Digital Self-Harm Surges Among U.S. Teens from 2016 to 2021

Digital self-harm, where individuals anonymously post or share hurtful content about themselves online, has increased more than 88% since 2016. Between 2019 and 2021, about 9 to 12% of 13 to 17 year olds in the U.S. engaged in digital self-harm. The study also explored whether teens who experienced cyberbullying were more likely to engage in digital self-harm.

Study Examines U.S. Public Opinion of ‘Would-be’ Mass Shooters

A first-of-its-kind study sheds light on public opinion about would-be mass shooters, particularly regarding their mental health status. Willingness to “see something” and “say something,” especially when loved ones or associates are involved, hinges on whether the informant believes the criminal justice system will handle the situation effectively and fairly.

Insomnia Symptoms May Predict Subsequent Drinking in Adults

People with symptoms of insomnia may be likely to increase their drinking over time, according to a study published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research. In the study of adult drinkers, people who had worse insomnia symptoms at the outset of the study tended to increase the amount they drank and the number of times they binge drank during the subsequent year. The researchers found that, even at subclinical levels, insomnia symptoms were a significant predictor of future drinking in adults, suggesting that insomnia symptoms should be addressed to help reduce the risk of problem drinking.

Medicaid Expansion Associated with Increased, But Not High Quality, Screening for Alcohol Use

People living in states with expanded Medicaid access were more likely to be screened by their doctor for alcohol use compared to people who lived in states that did not expand Medicaid access, but they did not necessarily receive effective interventions. A study published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research found that living in a state with expanded Medicaid access was associated with a higher prevalence of lower-income adults’ receiving some alcohol screening at a recent checkup but not receiving higher quality screening or brief counseling. The authors suggest that expanded Medicaid access may increase screening via increased access to primary care but that policies that target healthcare provider constraints are also needed to increase high-quality, evidence-based screening and counseling around alcohol use.

FAU Awarded $1.5 Million Teaching Grant for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Students learn transferable skills to seek entry level job positions prior to graduation. Skills include resume writing, interviewing and completing job applications, as well as soft skills and social skills. Internships are tailored toward each student’s individual career goals and provide real-world experience in the field of their choice. At the end of their studies, they obtain a part-time job in a competitive and inclusive setting.

Baylor Researchers Explore Effect of Instagram, TikTok on Psychological Well-Being

Noted Baylor University smartphone researchers Meredith E. David, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, and James A. Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business, have investigated the correlation between the “flow states” – or happiness experienced by individuals – while using Instagram and TikTok and psychological well-being.

Needs and Challenges for COVID-19 Boosters and Other Vaccines in the U.S.

FAU researchers and collaborators provide the most updated guidance to health care providers and urge how widespread vaccination with these boosters can now avoid the specter of future and more lethal variants becoming a reality.

Feeling Anxious or Blue? Ultra-processed Foods May be to Blame

A study measuring mild depression, number of mental unhealthy days and number of anxious days in 10,359 adults 18 and older found those who consumed the most ultra-processed foods as compared with those who consumed the least amount had statistically significant increases in the adverse mental health symptoms of mild depression, “mentally unhealthy days” and “anxious days.” They also had significantly lower rates of reporting zero “mentally unhealthy days” and zero “anxious days.” Findings are generalizable to the entire U.S. as well as other Western countries with similar ultra-processed food intakes.