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Early detection and prevention of first symptoms of psychiatric disorders in adolescence

PhD ceremony:S. el Bouhaddani, MSc
When:October 21, 2019
Start:14:30
Supervisors:dr. W.A. (Wim) Veling, prof. T. Doreleijers
Co-supervisors:dr. L. van Domburgh, dr. B.A. Schaefer
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Early detection and prevention of first symptoms of psychiatric
disorders in adolescence

The first signs of persistent psychiatric problems in adolescents can be well found with a simple screening. Further, when present these persistent problems can be attenuated through interventions that help adolescents strengthen their identity. Psychologist Saliha el Bouhaddani draws these conclusions from her Ph.D. research. She examined about 1800 adolescents through the Netherlands over a period of at least one year. During this period, adolescents completed questionnaires on psychiatric symptoms, self-confidence, identity, and social exclusion. Adolescents who experienced persistent psychiatric problems during this period were offered group intervention.Psychotic experiences and previous traumatic experiences are important markers for persistent psychiatric problems. Lack of social connection seems to play a role in the development of persistent psychological problems. Offering interventions aimed at strengthening identity, reducing a negative attentional bias and learning problem-solving skills, help to reduce these persistent problems.The results of her research contribute to the improvement and a better understanding of the prevention of the first signs of persistent mental problems.