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Adolescents suffering Trauma and Stress likely to Impair Ability to recognise Facial Expressions

The findings showed that adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are more likely to misidentify sad and angry faces as fearful

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Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia

New York, Feb 21, 2017: Adolescents suffering from trauma and stress are likely to have impairment in the ability to recognise facial expressions that is critical for social functioning and communicating emotions, researchers say.

The findings showed that adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are more likely to misidentify sad and angry faces as fearful.

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“Our findings suggest that exposure to stress and trauma can have acute emotional impacts that simply translate to misidentification of important affective cues,” said lead author Shabnam Javdani, Assistant Professor at New York University – Steinhardt in the US.

“Fear is particularly relevant for understanding PTSD, as the disorder has been associated with a ‘survival mode’ of functioning characterised by an overactive fight-or-flight response and increased threat perception,” Javdani added.

In contrast, teens with conduct disorder — a group of behavioural and emotional problems characterised by callousness or aggression towards others — were more likely to misidentify sad faces, but did not have trouble recognising angry or fearful faces.

Conduct disorder symptoms were associated with mistaking sadness for anger, suggesting that youth with higher levels of conduct disorder interpret sad faces as angry and may be less effective at recognising others’ sadness, pain and suffering.

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“Difficulty interpreting displays of sadness and misidentifying sadness as anger may contribute to the impaired affective bonding, low empathy, and callous behaviour observed in teens with conduct disorder,” Javdani said.

For the study, published in the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the team examined 371 teens, ages 13-19, to understand the effects of PTSD and conduct disorder symptoms on how youth with emotional and behaviour problems process facial expressions.

Enhancing the accuracy of recognising facial expressions may be an important treatment goal for youth with symptoms of PTSD and conduct disorder, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Study Reveals, Screen Time Before Bed May Not Effect Well-Being in Adolescents

For the study, the team analysed data from Ireland, the US, and the UK and used a rigorous methodology to gather how much time an adolescent spends on screens per day, including both self-reported measures and time-use diaries. 

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The research examined more than 17,000 teenagers and found that adolescents' total screen time per day had little impact on their mental health, both on weekends and weekdays. Pixabay

Spending time online, gaming or watching TV, especially before bedtime, may not damage young people’s mental health, finds a new research challenging previous notions on screen time.

The study, published in Psychological Science journal, casts doubt on the widely-accepted relationship between screen time and well-being in adolescents.

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“We found little clear-cut evidence that screen time decreases adolescent well-being, even if the use of digital technology occurs directly before bedtime,” added Professor Andrew Przybylski, at the University of Oxford. Pixabay

The research examined more than 17,000 teenagers and found that adolescents’ total screen time per day had little impact on their mental health, both on weekends and weekdays.

It also found that the use of digital screens 2 hours, 1 hour or 30 minutes before bedtime didn’t have clear associations with a decrease in adolescent well-being, even though this is often taken as a fact by media reports and public debates.

“We found little clear-cut evidence that screen time decreases adolescent well-being, even if the use of digital technology occurs directly before bedtime,” added Professor Andrew Przybylski, at the University of Oxford.

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It also found that the use of digital screens 2 hours, 1 hour or 30 minutes before bedtime didn’t have clear associations with a decrease in adolescent well-being, even though this is often taken as a fact by media reports and public debates.
Pixabay

Also Read: Think Twice Before Smoking, It is Slowly Turning You Blind

For the study, the team analysed data from Ireland, the US, and the UK and used a rigorous methodology to gather how much time an adolescent spends on screens per day, including both self-reported measures and time-use diaries.

“Implementing best practice statistical and methodological techniques, we found little evidence for substantial negative associations between digital-screen engagement and adolescent well-being,” said Amy Orben, researcher at the varsity. (IANS)