Parental mental illness a key risk factor for offspring mental illness: new evidence from Australia

The prevalence of developmental vulnerabilities in children increased with the number of parental comorbidities, with overall stronger associations for mothers compared to fathers.

Francesca Zecchinato summarises a new study which suggests that children of parents with experience of mental illness comorbidities represent a vulnerable population and should be prioritised in prevention and intervention efforts.

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Where do young people with learning disabilities seek information about sexuality?

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Sexuality is a core aspect of human experience, but for many people with learning disabilities, there continues to be considerable confusion about sexuality and significant gaps in their knowledge Opportunities for people to participate in relationships and education about sexuality can be affected by attitudes and perceptions of family carers, support workers and professional staff. [read the full story…]

Developmental issues should be assessed as part of psychiatric diagnosis in people with learning disabilities


The researchers in this study were interested in looking at the extent to which a diagnosis of learning disability met current diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM) diagnostic criteria. They wanted to know the prevalence of reported autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the extent to which the assessment of developmental issues was seen [read the full story…]

Review of behavioural phenotypes identifies trends across lifespan


The researchers in this review set out to look at the complexity of the relationship between the genotype (genetic makeup) and phenotype (physical characteristics) and to stress the need for a greater understanding of behavioural phenotypes in genetic syndromes. The specific focus was on the developmental trajectory of behavioural phenotypes as individuals move from childhood [read the full story…]

Benefits of participative research in medium secure settings


This study set out to understand whether recent approaches to informing people with learning disabilities about the findings of research ((e.g. simplified information sheets, reading out information etc) are effective and to discover what people with learning disabilities understand about research. The researchers invited seven men and ten staff members to work as co-researchers with [read the full story…]

Skills for speech development needed for acquisition of manual signs


Communication is a fundamental human right, at the heart of how we interact with our environment, express choices and build relationships. People with learning disabilities often have difficulties with verbal communication and this study set out to look at the extent to which children with learning disabilities depended on manual signs during the process of [read the full story…]