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Monthly PhD seminar – Norà Kerekes

7 December 2018 / 00:00

Mental and somatic health without borders. Cultural protective- and risk-factors in the development of adolescent psychiatric iII-health

Abstract :

Early identification of adolescent substance use is the most effective possibility to prevent development of permanent mental ill-health, the establishment of criminal lifestyle and drastic social marginalisation. The biological (neurobiological) and societal (psychosocial) risk factors that lead to adolescent substance abuse are well characterised. However, the cultural context of these risk factors is rarely studied, even if it is acknowledged that psychiatric disorders are expressed differently depending on the person´s cultural background.

To be able to improve and adapt health- and social care that also consider cultural background is a need for being able to provide equal and person-centred care for all.

In my lecture I will present preliminary results on the level of psychological distress (psychiatric ill-health), the prevalence of drug dependence and aggressive antisocial trait in Moroccan and Swedish high-school student populations. We will discuss the association between these two destructive behaviours (drug abuse and aggressive antisocial behaviour), and their relation to adolescents’ mental health.  And we will investigate how negative socio-psychological factors (parental substance abuse or experience of physical and/or psychological abuse) effect adolescents’ behaviours and mental health in Islamic and in Western cultures.

Selected publications

•Sfendla A, Hedman Ahlström B, Lemrani D, Senhaji M, Kerekes N. “Protective and risk factors of drug dependence in Moroccan clinical and prison populations” (2018) PeerJ (Accepted 2018.10.16) 

•Sfendla A, Malmström P, Thorstenson S, Kerekes N: “Yoga practice reduces the psychological distress levels of prison inmates” (2018) Frontiers in Psychiatry 9:407 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00407

•Alabaf S, Gillber C, Lundström S, Lichteinsten P, Kerekes N, Råstam M, Anckarsäter H: ”Physical health in children with neurodevelopmental disorders” (2018) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3697-4

•Täljemark J, Råstam M, Lichtenstein P, Anckarsäter H, Kerekes N. “”The coexistence of psychiatric and gastrointestinal problems in children with restrictive eating in a nationwide twin study” (2017) Journal of Eating Disorders 2017 Aug 21;5:25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-017-0154-2

•Kerekes N, Falk Ö, Brändström S, Anckarsäter H., Råstam M., Hofvander B: “The protective effect of character maturity in child aggressive antisocial behavior.” (2017) Comprehensive Psychiatry 76.129-167 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.04.007

•Sfendla A, Zouini B, Lemrani D, Berman A.H, Senhaji M, Kerekes N.” Psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the Drug Use Disorders Identification Test (DUDIT) in clinical, inmate and young adult samples” (2017) Int Journal of Behavioral medicine doi: 10.1007/s12529-016-9623-2 http://rdcu.be/oOHX

Scientific focus :

My research is in the field of psychiatry and has the overall aim to reduce people’s suffering and affect their mental health to the better by recognising the “whole person”. There are three distinct branches of my research, each contributing with one-one of the often-neglected attributes of psychiatric care.

During my visit in Bordeaux University I will introduce one of these three research projects.  The one that focuses on cultural differences in substance abuse and aggressive antisocial behavior in adolescents. It is a rather large international project that today includes cooperation between Sweden and Morocco, with new members of the project from Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Namibia and Egypt.

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7 December 2018
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