Tag Archives: mental health

Community-Based Participatory Research and the mental health of refugees

Theresa BetancourtTheresa Betancourt was lead author and PI on a recent study examining disparities in the mental health of young Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugees living in Massachusetts. The study used a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, which, “with its emphasis on respecting and privileging local knowledge and cultural context, [is] well suited for research on eliminating health disparities among marginalized groups.” Results appeared in the American Journal of Public Health.

Interventions addressing anxiety & depression have long-term mental health benefits for war-affected youth

Theresa BetancourtHarvard Pop Center faculty member Theresa Betancourt, ScD, is lead author on a study published in Pediatrics that assesses the longer-term impact of mental health interventions on war-affected youth in Sierra Leone. Learn more about the study in this Reuters article.

Lisa Berkman on link between maternity leave & mental health featured in Harvard Chan School’s The Big 3

big-3-Berkman-homepage_pngThe Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s news feature The Big 3 asks Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, three questions about a recent paper that found that women who received more generous maternity leave benefits with their first born child experienced better mental health that extended in older age. Other co-authors of the study, published in Social Science & Medicine, include Pop Center faculty member and former Bell Fellow Mauricio Avendano, PhD, along with Giacomo Pasini, PhD, who was a visiting scientist at the Harvard Pop Center during the month of January.

More generous maternity leave benefits linked to better mental health for women into older age

Berkman_Lisa_croppedHarvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, is co-author of a study published in Social Science & Medicine that explores the relationship between comprehensive maternity leave benefits and women’s mental health in later life, based on evidence from European countries.  The researchers, including Pop Center faculty member and former Bell Fellow Mauricio Avendano, PhD, who is lead author on the study, along with Giacomo Pasini, PhD, who was a visiting scientist at the Harvard Pop Center during the month of January, found that women who received more generous maternity leave benefits with their first born child experienced better mental health that extended in older age.

Rwanda Study Shows Children With HIV-Positive Caregivers Suffer Same Mental Health Problems as HIV-Positive Children

Theresa BetancourtHarvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Theresa Betancourt, Sc.D., and colleagues have published a study in Pediatrics that suggests that HIV-affected children (those living with an HIV-positive caretaker) could benefit from the same type of policies and programs that have helped HIV-positive children.

Being Socially Well-Integrated Reduces Risk of Suicide

Tsai_AlexanderA 24-year prospective cohort study authored by Harvard RWJF Health & Societies Scholar Program Alum Alexander Tsai and Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Ichiro Kawachi indicates that middle-aged men who are well-integrated socially have more than a 2-fold reduced risk for suicide. Being married, having a larger social network, and attending religious services on a regular basis showed the strongest protective associations. This study was published online July 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine and received some press on dailyRx.

Older American workers more likely to be depressed after job loss than their European counterparts

In support of a recent study on job loss and depression in the USA and Europe published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and reported by CBS News, Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman has written a commentary. The HSPH researchers and their colleagues found that older American workers (aged 50-64) are more likely to experience depression after job loss than their European counterparts. In Berkman’s commentary, The hidden and not so hidden benefits of work: identity, income and interaction, she discusses three kinds of loss that may be central to affecting health and well-being.

Do reintegration programs have a positive impact on mental health of young females who had been abducted?

Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Theresa Betancourt has co-authored a study published in Conflict and Health that examines the impact of reintegration programs on the mental health of formerly abducted young females in Northern Uganda.

The Health Cost of Debt

Arijit Nandi and Elizabeth Sweet, former RWJF Health & Society Scholars, find debt to be an important socioeconomic determinant of health in their recent study, “The high price of debt: Household financial debt and its impact on mental and physical health” published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.