Predicting Risks and Outcomes of Social InTeractions (PROSIT)
PROSIT is a research study that aims to improve the mental well-being of youth. To achieve this goal, we are working with healthy youth and patients in Nova Scotia. From our healthy participants, we wish to learn what youth can do to stay healthy, and from our patients, to learn how youth can quickly recover from a mental disorder.
We believe that the way youth interact with their family and friends can tell us a lot about their health and well-being. Often, youth are simply asked by clinicians how they socially interact, but it can be difficult to remember every social interaction one has with their family members and friends. Therefore, we have created an app that passively captures information on the daily social interactions of youth.
Our app can tell us how many calls youth are making, how many messages they are sending, and how often they are using social media to interact with their family and friends. By understanding the social behaviours of youth, we can better understand how to best help youth to become and stay healthy and create programs to better support Nova Scotian youth.
Gratitude Intervention Application
Gratitude interventions decrease depression, stress and anxiety symptoms. It also aids in coping with health-related problems and may improve psychological and physical functioning in areas where mental and biological processes are directly related (e.g., the cardiovascular system). However, previous research in this area is limited to a few studies examining the impact of only one type of gratitude task (i.e., gratitude journaling on selected psychological and cardiovascular variables).
Thus, we have developed a new intervention technique, the GIA app, to examine whether a gratitude intervention can effectively improve psychological and cardiovascular functioning as measured by depression, anxiety and stress symptoms, positive and negative affect, resting heart rate and HRV.