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      Socio-Economic Inequalities in Adolescent Summer Holiday Experiences, and Mental Wellbeing on Return to School: Analysis of the School Health Research Network/Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey in Wales

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          Abstract

          The socioeconomic inequalities found in child and adolescent mental wellbeing are increasingly acknowledged. Although interventions increasingly focus on school holidays as a critical period for intervention to reduce inequalities, no studies have modelled the role of summer holiday experiences in explaining socioeconomic inequalities in wellbeing. For this study, we analysed survey data of 103,971 adolescents from 193 secondary schools in Wales, United Kingdom, which included measures of family affluence, experiences during the summer holidays (hunger, loneliness, time with friends and physical activity) and mental wellbeing and internalising symptoms on return to school. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data. Although family affluence retained a direct inverse association with student mental wellbeing ( r = −0.04, p < 0.001), 65.2% of its association with mental wellbeing was mediated by the experiences over the summer holidays. FAS score was not directly associated with the student’s self-reports of internalising symptoms ( r = 0.00, p > 0.05). Of all summer holiday experiences, the strongest mediational pathway was observed for reports of loneliness. Although more structural solutions to poverty remain essential, school holiday interventions may have significant potential for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in mental health and wellbeing on young people’s return to school through reducing loneliness, providing nutritious food and opportunities for social interaction.

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          The impact of social activities, social networks, social support and social relationships on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults: a systematic review

          Background Social relationships, which are contingent on access to social networks, promote engagement in social activities and provide access to social support. These social factors have been shown to positively impact health outcomes. In the current systematic review, we offer a comprehensive overview of the impact of social activities, social networks and social support on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults (50+) and examine the differential effects of aspects of social relationships on various cognitive domains. Methods We followed PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines, and collated data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs), genetic and observational studies. Independent variables of interest included subjective measures of social activities, social networks, and social support, and composite measures of social relationships (CMSR). The primary outcome of interest was cognitive function divided into domains of episodic memory, semantic memory, overall memory ability, working memory, verbal fluency, reasoning, attention, processing speed, visuospatial abilities, overall executive functioning and global cognition. Results Thirty-nine studies were included in the review; three RCTs, 34 observational studies, and two genetic studies. Evidence suggests a relationship between (1) social activity and global cognition and overall executive functioning, working memory, visuospatial abilities and processing speed but not episodic memory, verbal fluency, reasoning or attention; (2) social networks and global cognition but not episodic memory, attention or processing speed; (3) social support and global cognition and episodic memory but not attention or processing speed; and (4) CMSR and episodic memory and verbal fluency but not global cognition. Conclusions The results support prior conclusions that there is an association between social relationships and cognitive function but the exact nature of this association remains unclear. Implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research provided. Systematic review registration PROSPERO 2012: CRD42012003248. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13643-017-0632-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            Why Social Relationships Are Important for Physical Health: A Systems Approach to Understanding and Modifying Risk and Protection.

            Social relationships are adaptive and crucial for survival. This review presents existing evidence indicating that our social connections to others have powerful influences on health and longevity and that lacking social connection qualifies as a risk factor for premature mortality. A systems perspective is presented as a framework by which to move social connection into the realm of public health. Individuals, and health-relevant biological processes, exist within larger social contexts including the family, neighborhood and community, and society and culture. Applying the social ecological model, this review highlights the interrelationships of individuals within groups in terms of understanding both the causal mechanisms by which social connection influences physical health and the ways in which this influence can inform potential intervention strategies. A systems approach also helps identify gaps in our current understanding that may guide future research.
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              Childhood loneliness as a predictor of adolescent depressive symptoms: an 8-year longitudinal study.

              Childhood loneliness is characterised by children's perceived dissatisfaction with aspects of their social relationships. This 8-year prospective study investigates whether loneliness in childhood predicts depressive symptoms in adolescence, controlling for early childhood indicators of emotional problems and a sociometric measure of peer social preference. 296 children were tested in the infant years of primary school (T1 5 years of age), in the upper primary school (T2 9 years of age) and in secondary school (T3 13 years of age). At T1, children completed the loneliness assessment and sociometric interview. Their teachers completed externalisation and internalisation rating scales for each child. At T2, children completed a loneliness assessment, a measure of depressive symptoms, and the sociometric interview. At T3, children completed the depressive symptom assessment. An SEM analysis showed that depressive symptoms in early adolescence (age 13) were predicted by reports of depressive symptoms at age 8, which were themselves predicted by internalisation in the infant school (5 years). The interactive effect of loneliness at 5 and 9, indicative of prolonged loneliness in childhood, also predicted depressive symptoms at age 13. Parent and peer-related loneliness at age 5 and 9, peer acceptance variables, and duration of parent loneliness did not predict depression. Our results suggest that enduring peer-related loneliness during childhood constitutes an interpersonal stressor that predisposes children to adolescent depressive symptoms. Possible mediators are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                28 March 2019
                April 2019
                : 16
                : 7
                : 1107
                Affiliations
                Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3BD, UK; Melendez-TorresG@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (G.J.M.-T.); BondA3@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (A.B.); HawkinsJ10@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (J.H.); HewittG@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (G.H.); MurphyS7@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (S.M.); MooreG@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk (G.M.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: morgank22@ 123456cardiff.ac.uk ; Tel.: +44-2920-870-296
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8685-1177
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7946-4056
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6136-3978
                Article
                ijerph-16-01107
                10.3390/ijerph16071107
                6480971
                30925676
                d562f61f-e2bf-4b22-9097-649d1717b64c
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 11 March 2019
                : 25 March 2019
                Categories
                Article

                Public health
                school holiday,adolescents,family affluence,inequalities,mental wellbeing,mediating effect

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