How did household size & virtual contact impact anxiety levels associated with social distancing during COVID-19 in rural South Africa?

A study by researchers affiliated with the national study Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa (HAALSA) based on data from a phone survey reveals that although declines in social interaction were associated with increased anxiety levels among both men and women in rural South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, women living in larger households seemed to be especially impacted. “For women, living in larger households may…

Mental health status check of young adults in U.S. during first wave of COVID-19 pandemic

head shot of CIndy H. Liu

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Cindy H. Liu, PhD, and colleagues have published a study in Psychiatry Research that found that nearly half of the U.S. young adults (18-30) in the study showed high rates of depression and anxiety, and nearly a third showed high levels of PTSD symptoms. Family support was associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety.

Untangling depression and anxiety using hair samples in India

Indian woman

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and her colleagues have published a study that has found a connection between higher levels of the sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and lower levels of depression when analyzing hair samples of over 2,000 women in rural India. Learn more about how other sex hormones, such as testosterone and progesterone, may factor into depressive and anxiety disorders. Other authors include: Andreas Walther, C. Tsao,…

Depression and anxiety levels increase with age and vary by gender in aging South African population

Harvard Bell Fellow Collin Payne, PhD, is author on a paper in Demography that takes a rare look at the mental health status of aging adults in Malawi, South Africa, a low-income setting with a high incidence of HIV. Findings suggest that declining levels of physical health with age may be a key driver of the rise in depression and anxiety.

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

Harvard 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.

A reason to reduce anxiety, and an opportunity to do so!

We’ve long known that anxiety puts people at risk for coronary heart disease, but now a nationally representative longitudinal study of the US population has shown that anxiety also increases the risk of stroke. Pop Center faculty member Laura Kubzansky and RWJF alum Rebecca Thurston co-authored the study, which was published in Stroke. And speaking of reducing anxiety, please join us for a cup of tea on April 28th, when we kick off…