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Socializing may improve older adults' cognitive function in daily life

Sep 15, 2021

Socializing with others is important for mental health and well-being, and it may help improve cognition, as well — especially for older adults, according to new research. In a study led by Ruixue Zhaoyang, assistant research professor of the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State, the researchers…

Impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of isolated patients

Jun 11, 2020

Penn State researchers provide informed commentary on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Even with well-established protocols and familiarity, infection isolation protocols may cause significant issues for patients,…

Penn State's Project ECHO awarded $1.5M to address substance abuse

Nov 22, 2019

Project ECHO at Penn State College of Medicine will use a $1.5 million federal grant to address underage drinking and opioid use in 10 rural counties in central Pennsylvania. The five-year grant was awarded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Blair, Bradford,…

Personality traits may predict problems with problem-solving in older adults

Nov 19, 2019

People often blame poor genetics or lack of mental stimulation for cognitive decline with aging. While those can play a role, new research suggests that certain personality and temperament traits in older adults can cause personal problem-solving skills and can impact everyday cognitive functioning…

2019 Bennett Lecture discusses how mindfulness can help treat people living with addiction

Oct 27, 2019

Mindfulness was the topic at hand for this year’s Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science, held on Oct. 15 in 110 Henderson Building. The Bennett Lecture is an annual fall eventhosted by the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. This year’s speaker, Katie Witkiewitz, professor of psychology…

2019 Bennett Lecture to focus on mindfulness-based Interventions for addiction

Oct 10, 2019

On Oct. 15, at 4 p.m., Katie Witkiewitz, psychology professor at the University of New Mexico, will present the 2019 Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science, "Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Addiction: Making a Better Band-Aid," in 110 Henderson Building. The event is free and open to the public…

People with anxiety may strategically choose worrying over relaxing

Oct 1, 2019

Relaxing is supposed to be good for the body and soul, but people with anxiety may actively resist relaxation and continue worrying to avoid a large jump in anxiety if something bad does happen, according to Penn State research. In a new study, the researchers found that people who were more…

Professor contributes to federal report on child and youth mental health

Sep 23, 2019

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for a comprehensive national agenda to improve mental, emotional and behavioral health in children and youth. Jennifer Frank, assistant professor of education, senior research associate with the Edna Bennett…

Suicide and self-harm risk is nearly triple in people with restless leg syndrome

Aug 26, 2019

Restless legs syndrome was associated with a nearly tripled risk of suicide and self-harm in a new study led by Penn State researchers. Using Big Data, the researchers found that people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) had a 2.7-fold higher risk of suicide or self-harm, even when the researchers…

Marijuana policies are changing, but they are not always based on scientific knowledge

Jul 8, 2019

By Diana H. Fishbein, Elizabeth Long and Sharon Kingston, opinion contributor for The Hill Misconceptions regarding marijuana distort perceptions about its hazards and benefits. While marijuana remains on schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act, a number of state-level laws are changing…

Community-Engaged Research Day fosters collaborative partnerships

Jul 2, 2019

Community leaders and scientists shared breakfast and sought solutions to problems like opioids, obesity and depression June 6 at the Community-Engaged Research Day. The Community-Engaged Research Core of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute hosted the event at Dixon University…

For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse

Jun 4, 2019

In a common narrative of the path to opioid misuse, people become addicted to painkillers after a doctor prescribed them pills to treat an injury and then, later, switch to harder drugs, such as heroin. However, nonmedical opioid users were more likely to say they began abusing opioids after…

Penn State researcher explores mental health and the LGBT community

May 29, 2019

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Penn State researcher and assistant professor Britney Wardecker stresses the importance of not only raising general awareness of mental health but also recognizing how different groups are affected by mental health issues in unique ways.   Wardecker’s…

Everyday stress may boost blood vessel dysfunction in people with depression

May 8, 2019

Long-term stress has been linked with cardiovascular disease, but for people with depression, researchers say small, everyday stressors may be enough to diminish blood vessel function in otherwise healthy adults. A team of researchers led by Penn State found that among adults with depression, those…

2019 Lecture on Compassion to focus on cultivating mental health

Mar 11, 2019

The importance of promoting mental health and well-being among women, children and families will be the topic of the fourth annual Lecture on Compassion. Sona Dimidjian, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will discuss “Expanding Compassion: Reflections…

Active-duty service members' children to benefit from new partnership

Jan 30, 2019

Proactively identifying and addressing behavioral threats among students has long been a challenge for many school districts. If teachers, administrators, staff and fellow students can identify and safely report risky behavior, researchers hope that shooting tragedies like those that occurred at…

Poor mental health days may cost the economy billions of dollars

Jul 19, 2018

Poor mental health ranks as one of the costliest forms of sickness for U.S. workers and may sap billions of dollars from the country's income growth, according to a team of researchers. In an analysis of economic and demographic data from 2008 to 2014, the researchers found that a single extra poor…

Harsh parenting linked with poor school performance in kids with ADHD

Jan 25, 2018

The way parents interact with their kids may affect how well children with certain behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — ADHD — perform in school, according to researchers. The researchers studied the associations between the parenting practices of mothers and fathers…