Psychology & Mental Health News

Updated every weekday by the Psych Central News Staff.


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E
Hugs, Social Support Shown to Protect Against Stress & Illness

Hugs, Social Support Shown to Protect Against Stress & Illness

December 18th, 2014
New research suggests hugs may be the tonic for reducing stress and preventing infections. Carnegie Mellon University researchers tested whether hugs act as a form of social support, protecting stressed people from getting sick. Their findings, as published in the journal Psychological ...

Domestic Abuse Can Harm Unborn

Domestic Abuse Can Harm Unborn

December 18th, 2014
Researchers have found a surprisingly strong connection between the domestic abuse of a pregnant woman and postnatal trauma symptoms in her child, according to a new study at Michigan State University. Their findings are published in the research journal Child Abuse ...
Why Antidepressants May Worsen Symptoms Before Kicking In

Why Antidepressants May Worsen Symptoms Before Kicking In

December 18th, 2014
Emerging research helps explain the delayed, even paradoxical effect of certain antidepressants. Clinicians have known that some medications may actually worsen symptoms before helping patients feel better. The new findings, publishing online in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, may eventually help ...
Employer Acceptance of Religious Beliefs Can Aid Worker Performance

Employer Acceptance of Religious Beliefs Can Aid Worker Performance

December 18th, 2014
A new study finds that when employees are allowed to openly discuss their religious beliefs, their morale and job satisfaction is enhanced. The workforce is rapidly becoming a mixture of multiple cultures, and it may be beneficial for employers to celebrate ...
Common Factors for Teens at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

Common Factors for Teens at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

December 17th, 2014
Neuroscientists are homing in on key brain factors and behaviors that put teens at risk for alcohol abuse even before they start drinking, according to new research at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). So far, they have found that teens at ...
Average Faces Considered Trustworthy

Average Faces Considered Trustworthy

December 17th, 2014
New research suggests typical or average- looking faces are considered more honest than attractive, or unattractive faces. The way people judge faces is especially important in cultural environments where face typicality, or the similar structure of faces, often influences face-related judgments. “Face ...
Eating More During Menstrual Cycle Hikes Eating Disorder Risk

Work Connections Turn Stress Into Better Performance

December 17th, 2014
Challenging new research suggests that well-connected employees adapt well to pressures caused by changes in the workplace. Industries often have to implement pay cuts, reduce working hours, and provide fewer training and promotion opportunities as methods to cope with economic downturn ...
Eating More During Menstrual Cycle Hikes Eating Disorder Risk

Learning In Infancy Reaps Long-Term Benefits

December 17th, 2014
Developmental psychologists believe that talking to babies in their first year can provide learning benefits that are seen as much as five years later. Experts say the benefits are particularly associated with naming things in the infant’s world, as this can ...
Eating More During Menstrual Cycle Hikes Eating Disorder Risk

Eating More During Menstrual Cycle Hikes Eating Disorder Risk

December 17th, 2014
A new study links the biological stimulus that causes women to eat more during their menstrual cycle to an increased risk of developing eating disorder symptoms. Michigan State University Foundation Professor Dr. Kelly Klump found monthly hormonal changes and commensurate increased ...
Taking Time To Make Healthy Food Choices

Taking Time To Make Healthy Food Choices

December 17th, 2014
New research suggests it takes a while for the brain to consider the healthiness of a food. Therefore, taking time to consider our food choices – be it eating a slice of pecan pie or instead opting for fruit -- may be ...
Work Burnout Linked to Atypical Depression

Work Burnout Linked to Atypical Depression

December 16th, 2014
New research suggests a strong link between being disenchanted by work and depression. City College of New York psychology professor Dr. Irvin Schonfeld studied more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout. He discovered ...
Virtual Body-Swapping May Reduce Racism

Virtual Body-Swapping May Reduce Racism

December 16th, 2014
A new study uses technology to create illusions that may be used to reduce prejudice and racism. An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. Though illusions distort reality, they are ...
'Technoference' Tied to Lower Relationship Quality

‘Technoference’ Tied to Lower Relationship Quality

December 16th, 2014
In a new study, couples who allowed technology to frequently interrupt their time together (even when it's unintentional) also reported lower relationship satisfaction, more depressive symptoms, and lower life satisfaction overall. There is a word for this new phenomenon: "technoference." The ...
Boosting Dementia Caregivers' Mental Health

Boosting Dementia Caregivers’ Mental Health

December 16th, 2014
People caring for relatives with dementia may benefit from a brief coping strategies therapy, new research suggests. There are more than 15 million family carers of people with dementia in the U.S. Clinical depression, anxiety, or other substantial psychological symptoms ...
Skipping Meals Linked to Child Obesity

Skipping Meals Linked to Child Obesity

December 16th, 2014
It may seem paradoxical, but new research discovers children who skip main meals are more likely to have excess body fat and an increased cardiometabolic risk. Remarkably, Finnish investigators discovered the link may be apparent by the age of six to ...
War Metaphors for Cancer Are Not Helpful

War Metaphors for Cancer Are Not Helpful

December 16th, 2014
The use of war metaphors such as “fight” and “battle” are commonly used to encourage and motivate patients with cancer. A new study, however, suggests that using those words can have an unintended negative effect. David Hauser, a University of Michigan doctoral ...
Hepatitis C Ruled Out as Cause of Mental Impairment for Those With HIV

Hepatitis C Ruled Out as Cause of Mental Impairment for Those With HIV

December 15th, 2014
Treatment advances for immunodeficiency virus (HIV) now allow people with the condition to live long and productive lives. As they age, however, many experience impaired thinking, memory loss, mood swings and other evidence of impaired mental function. Scientists are puzzled over why ...
Soldiers with Mental Illness at High Suicide Risk in Year After Hospital Stay

Soldiers with Mental Illness at High Suicide Risk in Year After Hospital Stay

December 15th, 2014
U.S. Army soldiers who have been admitted to the hospital with a psychiatric disorder are at far greater risk for attempting suicide during the first 12 months after the hospital discharge, according to new research by the Army Study to ...
Prenatal Exposure to Household Chemicals May Reduce Kids' IQ

Prenatal Exposure to Household Chemicals May Reduce Kids’ IQ

December 15th, 2014
A new study finds that children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common household chemicals had a significantly lower IQ score than children exposed at lower levels. The chemicals, di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) are found in ...
Teaching Elderly to Use Social Media Improves Well-being

Teaching Elderly to Use Social Media Improves Well-being

December 15th, 2014
A new landmark study from the UK finds that training older people in the use of social media has a myriad of benefits. Researchers found that proficiency in social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence, and could ...