Abstract A number of studies have investigated the association between psychiatric disorders and alterations in cognitive development, academic performance, and learning ability. However, few studies have explored the relationship between stressful events and grade repetition. Therefore, the main goal of the present study was to compare the frequency of exposure to stressful events, academic performance, executive functioning, and performance on working memory tasks between adolescents with and without a history of grade repetition. This was a cross-sectional study. The sample was composed of 83 adolescents divided into two groups: (1) individuals with a history of grade repetition (n = 39) and (2) participants who had never repeated a grade (n = 44). Participants were administered tests to assess executive functions, intelligence, exposure to stressful events, and academic performance. Results showed that individuals with a history of grade repetition reported to experiencing a higher number of stressful events in adolescence, had worse academic performance, and obtained lower scores on executive functioning and working memory tasks than non-repeaters.
Resumen Varios estudios han investigado la asociación entre trastornos psiquiátricos y alteraciones en el desarrollo cognitivo, el rendimiento académico y la capacidad de aprendizaje. Sin embargo, pocos estudios han explorado la relación entre los eventos estresantes y la repetición escolar. Por lo tanto, el objetivo principal de este estudio fue comparar la frecuencia de exposición a eventos estresantes, el rendimiento académico, el funcionamiento ejecutivo y el desempeño en tareas de memoria de trabajo en los adolescentes con y sin antecedentes de repetición escolar. Se trata de un estudio transversal. La muestra estuvo constituida por 83 adolescentes, divididos en dos grupos: (1) los individuos con antecedentes de repetición escolar (n = 39) y (2) los participantes que nunca repitieron un año escolar (n = 44). Los participantes fueron sometidos a pruebas para evaluar las funciones ejecutivas, la inteligencia, la exposición a eventos estresantes y el rendimiento académico. Los resultados mostraron que los individuos con historia de repetición escolar relataron la ocurrencia de un mayor número de eventos estresantes durante la adolescencia, tuvieron un peor rendimiento académico y obtuvieron puntuaciones más bajas en las tareas de funcionamiento ejecutivo y memoria de trabajo que los que no repitieron.
Objective: Memory impairment is an important contributor to the reduction in quality of life experienced by older adults, and genetic risk factors seem to contribute to variance in age-related cognitive decline. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important nerve growth factor linked with development and neural plasticity. The Val66Met polymorphism in the BDNF gene has been associated with impaired episodic memory in adults, but whether this functional variant plays a role in cognitive aging remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on memory performance in a sample of elderly adults. Methods: Eighty-seven subjects aged > 55 years were recruited using a community-based convenience sampling strategy in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The logical memory subset of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised was used to assess immediate verbal recall (IVR), delayed verbal recall (DVR), and memory retention rate. Results: BDNF Met allele carriers had lower DVR scores (p = 0.004) and a decline in memory retention (p = 0.017) when compared to Val/Val homozygotes. However, we found no significant differences in IVR between the two groups (p = 0.088). Conclusion: These results support the hypothesis of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism as a risk factor associated with cognitive impairment, corroborating previous findings in young and older adults.
Abstract This study aimed to identify the prevalence of elder abuse in the city of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, causes of abuse, and the profile of the victim and the aggressor. A retrospective documentary study was carried out based on police reports filed in April and May 2011 to the Department of Senior Services of Porto Alegre. Of the 224 police reports evaluated, 175 were of elder abuse or mistreatment. Psychological abuse was the most frequently identified type of abuse, followed by material/financial abuse. Most of the victims were senior females with low level of education, and the majority of aggressors were male family members. The results show high rates of elder abuse in the city of Porto Alegre.
Resumo Este estudo objetivou verificar a prevalência e os tipos de maus-tratos sofridos por idosos, registrados na Delegacia de Proteção ao Idoso do município de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Além disso, buscou descrever o perfil da vítima e do agressor e identificar os motivos relacionados à ocorrência de maus-tratos nesse grupo etário. Realizou-se um estudo documental e retrospectivo com base nos boletins de ocorrência da Delegacia de Proteção ao Idoso de Porto Alegre registrados nos meses de abril e maio de 2011. Dos 224 boletins de ocorrência avaliados, 175 denunciavam situações de maus-tratos. Os maus-tratos psicológicos foram os mais frequentes, seguidos pelo abuso financeiro ou material. A vítima, na maioria dos casos, foi do sexo feminino e de baixa escolaridade. O agressor, geralmente, era do sexo masculino e familiar da vítima. Os resultados demonstram uma incidência significativa de maus-tratos contra idosos no município de Porto Alegre.
Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate executive functioning (EF) and impulsiveness in three groups of people aged 30 to 79 years: post-frontal stroke (n= 13) and post-extra-frontal chronic stroke of the right hemisphere (n= 31) and control (n= 38). The years of education varied between the groups was as follows, frontal lesion group:M= 12 (SD= 6.11); extra-frontal lesion group: M = 9.06 (SD = 4.94); and control: M= 9.61 (SD= 4.24) years. The following instruments were used: Behavioural Assessment Dysexecutive Syndrome, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WSCT), Barratt Impulsivity Scale, Impulsivity Evaluation Scale, Delay Descounting Task and Go/No-Go Task. We found differences in EF between the extra-frontal lesion group and the control group with respect to cognitive flexibility (p= .018); number of WCST trials (p= .018); WCST perseverative errors (p= .014) and omission by impulsivity errors on the go/no-go task for 250 ms (p= .008) and 1750 ms trials (p= .006). The frontal lesion group made more errors of omission than the control group in the 1750 ms go/no-go trials (p= .006). These results suggest that extra-frontal lesions impair EF by influencing attentional impulsivity.
Abstract The aim of this study was to assess the effect of family socioeconomic status (SES) and parental education on non-verbal IQ and on the processing of oral and written language, working memory, verbal memory and executive functions in children from different age ranges. A total of 419 Brazilian children aged 6–12 years old, attending public and private schools from Porto Alegre, RS participated in the study. Structural equation analyzes revealed that in the general model (for all ages), the SES contributed to cognitive performance – IQ, verbal memory, working memory, oral and written language and executive functions (28, 19, 36, 28 and 25 %, respectively). SES had stronger effects on younger children (up to nine years old), in most cognitive tasks examined. Probably, after this age, a combination of factors such as schooling, living in other social environments, among others, may mitigate the effects of family socioeconomic status.
Abstract Introduction: According to the literature, children's overall reactivity to stress is associated with their socioeconomic status and family environment. In turn, it has been shown that reactivity to stress is associated with cognitive performance. However, few studies have systematically tested these three constructs together. Objective: To investigate the relationship between family environment, salivary cortisol measurements and children's memory and executive function performance. Method: Salivary cortisol levels of 70 children aged 9 or 10 years were measured before and after performing tasks designed to assess memory and executive functions. Questionnaires on socioeconomic issues, family environment and maternal psychopathologies were administered to participants' families during the children's early childhood and again when they reached school age. Results: Data were analyzed by calculating correlations between variables and conducting hierarchical regression. High cortisol levels were associated with poorer working memory and worse performance in tasks involving executive functions, and were also associated with high scores for maternal psychopathology (during early childhood and school age) and family dysfunction. Family environment variables and changes in cortisol levels explain around 20% of the variance in performance of cognitive tasks. Conclusion: Family functioning and maternal psychopathology in early and middle childhood and children's stress levels were associated with children's working memory and executive functioning.
Resumo Introdução: De acordo com a literatura, o nível socioeconômico e o ambiente familiar estão associados à reatividade ao estresse na criança. Essa reatividade ao estresse, por sua vez, tem sido associada com desempenho cognitivo. No entanto, poucos estudos testaram sistematicamente esses três construtos ao mesmo tempo. Objetivo: Investigar a relação entre ambiente familiar, medidas de cortisol salivar e desempenho em memória e funções executivas das crianças. Método: Os níveis de cortisol salivar de 70 crianças com idade entre 9 e 10 anos foram medidos antes e depois de tarefas de memória e funções executivas. As famílias dos participantes completaram questionários sobre questões socioeconômicas, ambiente familiar e psicopatologia materna durante a primeira infância e a idade escolar da criança. Resultados: Correlações e regressão hierárquica foram realizadas para análise de dados. Níveis de cortisol elevados, bem como alta psicopatologia materna (na primeira infância e em idade escolar) e disfunção familiar foram associados com baixo desempenho em tarefas de funções executivas e memória de trabalho. As variáveis ambiente familiar e alterações nos níveis de cortisol explicam cerca de 20% da variação no desempenho de tarefas cognitivas. Conclusão: O funcionamento familiar e a psicopatologia materna no início e meio da infância, bem como os níveis de estresse das crianças, foram associados com a memória de trabalho e o funcionamento executivo das crianças.
Abstract Objective: The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST) is a battery of questionnaires created by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and ISPCAN for researching maltreatment in childhood. This study aims to translate, to adapt and to validate the semantic equivalence of all items on the three questionnaires: ICAST-C (ICAST version for Children), ICAST-R (Retrospective Interview) and ICAST-P (ICAST version for Parents). Methods: The process of translation and semantic validation comprised five methodological steps: 1) translation; 2) back-translation; 3) correction and semantic adaptation; 4) validation of content by professional experts in the area of abuse in childhood; and 5) a study of their acceptability to a sample of the target population, using a verbal rating scale. Results: In the evaluation of the expert committee, there was need to adapt several words for the Brazilian population while maintaining semantic and conceptual equivalence. In the ICAST-C acceptability study, children exhibited some difficulty understanding 7 of the items (out of 69 questions). For ICAST-P, parents reported a lack of clarity in 5 items (out of 57 questions). These issues were resolved and the Brazilian version of ICAST 3.0 was concluded. Conclusion: The ICAST battery is an internationally recognized tool and the process of translation into Portuguese and semantic adaptation was performed successfully. The final version proved to be easily understandable and semantic validation results were adequate. This battery has proved useful in investigation of childhood maltreatment.
Resumo Objetivo: A Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST), da International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), é uma bateria de questionários criada pela Organização Mundial da Saúde, Nações Unidas e ISPCAN para a investigação de maus-tratos na infância. Este estudo visa traduzir, adaptar e realizar a validação semântica de todos os itens dos três questionários: ICAST-C (ICAST versão para Crianças), ICAST-R (Entrevista Retrospectiva) e ICAST-P (ICAST versão para Pais) Métodos: O processo de tradução e validação semântica incluiu cinco etapas metodológicas: 1) tradução; 2) retrotradução; 3) correção e adaptação semântica; 4) validação de conteúdo por profissionais especialistas na área de maus-tratos na infância; e 5) um estudo de aceitabilidade por uma amostra da população-alvo, usando uma escala de graduação verbal Resultados: Na avaliação pelo comitê de especialistas, houve a necessidade de adaptação de muitas palavras para a população brasileira, mantendo a equivalência conceitual e semântica. No estudo de aceitabilidade do ICAST-C, as crianças mostraram alguma dificuldade na compreensão de 7 itens (de um total de 69 questões). No ICAST-P, os pais julgaram que 5 itens não estavam claros (de um total de 57 questões). Essas dificuldades foram corrigidas e a versão brasileira do ICAST 3.0 foi concluída Conclusões: A bateria ICAST é uma ferramenta internacionalmente reconhecida, e o processo de tradução para o português e sua adaptação semântica foram realizados com sucesso. A versão final mostrou ser de fácil entendimento, e os resultados da validação semântica foram adequados. Essa bateria demonstrou ser útil na investigação de maus-tratos na infância.
Objective To investigate the validity and reliability of a multi-informant approach to measuring child maltreatment (CM) comprising seven questions assessing CM administered to children and their parents in a large community sample. Methods Our sample comprised 2,512 children aged 6 to 12 years and their parents. Child maltreatment (CM) was assessed with three questions answered by the children and four answered by their parents, covering physical abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare the fit indices of different models. Convergent and divergent validity were tested using parent-report and teacher-report scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Discriminant validity was investigated using the Development and Well-Being Assessment to divide subjects into five diagnostic groups: typically developing controls (n = 1,880), fear disorders (n = 108), distress disorders (n = 76), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n = 143) and oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (n = 56). Results A higher-order model with one higher-order factor (child maltreatment) encompassing two lower-order factors (child report and parent report) exhibited the best fit to the data and this model's reliability results were acceptable. As expected, child maltreatment was positively associated with measures of psychopathology and negatively associated with prosocial measures. All diagnostic category groups had higher levels of overall child maltreatment than typically developing children. Conclusions We found evidence for the validity and reliability of this brief measure of child maltreatment using data from a large survey combining information from parents and their children.
Objetivo Investigar a validade e confiabilidade de uma abordagem de múltiplos informantes para a mensuração de maus-tratos na infância, composta por sete questões avaliando maus-tratos na infância respondidas pelas crianças e seus pais em uma ampla amostra comunitária. Métodos A amostra foi composta por 2.512 crianças com idades entre 6 e 12 anos e seus pais. Maus-tratos na infância foram avaliados com três questões respondidas pelas crianças e quatro respondidas pelos seus pais, investigando violência física, negligência física, violência emocional e violência sexual. Análises fatoriais confirmatórias foram utilizadas para comparar os índices de ajuste de diferentes modelos. Validade convergente e divergente foi testada utilizando escores de relato parental e de relato dos professores no Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Validade discriminante foi investigada utilizando a entrevista Development and Well-Being Assessment para dividir os participantes em cinco grupos diagnósticos: controles com desenvolvimento típico (n = 1.880), transtornos do medo (n = 108), transtornos do estresse (n = 76), transtorno de déficit de atenção-hiperatividade (n = 143) e transtorno opositivo-desafiador/conduta (n = 56). Resultados Um modelo de segunda ordem com um fator de segunda ordem (maus-tratos na infância) englobando dois fatores de primeira ordem (relato da criança e relato parental) demonstrou o melhor ajuste aos dados, e os resultados de confiabilidade desse modelo foram aceitáveis. Como esperado, maus-tratos na infância estiveram positivamente associados a medidas de psicopatologia e negativamente associados a medidas pró-sociais. Todos os grupos de categorias diagnósticas tiveram níveis mais altos de maus-tratos na infância do que as crianças com desenvolvimento típico. Conclusões Foram encontradas evidências de validade e confiabilidade dessa medida breve de maus-tratos na infância utilizando dados de um grande levantamento combinando o relato de pais e seus filhos.
Introduction : There is strong evidence to indicate that childhood maltreatment can negatively affect both physical and mental health and there is increasing interest in understanding the occurrence and consequences of such experiences. While several tools have been developed to retrospectively investigate childhood maltreatment experiences, most of them do not investigate the experience of witnessing family violence during childhood or bullying exposure. Moreover, the majority of scales do not identify when these experiences may have occurred, who was involved or the feelings evoked, such as helplessness or terror. The Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure (MACE) scale was developed to overcome these limitations. Objective : In view of the improvements over previous self-report instruments that this new tool offers and of the small number of self-report questionnaires for childhood maltreatment assessment available in Brazil, this study was conducted to conduct cross-cultural adaptation of the MACE scale for Brazilian Portuguese. Method : The following steps were performed: translation, back-translation, committee review for semantic and conceptual evaluation, and acceptability trial for equivalence. Results : Semantic and structural changes were made to the interview to adapt it for the Brazilian culture and all 75 of the items that comprise the longer version of MACE were translated. The results of the acceptability trial suggest that the items are comprehensible. Conclusion : The MACE scales may be useful tools for investigation of childhood maltreatment and make a valuable contribution to research in Brazil. Future studies should consider testing the availability and reliability of the three versions of the instrument translated into Brazilian Portuguese.
Introdução : Há evidências robustas na literatura indicando que os maus-tratos na infância podem afetar negativamente a saúde física e mental. Além disso, há um crescente interesse em compreender a ocorrência e as consequências dessas experiências. Vários instrumentos vêm sendo desenvolvidos para investigar retrospectivamente experiências de maus-tratos na infância, mas a maioria deles não investiga a experiência de testemunhar violência familiar durante a infância ou a ocorrência de bullying . Além disso, a maioria não identifica quando as experiências ocorreram, quem estava envolvido ou os sentimentos que evocaram, como desespero ou terror. A escala Maltreatment and Abuse Chronology of Exposure (MACE) foi desenvolvida para superar essas limitações. Objetivos : Considerando as vantagens dessa nova escala em relação aos instrumentos de autorrelato existentes e o reduzido número de questionários de autorrelato disponíveis no Brasil para avaliar maus-tratos na infância, este estudo teve como objetivo conduzir a adaptação transcultural da escala MACE para o português brasileiro. Método : Foram realizadas as etapas de tradução, retrotradução, análise de equivalência semântica e correspondência conceitual por um comitê avaliador e teste de aceitabilidade. Resultados : Adaptações semânticas e estruturais foram realizadas na entrevista para a realidade cultural brasileira, e todos os 75 itens incluídos na versão estendida da MACE foram traduzidos. Os resultados do teste de aceitabilidade sugerem que os itens foram adequadamente compreendidos. Conclusões : A escala MACE é uma ferramenta útil para a investigação de maus-tratos na infância, contribuindo para a pesquisa no Brasil. Futuros estudos devem considerar testar a validade e fidedignidade das três versões do instrumento traduzidas para o português do Brasil.
Objective: To compare the working memory (WM) performance of young adult crack-cocaine dependent users, healthy older adults, and a control group of healthy young adults. Methods: A total of 77 female participants took part in this study: 26 young adult crack-cocaine dependent users (CRK), 19 healthy older adults (HO), and 32 healthy younger adults (HC). All participants completed the N-back verbal task. Results: A multivariate analysis of covariance was performed. The model included education, income, and medication use as covariates. A group effect (F6,140 = 7.192, p < 0.001) was found. Post-hoc analyses showed that the performance of the CRK and HO groups was reduced compared to the HC group in two N-back conditions. No differences between the HO and CRK groups on WM performance were found. Conclusions: CRK participants perform similar to HO participants on a WM task, despite the well-known effects of age on WM and the young age of CRK. These data point to a possible parallel between cognitive declines associated with crack use and developmental aging.
Objectives: To compare hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in drug-naïve first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and healthy controls and to investigate the correlations between HCC and psychopathology. Methods: Twenty-four drug-naïve FEP patients and 27 gender- and age-matched healthy control subjects were recruited. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-1) was used to confirm/rule out diagnoses, and the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) was used to assess symptom severity. Hair samples (2-3 cm long) obtained from the posterior vertex region of the scalp were processed in 1-cm segments considering a hair growth rate of 1 cm per month. The 1-cm segments were classified according to their proximity to the scalp: segment A was the closest to the scalp and referred to the month prior to inclusion in the study. Segments B and C referred to the 2nd and 3rd months prior to the time of evaluation respectively. Hair steroid extraction was performed using a known protocol. Results: Two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with gender and age as covariates revealed a group effect (F1.106 = 4.899, p = 0.029) on HCC. Between-segment differences correlated with total PANSS score and with PANSS General Psychopathology subscale and total score. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as assessed by long-term (3-month) cortisol concentration, is abnormal in the early stages of psychosis. The magnitude of changes in HCC over time prior to the FEP correlates to psychopathology. HPA axis abnormalities might begin prior to full-blown clinical presentation requiring hospital admission.
Objectives: To describe the onset pattern, frequency, and severity of the signs and symptoms of the prodrome of the first hypomanic/manic episode and first depressive episode of bipolar disorder (BD) and to investigate the influence of a history of childhood maltreatment on the expression of prodromal symptoms. Methods: Using a semi-structured interview, the Bipolar Prodrome Symptom Scale-Retrospective (BPSS-R), information regarding prodromal symptoms was assessed from patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BD. History of childhood maltreatment was evaluated using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Results: Forty-three individuals with stable BD were included. On average, the prodrome of mania lasted 35.8±68.7 months and was predominantly subacute or insidious, with rare acute presentations. The prodrome of depression lasted 16.6±23.3 months and was also predominantly subacute or insidious, with few acute presentations. The prodromal symptoms most frequently reported prior to the first hypomanic or manic episode were mood lability, depressive mood, and impatience. A history of childhood abuse and neglect was reported by 81.4% of participants. Presence of childhood maltreatment was positively associated with prodromal symptoms, including social withdrawal, decreased functioning, and anhedonia. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of a long-lasting, symptomatic prodrome prior to first hypomanic/manic and depressive episode in BD and suggests that a history of childhood maltreatment influences the manifestations of this prodrome.