (16, 18, 21, 30 and 42 years) who all graduated from compulsory school in a town in Sweden.  Originally there were 1083 participants and of those still living at the 27 year follow-up, 94.3% were still involved. The researchers measured mental health in three ways: nervous symptoms, depressive symptoms and trouble sleeping. These were analysed using a repeated measures linear mixed models approach at ages 16, 21, 30 and 42 years. Unemployment was measured using a period of unemployment of at least six months over three time periods: 18–21, 21–30 and 30–42 years. They found that youth unemployment was significantly associated with poor mental health at ages 21, 30 and 42 years. Later single unemployment periods did not appear to have the same long-term effects, although two or more periods of unemployment did have a significant relationship with poor mental health. A limitation of the study is its small geographical sample base, with consequent limits on sociodemographic variants.

June PD

Professional development

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Webpage

Queensland Women’s Health Network: Contains information about women’s health and wellbeing

Report

The Queensland Mental Health Commission has released a report titled “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Options to reduce stigma amd discrimination for people experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use.” The report explores stigma and discrimination faced by people using alcohol or other drugs, recent research in this space and options for reform. The report forms part of the Queensland Government’s Alcohol and other Drugs Action Plan 2015-2017

Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

Gjersing, L., & Bretteville‐Jensen, A. L. (2018). Patterns of substance use and mortality risk in a cohort of ‘hard‐to‐reach’ polysubstance users. Addiction, 113(4), 729-739

Hausheer, R., Doumas, D.M., Esp, S. (2018). Evaluation of a Web-Based Alcohol Program Alone and in Combination With a Parent Campaign for Ninth-Grade Students. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling. 39 (1). 15-30.

Mason, M.J., Zaharakis, N.M., Russell, M., Childress, V. (2018). A pilot trial of text-delivered peer network counseling to treat young adults with cannabis use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 89. 1-10

McNamara, B.J., Banks, E., Gubhaju, L., Joshy, G., Williamson, A., Raphael, B., Eades, S., (2018). Factors relating to high psychological distress in Indigenous Australians and their contribution to Indigenous–non-Indigenous disparities. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 42 (2). 145-152.

Moreland, A.D., McRae-Clark, A. (2018).Parenting outcomes of parenting interventions in integrated substance-use treatment programs: A systematic review.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 89. 52-59

Waaktaar, T., Kan, K., & Torgersen, S. (2018). The genetic and environmental architecture of substance use development from early adolescence into young adulthood: a longitudinal twin study of comorbidity of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. Addiction, 113(4), 740-748.

Open Access Articles

Darke S, Kaye S, Duflou J, Lappin J. (2018). Completed Suicide Among Methamphetamine Users: A National Study. Suicide Life Threat Behaviour. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12442

Dolan, K., Sacha-Krol, D., and Vumbaca, G. (2017). A needs analysis for people living with HCV after leaving custodial settings in Australia. Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League: Canberra.

Nasstasia, Y., Baker, A. L., Halpin, S. A., Hides, L., Lewin, T. J., Kelly, B. J., & Callister, R. (2018). Evaluating the efficacy of an integrated motivational interviewing and multi-modal exercise intervention for youth with major depression: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind randomised controlled trial protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 9, 13-22.

Rivera, B. (2018). Factors Affecting Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Interventions Designed to Address the Problem: A Systematic Literature Review (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Los Angeles).

 Open access online journal

Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications contains some relevant research

Open access textbooks

ANU Press has several Open Access textbooks in its catalogue

Useful resources

20 medications you should avoid with alcohol

Moderate drinking factsheets

SMART Recovery Australia worksheets

Youth AOD Toolbox: provides practitioners in the youth alchohol + other drugs field with reliable and current information to help to increase their knowledge and enrich their practice.

Study on alcohol use: Young Australian’s Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS)

e-Book of the month

Palmer, A., Kunreuther, E., & Attwood, T. (2017). Drinking, Drug Use, and Addiction in the Autism Community. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

What is the connection between autism and addiction? Why are individuals with autism more likely to develop a substance use disorder than the general population? Until recently, substance use disorder (SUD) was considered rare among those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This book brings together current research and personal accounts from individuals with autism and their supports. It explores why addiction is more common among individuals with ASD and investigates how addiction and autism affect one another. The authors also provide strategies for supporting people with both ASD and SUD (copied from EBSCO database)

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Insight Queensland

Free training sessions  including:

AOD Crash Course: One day introduction to AOD

AOD Relapse Prevention & Management

Introduction to withdrawal management

Harm reduction 101

Cairns

More regional sessions coming soon

Online induction modules are a prerequisite to some of the courses. To access and download them visit www.insightqld.org

Other providers

Free e-module for everyone working with people with personality disorders (including addiction), to enhance an attitude of holding people responsible for their actions, without blaming them for their failures.

eMHPrac provides free e-mental health training and support for health practitioners – GPs, Allied Health Professionals, and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Attend – conferences 

NADA: Exploring therepeutic interventions.

7-8 June at Sydney

Program

Costs $265-440 for full conference. Register here

Write – presentations and papers

Australian Social Work: Call for articles for a special issue on working with involuntary clients. Relevant papers would address: work with involuntary clients in the range of fields referred to above; strategies for working with the involuntary, mandated, non-voluntary or resistant clients in a variety of settings; the dynamics of working with this population; the importance of building relationships; problem solving with involuntary clients; challenging involuntary clients; practice skills specific to these groups.Authors may submit an original article (4000–6000 words), or a Practice, Policy, and Perspectives article (1500–4000 words). For guidance on how to submit, please see www.tandfonline.com/rasw and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th Edition. All manuscripts should be submitted via Scholar One Manuscripts: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rasw, no later than 30 May 2019. Authors are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors to discuss their intended submissions.

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Transgender health podcast

Duration: 52 minutes

  • terminology and gender identity
  • New Zealand population stats
  • experiencing concerning health and wellbeing disparity
  • myths and stereotypes
  • has the concept of transgender been over medicalised?
  • specific health issues that transgender people face at different stages of life
  • how do we make our practices transgender friendly?
  • New transgender pathway.

Living with FASD: Radio National’s Life Matters program recently featured an episode titled “Living with FASD”. The radio program features an interview with Anne Russell, whose son has FASD. Anne describes how FASD impacts her son, and some of the challenges of getting appropriate diagnosis and support. The show also features Dr Doug Shelton, a paediatrician who specialises in FASD, who talks about some of the impacts of FASD, and the approaches to better recognising and managing FASD.

Insight Webinars

6th June, 10:00-11:00

Working with people with personality disorders: This presentation will focus upon the challenges of working with clients with personality disorders, offering practical strategies for engagement, management and treatment.

13th June, 10:00-11:00

“Coming to terms”: promoting AOD literacy: Health literacy refers to how people understand information about health and healthcare and use this to make decisions about their care. “Coming to Terms” explores the use of clinical language by health professionals in the AOD sector and how interpretation and comprehension can impact upon healthcare outcomes for our clients.

Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

Lighthouse resources

The absurd word: using writing in counselling

Learn and practice the use of writing, words, word games, poetry and literature in your counselling and support work with clients.  This experiential workshop will guide you through several writing based activities and techniques that can enhance your work with people who experience various concerns and challenges in their mental health and wellbeing and family life.

19th June, 9:30-16:30, cost $220

Brick walls and tangled wool: making counselling comfortable when it is uncomfortable

Providing support or counselling to a person or family is a key role played by human services workers. For those accessing support, engaging in and receiving such support can be extremely uncomfortable and daunting. Human beings, through life and through traumatic experiences, develop coping mechanisms and ways of relating to people that can present as a barrier to the support we offer. This workshop will challenge you to think of these mechanisms as not barriers but normal human behaviours – this workshop will focus on ways to work with not against these behaviours in a way that makes change possible. You will also engage in a group reflection and supervision session to unpack barriers in real life situations you are currently experiencing.

26th June, 9:00-16:30, cost $220

Workshops Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

Registration/more information

Annotated bibliography: Screen time and its impact on young people’s mental health.

Annotated bibliography

 

Babic, M. J., Morgan, P. J., Plotnikoff, R. C., Lonsdale, C., & Eather, N. (2015). Skinner, Geoff; Baker, Amanda L.; Pollock, Emma; Lubans, David R. “Rationale and study protocol for ‘Switch-off 4 Healthy Minds'(S4HM): a cluster randomized controlled trial to reduce recreational screen time in adolescents”. Originally published in Contemporary Clinical Trials Vol. 40, p. 150-158 (2015). Clinical Trials, 40, 150-158.

This paper describes a school-based strategy trialled in New South Wales to reduce screen time for adolescents in response to the known adverse effects high screen time can have on their mental and physical health. It uses self-determination theory and involves educating both the adolescent and their parents. Prompts were sent to the young via the social media platform of their choice and newsletters were sent to parents to raise awareness of screen time and its dangers. There wasn’t much detail in the paper about the interventions that would be employed in implementing the strategy.

Chassiakos, Y. L. R., Radesky, J., Christakis, D., Moreno, M. A., & Cross, C. (2016). Children and adolescents and digital media. Pediatrics, 138(5), e20162593.

This report provides a summary of the benefits and risks of childhood exposure to digital media. Social media can have beneficial effects to the mental health of LGBTIQ teenagers if they use it to engage with supportive communities. Similarly, individuals with mental illness may also benefit when using social media to share stories with others experiencing similar challenges. However, this can also leave them open to exposure, misinformation, negativity and hostility. Examples of digital media which may have adverse effects on the mental health of young people are pro-anorexia sites. Exposure to risky behaviour in media has been proven to increase teenage uptake of the behaviour and this exposure can be difficult to police on digital devices by parents. Social media has been shown to have both positive and negative effects on young people’s mental health. Used in moderation it can enhance their feelings of social connectedness. Passive use of social media or following attractive celebrities can increase depression and lower self-esteem, whereas engaging actively with family and friends has the opposite effect.

Gunnell, K. E., Flament, M. F., Buchholz, A., Henderson, K. A., Obeid, N., Schubert, N., & Goldfield, G. S. (2016). Examining the bidirectional relationship between physical activity, screen time, and symptoms of anxiety and depression over time during adolescence. Preventive Medicine, 88, 147-152.

This study was performed to establish relationships between low levels of physical activity, high screen time, depression and anxiety in adolescents. It took place over 11 years and took the form of four time specific questionnaires covering the ages from 10-21 years old (n= 1160, mean age = 13.54 years).  The results were controlled for variables such as gender, ethnicity, location and educational level of parents. A decrease in physical activity and increase in screen time, depression and anxiety over time was observed. Initial high anxiety was associated with higher screen time and lower physical activity independent of symptoms of depression. Higher initial levels of depression were also associated with higher screen time and predicted greater decreases in physical activity over time.  Limitations include the data collected was self-reported, type of screen time and type of physical activity was not identified and there was a high rate of attrition.

Hoare, E., Milton, K., Foster, C., & Allender, S. (2016). The associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health among adolescents: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13(1), 108.

This systematic review examined 32 papers, all of which reported the use of screen time for leisure amongst adolescents and two thirds identified depressive symptoms. Adolescence is a significant risk period for the development of mental health disorders and it is also a period when lifestyle behaviours are developed which can impact on mental health into adulthood. Depressive symptoms and length of  screen time for leisure use were consistently linked in the evidence. There was moderate evidence for an association between length of screen time and low self-esteem. More than 2-3 hours of screen time per day in adolescents is linked to poorer mental health status. It identified that the link may be in part due to the sedentary nature of screen time, as physical activity has been found to have a positive effect on mental health. Adolescents with poor mental health may lack motivation to exercise and instead opt for screen based activities. Young people who lead sedentary lifestyles are more likely to suffer from obesity, which can lead to stigmatisation and bullying resulting in adverse effects on their mental health.

Maras, D., Flament, M. F., Murray, M., Buchholz, A., Henderson, K. A., Obeid, N., & Goldfield, G. S. (2015). Screen time is associated with depression and anxiety in Canadian youth. Preventive Medicine, 73, 133-138.

Increased screen time has been linked to low physical activity and obesity in youth, factors that have been linked to an increase in depression and anxiety. The study aimed to examine the relationship between length of screen time and anxiety and depression in young people using a large community sample of Canadian adolescents (n=2482). They found that depression was associated with any type of screen behaviour except watching the TV, whereas anxiety was only associated with gaming. This is consistent with other large-scale studies including studies from the USA and Australia. They offer several explanations for this including social isolation and cyberbullying.  A limitation of the study was that they couldn’t conclude whether it was increased screen time that caused the depression and anxiety or whether the opposite was true that people with depression and anxiety spent more time on their electronic devices.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2017). A large-scale test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis: Quantifying the relations between digital-screen use and the mental well-being of adolescents. Psychological Science, 28(2), 204-215.

This study tested the Goldilocks Hypothesis for screen time in adolescents to try and ascertain the optimum amount of screen time that would benefit development without adversely affecting mental health. They studied 120115 British adolescents. They found the relationship between screen time and mental health was non-linear and a moderate time spent on screens was not harmful and may even have positive effects on wellbeing. There were differences in effect depending on the screen type, the type of activity, the day or time used and the level of engagement in the activity. They recommend studying the functionality of screen time against other daily pursuits in order to get a fuller understanding. Overall they concluded that moderate technology use was not intrinsically harmful and may prove beneficial in an increasingly digital world.

Saquib, N., Saquib, J., Wahid, A., Ahmed, A. A., Dhuhayr, H. E., Zaghloul, M. S., … & Al-Mazrou, A. (2017). Video game addiction and psychological distress among expatriate adolescents in Saudi Arabia. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 6, 112-117.

This study was conducted using a self-reported survey distributed to 276 students in expatriate schools in Saudi Arabia. The researchers use DSM-V criteria to diagnosed video game addiction and it was compared with other variables including screen time and psychological distress. The mean age of the participants was 15.3 years and nearly 75% reported screen time greater than 2 hours and 20% reported sleeping less than 5 hours a night. Those addicted to video games encompassed 15.8% of the sample and they were more likely to be boys, have higher screen time and less sleep. Addiction to video games was strongly related to psychological distress, as was screen time greater than 2 hours a day.  Psychological distress was also related to gender, with girls being more likely to experience it and inversely to sleep patterns. This study didn’t find any link between physical activity or BMI and psychological distress. The study concludes that screen time has an independent association with psychological distress even when other variables are taken into consideration.

Straatmann, V. S., Oliveira, A. J., Rostila, M., & Lopes, C. S. (2016). Changes in physical activity and screen time related to psychological well-being in early adolescence: findings from longitudinal study ELANA. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 977.

In this study, data was analysed from 526 adolescents in Brazil, assessing physical activity, screen time and psychological distress using a questionnaire. Psychological distress was associated with exceeding the recommended screen time of 4 hours per day in girls, although they questioned whether there was a negative causality impacting on this that is the psychological distress caused them to withdraw and spend more time on screen based activities. For boys, psychological distress was associated with a reduction in physical activity in this study. The study was limited in that the data collected was self-reported.

Trinh, L., Wong, B., & Faulkner, G. E. (2015). The independent and interactive associations of screen time and physical activity on mental health, school connectedness and academic achievement among a population-based sample of youth. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 24(1), 17.

The study aimed to establish the effects high screen time and physical activity had independently and together on the mental health of young people. Data was collected from 2660 adolescents using a survey. It found that high screen time is consistently associated with poorer mental health independent of the amount of physical activity. However, there may be reverse causality where depressed youth seek social isolation or comfort in their digital devices. The study also found that high screen time was associated with low self-esteem, which did not improve with physical activity.  Higher screen time was associated with lower physical activity. It concluded that screen time and physical activity had both independent and interactive effects on the mental health of young people. A limitation in the study was that the data was self-reported.

Twenge, J. M., Joiner, T. E., Rogers, M. L., & Martin, G. N. (2017). Increases in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates among US adolescents after 2010 and links to increased new media screen time. Clinical Psychological Science, 2167702617723376.

There was an increase in teenage depression and suicide in the USA between 2010 and 2015, which corresponded with the increased use of smartphones and other digital devices. This study analysed the data from two national surveys of high school students in the USA to establish if there was a link between screen time and depression and suicide.  There were 388275 respondents to the surveys, who completed them retrospectively. The study found a positive correlation between screen time and depression and suicide especially amongst females. No significant variation occurred in other variables such as socioeconomic status. Exercise and face-to-face social interaction negatively correlated with depression and suicide, but increased screen time was often associated with low physical activity and social interaction. Lack of sleep has also been identified in other studies as being linked to increased screen time and as a risk factor for depression and suicide. The study was unable to establish if screen time was the sole cause of increased incidence of depression and suicide, the joint cause or if the cause was one of the other factors. Another limitation was the surveys were completed retrospectively rather than in real time, which may have affected the answers given.

Wu, X., Tao, S., Zhang, Y., Zhang, S., & Tao, F. (2015). Low physical activity and high screen time can increase the risks of mental health problems and poor sleep quality among Chinese college students. PLoS One, 10(3), e0119607.

High screen time and low physical activity have been shown to interact to cause psychological problems. The study has suggested that high screen time is associated with a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, psychopathological symptoms and poor sleep quality. It is also associated with reduced physical activity. Physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. The results of this study suggest that high screen time and low physical activity both increase psychological stress independently and synergistically. A limitation of the study is that it assessed self-reported symptoms and not clinically diagnosed disorders.

Wu, X., Tao, S., Zhang, S., Zhang, Y., Chen, K., Yang, Y., … & Tao, F. (2016). Impact of screen time on mental health problems progression in youth: a 1-year follow-up study. BMJ Open, 6(11), e011533.

This study examined the association between screen time and mental health in a group of Chinese university students (n=2521, mean age=18.43 years). Nearly all of the participants reported screen time of more than 2 hours per day. They found consistent associations with screen time and anxiety, depression or other psychopathology. The associations also remained after adjustments for other variables. Due to the small effects size it is unclear to what degree screen time effects mental health outcomes. The limitations of the study include that the data collected was self-reported and it doesn’t differentiate between different screen uses.