Francesca Bentivegna

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Francesca is a PhD student at the Department of Psychology and Human Development at UCL Institute of Education. She holds an MSc in ‘Clinical Mental Health Sciences’ achieved at the same university, and a BSc in Psychology of ‘Personality and interpersonal relationships’ from the University of Padua (Italy). Francesca's main research interests include understanding the aetiology and development of mental health problems and disorders – specifically, the role of reward processing and self-regulation. She then would like to extend her research to promote a change in the educational system in terms of inclusion, acknowledgment and promotion of different cognitive skills and abilities. Besides this, she would like to write a book targeting mental health and travel around the world to constantly expand her horizons.

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Aerobic exercise for major depression: the role of reward processing and cognitive control

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Francesca Bentivegna summarises a trial which looks at how aerobic exercise can help students with major depression by examining reward and cognitive control as predictors and treatment targets.

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Reading skills and mental health difficulties: what’s the link?

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Francesca Bentivegna summarises a recent review which suggests that schizophrenia, “personality disorders” and psychopathy may be linked to reading skills deficits in some people.

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Understanding atypical social reward anticipation in psychopathology

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Francesca Bentivegna summarises a meta-analytic review exploring atypical social reward anticipation as a transdiagnostic characteristic of psychopathology.

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One in four UK children exposed to maternal mental illness

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Francesca Bentivegna reviews a national retrospective cohort study which explores the prevalence of maternal mental illness among children and adolescents in the UK during 2005-2017.

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Social media use and disordered eating: Australian study finds a link in young teenagers

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Francesca Bentivegna reviews a recent Australian study which finds a significant association between social media use and disordered eating in young adolescents.

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CBT for health anxiety: should it be delivered in person or online?

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Francesca Bentivegna explores a timely RCT concluding that delivering internet-based (email) CBT for health anxiety is non-inferior to face to face CBT in the short-term. The study also concludes that iCBT is more cost-effective.

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Lettuce be happy: how fruit and vegetables improve our mental wellbeing

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Francesca Bentivegna summarises a recent UK longitudinal study, which examines the relationship between fruit and vegetables consumption and wellbeing.

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Is reading for pleasure in childhood good for your health?

Although an association between reading for pleasure and healthy behaviours was identified, causation is still unclear.

Francesca Bentivegna summarises a recent study of the benefits of reading for pleasure in childhood, which finds an association 3 years later with consuming more fruit and being less exposed to both cigarette and alcohol use.

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The never-ending story: the problematic relationship between youth anxiety and later alcohol use

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Francesca Bentivigna summarises a systematic review that explores the associations of child and adolescent anxiety with later alcohol use and disorders.

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“Mens sana in corpore sano”: outdoor activities can shape the body and mind

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Francesca Bentivegna and Dafni Katsampa summarise a recent mixed methods study, which looks at the mental health benefits of purposeful activities in public green spaces in urban and semi-urban neighbourhoods.

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