While I was out: Autism, Anxiety Treatments, and how depression affects teen romance.

By Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD

Hello everyone, I decided to briefly mention three new studies published while I was out and let you suggest which study I should discuss in more detail next week. Make sure you express your preference in the comments section.

While I was out:

1. Closely spaced pregnancies increase risk of autism.

A study of over 600,000 siblings conducted by a team at Columbia University suggests that second-born children are at a higher risk for autism the closer in age they are to their older siblings. For example, siblings born within 12 months after their older siblings are over 240% more likely to develop autism than siblings born 3 years after their older siblings.
The reference: Cheslack-Postava, K., Liu, K., & Bearman, P. (2011). Closely Spaced Pregnancies Are Associated With Increased Odds of Autism in California Sibling Births PEDIATRICS, 127 (2), 246-253 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-2371

2. Early evidence for the efficacy of a computerized attention retraining program for childhood anxiety.

An article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reports the findings of a randomized control trial of a computer game-like procedure that may reduce the symptoms of anxiety in affected children by modifying their tendency to attend to threatening information (e.g., scary faces, etc.).
The reference: Bar-Haim, Y., Morag, I., & Glickman, S. (2011). Training anxious children to disengage attention from threat: a randomized controlled trial Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02368.x

3. Teen depression may impact their romantic relationships into adulthood.

A 5-year longitudinal study of teens showed that depression during middle adolescence (10th grade) has a significant negative impact in romantic relations for years. For example, teens who had elevated symptoms of depression in 10th grade experienced more increases in relationship conflicts and less increases in positive problem solving during the next 5 years as compared to their non-depressed peers.
The reference:Hana M. Vujeva, & Wyndol Furman (2010). Depressive Symptoms and Romantic Relationship Qualities from Adolescence Through Emerging Adulthood: A Longitudinal Examination of Influence.  Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology

Let me know which study I should discuss next week!