Br ief IN
Snapshots of some of the latest peer-reviewed
research within psychology and related fields.
Children are less likely to be bullied when their parents establish clear rules about behavior and are emotionally warm and supportive.
n Children who are exposed to
negative parenting — including abuse
or neglect, but also overprotection —
are more likely to be bullied, according
to a meta-analysis of 70 studies of more
than 200,000 children. Researchers
at the University of Warwick found
that negative or harsh parenting was
linked to a moderate increase in the
risk of being both a bully victim and
a perpetrator of bullying. In contrast,
parenting that included clear rules about
behavior while being supportive and
emotionally warm reduced a child’s risk
of being bullied by peers (Child Abuse &
Neglect, online April 25).
n Intimate partner violence increases
the risk for depression — and
depression increases the risk for
such violence, according to a meta-
analysis of 16 longitudinal studies
involving more than 36,000 people from
high- and middle-income countries.
Researchers from the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found
that women who experienced intimate
partner violence had double the odds of
subsequently experiencing depression.
They also found the converse: Women
with depression had nearly double
the odds of experiencing violence by a
partner. Among men, the researchers
found some evidence of a link between
intimate partner violence and later
depression, but no evidence of the
converse (PLOS Medicine, May 7).
n Nerve stimulation for severe
depression appears to change brain
function, finds a study by researchers
at Washington University School of
Medicine in St. Louis. Scientists followed
13 people with treatment-resistant
depression whose symptoms had not
improved after treatment with as many as
five different antidepressant medications.
The participants had surgery to
insert a device to deliver a 30-second
electronic stimulus to the left vagus
nerve every five minutes. Nine of the 13
subjects experienced improvements in
depression with the treatment. Among
those responders, PET scans showed
significant changes in brain metabolism
after three months of stimulation and
further changes after 12 months (Brain
Stimulation, online Feb. 15).