Psychological factors associated with positive health outcomes in older adults with varying experiences of early childhood adversity

 

The overarching aim of the project is to identify the underlying multi-dimensional mechanisms associated with resilience in older individuals with past experiences of childhood adversity and trauma. The project uses a cross-sectional, mixed-methods design, and is part of a larger project on differential ageing trajectories following early-life adversity. Using a quantitative questionnaire survey and qualitative semi-structured interviews, this project examines individuals in Ireland with varying levels of childhood stress or adversity, and specifically focuses on survivors of institutional (welfare-related) maltreatment.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Myriam Thoma 

Project Lead: Dr. Shauna Rohner, s.mcgee@psychologie.uzh.ch

Update: 10.05.2021

The study “Psychological factors associated with positive health outcomes in older adults with varying experiences of early childhood adversity” has finished its data collection stage and since 2020 has been in the analysis and publication stages! One article has already been published from this study on the resilience-related factors in older adult survivors of childhood institutional abuse. This article described the use of semi-structured interviews and the application of two conceptual models of resilience to investigate resilience aspects. For more information, see the article link at the end. Analysis is ongoing on the topic of Sense of Coherence – Revised, an indicator of resilience aspects. In addition, qualitative analyses are currently focusing in-depth on the research topics of disclosure and prosocial behaviour in institutional and familial abuse survivors. The team will also begin presenting the findings at international conferences in the upcoming weeks!

 

Mc Gee, S. L., Maercker, A., Carr, A., & Thoma, M. V. (2020). “Some call it resilience”: A profile of dynamic resilience-related factors in older adult survivors of childhood institutional adversity and maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 107, 104565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104565

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Image by Wokandpix from Pixabay

Metaphors on Trauma from a Crosss-Cultural Perspective

 

In order to gain a better understanding of trauma in a culturally sensitive way, this project aims to explore and contrast metaphors of extreme aversive or catastrophic events in different cultural groups. Field studies were conducted in rural communities in Brazil, India, Poland, and Switzerland. This qualitative research project has an interdisciplinary approach involving perspectives from anthropology and linguistics. Data analysis included the techniques of systematic metaphor analysis and content analysis to identify culturally shared metaphorical idioms for each cultural group under study.

 

 

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Maercker

Contact: Karin Rechsteiner, MSc

k.rechsteiner@psychologie.uzh.ch

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Image from Metaphors on Trauma

from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Cultural Concepts of Distress among Albanian speaking Individuals in Switzerland

 

Cultural variability regarding concepts of distress for common mental disorders (CMD) has been reported extensively in cultural clinical psychology across the globe. But little is known about illness narratives in social communities from South-East Europe. The purpose of this study is to identify cultural concepts of distress (CCD) using the example of Albanian-speaking individuals in Switzerland. 


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Maercker
Project leader: Dr. Eva Heim
Contact: Mirëlinda Shala, Mag. phil.

m.shala@psychologie.uzh.ch

Cultural Adaptation of an Internet-Based Self-Help Program for the Treatment of Depression among Albanian-speaking Individuals

The intervention used in a randomized controlled trial, entitled Step-by-Step, was developed by World Health Organization (WHO) for culturally diverse populations in low- and middle-income countries. At the University of Zurich we are planning to adapt this intervention based on the findings of our qualitative study about cultural concepts of distress among Albanian-speaking individuals in Switzerland.


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Maercker
Project leader: Dr. Eva Heim
Contact: Mirëlinda Shala, Mag. phil.

m.shala@psychologie.uzh.ch

MAPAsia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAPAsia Grief is a cross-cultural research project which explores grief reactions in bereaved individuals from Japan, China, and Switzerland. Within three studies, the team aims at 1) assessing the clinical utility and accptability of the new ICD-11 criteria for prolonged grief among health care providers, 2) developing a culturally-sensitive measurement tool for prolonged grief, and 3) investigating core mechanisms underlying interindividual variability in grief responses.

Project leader: Dr. Clare Killikelly

Project-E-Mail: mapasia2018@gmail.com

Swiss substudy: e.stelzer@psychologie.uzh.ch 

(Eva Stelzer, MSc),

Chinese substudy: ningning.zhou@uzh.ch 

(Ningning Zhou, MSc),

Japanese substudy: kanakosk413@gmail.com 

(Dr. Kanako Shimizu)

If you would like to participate in this study, please visit our study website (www.internationalgriefstudy.com) or directly access the study (http://tinyurl.com/MAPAsiaS). * Note: these links are no longer active as the study has been completed

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Photo by Clare Killikelly

Constructing a Psychological Aiding System for Chinese Bereaved Parents Who Lost Their Only Child Based on a Popular-Based Survey

The intervention used in a randomized controlled trial, entitled Step-by-Step, was developed by World Health Organization (WHO) for culturally diverse populations in low- and middle-income countries. At the University of Zurich we are planning to adapt this intervention based on the findings of our qualitative study about cultural concepts of distress among Albanian-speaking individuals in Switzerland.


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Maercker
Project leader: Dr. Eva Heim
Contact: Mirëlinda Shala, Mag. phil.

m.shala@psychologie.uzh.ch

Maladaptive Emotion Regulation and Disordered Eating Behavior in Youth

In her master thesis project, Christine investigated the role of maladaptive emotion regulation in the development of youth’s eating psychopathology using a daily diary design. Every evening for 21 days, children and adolescents reported their use of rumination (a maladaptive strategy to regulate negative affect) and dampening (a maladaptive strategy to regulate positive affect) as well as disordered eating cognitions and behaviors. Multilevel models were used to examine the associations among maladaptive emotion regulation and disordered eating in children and adolescents.


Christine Dworschak: christine.dworschak@uzh.ch

Socio-Cultural Manifestations of PTSD among Refugee Victims of Torture

 

The study aims to increase our understanding of trauma responses among refugees and asylum seekers within specific socio-cultural contexts by drawing on in-depth qualitative research techniques. 


The study is centred on a year-long follow-up of beneficiaries of the MSF Victims of Torture (VOT) Project in Athens and their partner organization, Babel. Complementary data was also be gained through 5 sources in order to locate these individual narratives within a socio-cultural context: 

  1. Semi-structured interviews with family and community member.

  2. Semi-structured interviews with ‘key informants’ - professionals working with this population.

  3. Group discussions among beneficiaries of the project. 

  4. Three months of participant observation at the centre for victims of torture.

Project leader: Ass. Prof. Laure Kloetzer

Contact: Gail Womersley, MSc, gail.womersley@unine.ch