Division of Mental Health & Neurosciences
One of the major thrusts of research is studying factors influencing child development. In several studies, we are examining the influence of various psychosocial stressors that include maternal depression and intimate partner violence during pregnancy and maternal and childhood nutritional status on neuropsychological outcomes in infancy and during early childhood. In collaboration with the Division of Nutrition, we have evaluated the effects of nutrition intervention on cognitive outcomes in children and adults. In addition, we have adapted several childhood cognitive measures for application in local setting and are currently developing norms for measures of psychosocial development and executive functions in 2- to 5-year-old children. The second strand of research relates to studies of high-risk behaviour (intimate partner violence) linked to substance use/ abuse (alcohol) and its effect on spouse and children. The third area of research relates to mood disorder, in particular depression and suicidal behaviour.