Impact of Physical Exercise on Psychological Well-being and Psychiatric Disorders

Elisabetta PARRA1
Alessandro ARONE1
Salvatore AMADORI1
Federico MUCCI2
Stefania PALERMO1
Donatella MARAZZITI1

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Italy
2Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Pharmacology, University of Siena, Italy
Received: 12-August-2020
Revised: 25-November-2020
Accepted: 01-December-2020
Online first: 08-December-2020


Background: Physical exercise is one of the major features of human health, as it is involved in several physiological processes and related to major benefits in reducing body fat, myocardial infarction, hypertension and insulin resistance risk. Physical exercise also plays a positive role in achieving psychological well-being that can be defined as a state of happiness and serenity, with low levels of distress, overall good physical and mental health and outlook and a good quality of life.

Aim of the paper: To review the positive effects of physical activity on psychological well-being and its possible neurobiological underpinnings, as well as its impact on several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and some neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Methods: The PubMed, Scopus, Embase, PsycINFO and Google Scholar databases were searched for full text articles published in the latest thirty years on the benefits that physical activity exerts on psychological well-being.

Objectives: This study aims to identify the common and differential elements of the DLD (SLI) and LD through a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Results: An impressive amount of data support the positive role of physical activity on psychological well-being and a large amount of research has focused on its beneficial effects in improving the symptoms of the main neuropsychiatric disorders, while highlighting its usefulness as an adjuvant option to psychopharmacological treatments and psychotherapy. In particular, exercise would deeply affect CNS morphology and function, through heterogeneous mechanisms including, amongst the others, the production of hormones, neurotransmitters and neurotrophins, the promotion of angiogenesis and neuroplasticity, and the regulation of gene expression.

Conclusion: Literature indicates that the promotion of physical activity may work like an adjunctive and/or augmentation strategy to enhance drugs or psychological treatments, or even as an alternative option in major depression.

Key words: Physical Exercise, Well-being, Psychological Well-being, Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Neurobiology

Citation: Parra, E., Arone, A., Amadori, S., Mucci, F., Palermo, S., Marazziti, D. Impact of Physical Exercise on Psychological Well-being and Psychiatric Disorders. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2): 56-70.

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The relationship of executive functions with academic competency and social skills in adolescents with intellectual disability


1University of Sarajevo,
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2Herzegovina University,
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Received: 06-August-2020
Revised: 30-August-2020
Accepted: 05-September-2020
Online first: 06-September-2020


Introduction: Adolescence is characterised as a period of further development and maturation of higher executive functions (EF). It is well established that EF play an important role in social skills and academic competence of typically developing adolescents.

Purpose:The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functions (EF) and academic competency and social skills in adolescents with a mild intellectual disability. In particular, we were interested to examine which EF have the greatest impact on social skills and academic competency.

Methods: EF were measured with the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), and social and academic competences were measured with the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS). The sample for this study consisted of 44 adolescents with mild intellectual disability aged 15-18 years old (mean age 16.7 years, SD- 1.4).

Results: The results of this study clearly pointed to the strong relationship between these constructs. Of all EF, planning had the strongest impact on academic success, and monitoring had the strongest impact on social skills.

Conclusion: EF are susceptible to training effects, we thus propose early interventions in these domains in order to increase the social and academic competence of persons with an intellectual disability.

Key words: executive functions, academic competency, social skills, adolescents, intellectual disability

Citation: Memisevic, H., Biscevic, I. The relationship of executive functions with academic competency and social skills in adolescents with intellectual disability. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2): 12-21.

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Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation
Faculty of Philosophy, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje
Republic of Macedonia


Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that occurs within the first 3 years of life, which is characterised by poor social skills, communication problems and stereotyped patterns of behaviour. Autism is a life-long disorder that has a substantial effect on the individual, their family, and society.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview about the psychosocial aspects of autism spectrum disorders.

Methods: An analysis of relevant literature, sources from the internet and published literature, personal experience and observations of the author.

Findings: Despite widespread research and greater public awareness, ASD has an unclear etiology and no known cure, making it difficult to acquire an accurate and timely diagnosis. Psychologic functions such as attention, executive function, academic functioning, memory, emotions, and sensory processing are described. There is a need for continuous psycho-social support for people with ASD and their relatives during the diagnostics and early intervention period, as well as resources that better represent the diversity of experiences and symptoms associated with ASD across the lifespan.

Conclusion: It is clear that more special education services are needed, together with timely and ongoing psychosocial support to parents of children with ASD.

Key words: autism spectrum disorder, neurodevelopmental condition, psychological aspects.

Citation: Trajkovski, V. Psychological aspects of autism spectrum disorder. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities.

Online First Full Text Article 


Gender Differences in the Effects of Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Nikolina KENIG1,

1Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy,
Ss Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia
2International Planned Parenthood Federation,
European Network, Brussels, Belgium
Received: 27-March-2019
Revised: 02-May-2019
Accepted: 18-June-2019
Online first: 19-June-2019


Objectives: The model of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is intended to support young people in acquiring information and developing skills and attitudes that should improve their reproductive and sexual health. The objective of this research was to assess the effectiveness of the implemented model through the progress made by participating students. It was expected that they should improve both their knowledge and attitudes regarding sexuality.

Method: In study 1, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program was conducted by comparing pre-test and post-test measures on assessment test and attitude scale for assessing acceptance of values underlying CSE. Participants were 154 adolescents (113 female and 41 male) who attended CSE workshops. Study 2 was based on thematic analysis of qualitative data from 24 participants who provided insights in their perceptions of the CSE training.

Results: Findings show that progress has been made regarding all components that define the program. The two-way ANOVA analysis of post-test results for the acquired knowledge revealed an interaction between participants’ gender and regularity of attendance (Fsex*att(1,152)=6.72, p<0.05) accompanied by the main effect of their sex (Fsex (1,152)=9.10, p<0.01). The exploration of qualitative data suggested that, while boys see the information on protecting sexual and reproductive health useful, the other themes (gender equality and sexual diversity) make them uneasy.

Conclusions: It is concluded that the model needs to be improved in terms of making it more attractive for boys, who experience difficulties in accepting the discourse that is intended to emancipate them from rigid adherence to heteronormativity.

Key words: Comprehensive sexuality education, Gender-binary, Adolescents


Citation: Kenig, N., Kostovski, D. Gender Differences in the Effects of Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities.

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