Sleep and Mental Health during Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Mechanisms of Risk and Resilience amid Storm and Stress
Mental health conditions have increased substantially over the last decade, particularly for adolescents and young adults. Among multiple factors, two key contributors to worsening mental health among adolescents and young adults are developmentally-normative increases in stressful life events and sleep and circadian disruption. These two risk factors may be especially impactful during adolescence and young adulthood due to the continued maturation of affective neural networks. My research program aims to understand the affective pathways by which stressful life events and sleep-circadian disruption contribute to mental illness during adolescence and young adulthood. I will present evidence that stressors and sleep-circadian disruption contribute to symptoms of depression and alcohol use disorder (AUD) during adolescence and young adulthood by disrupting reward-related brain function. I will then provide evidence that sleep-circadian interventions can reduce stress and symptoms of depression and AUD in adolescents and young adults. Finally, I will describe two newly-initiated studies that evaluate the degree to which insufficient sleep and stressful life events interact to disrupt reward- and stress-related brain function, and thereby contribute to symptoms of depression and AUD. This research is designed to translate directly to sleep-circadian interventions. The long-term objective of this research is to improve resilience to ‘storm and stress’ by optimizing sleep-circadian health behaviors during critical periods of development.
Dr. Casement is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon and a licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her research is focused on understanding the biobehavioral mechanisms by which stressful life events and insufficient sleep contribute to mental health and ill-health during adolescence and young adulthood. Her NIH-funded R01 projects evaluate a novel neurodevelopmental model in which sleep and circadian characteristics and stressful life events contribute to depression and alcohol use disorder in adolescents and young adults through their effects on reward- and stress-related brain function. Dr. Casement has complementary expertise in sleep and psychiatric disorders, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and sleep and affective processing systems. Her research is characterized by assessment of key constructs across multiple levels of analysis (e.g., self-report, behavior, psychophysiology, fMRI). Her developmental model of depression and alcohol use disorder builds on existing research and theory by considering the combined influence of reward- and stress-related brain systems as pathways linking sleep and stressful life events to mental health.
Monday, November 21, 2022 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Memorial Union Building (MU), 206: APA
2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331