Risk Factors for Poor Mental Health and Family Contagion.

Mental ill health places a major disease burden on society and Northern Ireland has one of the highest rates of poor mental health in the UK. A range of risk factors for poor mental health have been identified including deprivation, low education, unemployment, co-morbid physical health problems and family history. However, there are many questions relating to mental health that remain unclear; some of these form the basis of the proposed study and are listed below.

Research questions:

  1. What is the relationship between poor mental health and family exposure
  2. What is the association between area deprivation and poor mental, i.e. is the observed association due to (i) an increased number of people with poor mental health or (ii) a higher concentration of families with concentrated poor mental health
  3. Which particular physical health problems are associated with the greatest increase in poor mental health
  4. What is the relationship between multi-morbidity and poor mental health
  5. Does a history of poor mental health increase the mortality risk of those suffering from multi-morbidity
  6. Does a history of poor mental health in parents increase the risk of suicide in off-spring


Publications and Outputs:

Bosqui, TJ, Maguire, A, Kouvonen, A, Wright, D, Donnelly, M, O’Reilly, D (2017). Ethnic density and risk of mental ill health–the case of religious sectarianism in Northern Ireland: a population data linkage study. Health & Place 47, 29–35. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2017.06.010.

Research Team: Dr Aideen Maguire, Dr Dermot O’Reilly and Dr Michael Rosato
Database: NIMS
Project Status: Complete
Organisation(s): Queen’s University Belfast