Book: Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age

Book Title:

Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age.

Author(s): Sarah Hendrickx.

Year: 2015.

Edition: First (1st)

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

The difference that being female makes to the diagnosis, life and experiences of a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has largely gone unresearched and unreported until recently. In this book Sarah Hendrickx has collected both academic research and personal stories about girls and women on the autism spectrum to present a picture of their feelings, thoughts and experiences at each stage of their lives.

Outlining how autism presents differently and can hide itself in females and what the likely impact will be for them throughout their lifespan, the book looks at how females with ASD experience diagnosis, childhood, education, adolescence, friendships, sexuality, employment, pregnancy and parenting, and aging. It will provide invaluable guidance for the professionals who support these girls and women and it will offer women with autism a guiding light in interpreting and understanding their own life experiences through the experiences of others.

Book: A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum

Book Title:

A Guide to Mental Health Issues in Girls and Young Women on the Autism Spectrum: Diagnosis, Intervention and Family Support.

Author(s): Judy Eaton.

Year: 2017.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

This book addresses the specific mental health needs of girls and young women with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Looking at the ways autism presents differently in girls than in boys, and the mental health conditions that occur most frequently in girls with ASD, this is the essential guide for clinicians and educators on tailoring interventions and support to meet girls’ needs.

Describing the current assessment process for autism diagnosis, the book explains why girls are under- or mis-diagnosed, leading to later mental health issues. It outlines the types of intervention that are particularly helpful for working with girls to reduce anxiety, improve social interaction skills, and manage self-harm. The book also covers how to manage eating disorders and feeding difficulties, focusing on working with girls with sensory processing difficulties. There is advice on how to deal with the emotional impact on parents, carers and families, and the challenges they face when negotiating appropriate psychological and educational support.

Book: Positive Male Mind: Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Book Title:

Positive Male Mind: Overcoming Mental Health Problems (Positive Wellbeing Series).

Author(s): Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder.

Year: 2018.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: LID Publishing.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Mental health problems affect both men and women, in fact, every one in four of us. However, it has been widely accepted for some time that men are much less likely to seek help from a doctor or mental health specialist, as they traditionally expect themselves to be competitive and successful, tough and self-reliant and can find it difficult to admit that they are feeling fragile and vulnerable. This book aims to build on the current progressive movement by supporting men and those that care about them – be that a partner, friend, family member or colleague – by providing insight, advice, and tips on what can be done at a very practical level to make men’s mental health much more positive.

Are There Gender-Related Differences in Internet Gaming Disorder?

Research Paper Title

Gender-related differences in frontal-parietal modular segregation and altered effective connectivity in internet gaming disorder.

Background

Although previous studies have revealed gender-related differences in executive function in internet gaming disorder (IGD), neural mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear, especially in terms of brain networks.

Methods

Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 78 subjects with IGD (39 males, 20.8 ± 2.16 years old) and 72 with recreational game use (RGU) (39 males, 21.5 ± 2.56 years old). By utilising graph theory, the researchers calculated participation coefficients among brain network modules for all participants and analysed the diagnostic-group-by-gender interactions. They further explored possible causal relationships between networks through spectral dynamic causal modelling (spDCM) to assess differences in between-network connections.

Results

Compared to males with RGU, males with IGD demonstrated reduced modular segregation of the frontal-parietal network (FPN). Male IGD subjects also showed increased connections between the FPN and cingulo-opercular network (CON); however, these differences were not found in female subjects. Further spDCM analysis indicated that the causal influence from CON to FPN in male IGD subjects was enhanced relative to that of RGU males, while this influence was relatively reduced in females with IGD.

Conclusions

These results suggest poor modular segmentation of the FPN and abnormal FPN/CON connections in males with IGD, suggesting a mechanism for male vulnerability to IGD. An increased “bottom-up” effect from the CON to FPN in male IGD subjects could reflect dysfunction between the brain networks. Different mechanisms may underlie in IGD, suggesting that different interventions may be optimal in males and females with IGD.

Reference

Zeng, N., Wang, M., Zheng, H., Zhang, J., Dong, H., Potenza, M.N. & Dong, G-H. (2021) Gender-related differences in frontal-parietal modular segregation and altered effective connectivity in internet gaming disorder. Journal of Behavioural Addictions. doi: 10.1556/2006.2021.00015. Online ahead of print.

Are There Sex Differences in Comorbidity Between Substance Use & Mental Health in Adolescents?

Research Paper Title

Sex Differences in Comorbidity Between Substance Use and Mental Health in Adolescents: Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Background

This study aims to evaluate sex differences in alcohol and cannabis use and mental health disorders (MHD) in adolescents, and to evaluate the predictive role of mental health disorders for alcohol and cannabis use disorders (AUD and CUD respectively).

Method

A sample of 863 adolescents from the general population (53.7% girls, Mage = 16.62, SD = 0.85) completed a computerised battery including questions on substance use frequency, the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Cannabis Problems Questionnaire for Adolescents – Short version, the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index and the DSM-IV-TR criteria for AUD and CUD. Bivariate analyses and binary logistic regressions were performed.

Results

Girls presented significantly more mental health problems and a higher prevalence of comorbidity between SUD and MHD. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms and phobic anxiety indicated a higher risk of AUD, whereas depression and interaction between hostility and obsessive-compulsive disorder indicated a higher risk of CUD.

Conclusions

Comorbidity between SUD and MHD is high among adolescents, and significantly higher among girls.

Reference

Fernandez-Artamendi, S. Martinez-Loredo, V. & Lopez-Nunez, C. (2021) Sex Differences in Comorbidity Between Substance Use and Mental Health in Adolescents: Two Sides of the Same Coin. Psicotherma. 33(1), pp.36-43. doi: 10.7334/psicothema2020.297.

Is there a Gender Difference in Mental Health Literacy that Affects Mental Health Attitude?

Research Paper Title

Mental Health Literacy Affects Mental Health Attitude: Is There a Gender Difference?

Background

In the current study, the researchers aimed to compare the levels of and factors associated with mental health attitude between males and females. Of particular interest was ascertaining the degree to which mental health literacy was related to mental health attitude and whether this relationship would vary by gender.

Methods

A total of 732 participants aged 18 years or more were recruited from attendees at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. They used the Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS) to measure attitude toward and literacy of mental health.

Results

The multivariate analysis reported that males’ mental health attitude was significantly lower than females. Some factors associated with mental health attitude differed by gender as well. Among men, receiving more social support, experiencing higher levels of depression, and being married predicted greater mental health attitude. Among women, older age was associated with lower mental health attitude levels. However, mental health literacy was the strongest factor regardless of gender. Men and women with greater mental health literacy had a more positive mental health attitude.

Conclusions

Provision of tailored mental health literacy education both for males and females could potentially improve the public’s mental health attitude toward mental illness.

Reference

Lee, H.Y., Hwang, J., Ball, J.G., Lee, J., Yu, Y & Albright, D.L. (2020) Mental Health Literacy Affects Mental Health Attitude: Is There a Gender Difference? American Journal of Health Behaviour. 44(3), pp.282-291. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.44.3.1.

Can We Link Financial Worries & Poor Mental Health?

Research Paper Title

Sociodemographic Characteristics, Financial Worries and Serious Psychological Distress in U.S. Adults.

Background

Economic recessions have been well studied in relationship to poor mental health.

However, subjective financial worries have not been examined relative to serious psychological distress (SPD), a measure of poor mental health.

Methods

Adults 18 to 64 years in the cross-sectional 2016 National Health Interview Survey (n = 24,126) were examined for worries about paying for bills, serious medical events, expected medical costs, retirement, children’s college tuition and maintaining a standard of living; by sociodemographic such as sex and race/ethnicity. Over 50% of adults reported two or more financial worries.

Results

In multivariate models, financial worries were associated with SPD.

White adults at the lowest education level had the greatest proportion with SPD compared with all other race/ethnic groups.

Conclusions

Women had greater risk for SPD and for each financial worry compared with men.

Financial worries were prevalent in US adults, were associated with increased risk for SPD, and varied by sex.

Reference

Weissman, J., Russell, D. & Mann, J.J. (2020) Sociodemographic Characteristics, Financial Worries and Serious Psychological Distress in U.S. Adults. Community Mental Health Journal. 56(4), pp.606-613. doi: 10.1007/s10597-019-00519-0. Epub 2020 Jan 1.