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Allendorf, Keera, Arland Thornton, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Linda Young-DeMarco and Colter Mitchell. 2020. “A Good Age to Marry? An Intergenerational Model of the Influence of Timing Attitudes on Entrance into Marriage.” European Journal of Population. doi: 10.1007/s10680-020-09565-x

Scott, Kate M., Yang Zhang, Stephanie Chardoul, Dirgha J. Ghiire, Jordan W. Smoller, and William G. Axinn. 2020. “Resilience to Mental Disorders in a Low-Income, Non-Westernized Setting.” Psychological Medicine 1-10. PMID: 32476631.

Axinn, William G., Yang Zhang, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Stephanie A. Chardoul, Kate M. Scott, and Ronny Bruffaerts. 2020. “The Association between Marital Transitions and the Onset of Major Depressive Disorder in a South Asian General Population.” Journal of Affective Disorders 266: 165-172. PMCID: PMC7103558.

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Stephanie A. Chardoul, Heather H. Gatny, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Jordan W. Smoller, Yang Zhang, and Kate M. Scott. 2020. “Using Life History Calendars to Improve Measurement of Lifetime Experience with Mental Disorders.” Psychological Medicine 50(3):515-522. DOI. PMC6739186.

Retrospective reports of lifetime experience with mental disorders greatly underestimate the actual experiences of disorder because recall error biases reporting of earlier life symptoms downward. This fundamental obstacle to accurate reporting has many adverse consequences for the study and treatment of mental disorders. Better tools for accurate retrospective reporting of mental disorder symptoms have the potential for broad scientific benefits.

We designed a life history calendar (LHC) to support this task, and randomized more than 1000 individuals to each arm of a retrospective diagnostic interview with and without the LHC. We also conducted a careful validation with the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition.

Results demonstrate that-just as with frequent measurement longitudinal studies-use of an LHC in retrospective measurement can more than double reports of lifetime experience of some mental disorders.

The LHC significantly improves retrospective reporting of mental disorders. This tool is practical for application in both large cross-sectional surveys of the general population and clinical intake of new patients.

DOI: 10.1017/S0033291719000394

PMCID: PMC6739186