The total passenger traffic at airports in March 2017 amounted to 269 thousand, which is a decrease of 2016% compared to March 277, when passenger traffic amounted to 2,7 thousand, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).On the other hand, the total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at airports in March 2017 was 5, which is a decrease of 006% compared to 5 landings and take-offs in March 012.Zadar Airport recorded a passenger growth of 437,7 percent!In March 2017, the increase in passenger traffic, compared to March 2016, was recorded by Zadar Airport (437,7%), Pula Airport (53,3%) and Osijek Airport (222,3%). The largest increase in international passenger traffic was recorded in Belgian airports, 49,8%.Source: CBS More passengers in regular trafficAlmost 3 million passengers were embarked and disembarked in Croatian seaports in the first quarter of 2017, which is the highest in that period in the last 3 years. Compared to the same period in 2016, this is an increase of 1,7%.The number of passengers on ferries and passenger ships in the first quarter of 2017 was 47 thousand or 2,2% higher than in the same period of 2016. A slight increase in passengers was recorded in ports with significant passenger traffic such as Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik. 2,1% more passenger cars and 2,0% fewer buses were loaded and unloaded on ships compared to the same quarter of 2016.Of the total number of passengers in seaports, only 0,5% or 13 thousand were disembarked from cruise ships and, among other things, they visited the ports of Dubrovnik, Split and to a lesser extent Zadar and Šibenik.
Share on Facebook Email Share on Twitter Share Pinterest LinkedIn Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found how a widely known but little-studied enzyme protects brain cells in models of Parkinson’s disease.These findings could provide valuable insight into the development of drug candidates that could protect brain cells in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.The study, published recently online ahead of print by the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, focuses on the enzyme known as serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK1). “The overexpression of SGK1 provides neuron protection in both cell culture and in animal models,” said Philip LoGrasso, a TSRI professor who led the study. “It decreases reactive oxygen species generation and alleviates mitochondrial dysfunction.”Using a neurotoxin animal model of neurodegeneration, the study showed that SGK1 protects brain cells by blocking several pathways involved in neurodegeneration, deactivating other molecules known as JNK, GSK3β and MKK4.Increasing SGK1 offers a potential therapeutic strategy because, as the study makes clear, there isn’t enough naturally occurring SGK1 to do the job.“Even though the levels of naturally occurring SGK1 increases in the cell under stress, it was not enough to promote cell survival in our neurodegeneration model,” said Sarah Iqbal, the first author of the study and a member of the LoGrasso lab. “On the other hand, cell survival mechanisms tend to dominate when more SGK1 is added to the neurons.”The LoGrasso lab plans to continue to explore SGK1 as a therapeutic possibility for Parkinson’s disease.
Unwanted, intrusive visual memories are a core feature of stress- and trauma-related clinical disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but they can also crop up in everyday life. New research shows that even once intrusive memories have been laid down, playing a visually-demanding computer game after reactivating the memories may reduce their occurrence over time.The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.“This work is the first to our knowledge to show that a ‘simple cognitive blockade’ could reduce intrusive memories of experimental trauma via memory reconsolidation processes,” says senior study author Emily Holmes of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in the UK. “This is particularly interesting because intrusive memories are the hallmark symptom of PTSD.” Share on Facebook Email Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest “Currently, there are recommended treatments for PTSD once it has become established, that is, at least one month after the traumatic event, but we lack preventative treatments that can be given earlier,” says Holmes.“If this experimental work continues to show promise, it could inform new clinical interventions for consolidated memories that could be given a day or so after trauma to prevent or lessen the intrusive memories over time.”Most people who have experienced a traumatic event don’t end up developing PTSD, but they often experience repeated intrusive visual memories of certain moments from the event in vivid detail. Someone who has been involved in a road traffic accident, for example, might continue to re-experience the moment of impact, seeing vividly in their mind’s eye the moment a red car crashed into them.Previous research has shown that people who played the computer game Tetris shortly after viewing film of traumatic events experienced fewer intrusive memories over the following week, when they played within 4 hours of viewing the footage. But it’s unlikely that many people would be able to receive such immediate treatment following a traumatic event in the real world, so Holmes and colleagues wanted to see whether they might be able to use a similar cognitive procedure to change older, already established memories a day later.The research draws on existing memory work exploring the theory of reconsolidation as a way of making established memories malleable and vulnerable to disruption, following the reactivation of that memory. They hypothesized that playing Tetris – an engaging visuospatial task – after memory reactivation would create a “cognitive blockade” that would interfere with the subsequent reconsolidation of visual intrusive memories. As a result, the frequency of intrusive memories would be reduced over time.In two experiments, the researchers had participants view films that contained scenes of traumatic content (for example, footage highlighting the dangers of drunk driving) as a way of experimentally inducing intrusive memories. Participants then returned to the lab 24 hours after watching the film. Using film footage as a form of experimental trauma is a well-established technique for studying reactions, such as intrusive memories, in a controlled setting.In the first experiment, half of the participants had their memories of the film reactivated by viewing selected stills from the film footage, followed by a 10-minute filler task, and then 12 minutes of playing Tetris; the other participants completed only the filler task and then sat quietly for 12 minutes.The results showed that the participants who had their memories reactivated and played Tetris experienced significantly fewer intrusive memories in a diary over the next week than the participants who came to the lab and simply sat quietly for the equivalent period of time.A second experiment with four groups replicated the findings from first experiment. Importantly, it revealed that neither reactivation nor Tetris was enough to produce these effects on their own — only participants who experienced both components showed fewer intrusive memories over time.“Our findings suggest that, although people may wish to forget traumatic memories, they may benefit from bringing them back to mind, at least under certain conditions — those which render them less intrusive,” says study co-author Ella James of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and the University of Oxford.“We hope to develop this approach further as a potential intervention to reduce intrusive memories experienced after real trauma, but we are keen emphasise that the research is still in the early stages and careful development is needed,” says Holmes. “Better treatments are much needed in mental health. We believe the time is ripe to use basic science about mechanisms — such as research on memory reconsolidation — to inform the development of improved and innovative psychological treatment techniques.” Share
Email People who attended Gamblers Anonymous gambled less often, showed increased readiness for change and enhanced coping skills, but appeared to fair better when Gamblers Anonymous was combined with other therapeutic approaches, a comprehensive review has found.Gamblers Anonymous is a twelve-step program for individuals with a gambling problem, based on peer support and a shared desire to stop gambling. About three to six per cent of the population experiences problem gambling, but the incidence is much higher within lower-income populations.“Gamblers Anonymous is one of the most cost-effective and easily accessible resources for individuals living with problem gambling issues,” said Dr. Flora Matheson, lead scientist of the study and medical sociologist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael’s Hospital. “However, despite the wide-spread use of Gamblers Anonymous, there has been little research exploring its effectiveness as a recovery approach, and those that have are largely inconsistent. We looked at the available data to identify gaps in knowledge and offer some insight for future focuses of study.” Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn Share The study, published today in the Journal of Gambling Studies, found that the effectiveness of Gambers Anonymous needs to be studied further, but appeared to show better rates of abstinence, improved gambling symptoms and better quality of life, especially when used in conjunction with other approaches, such as stress management intervention and cognitive behavioural therapy.“Previous research has shown that many individuals with problem gambling also have substance abuse or mental health issues, often rooted in some sort of earlier trauma,” said Dr. Matheson. “Gamblers Anonymous offers a safe space for people to share their experience with others who understand problem gambling, but maybe doesn’t treat underlying causes related to gambling. It’s possible these other approaches do.”The review included data from 17 studies on various aspects of problem gambling published between 2002 and 2015 – ranging from evaluating treatment effectiveness, to GA// culture characteristics and differences in gender experiences.Among the findings:Greater reductions of depression, anxiety and stress, and increased life satisfaction and sleep duration among individuals using Gamblers Anonymous combined with stress management intervention (includes education on diet and exercise, stress coping methods, relaxation breathing and progressive muscle relaxation).Gamblers Anonymous participants demonstrated significant reductions in gambling symptom severity as well as improvements in psychosocial functioning and quality of life using imaginal desensitization plus motivational interviewing, or IDMI.Greater improvements in gambling symptoms and reduced days gambled when GA// was combined with cognitive behavioural therapy.Overall improved coping skills in Gamblers Anonymous attendees, better results in those also participating in cognitive behavioural therapy.In addition to reviewing literature on the effectiveness of Gamblers Anonymous, the researchers examined differences in gender experiences with the program. Women seemed to benefit from Gamblers Anonymous as much as men initially, viewing it as a source of hope for their problem gambling. However, women used Gamblers Anonymous to develop informal social networks outside of the program with other women attending Gamblers Anonymous- a strategy important for women’s recovery, as well as professional therapies.“Gamblers Anonymous remains a viable and accessible option for people with problem gambling, but its effectiveness alone as a treatment option needs to be evaluated comprehensively to determine any gaps and improve care for these individuals,” said Dr. Matheson.
Email Share Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Eating a high-fat diet has been shown to affect individuals’ ability to detect fat in foods over a long period of time, but can a single meal have a significant impact as well?A 2016 study published in Appetite examined the potential effects of a high-fat breakfast on individuals’ fat taste thresholds. The study is significant because previous research has linked low sensitivity to fat tastes with high body-mass index (BMI).“[Previous findings suggest] there is a possible association between dietary fat and fat taste thresholds which warrants further investigation,” said Russell Keast, corresponding author of the study. “Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effect of a high-fat…low-fat…or macronutrient balanced meal on fat taste thresholds,” he continued.Thirty-two participants took a baseline fat threshold sensitivity test on the first day of the study. On a subsequent day, they were given either a high-fat (60% fat: 20% carbohydrate: 20% protein), low-fat (20% fat: 40% carbohydrate: 40% protein) or macronutrient balanced (33.3% fat: 33.3% carbohydrate: 33.3% protein) meal, and then were immediately tested for fat taste thresholds.Contrary to the team’s hypothesis, eating a meal high in fat did not have an immediate and direct effect on fat thresholds. Those who ate the high-fat breakfast did not experience a more significant decrease in fat taste sensitivity than those who ate a low-fat or balanced meal.“The fact that there were no significant differences found between testing days and across testing sessions suggests that short-term fat intake and macronutrient composition does not influence fat taste thresholds,” said Keast.These findings contradict the previously held belief that high-fat meals have an immediate impact on an individual’s ability to detect fat in foods. Share on Facebook
Underage drinking is common in the United States, with approximately two-thirds of 18-year-olds reporting alcohol use. Though illegal, the Centers for Disease Control says drinkers between the ages of 12 and 21 account for 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.The adverse consequences of adolescent drinking are well-documented: higher rates of violence, missing school, drunk driving, driving with a drunk driver, suicide and risky sexual behavior. Alcohol consumption accounts for more than 5,000 adolescent deaths each year in the U.S.Individual consequences are no less onerous, with adolescent drinking contributing to memory, learning and behavioral problems, changes in brain development with long-lasting effects and greater likelihood for abuse of other drugs.A mix of social, psychological and biological mechanisms are believed to contribute to alcohol use during adolescence. Demographic risk factors include being male, having higher levels of psychological problems and associating positive outcomes with alcohol (i.e. drinking is fun).The authors note that past neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have suggested it might be possible to quantify the underlying behavioral mechanisms of risk for substance abuse. These include poorer performance on tests of executive functioning, comparatively less brain activation of working memory, inhibition and reward processing and less brain volume in regions associated with impulsivity, reward sensitivity and decision making.In the American Journal of Psychiatry study, 137 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 14 who were “substance-naïve” (97 percent had never tried alcohol) underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging of their brains. They were then assessed annually. By age 18, just over half of the youths (70) were moderate to heavy users of alcohol (based on drinking frequency and quantity); the remaining 67 study participants continued to be nonusers.The scientists employed a machine learning algorithm known as “random forests” to develop a predictive model. Random forest classification is capable of accommodating large sets of variables while using smaller study samples to produce consistently robust predictions.Among the findings, 12- to 14-year-olds were more likely to begin drinking by age 18 if:They were male and/or came from a higher socioeconomic backgroundThey reported dating, possessed more externalized behaviors, such as lying or cheating, and believed alcohol would benefit them in social settingsThey performed poorly on executive function testsTheir neuroimaging results indicated thinner cortices – the outer layer of neural tissue covering the brainThe authors said neuroimaging significantly increased predictive accuracy, both in terms of clarifying implicated brain morphology and noting the activation of 20 diffusely distributed brain regions involved in alcohol initiation.The study did not extend to the question of early marijuana use because only 15 percent of the sample reported eventually using marijuana more than 30 times, but the authors said it was possible that the reported risk factors for alcohol use also apply to marijuana and other illicit substances. They said further and larger studies are necessary.“The value of this particular study is that it provides a documented path for other researchers to follow, to replicate and expand upon our findings,” said Tapert. “Ultimately, of course, the goal is to have a final, validated model that physicians and others can use to predict adolescent alcohol use and prevent it.” Share on Twitter Share Pinterest Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified 34 neural factors that predict adolescent alcohol consumption. The list, based upon complex algorithms analyzing data from neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging studies, was significantly more accurate — approximately 74 percent — than demographic information alone.The findings are published in the current issue of American Journal of Psychiatry.“Underage alcohol consumption is a significant problem in this country,” said senior author Susan F. Tapert, PhD, professor of psychiatry. “Being able to identify at-risk children before they begin drinking heavily has immense clinical and public health implications. Our findings provide evidence that it’s possible to predict which adolescents are most likely to begin drinking heavily by age 18.” LinkedIn Email Share on Facebook
LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterest Share Email The future self is regarded as a different personIn the study, people chose between a smaller payoff given immediately and a larger payoff given in the future, as well as between a payoff that only benefitted themselves and a payoff that benefitted them less but also benefitted another person.The researchers used non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to disrupt activation in the so called “temporo-parietal junction”, a region at the side towards the back of the brain. After disruption of this brain region, people tended to make choices that were both more impulsive (i.e. choosing the immediate payoff) and more selfish (i.e. choosing the payoff for themselves only), and were less able to take the perspective of other persons.This association between the brain basis of perspective-taking and patience sheds a new light on self-control. “From a neural perspective, the temporo-parietal junction may represent the own future self like another person,” Alexander Soutschek explains. “This means that the same brain mechanisms may be necessary to be patient for a future gain and for being able to share with another person”. This finding opens up new avenues for treating self-control deficits in disorders like addiction and obesity. Should I buy a new car now or save the money for retirement? Such situations require self-control in order to resist the immediately tempting offer for the sake of more important outcomes in the future. It is widely accepted that self-control is regulated by mechanisms in the brain area called the “prefrontal cortex”, with the ability to keep oneself at bay when tempted by immediately appealing offers.Now a study from a team at the Department of Economics University of Zurich and the University of Dusseldorf shows that a second mechanism is also important for self-control: Being able to direct attention to one’s future needs.The team around Alexander Soutschek, Christian Ruff, Tobias Kalenscher, and Philippe Tobler investigated a brain region that usually allows us to take the perspective of another person during social interactions. To their own surprise, they found that this same brain area also plays a crucial role in situations requiring self-control when no other person is present.
Email Pinterest The researchers found that, broadly speaking, female faculty (for the six different disciplines in the study) have as many collaborators, or co-authors, as male faculty and that female faculty tend to return to the same collaborators a little less than males. Previous research by Amaral had shown that novel collaborations have a greater likelihood of producing work of higher impact.However, those aggregate patterns have to be interpreted with care, Amaral cautioned, because the situation can change within subdisciplines. By digging deeper, the researchers found that females are underrepresented in large teams in genomics (a subdiscipline of molecular biology). This could be an indication of a negative cultural milieu in this particular subfield, the researchers said.“We want to understand ways in which males and females live different experiences in STEM disciplines, so that a level playing field can be created where needed,” Woodruff said.“Much more progress needs to be made for underrepresented groups to feel welcomed in STEM disciplines,” Amaral said. “In fact, the degree of progress is not even uniform within a single discipline, so one needs to make sure females are not being excluded from specific subdisciplines.”In an accompanying Primer, “Rosalind’s Ghost: Biology, Collaboration, and the Female,” also publishing 4 November, Caroline Wagner of Ohio State University, who was not involved in the study, sets this work in context. “One factor remains fairly constant: women are underrepresented in terms of authorships, including first and/or last authorships (whichever is more prestigious), coauthorships, and in the granting of scientific prizes,” she writes.“Overall, the more elite the scientist, the more likely they are to work at the international level; however, female collaborators are less likely to be working internationally and are more likely to collaborate locally. This means that they are also less likely to coauthor with top scholars.” Wagner notes that previous studies and the new findings from Amaral’s group serve to remind us that the legacy of Rosalind Franklin, whose crucial work on the structure of the DNA double helix over 60 years ago was notoriously underappreciated at the time, lives on. LinkedIn Share Succeeding in the male-dominated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines can be very challenging for female faculty. Now, a Northwestern University study of the collaboration patterns of STEM faculty publishing 4 November in the open-access journal PLOS Biology has found that the playing fields in some disciplines are not as level as they first appear.“Our findings in molecular biology, particularly genomics, are what surprised us the most,” said Luís Amaral, a professor of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. “There is a lot of research money in this high-profile area, and women are not represented proportionally. This raises all sorts of questions as to what kind of cultural environment has been created in the field.”Knowing that collaboration is critical to the scientific enterprise, Amaral and Teresa K. Woodruff, a Northwestern Medicine reproductive biologist, focused on this factor in their study of the underrepresented group of female faculty in STEM. The data analysis of the complete publication records of nearly 4,000 faculty members in six STEM disciplines at top research universities across the USA produced a number of findings. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Email LinkedIn Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterest A functional MRI brain scan may help predict which patients will respond positively to antidepressant therapy, according to a new study published in the journal Brain.Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Michigan performed fMRI scans on patients with major depressive disorder who were to begin antidepressant therapy. Those patients who show more communication within two brain networks when they made a mistake while performing an assigned cognitive task were less likely to respond to antidepressant medication.The two networks are the error detection network — which engages when someone notices they’ve made a mistake — and the interference processing network, which activates when deciding what information to focus on. “We believe that increased cross-talk within these networks may reflect a propensity to ruminate on negative occurrences, such as mistake, or a deficit in emotional regulation when faced with a mistake, and our medications may be less effective in helping these types of patients,” says Natania Crane, a graduate student in psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine who is first author on the study.Finding the right therapy can take months. Drugs used to treat major depressive disorder take eight to 12 weeks to have a noticeable impact on mood and other symptoms, and patients may not respond to the first drug prescribed or suffer side-effects, requiring a switch in medications. So being able to predict their response to drugs could reduce the time it takes patients to begin feeling better and reduce health-care costs, said Scott Langenecker, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at UIC and corresponding author on the study.Several studies that used fMRI to identify discrete areas of the brain that are hyperactive or underactive in patients with major depressive disorder have suggested that neuroimaging may be useful for predicting a patient’s response to a particular pharmaceutical therapy.In the current study, the researchers looked at patterns of brain activation while participants performed a cognitive-control task to see if they predicted response to drug treatment. They used a unique analysis technique to determine which areas of the brain that were highly active during the commission of errors on a cognitive task correlated with treatment response, and how the strength of communication within specific brain networks predicted treatment response.They studied 36 adult patients with major depressive disorder who were not being treated with drugs at the time of the study. Subjects had fMRI scans and took surveys regarding their depressive symptoms. They were then assigned one of two antidepressants: escitalopram (Effexor, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, 22 participants) or duloxetine (Cymbalta, a serotonin-norepinepherine re-uptake inhibitor, 14 participants).During the fMRI scan, participants were instructed to watch the letters X, Y and Z flash across a screen. They were asked to press a button every time they saw a letter but not to press the button a second time if the same letter repeated.The patients were followed up during and after 10 weeks of antidepressant therapy. They completed surveys and interviews to determine if the medication prescribed was lessening their symptoms.Patients whose brain activity was stronger in the error detection network or the interference processing network were found less likely to experience an eventual reduction of their depressive symptoms on medication.“Using our model, we were able to predict with a very high degree of accuracy – in fact 90 percent — which patients would respond well to antidepressant treatment, and which would not,” Langenecker said.The researchers also found that participants who made more errors during the cognitive task were more likely to respond to antidepressant treatment.“This is an important step toward individualized medicine for depression treatment. Using cognitive tests and fMRI, we can identify who will respond best to antidepressant therapy and who may need other effective therapies that work through different mechanisms, like psychotherapy,” Langenecker said.
Study provides new insights into how the idea of being a ‘strong Black woman’ could increase the risk of depression
Pinterest “When we were conducting focus group discussions, many women mentioned being Strong Black Women or looking up to Strong Black Women (in the form of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, celebrities, etc.). What struck me about the discussions was how women discussed embodying this role – it was simultaneously discussed as aspirational and overwhelming.”“Women spoke about how being strong helped their ancestors survive enslavement and Jim Crow and how it helps them navigate present day oppression and personal challenges. In the same breath they mentioned that the expectation of strength meant self-reliance, independence, and being overworked in service of others,” Abrams explained to PsyPost.“I immediately thought about implications for physical and mental health and decided to design and conduct a new study to determine if women’s identification with being Strong Black women was related to depression symptoms and if so why.”The new study of 194 participants — who all identified as “Strong Black Women” — provides more insights into the link between the concept and mental distress. Abrams and her colleagues found that self-silencing mediated the relationship between the need to showcase strength and depressive symptoms.In other words, participants who agreed with statements such as “Black women have to be strong to survive” tended to also agree with self-silencing statements such as “In a close relationship, my responsibility is to make the other person happy” and “I rarely express my anger at those close to me,” which in turn was associated with greater depressive symptoms.“Being a ‘Strong Black Woman’ has many benefits — but these benefits can, at times, come at an expense. The benefits are that that the cultural ideal helps women to cope with challenging circumstances, helps ensure survival of families/communities, and makes women feel connected to their culture,” Abrams told PsyPost.“On the other hand, being a ‘Strong Black Woman’ can be related to increased stress and maladaptive coping that can result in depression symptoms. Specifically, the ‘self silencing’ aspect (e.g., holding in negative emotions, pretending to be happy or okay when you are really not) is a pathway from strength to depression.”The results are in line with a previous study, which found that Black women who endorsed the view that they needed to be “Strong Black Women” reported receiving less emotional support from friends and family, while reporting higher levels of psychological distress.Abrams and her colleagues initially recruited a larger number of Black women. But for their study, they only included women who self-identified as “Strong Black Women.”“Although many Black women (about 80% in my study), identify as ‘Strong Black Women’, not all Black women identify in this way. As such, our results are not relevant to all Black women. Relatedly, we collected data from mostly heterosexual women living in Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. That said, Black women from other geographic regions or of other sexual orientations may have different experiences that were not captured in our data,” she explained.“In addition, given that study participants have described their identification with this role as beneficial and harmful, it is possible that identification with this role may be related to both health promoting and health compromising behaviors. Thus, there are plenty of research questions that still need to be addressed,” Abrams added.“What other negative health behaviors or outcomes are related to identifying with being a Strong Black Woman? Equally important, what positive health behaviors or outcomes are related to identifying with being a Strong Black Woman? How this can we use this information to promote more positive mental and physical health outcomes among Black women? What strengths of the Strong Black Woman identity exist and how can we leverage them to improve health?”The study, “Underneath the Mask of the Strong Black Woman Schema: Disentangling Influences of Strength and Self-Silencing on Depressive Symptoms among U.S. Black Women“, was authored by Jasmine A. Abrams, Ashley Hill, and Morgan Maxwell. Email Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share LinkedIn New research indicates the belief that Black women are naturally strong and self-sacrificing is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in African American women in the United States.The study, which was published in Sex Roles, suggests that self-silencing — or the inhibition of self-expression — is a key pathway between the concept of a “Strong Black Woman” and depressive symptoms.“I became interested in this topic when I was a graduate student working on a research project that aimed to better understand gender role views of Black women,” said study author Jasmine Abrams, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and affiliate professor at the Yale University School of Public Health.