Session 8: Understanding Substance Use and Mental Health Through Systems Modeling

2:50 - 4:10 PM | Room 104

Examining the Systemic Complexity of Unipolar Depression

Andrea K. Wittenborn
Michigan State University

Jennifer Rick and Niyousha Hosseinichimeh
Virginia Tech

Hazhir Rahmandad
Virginia Tech and MIT

Depression is a pervasive illness with considerable variation in treatment response. With complex etiology spanning biology, genes, psychology, and the environment, interactions among these drivers and aspects of one’s health, relationships, and economics contribute to the complexity of the illness. These feedback processes, which we identify as the systemic complexity of depression, contribute to the persistence of illness. Using qualitative systems mapping, we developed the first individual-level model of depression dynamics. Our model of adult depression offers insights into the reinforcing loops and inertial factors that keep patients with different profiles entrenched in depression and signals potential targets of intervention.

View presentation

Model, Dynamics, and Analysis of Drinking Groups

John Clapp, Felipe Giraldo, and Kevin M Passino
Ohio State University

Young adults often drink together, and individual motivations, social dynamics, and environmental variables interact to produce high-risk behavior. Here, we introduce an “individual-based” nonlinear difference equation model for each individual’s dynamical decision making, nonlinear interactions representing sociality, and environmental variables in a group drinking scenario. Our dynamical model construction is informed by large data sets that resulted from in situ studies of group drinking behavior. We perform a computational analysis to show how the parameters of the model affect individuals’ final choices. We also explore relations to role theory.

View presentation