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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders


A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders examines the interplay of social and biological factors in the production of a wide range of mental disorders throughout life, from the peri-natal period through to old age.

The aging into adulthood of numerous birth cohorts, especially over the past twenty years, has provided increasing evidence that mental disorders previously perceived to emerge in adulthood may have their origins early in life. This book brings together, in a ...

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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders

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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders examines the interplay of social and biological factors in the production of a wide range of mental disorders throughout life, from the peri-natal period through to old age.

The aging into adulthood of numerous birth cohorts, especially over the past twenty years, has provided increasing evidence that mental disorders previously perceived to emerge in adulthood may have their origins early in life. This book brings together, in a single resource, the research in life course epidemiology of mental disorders, forging a consensus on the current science and pointing the way forward for the field.

Assembling researchers across disparate disciplines including epidemiology, developmental psychopathology, psychiatric genetics, sociology, developmental cognitive neuroscience, and epigenetics the book reviews the methods and synthesizes existing knowledge about the life course epidemiology of mental disorders in populations. It also presents discussions of the mechanisms that drive the production of mental disorders over the life course including emerging areas of research in the field.

A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders brings together the state-of-the-art science of life course epidemiology to inform training, research, practice and policy with regard to mental disorders. The first comprehensive articulation of a life course perspective in the area, it will be a key resource for academics, researchers and students.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Sheila Lahijani, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: The life course approach to mental illness is primarily based on two perspectives: the psychological lifespan perspective and the developmental psychopathology perspective. This book uses these as a foundation to review the factors that influence mental health over a lifetime.
Purpose: Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book explores the life course epidemiology of mental illnesses with the goal of impacting policy and practice.
Audience: It is designed as an educational tool ideal for those in academia. Given its scope and didactic nature, it is a comprehensive resource for students, researchers, and clinicians alike.
Features: The book is divided into parts covering methodologies, developmental trajectories, environmental and social mechanisms, and the relationship between mental and physical disorders. Each of these parts is organized into chapters that systematically describe epidemiological factors as they relate to specific mental disorders. Additionally, existing information and methods related to life course epidemiology of mental disorders are reviewed. This is a remarkable feature of the book, as it familiarizes readers with the concepts. What distinguishes this book are the descriptions of study designs, life course perspectives, and discussions of epigenetics and cognitive. This book is clearly written and includes tables and figures to illustrate key points as well as summaries and references that help consolidate the information.
Assessment: This book is unprecedented in its presentation, depth, and purpose. It is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary initiative that examines the influence of social and biological factors on the development of mental disorders over a lifetime.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199657018
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/24/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Karestan C. Koenen, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA,Sasha Rudenstine, Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Columbia University Epidemiology Merit Fellow, USA,Ezra Susser, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA,Sandro Galea, Gelman Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA

Dr Koenen is a licensed clinical psychologist and epidemiologist who uses a life course epidemiologic approach to examine the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the production of stress-related mental disorders. In particular, her work has sought to identify the determinants of stress-related mental disorders at multiple levels - from describing the social patterning of trauma exposure to examining the molecular mechanisms underlying disorder etiology. She has published over 150 scientific papers and is currently President of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies.

Sasha Rudenstine is an early-career investigator. She is interested in how genetic and environmental factors affect the manifestation of psychopathology over the life course and in how determinants at multiple levels - individual, network, and community - influence the prevalence, trajectories, and treatment of mental disorders globally. She received her B.A. from Haverford College and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from City University of New York, USA.

Ezra Susser is Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is Director of the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies, and co-founder of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University. Much of his work has focused on neurodevelopmental disorders (ND) across the life course, including but not limited to autism and schizophrenia. He has studied early origins and prevention of ND, cross cultural differences in incidence and course of ND, improvement of mental health research and services for individuals with ND in low- and middle-income countries, and improvement of services for the most disadvantaged individuals with ND in high-income settings such as New York City. He is lead author of the only contemporary textbook (i.e. not edited chapters) on psychiatric epidemiology; won the 2011 Rema LaPousse Award for outstanding contributions in psychiatric epidemiology; and was in 2012 President of the American Psychopathological Association.

Dr Galea is a physician and an epidemiologist. He is the Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr Galea's research program seeks to uncover how determinants at multiple levels including policies, features of the social environment, and genetic factors-jointly influence the health of urban populations. His work has documented the mental health consequences of mass trauma and conflict worldwide, including Hurricane Katrina, and the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr Galea has published more than 400 scientific journal articles, 50 chapters and commentaries, and 7 books. Dr Galea serves as chair of the Community Services Board of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and on the New York City Health Board. He is also president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction
1. Life course approaches to mental illness: The emergence of a concept, Karestan C. Koenen, Sasha Rudenstine, Ezra Susser, and Sandro Galea
Part Two: Methods in life course approaches
2. Study designs, Stephen L. Buka and Mary E. Lacy
3. Measurement issues in limited or longitudinal epidemiological studies of origins and/or course of psychiatric disorders, Patricia Cohen
4. Analytic considerations in a life course perspective, Leah Li
5. Age, birth cohort, and period effects in psychiatric disorders in the United States, Kerry Keyes and Charley Liu
Part Three: Life course approach to specific mental disorders
6. Schizophrenia and related psychosis, Golam M. Khandaker, Mary Clarke, Mary Cannon and Peter B, Jones
7. Bipolar disorder, Leslie Hulvershorn and John Nurnberger
8. Applying a life course perspective to depression, Sasha Rudenstine
9. Life course epidemiology of anxiety disorders, Renee D. Goodwin, Katja Beesdo-Baum, Susanne Knappe and Dan J. Stein
10. Epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder, Nicole R. Nugent, Ruth Brown, Kelcey Stratton and Ananda B. Amstadter
11. Life course approach to substance use, Jennifer Ahern and Hannah Leslie
12. The life course perspective: A framework for autism research, Michaeline Bresnahan, Traolach Brugha and Ezra Susser
13. Life course epidemiology of eating disorders, Karen S. Mitchell and Cynthia M. Bulik
14. ADHD over the life course, Larry Seidman and Jessica Agnew-Blais
15. Conduct disorder across the life course, Sara R. Jaffee and Candice L. Odgers
16. Borderline, schizotypal, avoidant, obsessive compulsive, and other personality disorders, Andrew E. Skodol
Part Four: Understanding mechanisms
17. Cognitive function over the life course, Marcus Richards
18. Life course approaches to genetic epidemiology of mental illness, Elise B. Robinson, Lauren M. McGrath and Susan L. Santangelo
19. Impact of early environmental exposures on mental disorders across the life course, Pam Factor-Litvak
20. The role of the social environmental over the life course in the etiology of psychiatric disorders, Stephen E. Gilman and Jessica Daniel
21. Social context and mental health over the life course, Arijit Nandi and Lauren Welsh
22. Epigenetic influences on mental illness over the life course, Monica Uddin and Levent Sipahi
23. Adverse childhood experiences and brain development: Neurological mechanisms linking the social environment to psychiatric disorders, Kate A. McLaughlin, Margaret A. Sheridan and Charles A. Nelson
24. Social-biological interplay over the life course, Kelly Skelton, Kerry Ressler, Elisabeth Binder and Bekh Bradley-Davino
Part Five: New directions in the life course epidemiology of mental illness
25. Intergenerational transmission, Virginia Warner and Myrna M. Weissman
26. Mental disorders and the emergence of physical disorders, Laura D. Kubzansky and Ashley Winning
Part Six: Conclusions
27. Public health, policy, and practice: Implications of life course approaches to mental illness, Demetris Pillas, Kiyuri Naicker, Ian Colman and Clyde Hertzman

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