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  • The impact of out-of-home care on brain development: a brief review of the neuroscientific evidence informing our understanding of children’s attachment outcomes

    Brief review of the neuroscientific findings that illuminate whether and how adverse early caregiving experiences impact on brain development and poor socioemotional outcomes in children in care, and how such evidence informs our understanding of attachment outcomes in this population.

    Authors: Oliveira, P

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  • Differences in the diagnosis and treatment decisions for children in care compared to their peers: An experimental study on post-traumatic stress disorder

    When given identical information, mental health professionals were less likely to diagnose a child in care (vs. a child not in care) with PTSD. Related to this lesser detection of PTSD, mental health professionals were also less likely to choose NICE-recommended PTSD treatments for a child in care.

    Authors: McGuire, R., Halligan, SL., Meiser-Stedman, R., Durbin, L., Hiller, RM.

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  • Cognitive and affective control for adolescents in care versus their peers: implications for mental health

    We found evidence of poorer cognitive control for young people in care compared to their peers, however this was not worsened in affective contexts. Contrary to hypotheses, this deficit was not related to emotion regulation, mental health difficulties, or school well-being for young people in care.

    Authors: McGuire, R., Halligan, SL., Schweizer, S., Leung, JT., Hiller, RM.

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  • Integrating professional identities: an ethnographic study of psychoanalytic child psychotherapy in a children’s social care setting

    The importance of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) collaborating with other agencies is of paramount concern for children with complex difficulties, including children in care. However, there is a lack of research exploring the role of child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapists in multi-disciplinary and multi-agency work surrounding these children.

    Authors: Robinson, F., Midgley, N.

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  • Caregiver Mentalizing and Child Emotional Regulation: A Novel Approach to Examining Bidirectional Impact

    This study investigated the link between a foster carer's ability to mentalize and how this impacted on the emotional regulation of a child they care for. It used detailed analysis of video recordings of interactions between one foster carer and one child in their care. This study used data from a project called the Relationship Stories study, that is part of the Reflective Fostering Study funded by the NIHR.

    Authors: Sprecher, E., Cresswell, C., Kerr-Davis, A., Sleed, M. & Midgley, N.

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  • Testing the structure of the BERRI using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis

    The BERRI is a practitioner-reported mental health and psych-adjustment measure for children and young people who are in care. Using data from care settings, this study examined the psychometric properties of the BERRI.

    Authors: Viziteu, A. D., Costa da Silva, L., Edbooke-Childs, J., Hillman, S., Silver, M., Westlake, M., Harju-Seppänen, J.

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  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of the type and prevalence of mental health disorders and symptoms among children living in residential care

    This study systematically reviewed all research estimating the prevalence of mental health disorders and symptoms among children living in residential care provision like the UK. The findings highlight the high prevalence of mental health difficulties among this population and the need for further research to guide policy and practice in different countries.

    Authors: Westlake M. F., Hillman S., Kerr-Davies A., Viziteu A., Silver M., Dykiert D.

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  • Neural correlates of face familiarity in institutionalised children and links to attachment disordered behaviour

    One of the most well-documented sequelae of early maltreatment and institutionalisation is attachment problems, including behaviours under the labels of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). Despite growing evidence of the neurobiological effects of institutionalisation, the neural correlates of these behavioural patterns are largely unknown. Authors: Oliveira, P. S., Fearon, P, Belsky, J., Mesquita, A., Sampaio, A., Pinal, D., Soares, I. (2022).

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  • Ethnic differences in referral routes to youth mental health services

    This study aimed to examine whether there are ethnic differences in referral route to youth mental health services. Authors: Ebrooke-Childs, J., Patalay, P. (2019).

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