Come back Mom and Dad
You’re growing apart; you know that I’m growing up sad
I need some attention
I shoot into the light.
- Peter Gabriel, "Family Snapshot"
Purposeless boys are dangerous.
Michael Gurian, in his book The Purpose of Boys (2010), lists some of the effects of the growing population of boys without purpose.
- For every 100 girls in public schools, 335 boys are expelled.
- The 'Boy Crisis': Is It Fictional? (ideas.time.com)
Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking
The present study examined the relationship between personality and individual differences in multi-tasking ability. Participants enrolled at the University of Utah completed measures of multi-tasking activity, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. In addition, they performed the Operation Span in order to assess their executive control and actual multi-tasking ability.
The findings indicate that the persons who are most capable of multi-tasking effectively are not the persons who are most likely to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously. To the contrary, multi-tasking activity as measured by the Media Multitasking Inventory and self-reported cell phone usage while driving were negatively correlated with actual multi-tasking ability.
Multi-tasking was positively correlated with participants’ perceived ability to multi-task ability which was found to be significantly inflated. Participants with a strong approach orientation and a weak avoidance orientation – high levels of impulsivity and sensation seeking – reported greater multi-tasking behavior.
Finally, the findings suggest that people often engage in multi-tasking because they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task. Participants with less executive control – low scorers on the Operation Span task and persons high in impulsivity – tended to report higher levels of multi-tasking activity.
- If You Think You’re Good at Multitasking – You Probably Aren’t (richandco.wordpress.com)
- Study: If You Multitask Often, You’re Impulsive and Bad at Multitasking (theatlantic.com)
- Motorists Overrate Ability To Talk On Cell Phones When Driving (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Think you can multitask? Congratulations, you’re probably living a lie. (io9.com)
Yoga on our minds: The 5,000-year-old Indian practice may have positive effects on major psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and sleep complaints
Yoga has positive effects on mild depression and sleep complaints, even in the absence of drug treatments, and improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD in patients on medication, according to a systematic review of the exercise on major clinical psychiatric disorders.
Published in the open-access journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, on January 25th, 2013, the review of more than one hundred studies focusing on 16 high-quality controlled studies looked at the effects of yoga on depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, sleep complaints, eating disorders and cognition problems.
Yoga in popular culture
Yoga is a popular exercise and is practiced by 15.8 million adults in the United States alone, according to a survey by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau, and its holistic goal of promoting psychical and mental health is widely held in popular belief.
“However, yoga has become such a cultural phenomenon that it has become difficult for physicians and patients to differentiate legitimate claims from hype,” wrote the authors in their study. “Our goal was to examine whether the evidence matched the promise.”
Practical ways parents and others can help children in the days, weeks, and months after traumatic events.
From the US National Institute on Mental Health.
Tips are practical and some are arranged by age groups.
An excerpt from the booklet
How Parents Can Help:
After violence or a disaster parents and family should:
- Identify and address their own feelings — this will allow them to help others
- Explain to children what happened
- Let children know:
- You love them
- The event was not their fault
- You will take care of them, but only if you can; be honest
- It’s okay for them to feel upset
- Allow children to cry
- Allow sadness
- Let children talk about feelings
- Let them write about feelings
- Let them draw pictures
- Expect children to be brave or tough
- Make children discuss the event before they are ready
- Get angry if children show strong emotions
- Get upset if they begin:
- Acting out
- If children have trouble sleeping:
- Give them extra attention
- Let them sleep with a light on
- Let them sleep in your room (for a short time)
- Try to keep normal routines (such routines may not be normal for some children):
- Bed-time stories
- Eating dinner together
- Watching TV together
- Reading books, exercising, playing games
- If you can’t keep normal routines, make new ones together
- Help children feel in control:
- Let them choose meals, if possible
- Let them pick out clothes, if possible
- Let them make some decisions for themselves, when possible.
- How to talk with children about the Connecticut shooting, other tragedies (q13fox.com)
- SAMHSA Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events (samhsa.gov)
- How to Cope With Fear After School Shootings (livescience.com)
- NAEYC Tips for Talking to Young Children (drcindysimpson.com)
- Save the Children Offers 10 Tips to Help All Children Cope (5minutesformom.com)
Thinking insecurities lead to sexist attitudes in other realms, including government, religious, and civic organizations….
A new study led by Joshua Hart, assistant professor of psychology, suggests that men’s insecurities about relationships and conflicted views of women as romantic partners and rivals could lead some to adopt sexist attitudes about women…
Hart’s study found that anxiously attached men tend to be ambivalent sexists – both hostile and benevolent – whereas avoidantly attached men typically endorse hostile sexism, while rejecting benevolent sexism.
“In other words, anxious men are likely to alternate between chivalry and hostility toward female partners, acting like a knight in shining armor when she fulfills his goals and ideals about women, but like an ogre when she doesn’t,” Hart explained this month to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology’s web-based news site, Connections. “Avoidant men are likely to show only hostility without any princely protectiveness.”
The survey results also showed that anxiously attached men tend to be romantics at heart who adopt benevolently sexist beliefs, while avoidantly attached men lean toward social dominance. That, in turn, leads them to embrace hostile sexism.
The findings highlight how personality traits could predispose men to be sexists, according to Hart. This information could help couples build stronger relationships, particularly during therapy.
- Delusions of Gender: How Male Insecurity May Lead to Sexist Views (sciencedaily.com)
- The bad news is that gentlemanly behavior makes people happy (aei-ideas.org)
- How to Capture the Heart of a ‘German Female Student’ (andrewhammel.typepad.com)
- When Men on the Left Refuse to See Their Sexism (muslimreverie.wordpress.com)
- That’s not a “response”, Michael, it’s a “denial” (freethoughtblogs.com)
- Big Idea: Let’s Bring Back Gentlemen (or Even Chivalry) (bigthink.com)
- Top Conservative Author Endorses ‘Benevolent Sexism’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Undead sexist cliches: Men are supposed to be heroes, women should just cringe and cry (frasersherman.wordpress.com)
- Death to Chivalry, Long Live Politeness! (jezebel.com)
- A Troubled Response. (thisisntitatall.wordpress.com)
Please do not promote “miracle diets” for the New Year, British Women and Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson has urged magazine editors.
Every year throughout the world, magazines are awash with miracle cure diets that guarantee incredible results after weeks of overindulgence during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Jo Swinson, MP (Member of Parliament) for East Dunbartonshire, says magazine editors must avoid the temptation of falling into the annual diet hype among their New Year resolutions for 2013. The Minister made the request in an open letter to magazine editors.
Swinson urges editors to think twice about the consequences of promoting unrealistic and untested diets on girls and women.
Swinson said “Surely by now we’re all aware that there are no miracle diets or if there are, they are miracles that come with a cost. Given that most diets fail within a very short time, it is irresponsible for magazines to offer ‘tips’ ‘tricks’ and ‘simple steps’ so that people can be thin. Not healthy or vibrant, just thin.”…
- UK News: Magazines warned on new year diets (walesonline.co.uk)
- Magazines warned on new year diets (express.co.uk)
- Minister wants magazine diets axed (bbc.co.uk)
- Minister wants magazine diets axed (oddonion.com)
I think horrific incidents as school shootings are a wake up call to address the root causes of violence and for us to be more compassionate to one another.
Getting tougher on crime is not the answer. On a wider scale, being on constant alert for enemies and preparing for war is not the answer to differences among people.
This is why I find this study so saddening. If only we as humans would use our capabilities more to build, rather than defend.
By holding on, and asserting ownership…in the end, we only lose so much, including our humanity.
Historically, who are most revered? I would venture to say it is the peacemakers..Buddha, Jesus the Christ, and Ghandi to name a few….
From the summary….
The development of technologies to modify natural human physical and cognitive performance is one of increasing interest and concern, especially among military services that may be called on to defeat foreign powers with enhanced warfighter capabilities. Human performance modification (HPM) is a general term that can encompass actions ranging from the use of “natural” materials, such as caffeine or khat as a stimulant, to the application of nanotechnology as a drug delivery mechanism or in an invasive brain implant. Although the literature on HPM typically addresses methods that enhance performance, another possible focus is methods that degrade performance or negatively affect a military force’s ability to fight.
Advances in medicine, biology, electronics, and computation have enabled an increasingly sophisticated ability to modify the human body, and such innovations will undoubtedly be adopted by military forces, with potential consequences for both sides of the battle lines. Although some innovations may be developed for purely military applications, they are increasingly unlikely to remain exclusively in that sphere because of the globalization and internationalization of the commercial research base.
Based on its review of the literature, the presentations it received and on its own expertise, the Committee on Assessing Foreign Technology Development in Human Performance Modification chose to focus on three general areas of HPM: human cognitive modification as a computational problem, human performance modification as a biological problem, and human performance modification as a function of the brain-computer interface. Human Performance Modification: Review of Worldwide Research with a View to the Future summarizes these findings.
- The Human API And The Advent Of The Cybernetic Renaissance (doktorspinn.com)
- U.S. spy agency predicts a very transhuman future by 2030 (io9.com)
- How Science Can Build a Better You (funkensprungnuts.wordpress.com)
- Susanne Posel ~ Transhumanism: How The Elite Plan To Live Forever (shiftfrequency.com)
- News Analysis: How Science Can Build a Better You (nytimes.com)
…”Decent people participate in horrific acts not because they become passive, mindless functionaries who do not know what they are doing, but rather because they come to believe — typically under the influence of those in authority — that what they are doing is right,” Professor Haslam explained.
Professor Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, added that it is not that they were blind to the evil they were perpetrating, but rather that they knew what they were doing, and believed it to be right.”…
- Human obedience: The myth of blind conformity (eurekalert.org)
- Rethinking the Classic ‘Obedience’ Studies (psychologicalscience.org)
- Human Obedience: The Myth of Blind Conformity – followership, results from identifying with authorities who represent vicious acts as virtuous (engineeringevil.com)
- Revisiting Milgram and Zimbardo’s Studies (thesituationist.wordpress.com)
BOSTON, MA—Achieving mindfulness through meditation has helped people maintain a healthy mind by quelling negative emotions and thoughts, such as desire, anger and anxiety, and encouraging more positive dispositions such as compassion, empathy and forgiveness. Those who have reaped the benefits of mindfulness know that it works. But how exactly does it work?
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have proposed a new model that shifts how we think about mindfulness. Rather than describing mindfulness as a single dimension of cognition, the researchers demonstrate that mindfulness actually involves a broad framework of complex mechanisms in the brain.
In essence, they have laid out the science behind mindfulness.
This new model of mindfulness is published in the October 25, 2012 issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The model was recently presented to His Holiness The Dalai Lama in a private meeting, entitled “Mind and Life XXIV: Latest Findings in Contemplative Neuroscience.”
The researchers identified several cognitive functions that are active in the brain during mindfulness practice. These cognitive functions help a person develop self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART) which make up the transformative framework for the mindfulness process.
The S-ART framework explains the underlying neurobiological mechanisms by which mindfulness can facilitate self-awareness; reduce biases and negative thoughts; enhance the ability to regulate one’s behavior; and increase positive, pro-social relationships with oneself and others-all-in-all creating a sustainable healthy mind.
The researchers highlight six neuropsychological processes that are active mechanisms in the brain during mindfulness and which support S-ART. These processes include 1) intention and motivation, 2) attention regulation, 3) emotion regulation, 4) extinction and reconsolidation, 5) pro-social behavior, and 6) non-attachment and de-centering.
In other words, these processes begin with an intention and motivation to want to attain mindfulness, followed by an awareness of one’s bad habits. Once these are set, a person can begin taming him or herself to be less emotionally reactive and to recover faster from upsetting emotions.
“Through continued practice, the person can develop a psychological distance from any negative thoughts and can inhibit natural impulses that constantly fuel bad habits,” said David Vago, PhD, BWH Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, and lead study author.
Vago also states that continued practice can also increase empathy and eliminate our attachments to things we like and aversions to things we don’t like.
“The result of practice is a new You with a new multidimensional skill set for reducing biases in one’s internal and external experience and sustaining a healthy mind,” said Vago.
The S-ART framework and neurobiological model proposed by the researchers differs from current popular descriptions of mindfulness as a way of paying attention, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. With the help of functional MRI, Vago and his team are currently testing the model in humans.
This research was supported by the Mind and Life Institute, Impact Foundation, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (5-R21AT002209-02).
- The Science Behind Good Vibes: How Mindfulness Actually Works (wakingtimes.com)
- 6 benefits of mindfulness which can support the resolution of conflict (westallen.typepad.com)
PTSD – not just a war zone related condition.
The real eye opener was that 2/3 of the survivors were not suffering from this condition according to the parameters of the study.
Note to self: Research factors
One in three former political prisoners of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) still suffers from sleeping disorders, nightmares and irrational fear. Professor Andreas Maercker from the University of Zurich and PD Matthias Schützwohl from Dresden University of Technology reveal these post-traumatic stress disorders in a study — the first to examine the post-traumatic consequences in former political prisoners over a period of 15 years…
…To our surprise, post-traumatic stress disorder is still present in a third of the people studied,” says Professor Maercker, summing up the results. “While some have recovered compared to 15 years ago, in others the stress disorder has only manifested itself in recent years.” In all, such a delayed or recurrent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was apparent in 15 percent. We know from studies from other countries — mostly on prisoners of war or other victims of violence — that delayed or recurrent PTSD exists, albeit to a lesser extent. Maercker and Schützwohl’s study is the first to demonstrate this for former political prisoners. It appears in the journal Nervenarzt and additional analyses are to be published in the English-language journal Torture…
Decline in dependency on addictive substances
Other psychological disorders that former GDR prisoners suffered from decreased during the 15 years. Specific phobias such as claustrophobia were less common, for instance. The number of people addicted to alcohol and medication also fell. However, the number with acute depression quadrupled to 41 percent of those studied last year. At both time points, a more or less equal number suffered from anxiety disorders such as panic disorder (24 percent last year)….
- Traumatic consequences long after fall of the Berlin Wall (medicalxpress.com)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Not Only Members of the Military Affected (maddsuspicions.wordpress.com)
- Ethically Treating the Post-Traumatic Brain (nation.time.com)
- Great Educational Video on PTSD: Introduced by Dr. Barbara Kamholz, MD (jajsamos.wordpress.com)
- Cops with post-traumatic stress disorder ‘deserve respect,’ expert says (metronews.ca)
- Early Altered Resting-State Functional Connectivity Predicts the Severity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Acutely Traumatized Subjects (plosone.org)
- Trauma switch identified: Mechanism protects our brains from turning stress and trauma into post-traumatic stress disorder (sciencedaily.com)
Please read the entire article, there are many factors that need to be “teased out” in future studies (as the author emphasizes).
A fascinating read, nonetheless.
It’s a common lament among parents: Kids are growing up too fast these days. Parents worry about their kids getting involved in all kinds of risky behavior, but they worry especially about their kids’ forays into sexual relationships. And research suggests that there may be cause for concern, as timing of sexual development can have significant immediate consequences for adolescents’ physical and mental health.
But what about long-term outcomes? How might early sexual initiation affect romantic relationships in adulthood?
Psychological scientist Paige Harden of the University of Texas at Austin wanted to investigate whether the timing of sexual initiation in adolescence might predict romantic outcomes — such as whether people get married or live with their partners, how many romantic partners they’ve had, and whether they’re satisfied with their relationship — later in adulthood…
- Young Porn Users Need Longer To Recover Their Mojo (psychologytoday.com)
- Fathers Matter When It Comes To Their Teenager’s Sexual Behavior (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Ontario slammed for outdated sex ed and mental health curriculum (metronews.ca)
- Does Your Child Have a Mental Health Disorder? (psychologytoday.com)
We might like to think that our judgments are always well thought-out, but research suggests that our moral judgments are often based on intuition. Our emotions seem to drive our intuitions, giving us the gut feeling that something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ In some cases, however, we seem to be able to override these initial reactions.
Matthew Feinberg and colleagues hypothesized that this might be the result of reappraisal, a process by which we dampen the intensity of our emotions by focusing on an intellectual description of why we are experiencing the emotion.
Across several studies, participants read stories describing moral dilemmas involving behaviors participants would probably find disgusting. Participants who reappraised the scenarios logically were less likely to make intuition-based moral judgments. These findings suggest that although our emotional reactions elicit moral intuitions, these emotions can also be regulated.
“In this way,” the researchers write, “we are both slave and master, with the capacity to be controlled by, but also shape, our emotion-laden judgmental processes.”……
- Why Mental Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment (psychologicalscience.org)
- Why Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment (npr.org)
- Inner Conflicts – Which Aspect Prevails? (emotionaldetective.typepad.com)
- The more people rely on their intuitions, the more cooperative they become (sciencedaily.com)
The main reason that misinformation is sticky, according to the researchers, is that rejecting information actually requires cognitive effort. Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true — it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources. If the topic isn’t very important to you or you have other things on your mind, misinformation is more likely to take hold.
And when we do take the time to thoughtfully evaluate incoming information, there are only a few features that we are likely to pay attention to: Does the information fit with other things I believe in? Does it make a coherent story with what I already know? Does it come from a credible source? Do others believe it?
Misinformation is especially sticky when it conforms to our preexisting political, religious, or social point of view. Because of this, ideology and personal worldviews can be especially difficult obstacles to overcome.
Even worse, efforts to retract misinformation often backfire, paradoxically amplifying the effect of the erroneous belief.
“This persistence of misinformation has fairly alarming implications in a democracy because people may base decisions on information that, at some level, they know to be false,” says Lewandowsky….
In their report, Lewandowsky and colleagues offer some strategies for setting the record straight.
- Provide people with a narrative that replaces the gap left by false information
- Focus on the facts you want to highlight, rather than the myths
- Make sure that the information you want people to take away is simple and brief
- Consider your audience and the beliefs they are likely to hold
- Strengthen your message through repetition
- The Penn State Medical Center Library has a great guide to evaluate health information on the Internet.
The tips include
- Remember, anyone can publish information on the internet!
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If the Web site is primarily about selling a product, the information may be worth checking from another source.
- Look for who is publishing the information and their education, credentials, and if they are connected with a trusted coporation, university or agency.
- Check to see how current the information is.
- Check for accuracy. Does the Web site refer to specific studies or organizations?
The Family Caregiver Alliance has a Web page entitled Evaluating Medical Research Findings and Clinical Trials
- General Guidelines for Evaluating Medical Research
- Getting Information from the Web
- Talking with your Health Care Provider
- Consumer’s Guide to Taking Charge of Health Information (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis)
- How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet (US National Cancer Institute)9iiu9
- Quackwatch (a private corporation operated by Stephen Barrett, MD)
…And a Rumor Control site of Note (in addition to Quackwatch)National Council Against Health Fraud National Council Against Health Fraud is a nonprofit health agency fousing on health misinformation, fruad, and quackery as public health problems. Links to publications, position papers and more.
- Misinformation: Psychological Science Shows Why It Sticks and How to Fix It (psychologicalscience.org)
- Why misinformation sticks (indiavision.com)
- Misinformation: Psychological Science Shows Why It Sticks and How to Fix It (tricitypsychology.com)
- Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing (psychologicalscience.org)
- Why Misinformation Sticks and Corrections Can Backfire (healthland.time.com)
- New study analyzes why people are resistant to correcting misinformation, offers solutions (ns.umich.edu)
It seems there is still debate (see related articles).
One in every two cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers remains undiagnosed. This is the conclusion reached by a working group led by Hans-Ulrich Wittchen et al. They report their study in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(35): 559), which is a special issue focusing on the prevalence of psychological stress in German army soldiers. In a second original article, results reported by Jens T Kowalski and colleagues show that more female soldiers contact the psychosocial support services provided by Germany’s armed forces than their male colleagues (Dtsch Arztbl Int 2012; 109 (35): 559).
Wittchen et al. draw attention to the fact that thus far no information has been available on how commonly soldiers have traumatic experiences during deployments to Afghanistan and develop PSTD. In their study, 85% of all soldiers deployed overseas reported at least one distressing event, but usually several such events. Overseas deployment is associated with twice or four times the risk of PTSD for soldiers. In international comparison, the prevalence of PTSD is notably lower in German soldiers, at 2.9%, than in soldiers from other countries who are deployed in the same regions. However, the estimated proportion of undiagnosed and untreated cases of PTSD is 45%.
Kowalski et al. explain that it is not only Afghanistan from where soldiers return in a traumatized state but also Kosovo. The number of Kosovo returnees with mental problems in their study increased significantly compared to the number of traumatized soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The study is based on hospital data of all German army psychiatric wards; these data evaluated the psychiatric morbidities between January 2010 through June 2011. The most common diagnoses were adjustment disorders, PSTD, and mild and moderate depressive episodes.
Accompanying Editorial: http://www.aerzteblatt.de/pdf.asp?id=128486
- For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, War Is Not Necessarily The Cause (medicalnewstoday.com)
- DoD and VA to Fund $100 Million PTSD and TBI Study (thecommunicatorwv.wordpress.com)
- PTSD may play role in soldier’s defense at murder trial (gazette.com)
- War is not necessarily the cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (sciencedaily.com)
- Not enough military staff to fight PTSD among returning soldiers: ombudsman (theglobeandmail.com)
- ‘I have PTSD … So what?’ Army veteran’s essay resonates (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (iaoptsdblog.com)
After reading this article a few questions come to mind.
Has this kind of violence always occurred, and is only now being studied more closely in the past?
Are more people becoming increasingly desensitized to violence through depiction in the media? and being violent (including verbally) without realizing the consequences?
Should dating be discouraged in people under 16 ? Should they be encouraged to socialize with others in the younger teen years rather than date in order to learn how to communicate, respect one another, and develop as individuals?
Do people (especially girls, young women) have too high expectations of dating? Do they expect a boy or young man to fill needs best met by families/parents?
On a related note, about a year ago I was on our courthouse grounds for a few hours. I was participating in a local peace group’s display of the cost of the Iraq war. A couple walked by, and the young man (late teens/early 20′s) was pushing the young woman he was walking with and calling her names. Although both were smiling, it seemed like it was escalating. I stepped in, not boldly, and tried to get him to stop through words. Forgot what I said. He didn’t really stop, but at least it did not get any worse.
On reflection, the relationship seemed to be based more on ownership than mutual love. So sad.
Overall, nearly two-thirds of both men and women reported some type of abuse during their teenage years, which falls in line with other studies.
But it was surprising how many teen victims had two or more abusive partners, said Amy Bonomi, lead author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.
“For about one in three teens who were abused, it wasn’t just one bad boyfriend or girlfriend. It may have been at least the start of a trend,” Bonomi said.
The same patterns were not seen in similar population-based studies of adults, who tend to report abuse by a single partner, she said….
One argument that violence researchers often hear is that behaviors like name-calling and insults aren’t serious enough to be called abuse. But that’s not true, Bonomi said.
“Studies in adults have shown that psychological abuse alone can be damaging to health,” she said. She is currently studying whether the same is true for adolescents….
Some types of dating violence tended to occur at earlier ages than others, the study found. For females reporting dating violence, controlling behavior tended to occur early, with 44 percent reporting it between the ages of 13 and 15. For males, 13 to 15 was the most common age range for the first occurrence of put-downs and name-calling (60 percent).
Pressure to have sex was more likely to start at later ages, from 16 to 17 for women.
Bonomi said it was significant that college students were reporting this level of abuse as teens.
“There’s a common belief in our society that dating violence only affects low-income and disadvantaged teens. But these results show that even relatively privileged kids, who are on their way to college, can be victims.”
The results also call for better education in our elementary schools.
“Many of these kids are getting in relationships early, by the age of 13,” Bonomi said. “We need to help them learn about healthy relationships and how to set sexual boundaries. It shouldn’t just be one class session — it needs to be a routine discussion in school.”
- Teen Dating Violence (politicalsocialworker.wordpress.com)
- What’s Behind All The Violence In America Today? (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
“The reality untaught in American schools and textbooks is that war — whether on a large or small scale — and domestic violence have been pervasive in American life and culture from this country’s earliest days almost 400 years ago. Violence, in varying forms,according to the leading historian of the subject, Richard Maxwell Brown, “has accompanied virtually every stage and aspect of our national experience,” and is “part of our unacknowledged (underground) value structure.” Indeed, “repeated episodes of violence going far back into our colonial past, have imprinted upon our citizens a propensity to violence.”Thus, America demonstrated a national predilection for war and domestic violence long before the 9/11 attacks, but its leaders and intellectuals through most of the last century cultivated the national self-image, a myth, of America as a moral, “peace-loving” nation which the American population seems unquestioningly to have embraced. But the Reality tells different story.”
Take dating violence, for example. Emily Rothman, associate professor at Boston University School of Public Health recently, published a study on dating violence among teenagers in December of 2010 in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She surveyed around 1,500 students from the Boston area. Rothman found that:
… Nearly 19% of students reported physically abusing a romantic partner in the past month, including pushing, shoving, hitting, punching, kicking or choking. Nearly 43% reported verbally abusing their partner, cursing at them or calling them fat, ugly, stupid or some other insult.”
- Domestic Violence — Break the Cycle (womensphilanthropy.typepad.com)
- Campaign against teen dating violence is launched (mysanantonio.com)
- Teen dating violence: no school protocol for reporting/counseling (californiaschildren.typepad.com)
- U.S. High Schools Lax in Preventing Dating Abuse (nlm.nih.gov)
- Wear Your R-E-S-P-E-C-T (fabsugar.com)
- Most U.S. Schools Do Not Train Staff in Preventing Dating Violence Among Teens (healthychildren.org)
- Boston advises teens on how to break up _ safely (sacbee.com)
- Teenage victims of domestic violence targeted as definition is extended (guardian.co.uk)
So many acts in our daily lives – refusing that second slice of cake, walking past the store with the latest gadgets, working on your tax forms when you’d rather watch TV – seem to boil down to one essential ingredient: self-control. Self-control is what enables us to maintain healthy habits, save for a rainy day, and get important things done.
But what is self-control, really? And how does it work?
In a new article in the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Michael Inzlicht of the University of Toronto and Brandon Schmeichel of Texas A&M University argue that the prevailing model of self-control may not be as precise as researchers once thought. Rather than being a limited resource, self-control may actually be more like a motivation- and attention-driven process.
Research on self-control has surged in the last decade and much of it has centered on the resource model of self-control. According to this model, originally proposed by Roy Baumeister and colleagues, self-control is a limited resource – if we exercise a lot of self-control by refusing a second slice of cake, we may not have enough self-control later in the day to resist the urge to shop or watch TV.
Over 100 papers have produced findings that support this model. Research has found, for example, that people who are required to manage their emotions show impaired performance on later tasks, such as solving a difficult puzzle, squeezing a handgrip exerciser, and keeping items in working memory.
But Inzlicht and Schmeichel point out that a newer crop of studies are yielding results that don’t fit with this idea of self-control as a depletable resource. Recent studies have shown that incentives, individual perceptions of task difficulty, personal beliefs about willpower, feedback on task performance, and changes in mood all seem to influence our ability to exercise self-control. These results suggest that self-control may not rely on a limited resource after all.
To accommodate these new findings and get at the mechanisms that underlie self-control, Inzlicht and Schmeichel propose an alternative model that describes self-control as a process involving motivation and attention.
“Engaging in self-control by definition, is hard work; it involves deliberation, attention, and vigilance,” the authors write. If we resist that second slice of cake, we may experience a shift in motivation so that we feel justified in indulging ourselves later on. It’s not necessarily the case that we can’t control ourselves because we’re “out” of self-control but rather that we choose not to control ourselves any longer.
At the same time, our attention shifts so that we’re less likely to notice cues that signal the need for self-control (cake = empty calories) and we pay more attention to cues that signal some kind of reward (cake = delicious treat).
In laying out the basic components of this process model, Inzlicht and Schmeichel want to motivate researchers to ask critical questions about how self-control really works. “The idea that self-control is a resource is one possibility, but there are alternative possibilities that can accommodate more of the accumulated data,” Inzlicht says.
Identifying the mechanisms that underlie self-control can help us to understand behaviors related to a wide range of important problems, including obesity, impulsive spending, gambling, and drug abuse. Inzlicht and Schmeichel hope that researchers will ultimately be able to use this knowledge to design effective m..
- Self-Control May Not Be a Limited Resource After All (psychologicalscience.org)
- Self-control may not be a limited resource after all (sott.net)
- Self-control may not be a limited resource after all (medicalxpress.com)
- Favorite TV reruns may have restorative powers, says UB researcher (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Eat Dessert First? It Might Help You Control Your Diet, University of Minnesota Study (biospace.com)
- Science shows that self-discipline taxes the soul (iijiij.com)
IMAGE: Derrick’s findings may dispel some notions that watching TV is bad for us.Click here for more information.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — We hear all the time that we need to get off the couch, stop watching TV and get moving.
But what if watching TV under specific conditions could actually provide the mental boost you need to tackle a difficult task?
A new paper that describes two studies by Jaye Derrick, PhD, research scientist at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, found that watching a rerun of a favorite TV show may help restore the drive to get things done in people who have used up their reserves of willpower or self-control.
“People have a limited pool of these valuable mental resources,” explains Derrick. “When they use them on a task, they use up some of this limited resource. Therefore, they have less willpower and self-control for the next task.
“With enough time, these mental resources will return. However, there may be ways to more quickly restore them.”
One of these ways is to re-watch your favorite TV show, Derrick’s research found. Doing so, she says, taps into the surrogate relationship people form with the characters in their favorite shows. We find it comforting, mainly because we already know what the characters are going to say and do. All we have to do is sit back and enjoy it.
“When you watch a favorite re-run, you typically don’t have to use any effort to control what you are thinking, saying or doing. You are not exerting the mental energy required for self-control or willpower,” Derrick explains. “At the same time, you are enjoying your ‘interaction,’ with the TV show’s characters, and this
- Favorite TV Reruns May Have Restorative Powers, says UB Researcher (engineeringevil.com)
- TV reruns can boost your willpower (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Need willpower? Watch your favorite TV rerun (futurity.org)
- Favorite TV Reruns May Have Restorative Powers (scienceblog.com)
- Favorite TV reruns may have restorative powers (chimac.net)
- Watching reruns can actually help restore willpower (io9.com)
- Rewind, repeat: Why watching re-runs of old TV shows can be good for your health (dailymail.co.uk)
- Watching TV Reruns May Actually Be Good For You (neatorama.com)
- Favorite TV reruns may have restorative powers, says UB researcher (eurekalert.org)
- Watching Your Favorite TV Show Can Boost Your Willpower (psychologytoday.com)
From KevinMD.com article by SUSAN BIALI, MD on September 9th, 2012
A few weeks ago I was brought in to speak to the staff of a local university. I gave a two hour workshop, which is even more fun for me than giving a keynote as I get to interact personally with the audience and draw their stories out. One of the sections of the workshop was about listening to your body. Every person’s body “speaks” to them in a different way; it’s important to pay attention to and learn to understand and interpret your body’s language.
When your life is off track, your body will let you know. It starts small, whispering to you through minor ailments such as suddenly developing a rash like eczema, or getting mild tension headaches. If you don’t pay attention and make adjustments it will get louder. You might start catching every cold that’s around, or end up with pneumonia.
This isn’t to say that you necessarily caused any and every medical condition you might end up with; there will always be some health situations that we have no explanation for. Yet there’s no question that when you’re out of balance in your life it’s perceived by your body as a stressor, and that can lead to all kinds of secondary consequences (and physical alarm bells). It’s essential to pay attention to this.
While speaking at that university, I asked the audience members if they had any examples of a time their body let them know that something in their life had to change. A small, pleasant-faced woman raised her hand.
“I got diabetes,” she told us. “There’s absolutely no history of it in our family. It was purely due to stress.”
Chronic excess stress could trigger diabetes in a variety of ways: reaching for sugary snacks or other poor food choices to temporarily calm and comfort; lack of time to exercise and maintain a healthy weight; being chronically sleep-deprived (even brief sleep deprivation triggers a pre-diabetic state); or having constantly elevated stress hormones that raise blood sugar.
I asked her what the circumstances were that had made her life so stressful.
“I’m a victim of the sandwich generation,” she said. “I was taking care of my kids, my parents, and everybody else. When I got diagnosed with diabetes, I knew something had to change. I was the person who everyone else came to for Thanksgiving, Christmas, everything. The year I got my diagnosis I told them that if they wanted to eat turkey they could make it themselves, I wasn’t lifting a finger. They didn’t like it at first, but I had no choice. Everything’s so much better now. I made lots of positive changes that were way overdue, and my blood sugar has gone back to normal.”
- Is Getting Sick the Way You Say “No”? (psychologytoday.com)
- 4 Things That Help Stress (& 5 That Make It Worse) (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
“Give sorrow words.” – Malcolm in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
Can simply describing your feelings at stressful times make you less afraid and less anxious?
A new UCLA psychology study suggests that labeling your emotions at the precise moment you are confronting what you fear can indeed have that effect.
The psychologists asked 88 people with a fear of spiders to approach a large, live tarantula in an open container outdoors. The participants were told to walk closer and closer to the spider and eventually touch it if they could.
The subjects were then divided into four groups and sat in front of another tarantula in a container in an indoor setting. In the first group, the subjects were asked to describe the emotions they were experiencing and to label their reactions to the tarantula – saying, for example, “I’m anxious and frightened by the ugly, terrifying spider.”
“This is unique because it differs from typical procedures in which the goal is to have people think differently about the experience – to change their emotional experience or change the way they think about it so that it doesn’t make them anxious,” said Michelle Craske, a professor of psychology at UCLA and the senior author of the study. “Here, there was no attempt to change their experience, just to state what they were experiencing.” …
- That giant tarantula is terrifying, but I’ll touch it: Expressing your emotions can reduce fear (sciencedaily.com)
- That Giant Tarantula Is Terrifying, but I’ll Touch It (zen-haven.dk)
- Expressing Your Emotions Can Reduce Fear (sott.net)
- ‘That Giant Tarantula Is Terrifying, but I’ll Touch It’ – Expressing Your Emotions Can Reduce Fear (psychologicalscience.org)
- That giant tarantula is terrifying, but I’ll touch it (universityofcalifornia.edu)
- That giant tarantula is terrifying, but I’ll touch it (eurekalert.org)
- Speaking Out Your Fears Helps You Face Them (techie-buzz.com)
- How To Live Fearlessly (psychologicalscience.org)
- Fear, Spiders and the Perception of Threat (psmag.com)
Increased levels of depression as a result of discrimination could contribute to low birth weight babies.
Given the well-documented relationship between low birth weight and the increased risk of health problems throughout one’s lifespan, it is vital to reduce any potential contributors to low birth weight. A new study by Valerie Earnshaw and her colleagues from Yale University sheds light on one possible causal factor. Their findings, published online in Springer’s journal, theAnnals of Behavioral Medicine, suggest that chronic, everyday instances of discrimination against pregnant, urban women of color may play a significant role in contributing to low birth weight babies.
Twice as many black women give birth to low birth weight babies than white or Latina women in the U.S. Reasons for this disparity are, as yet, unclear. But initial evidence suggests a link may exist between discrimination experienced while pregnant and the incidence of low birth weight. In addition, experiences of discrimination have also been linked to depression, which causes physiological changes that can have a negative effect on a pregnancy…
Levels of everyday discrimination reported were generally low. However, the impact of discrimination was the same in all the participants regardless of age, ethnicity or type of discrimination reported. Women reporting greater levels of discrimination were more prone to depressive symptoms, and ultimately went on to have babies with lower birth weights than those reporting lower levels of discrimination. This has implications for healthcare providers who work with pregnant teens and young women during the pre-natal period, while they have the opportunity to try and reduce the potential impacts discrimination on the pregnancy.
The authors conclude that “Given the associations between birth weight and health across the life span, it is critical to reduce discrimination directed at urban youth of color so that all children are able to begin life with greater promise for health. In doing so, we have the possibility to eliminate disparities not only in birth weight, but in health outcomes across the lifespan.”
- Study finds racism may harm pregnant women of color and cause low birth weight in newborns (thegrio.com)
- The effects of discrimination could last a lifetime (eurekalert.org)
- The effects of discrimination could last a lifetime (whitenewsnow.com)
- Increased risk of prematurity and low birth weight in babies born after 3 or more abortions (eurekalert.org)
- Health News: Maternity leave delay as dangerous to unborn baby as smoking (dailyrecord.co.uk)
Reliance on supernatural explanations for major life events, such as death and illness, often increases rather than declines with age, according to a new psychology study from The University of Texas at Austin.
The study, published in the June issue of Child Development, offers new insight into developmental learning.
“As children assimilate cultural concepts into their intuitive belief systems — from God to atoms to evolution — they engage in coexistence thinking,” said Cristine Legare, assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. “When they merge supernatural and scientific explanations, they integrate them in a variety of predictable and universal ways.”..
According to the findings, participants of all age groups agreed with biological explanations for at least one event. Yet supernatural explanations such as witchcraft were also frequently supported among children (ages 5 and up) and universally among adults.
Among the adult participants, only 26 percent believed the illness could be caused by either biology or witchcraft. And 38 percent split biological and scientific explanations into one theory. For example: “Witchcraft, which is mixed with evil spirits, and unprotected sex caused AIDS.” However, 57 percent combined both witchcraft and biological explanations. For example: “A witch can put an HIV-infected person in your path.”
Legare said the findings contradict the common assumption that supernatural beliefs dissipate with age and knowledge.
“The findings show supernatural explanations for topics of core concern to humans are pervasive across cultures,” Legare said. “If anything, in both industrialized and developing countries, supernatural explanations are frequently endorsed more often among adults than younger children.”
The results provide evidence that reasoning about supernatural phenomena is a fundamental and enduring aspect of human thinking, Legare said.
“The standard assumption that scientific and religious explanations compete should be re-evaluated in light of substantial psychological evidence,” Legare said. “The data, which spans diverse cultural contexts across the lifespan, shows supernatural reasoning is not necessarily replaced with scientific explanations following gains in knowledge, education or technology.”
- People Merge Supernatural and Scientific Beliefs When Reasoning With the Unknown, Study Shows (yubanet.com)
- Supernatural Beliefs Increase with Age, Study Finds (sciencedaily.com)
- To make magic ritual work: Add steps. Repeat. (futurity.org)
- People are more likely to believe in magic spells that are repetitious and time-consuming [Psychology] (io9.com)
- Legare and Souza’s “Evaluating Ritual Efficacy” (danharms.wordpress.com)
- Study Shows Repetitious, Time-Intensive Magical Rituals Considered More Effective (medicalnewstoday.com)
Gratefulness could be the best way to happiness and to avoid child’s mental health problems in case of a pathogenic infancy. In France our psychologists developed the concept of resilience. Anglo-Saxon world put the accent on gratefulness as a tool for resilience, paving the way for the happening of a state of mind conducive to happiness. Listen to how Nancy Floy, an acupuncturist from Chicago, got through a very difficult childhood thank to her grand mother’s teaching of gratefulness for yet being still alive after a night of alcoholic chaos perpetrated by her own genitors.
Gratefulness is a very good way of conducting once life, don’t you think? Anyway my three dogs already behave according to this precept: they manifest energetically their joy, eyes full of gratefulness whatever the littlest good I do for them (like for example just giving them a little cup of water when they are thirsty, or appearing in the evening after a full day of absence, nothing more than that makes them very happy
Thanks to the media HUMANKIND for broadcasting such interesting programs.
- The Top 10 Habits of Grateful People…Even In Tough Times (lifehack.org)
- Being Grateful (wordznerd.wordpress.com)
Apply folk wisdom to your family practice patients (How to turn unsolicited advice into positive communication!)12
Great article on communication/relationship skills.
It shows how to show you value advice on your own terms.
This reminds me of a scene in Gone With the Wind. Rhett takes baby Bonnie for a walk in her baby carriage. He passes two older women and asks for their advice on breaking the child’s habit of thumb sucking. Although the advice does not seem good, Rhett smiles and thanks them profusely. After Rhett departs, the women talk amongst themselves what a wonderful father Rhett is.
Late in my family practice residency – and very early in my parenting career – I had mentioned the persistent and sometimes uncomfortably intrusive suggestions offered by my mother and mother-in-law. One of our faculty, a seasoned pediatrician and parent, made the suggestion that I call both sets of grandparents regularly and ask for advice. He pointed out that their motivation (to be helpful and involved) was beyond reproach and that they probably had valuable insights to offer, if I could just reframe it to protect my own need to be autonomous and masterful. It worked like magic. The unsolicited advice nearly disappeared – and I learned a great deal from our conversations. The grandparents felt needed. I benefitted. And so did my kids.
Over the years, I have found it a valuable life strategy, and it comes up fairly frequently in practice:
- I tell all new parents at my first opportunity that they should each call their in-laws regularly to discuss parenting concerns and ask for suggestions, pointing out that the investment in making them feel like a valued contributor will pay huge dividends over time, and making sure that they realize that asking for advice will make it easier to ignore it.
- I suggest to parents that they play various versions of the “what if” game with their kids, getting the kids to help decide how best to set rules, reward success, and punish transgressions.
- I tell young adults starting a marriage (or other long term relationship – times have changed) that they should make a point of asking their partner’s opinion and advice often and sincerely, to build a comfortable platform of sharing.
- I suggest proactive questions and requests for feedback when I see people with job stresses.
- When patients are diagnosed with a serious illness for which others will be directing their care (cancer, degenerative neurologic disease), I tell them we are going to be proactive rather than reactive, and schedule regular appointments to discuss their progress and concerns. This makes sure that they understand I want to remain involved, and I avoid having to deal with crises and questions in a vacuum. (Since we often have a long term relationship, I also find that they need to have me tell them the same things the specialist has said to understand it and believe it.)
- When patients reach an age and health status where they are declining and vulnerable, I suggest that we schedule regular visits to talk about how things have gone and what problems we might expect, rather than waiting to things to go wrong.
Psychotherapy is effective, helps reduce the overall need for health services and produces long-term health improvements, according to a review of research studies conducted by the American Psychological Association.
Yet, the use of psychotherapy to treat people with mental and behavioral health issues decreased over the last decade while the use of medications to address such problems has increased, according to government and insurance industry data.
“Every day, consumers are bombarded with ads that tout drugs as the answer to their problems. Our goal is to help consumers weigh those messages with research-based information about how psychotherapy can provide them with safe, effective and long-lasting improvements in their mental and physical health,” said Melba J. T. Vazquez, PhD, past president of the American Psychological Association who led the psychotherapy effectiveness review project…
The resolution also states Key findings of the resolution:
• Research demonstrates that psychotherapy is effective for a variety of mental and behavioral health issues and across a spectrum of population groups. The average effects of psychotherapy are larger than the effects produced by many medical treatments.
• Large multi-site and meta-analytic studies have demonstrated that psychotherapy reduces disability, morbidity and mortality; improve work functioning; and decrease psychiatric hospitalization.
• Psychotherapy teaches patients life skills that last beyond the course of treatment. The results of psychotherapy tend to last longer than psychopharmacological treatments and rarely produce harmful side effects
• While medication is appropriate in some instances, research shows that a combination of medication and psychotherapy is often most effective in treating depression and anxiety. It should also be noted that the effects produced by psychotherapy, including those for different age groups and across a spectrum of mental and physical health disorders, are often comparable to or better than the effects produced by drug treatments for the same disorders without the potential for harmful side effects that drugs often carry.
“As Americans grapple with the ever-increasing cost of health care, it is important that consumers and those who make decisions about health care access understand the potential value in both improved outcomes and cost-saving of psychotherapies,” Vasquez said. “APA applauds and continues to support collaboration of psychologists with other health care providers as part of integrated health care teams. Psychotherapies are highly effective, but only when consumers have access to them.”
- Psychotherapy is effective, but not used enough in many health situations (examiner.com)
- 8 Reasons to Cheer for Psychotherapy and to Broaden Its Availability (psychologytoday.com)
- Should Psychotherapy Notes Be a Part of Your Electronic… (psychcentral.com)
- Managed Behavioral Health Care Just May Shorten Your Life (forbes.com)
- DSM-IV: Depression Defined (everydayhealth.com)
- Psychiatrists Who Do Psychotherapy: Vanishing Breed? (jajsamos.wordpress.com)
- The Impact of Loss on the Therapeutic Relationship in Therapist-Initiated Termination (udini.proquest.com)
- Phone-Based Psychotherapy Helps Depression, at Least in the Short Term (healthland.time.com)
- Hothouse Psychotherapy (psychologytoday.com)
Parents get physical with their misbehaving children in public much more than they show in laboratory experiments and acknowledge in surveys, according to one of the first real-world studies of caregiver discipline.
The study, led by Michigan State University’s Kathy Stansbury, found that 23 percent of youngsters received some type of “negative touch” when they failed to comply with a parental request in public places such as restaurants and parks. Negative touch included arm pulling, pinching, slapping and spanking…
..Stansbury said another surprising finding was that male caregivers touched the children more during discipline settings than female caregivers – and the majority of the time it was in a positive manner. Positive touch included hugging, tickling and patting.
She said this positive approach contradicts the age-old stereotype of the father as the parent who lays down the law.
“When we think of Dad, we think of him being the disciplinarian, and Mom as nurturer, but that’s just not what we saw,” Stansbury said. “I do think that we are shifting as a society and fathers are becoming more involved in the daily mechanics of raising kids, and that’s a good thing for the kids and also a good thing for the dads.”
Ultimately, positive touch caused the children to comply more often, more quickly and with less fussing than negative touch, or physical punishment, Stansbury said. When negative touch was used, even when children complied, they often pouted or sulked afterward, she said.
“If your child is upset and not minding you and you want to discipline them, I would use a positive, gentle touch,” Stansbury said. “Our data found that negative touch didn’t work.”
- Getting Physical With Unruly Kids (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Spanking, Hitting Kids in Public Surprisingly Common, Study Finds (livescience.com)
- Nearly 1 in 4 kids gets physical rebuke in public (futurity.org)
- Parents get physical with unruly kids, study finds (sciencedaily.com)
- Spanking, Hitting Kids in Public Surprisingly Common, Study Finds (sott.net)
- Researchers surprised to see parents hit kids in public (cbsnews.com)
- Nearly 1 in 4 kids gets physical rebuke in public (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Publicly Spanking Kids Might Still Be Way Too Common [Parenting] (jezebel.com)
- Can spanking cause mental illness? (cnn.com)
- Study explores parents ‘negative touch’ – New York Daily News (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
First-time mothers who pay attention to their emotional and physical changes during their pregnancy may feel better and have healthier newborns than new mothers who don’t, according to research to be presented at American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention.
“These findings continue more than 40 years of research that has made clear that whether you are mindless or mindful makes a big difference in every aspect of your health and well-being — from competence to longevity,” Ellen Langer, professor of psychology at Harvard University and a pioneer in researching mindfulness, said in an interview. Langer is a past recipient of APA’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest.
For Langer’s recent study, researchers trained women pregnant with their first child in mindfulness with instructions to notice subtle changes in their feelings and physical sensations each day, she said. When compared with two other groups of first-time pregnant mothers who did not have the mindfulness training, these women reported more well-being and positive feelings and less emotional distress. “They had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction during this period of their pregnancy and up to at least a month after birth,” Langer said. “And this also had a positive impact on their deliveries and overall health of the newborns.”
“Noticing even subtle fluctuations in how you feel can counter mindlessness, or the illusion of stability. We tend to hold things still in our minds, despite the fact that all the while they are changing. If we open up our minds, a world of possibility presents itself,” she said.
Author of the popular books “Mindfulness,” “The Power of Mindful Learning,” “On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity,” and most recently, “Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility,” Langer is known for her work on the illusion of control, aging, decision-making and mindfulness theory.
In her lecture, Langer will describe her research to test possibilities rather than find out what is typical. “Psychologists have traditionally studied the ‘norm’ rather than exceptions that could show that we are capable of far more than we currently realize,” she said. Among other research, she will describe her work showing how a change in mindset has resulted in weight loss and improved vision and hearing, and how subtle differences in choice of words can improve health.
Langer first demonstrated the psychology of possibilities in her landmark 1981 “counterclockwise” experiment in which a group of elderly men spent time immersed in a retreat created to reflect daily life in the 1950s and where they were told to speak of the past in the present tense. Men in a comparison group reminisced for the week and were given no instructions regarding verb tense. The experimental group showed greater improvement in vision, strength, joint flexibility, finger length (their arthritis diminished and they could straighten their fingers more) and manual dexterity. On intelligence tests, 63 percent of the experimental group improved their scores, compared to 44 percent of the control group, Langer said.
BBC television recently replicated the study with British celebrities in a program that has been viewed in Great Britain, Australia, India and Hong Kong. It’s currently being replicated with local celebrities in Germany and the Netherlands, Langer said.
“It is important for people to realize there can be enhanced possibilities for people of all ages and all walks of life,” Langer emphasized. “My research has shown how using a different word, offering a small choice or making a subtle change in the physical environment can improve our health and well-being. Small changes can make large differences, so we should open ourselves to the impossible and embrace a psychology of possibility.”
- Mindfulness: Psychology Of Possibilities Can Enhance Health, Happiness (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Mindfulness Training Boosts Health of Pregnant Women and Their Babies (sciencedaily.com)
- Mindsight: the new science of personal transformation? (psychologytoday.com)
- Psychology of possibilities can enhance health, happiness, research says (eurekalert.org)
- Put Positive Psychology to Work for You (psychologytoday.com)
Many people, whether they know it or not, are philosophical dualists. That is, they believe that the brain and the mind are two separate entities. Despite the fact dualist beliefs are found in virtually all human cultures, surprisingly little is known about the impact of these beliefs on how we think and behave in everyday life. ..
…Across five related studies, researchers Matthias Forstmann, Pascal Burgmer, and Thomas Mussweiler of the University of Cologne, Germany, found that people primed with dualist beliefs had more reckless attitudes toward health and exercise, and also preferred (and ate) a less healthy diet than those who were primed with physicalist beliefs.
Furthermore, they found that the relationship also worked in the other direction. People who were primed with unhealthy behaviors – such as pictures of unhealthy food – reported a stronger dualistic belief than participants who were primed with healthy behaviors.
Overall, the findings from the five studies provide converging evidence demonstrating that mind-body dualism has a noticeable impact on people’s health-related attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, these findings suggest that dualistic beliefs decrease the likelihood of engaging in healthy behavior.
These findings support the researchers’ original hypothesis that the more people perceive their minds and bodies to be distinct entities, the less likely they will be to engage in behaviors that protect their bodies. Bodies are ultimately viewed as a disposable vessel that helps the mind interact with the physical world.
Evidence of a bidirectional relationship further suggests that metaphysical beliefs, such as beliefs in mind-body dualism, may serve as cognitive tools for coping with threatening or harmful situations.
The fact that the simple priming procedures used in the studies had an immediate impact on health-related attitudes and behavior suggests that these procedures may eventually have profound implications for real-life problems. Interventions that reduce dualistic beliefs through priming could be one way to help promote healthier – or less self-damaging – behaviors in at-risk populations.
- Mind vs. Body? Dualist Beliefs Linked with Less Concern for Healthy Behaviors (prn.fm)
- Mind vs. body? Dualist beliefs linked with less concern for healthy behaviors (sciencedaily.com)
- Mind vs. Body? Dualist Beliefs Linked with Less Concern for Healthy Behaviors (psychologicalscience.org)
- Mind vs. Body? Dualist Beliefs Linked with Less Concern for Healthy Behaviors (sott.net)
- Mind vs. body? Dualist beliefs linked with less concern for healthy behaviors (medicalxpress.com)
- Mind vs. body? Dualist beliefs linked with less concern for healthy behaviors (eurekalert.org)
Too often our memory starts acting like a particularly porous sieve: all the important fragments that should be caught and preserved somehow just disappear. So armed with pencils and bolstered by caffeine, legions of adults, especially older adults, tackle crossword puzzles, acrostics, Sudoku and a host of other activities designed to strengthen their flagging memory muscles.
But maybe all they really need to do to cement new learning is to sit and close their eyes for a few minutes. In an article to be published in the journal Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Michaela Dewar and her colleagues show that memory can be boosted by taking a brief wakeful rest after learning something verbally new – so keep the pencil for phone numbers – and that memory lasts not just immediately but over a longer term. ..
…Dewar explains that there is growing evidence to suggest that the point at which we experience new information is “just at a very early stage of memory formation and that further neural processes have to occur after this stage for us to be able to remember this information at a later point in time.”
We now live in a world where we are bombarded by new information and it crowds out recently acquired information. The process of consolidating memories takes a little time and the most important things that it needs are peace and quiet.
- Wakeful Resting Can Boost New Memories (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Boosting New Memories With Wakeful Resting (psychologicalscience.org)
- Boosting New Memories With Wakeful Resting (sott.net)
- Boosting New Memories With Wakeful Resting (scienceblog.com)
- Boosting new memories with wakeful resting (medicalxpress.com)
- Boosting new memories with wakeful resting (eurekalert.org)
- Wakeful Rest May Boost Memory (livescience.com)
- Boost Your Memory By Resting Your Eyes After Learning (businessinsider.com)
- ‘I AM just resting my eyes!’ The key to remembering important facts is a few minutes of peace and quiet, claim scientists (dailymail.co.uk)
- New study shows sleep is a hotbed of information (storagebedsdirect.co.uk)
- Rest Is Not Idleness: Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being (prn.fm)
For older adults, loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems — such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s — and death. Attempts to diminish loneliness with social networking programs like creating community centers to encourage new relationships have not been effective.
However, a new study led by Carnegie Mellon University’s J. David Creswell offers the first evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Published in Brain, Behavior & Immunity, the researchers also found that mindfulness meditation — a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that focuses on creating an attentive awareness of the present moment — lowered inflammation levels, which is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases. These findings provide valuable insights into how mindfulness meditation training can be used as a novel approach for reducing loneliness and the risk of disease in older adults.
“We always tell people to quit smoking for health reasons, but rarely do we think about loneliness in the same way,” said Creswell, assistant professor of psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We know that loneliness is a major risk factor for health problems and mortality in older adults. This research suggests that mindfulness meditation training is a promising intervention for improving the health of older adults.”…
Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why – UCLA study helps caregivers of people with dementia (EurkAlert)
Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Now they know why.
As previously reported, practicing a certain form of chanting yogic meditation for just 12 minutes daily for eight weeks led to a reduction in the biological mechanisms responsible for an increase in the immune system’s inflammation response. Inflammation, if constantly activated, can contribute to a multitude of chronic health problems.
Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Loneliness in Older Adults (westallen.typepad.com)
- Older adults who meditate feel less lonely (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Reducing Loneliness in Seniors Is Possible Through Meditation (news.softpedia.com)
- Mindfulness reduces loneliness in older adults (lonelinessblog.com)
- Older adults who meditate feel less lonely (futurity.org)
- Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults, Carnegie Mellon study shows (eurekalert.org)
- The High Price of Loneliness (newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why (sciencedaily.com)
- Loneliness linked to serious health problems and death among elderly (eurekalert.org)
- Yoga reduces stress; now it’s known why (scienceblog.com)
Training Caregivers Not To Underestimate The Abilities Of People With Alzheimer’s Disease, Promoting Independence
This article resonates with me.
When my father was dying, it was a struggle not to help too much..and to make sure he made the decisions he was capable of, and physically moved on his own as much as possible.
Last week, as part of my volunteering at a senior residential center, I took a resident shopping. Although she had recently returned from the hospital, I did insist she go into the store with me (I was thinking exercise, she doesn’t move around much) …on the pretense that although she had a list, that would be the only way she would be assured she’d get what she needed.
She did manage! and thankfully wasn’t in pain (at least she didn’t complain).
As a volunteer at our local Area Office on Aging, it is challenging to offer options, but allow the clients to make their own decisions. Active listening is hard at times, but it does pay off in the end.
Family members or professional caregivers who do everything for older adults withAlzheimer’s disease may just be wanting to help, but one University of Alberta researcher says that creating excess dependency may rob the patients of their independence and self-worth.
U of A psychologist Tiana Rust, who recently completed her doctoral program, says her research indicated that caregivers adopted a “dependency support script,” assuming control of tasks they believed patients seemed no longer capable of doing for themselves. She says this model shows that the caregivers’ beliefs, rather than the person’s real abilities, drove their interactions with the patients. Her research also showed that the caregivers’ actions were also seemingly incongruous with their values of wanting to treat patients with respect and promote their independence.
With an aging Canadian population, the number of people suffering from the disease is expected to increase over the next 20 years, she says. Thus, changing behaviour becomes critical – and she’s hoping her U-of-A based research will help spark that change.
“When we create this excess dependency that doesn’t need to be there, this is a problem,” said Rust. “1.1 million Canadians are projected to have dementia by 2038. So, if we’re able to maintain and promote independence to the degree permissible by the disease, that’s important.”
Help not necessarily wanted ….
- Helping Alzheimer’s Patients Stay Independent (eurasiareview.com)
- The Alzheimer’s Caregiver™ – Bridges the Gap between Research and Caregiving (alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Newly Released Report, Women and Alzheimer’s Disease, The Caregiver’s Crisis Finds 82% of Women Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients, Primarily at Home (prnewswire.com)
- Changes in walking may indicate Alzheimer’s disease (foxnews.com)
- New Study Shows The Stress of Working, Caring (caregiving.com)
- What Does Alzheimer’s disease and a Box of Cracker Jacks Have in Common? (alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Caregivers need relief, respite from Alzheimer’s, too (miamiherald.com)
Much of the debate over the future edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5) has centered on what disorders will be added, modified or dropped. But lost in the discussion is a change that will align disorders along a developmental continuum—one that looks at them across the lifespan. This shift will provide clinicians with a critical perspective that until now has been missing.
Historically, disorders were classified in DSM by symptom manifestation and patient presentation. As a result, they generally were grouped by discreet stages of life, as if there were no connections or implications from one stage to another. In particular, the opening chapter of DSM-IV, “Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence,” segregated such conditions as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, pica, rumination and autism disorder from the rest of the manual. The implication was that disorders in the “child” chapter affect only children and disorders in the rest of the manual affect only adults….
he need for these changes is obvious: The real world doesn’t work within distinct boundaries, and clinicians are not best able to understand potential connections, interrelations and ramifications when they only consider a single, narrow point in time. A young girl who lashes out with persistent and significant anger could presage a young adult with similarly explosive behavior, for example. Conversely, a middle-aged man’s extreme anxiety might reflect a difficult recent event, such as a divorce or layoff. But it also might be a problem that first manifested itself decades earlier, in panic attacks or a fear of leaving the house. In both cases, diagnosis as well as treatment will be more clinically useful if the factors involved are evaluated through a longitudinal lens.
This different perspective will especially benefit women, for whom mental disorders are often linked to specific ages or periods of life. We know that young women between 15 and 22 are much more likely to have negative body image than young men and to develop eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, self-harm and, in the most extreme cases, suicide. But what happens after 22? Even with treatment, the risk of recurrent depression remains, and it often needs to be assessed in terms of the extra emotional and physical issues many women face throughout their lives—because of lower income, discrimination, sexual harassment and violence….
- Press Release from the American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Draws Nearly 2,300 Public Responses (jeanettebartha.wordpress.com)
- In the age of anxiety, are we all mentally ill? (msnbc.msn.com)
- Exploring the Proposed DSM-5 Criteria in a Clinical Sample (leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk)
- Checklist vs. Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Mental Health Service Debate (jeanettebartha.wordpress.com)
- Sandusky’s “Mental Illness” Defense (thedailybeast.com)
- Two Who Resigned From DSM-5 Explain Why (psychologytoday.com)
- In the Age of Anxiety, are we all mentally ill? (vancouversun.com)
- Two resign from DSM-5 Personality Disorders Work Group over “seriously flawed” proposals (dxrevisionwatch.wordpress.com)
- ADHD in DSM-5: Lower Specificity, Increased Rates (madinamerica.com)
- DSM 5 Continues To Ignore Critics (psychologytoday.com)
- Autism Criteria Critics Blasted by DSM-5 Leader (medpagetoday.com)
From the 19th July 2012 article at Medical News Today
People are more likely to show forgiving behavior if they receive restitution, but they are more prone to report they have forgiven if they get an apology, according to Baylor University research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
The study underscores the importance of both restitution and apology and of using multiple measures for forgiveness, including behavior, said Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.
“One of the main reasons for using behavioral measures in addition to self-reporting by individuals is that they can make themselves look better by only self-reporting, although they don’t necessarily intend to lie,” she said. “And it may be that ‘I forgive you’ is a more conscious feeling if they receive an apology.” ..
…Researchers examined the links between apology, restitution, empathy and forgiveness, measuring forgiveness in two ways: Through behavior (how many raffle tickets participants gave to their partners on the third round); and self-reporting on a questionnaire, with participants telling how highly they rated their motivation to forgive.
Researchers wrote that “making amends can facilitative forgiveness, but not all amends can fully compensate for offenses.” Apology may be needed to repair damage fully, but it may be a “silent forgiveness,” while restitution without apology may lead to a “hollow forgiveness” in which the offenders are treated better but not necessarily forgiven.
“The results suggest that if transgressors seek both psychological and interpersonal forgiveness from their victims, they must pair their apologies with restitution,” they wrote. “Apparently, actions and words speak loudest in concert.”
- Actions don’t always speak louder than words when it comes to forgiveness (scienceblog.com)
- Actions don’t always speak louder than words – At least, not when it comes to forgiveness (sott.net)
- Granting Forgiveness, Part II (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness VS Acceptance: What Works Best for You? (biznik.com)
- How to apologize effectively: responsibility, restitution, repentance (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
- Contemplating Forgiveness (and Apologies) (jugglinglife.typepad.com)
- A Prelude to Forgiveness (junkyardsalvation.com)
- ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’ (chemistrychristianityandme.wordpress.com)
- Quotes on Forgiveness (itakeoffthemask.com)
- Punishment’s One Thing, but Restitution Can Be Costly (blogs.lawyers.com)
- Forgiveness: What’s the cost (blendedfamilyfocus.com)
- Let’s talk about forgiveness (afterbetrayal.wordpress.com)
Intuitively it simply makes sense: exposure to sexual content in movies at an early age probably influences adolescents’ sexual behavior. And yet, even though a great deal of research has shown that adolescents who watch more risky behaviors in popular movies, like drinking or smoking, are more likely to drink and smoke themselves, surprisingly little research has examined whether movies influence adolescents’ sexual behaviors.
Over six years, psychological scientists examined whether or not seeing sex on the big screen translates into sex in the real world for adolescents. Their findings, which are to be published inPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, revealed not only that it did but also explained some of the reasons why.
It appears from our meta-analysis that risk-glorifying media has potentially grave consequences, such as innumerable incidences of fatalities, injuries and high economic costs in a broad variety of risk-taking domains, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, gambling and risky sexual behavior,” wrote Fischer.
Among the media examined, video games that glorify risk were more likely to prompt dangerous behavior than passive exposure, such as watching films or listening to music. The authors examined research conducted between 1983 and 2009 in the United States and Europe, incorporating more than 80,000 participants. Most people were between the ages of 16 and 24, but some of the samples did include older and younger participants.
An analysis of this size helps prove that exposure to risk-glorifying media actually leads to riskier behavior, which was exemplified in several experiments, the authors said. For example, in a typical experiment, participants were first exposed to media content that either glorified risk taking — such as pictures of extreme sports or street racing video games — or did not glorify such behavior. Afterward, the researchers measured how willing the participants were to engage in certain types of risky behaviors, such as participating in extreme sports or reckless driving, measured in a computer simulation.
One study of 961 young adults found that those who watched movies showing people drinking were more likely to drink more and have alcohol-related problems later in life. Similar effects were found in other studies of smoking.
“These results support recent lines of research into the relationship between risk taking and the media,” said Fischer. “There is indeed a reliable connection between exposure to risk-glorifying media content and risk-taking behaviors, cognitions and emotions.”…
- Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Sexual Behavior in Adolescence (psychologicalscience.org)
- Exposure to sexual content in popular movies predicts sexual behavior in adolescence (medicalxpress.com)
- Exposure to sexual content in popular movies predicts sexual behavior in adolescence (eurekalert.org)
If you want to feel as if you have more time, try giving it away by volunteering to do things for others, suggests a new U.S. study. (iStock)
Many people these days feel a sense of “time famine” – never having enough minutes and hours to do everything. We all know that our objective amount of time can’t be increased (there are only 24 hours in a day), but a new study suggests that volunteering our limited time – giving it away – may actually increase our sense of unhurried leisure.
Across four different experiments, researchers found that people’s subjective sense of having time, called ‘time affluence,’ can be increased: compared with wasting time, spending time on oneself, and even gaining a windfall of ‘free’ time, spending time on others increased participants’ feelings of time affluence. …
- Volunteering gives you the sense of more free time (scienceblog.com)
- Giving Time Can Give You Time (psychologicalscience.org)
- Giving time can give you time (eurekalert.org)
While I don’t have cancer, I have many fond memories of marching/concert band in high school and college. It definitely made a difference in my sense of well being and sense of achievement.
The Welsh cancer charity Tenovus and Cardiff University, both based in the UK, have reported that participation in a choir improves a number of quality of life factors for cancer survivors and their carers.
In an effort to create a community for cancer survivors and their carers, Tenovus established the choir, Sing for Life, in 2010. More than just a support group, the aim of the choir was to improve quality of life and emotional well-being in a more social setting.
…Analysis of the questionnaires revealed an improvement in factors ranging from vitality tomental health and reduced anxiety and depression after the three month period. There was no change in the level of fatigue or change in lung capacity, but there was a trend of increased maximal expiratory static mouth pressure (MEP), a test of the strength of respiratory muscles.
The perceived benefit of the choir was quite clear based on data from the interviewed participants. They commented on the benefits of having a common goal and looking forward to the performances. Overall, participation in the choir lifted the mood of many of the participants and gave them a sense of achievement.
- Cancer survivors’ concert will celebrate life (ocregister.com)
- Inmates sing for captive audience (wcpo.com)
- Cancer survivor continues singing career after losing jaw (fox6now.com)
The volume of a small brain region influences one’s predisposition for altruistic behavior. Researchers from the University of Zurich show that people who behave more altruistically than others have more gray matter at the junction between the parietal and temporal lobe, thus showing for the first time that there is a connection between brain anatomy, brain activity and altruistic behavior…
…”These are exciting results for us. However, one should not jump to the conclusion that altruistic behavior is determined by biological factors alone.” The volume of gray matter is also influenced by social processes. According to Fehr, the findings therefore raise the fascinating question as to whether it is possible to promote the development of brain regions that are important for altruistic behavior through appropriate training or social norms.
- The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are (eurekalert.org)
- The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are (sott.net)
- The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are (artofthestem.com)
- The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are (scienceblog.com)
- The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are (sciencedaily.com)
- Brain Scientists Locate Home of Altruism (psmag.com)
- The More Gray Matter You Have, the More Altruistic You Are (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
Now I understand the sign outside a co-worker’s cubicle….Please do not disturb now, I am thinking…
As each day passes, the pace of life seems to accelerate — demands on productivity continue ever upward and there is hardly ever a moment when we aren’t, in some way, in touch with our family, friends, or coworkers. While moments for reflection may be hard to come by, a new article suggests that the long-lost art of introspection — even daydreaming — may be an increasingly valuable part of life…
“Balance is needed between outward and inward attention, since time spent mind wandering, reflecting and imagining may also improve the quality of outward attention that kids can sustain,” says Immordino-Yang.
She and her colleagues argue that mindful introspection can become an effective part of the classroom curriculum, providing students with the skills they need to engage in constructive internal processing and productive reflection. Research indicates that when children are given the time and skills necessary for reflecting, they often become more motivated, less anxious, perform better on tests, and plan more effectively for the future.
And mindful reflection is not just important in an academic context — it’s also essential to our ability to make meaning of the world around us. Inward attention is an important contributor to the development of moral thinking and reasoning and is linked with overall socioemotional well-being.
Immordino-Yang and her colleagues worry that the high attention demands of fast-paced urban and digital environments may be systematically undermining opportunities for young people to look inward and reflect, and that this could have negative effects on their psychological development. This is especially true in an age when social media seems to be a constant presence in teens’ day-to-day lives…
According to the authors, perhaps the most important conclusion to be drawn from research on the brain at rest is the fact that all rest is not idleness [my emphasis!]
- Day Dreaming Good for You? Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being (thesciencebulletin.wordpress.com)
- Rest Is Not Idleness: Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being (psychologicalscience.org)
- Rest is not idleness: Reflection is critical for development and well-being (eurekalert.org)
- Why Daydreaming Isn’t a Waste of Time (blogs.kqed.org)
- Day dreaming good for you? Reflection is critical for development and well-being (sciencedaily.com)
- Rest is not idleness: Reflection is critical for development and well-being (medicalxpress.com)
- Daydreamers Could Be the Smart Kids, Says USC Study (psychologicalscience.org)
- Reflecting on my reflections… #pgce (drbadgr.wordpress.com)
- Mind Wandering: Remembering the past and Imaginging the future share similarities (jeanettebartha.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Self Reflection (joyofspa.com)
Although not addressed in this study, I couldn’t help but wonder if anger is “fed” by factors not easily determined as how we think about and treat people on an everyday basis.
This morning on Facebook, a friend posted an item about snarkiness and how this affects one’s productivity. However, I think snakiness not only affects oneself but the thoughts and actions of others.I couldn’t help but think that maybe snarky attitudes can somehow draw out anger in others. Yes, we are all ultimately responsible for our actions and thoughts. But we are also “our brother’s keeper”.
This article made me more aware of how I think and act towards teens, and how I need to rethink my thoughts and actions.
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adolescents have experienced an anger attack that involved threatening violence, destroying property or engaging in violence toward others at some point in their lives. These severe attacks of uncontrollable anger are much more common among adolescents than previously recognized, a new study led by researchers from Harvard Medical School finds.
The study, based on the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement, a national face-to-face household survey of 10,148 U.S. adolescents, found that nearly two-thirds of adolescents in the U.S. have a history of anger attacks. It also found that one in 12 young people — close to six million adolescents — meet criteria for a diagnosis of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), a syndrome characterized by persistent uncontrollable anger attacks not accounted for by other mental disorders.
The results were published July 2 inArchives of General Psychiatry.
[Full Text of the Report here]
IED has an average onset in late childhood and tends to be quite persistent through the middle years of life. ..
- Uncontrollable anger prevalent among U.S. youth: Almost two-thirds have history of anger attacks (sciencedaily.com)
- Uncontrollable anger prevalent among US youth (medicalxpress.com)
- Warning over youth anger ‘disorder’ (bigpondnews.com)
- Uncontrollable anger prevalent among US youth (eurekalert.org)
- Teen rage: Anger-related disorders on the rise (vancouversun.com)
- The age of rage: psychiatrists battle over teen anger diagnosis (theprovince.com)
- The age of rage: psychiatrists battle over teen anger diagnosis (canada.com)
- One in 12 teens have ‘intermittent explosive disorder,’ study finds (news.nationalpost.com)
- Harvard Researchers Study “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” (IED); Aggression in Adolescents (madinamerica.com)
- Does your teen have a severe anger disorder? (thechart.blogs.cnn.com)
This is one response to how to lower the high murder rate rate in Chicago (5,056 since 2001). The author believes that many victims of violence react with shock in much the same manner as soldiers with PTSD. These victims will most likely grow up angry with greater potential to use violence to solve problems unless they are worked with, much like returning soldiers from a war zone.
The Real Problem: Trauma
I spent a summer in the ER of a Level 1 trauma center in Chicago. Gunshot victims would come in, and they couldn’t believe what had happened to them. It was traumatic in the truest sense – their bodies were broken and put into shock. But their mind and spirit were as well: it was a jarring experience all around for them. But not only for them. Mothers and aunties and cousins and baby mommas were going crazy too. A light bulb turned on: This situation is traumatic for them too! They need care as well.
And so the idea of “care” was expanding from physical to psycho-spiritual, and from patient to family. Everybody involved was a victim of trauma here.
I began to look into this idea of “trauma” and found that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the result of unfettered moments of shock that continue to reside in the body: the brain and body never return to “normal,” and will erupt in erratic behavior. Think of a geyser here. Hot springs are the result of spontaneous combustion of something that happened in a river far away and a long time ago. What if this is true with humans?
We already know it is. One study on inner-city kids in Chicago showed that children who were exposed to violence or witness a violent act were much more likely to demonstrate aggressive behavior within one year of exposure. PTSD also carries symptoms of depression, which contribute to feelings of meaninglessness in self and the world (thus devaluing another human life enough to take it). This is all very scientific and I want to get to the point:
Our children are being put into shock every single day.
They are experiencing violence as perpetrator, victim, and witness, and they are no less exposed to the trauma. The trauma of being poor….
One Real Solution
Chicago has been called a “warzone” – let’s play with that a moment. Maybe the best thing a small church can do to stop the violence is work with our children like we work with our returning soldiers. (We need to do this better as well). Vets need safe space to talk. They need to give voice to experiences and be able to create new ways of understanding themselves—it’s called moving from “soldier” to “human” again.
Our children need to understand themselves not as black or poor orat-risk but as HUMAN first. They need to develop meaning to confront the meaninglessness that surrounds them. This angry and dark world is traumatic for children, and they will grow up angry and dark unless we help them process what they have seen. Finding one’s own voice is critical to meaning-making. Some of them are not soldiers, but they are all in the war.
- Embattled Childhood: The Real Trauma in PTSD (psychologicalscience.org)
- The Psychology of Resilience (psychologicalscience.org)
- Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga: An Interview with David Emerson. (elephantjournal.com)
- The legacy of childhood trauma (beyondmeds.com)
- The Road to Recovery – Promoting Resiliency in First Responders, and Others Who Witness Trauma on a Regular Basis (downwindwalk.wordpress.com)
- June is National Post Traumatic Stress Month (jeanettebartha.wordpress.com)
Financial loss can lead to irrational behavior. Now, research by Weizmann Institute scientists reveals that the effects of loss go even deeper: Loss can compromise our early perception and interfere with our grasp of the true situation. The findings, which recently appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, may also have implications for our understanding of the neurological mechanisms underlying post-traumatic stress disorder.
The experiment was conducted by Dr. Rony Paz and research student Offir Laufer of the Neurobiology Department. Subjects underwent a learning process based on classic conditioning and involving money. They were asked to listen to a series of tones composed of three different notes. After hearing one note, they were told they had earned a certain sum; after a second note, they were informed that they had lost some of their money; and a third note was followed by the message that their bankroll would remain the same. According to the findings, when a note was tied to gain, or at least to no loss, the subjects improved over time in a learned task – distinguishing that note from other, similar notes. But when they heard the “lose money” note, they actually got worse at telling one from the other.
Functional MRI (fMRI) scans of the brain areas involved in the learning process revealed an emotional aspect: The amygdala, which is tied to emotions and reward, was strongly involved. The researchers also noted activity in another area in the front of the brain, which functions to moderate the emotional response. Subjects who exhibited stronger activity in this area showed less of a drop in their abilities to distinguish between tones.
Paz: “The evolutionary origins of that blurring of our ability to discriminate are positive: If the best response to the growl of a lion is to run quickly, it would be counterproductive to distinguish between different pitches of growl. Any similar sound should make us flee without thinking. Unfortunately, that same blurring mechanism can be activated today in stress-inducing situations that are not life-threatening – like losing money – and this can harm us.”
That harm may even be quite serious: For instance, it may be involved in post-traumatic stress disorder. If sufferers are unable to distinguish between a stimulus that should cause a panic response and similar, but non-threatening, stimuli, they may experience strong emotional reactions in inappropriate situations. This perceptional blurring may even expand over time to encompass a larger range of stimuli. Paz intends to investigate this possibility in future research.
- Minor Stressful Events Can Cause Major Emotional Reactions (psychieblog.wordpress.com)
- Losing money, emotions and evolution (eurekalert.org)
- Predicting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Before It Happens (eurasiareview.com)
- Losing money, emotions and evolution (medicalxpress.com)
- Predicting post-traumatic stress disorder before it happens (medicalxpress.com)
- What is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? (stoningdemons.wordpress.com)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disability (socialsecurityhome.com)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: When It’s Real, It’s Real (blogs.lawyers.com)
Shedding light on what makes people feel and act the way they do
(SALT LAKE CITY)—The velvety voice of Elvis Presley still makes hearts flutter—and in a new study with people who have the rare genetic disorder Williams syndrome, one of the King’s classics is among a group of songs that helped to cast light on part of the essence of being human: the mystery of emotion and human interaction.
In a study led by Julie R. Korenberg, Ph.D., M.D., University of Utah/USTAR professor, Circuits of the Brain and pediatrics, people with and without Williams syndrome (WS) listened to music in a trial to gauge emotional response through the release of oxytocin and arginine vasopressin (AVP), two hormones associated with emotion. The study, published June 12, 2012, in PLoS ONE, signals a paradigm shift both for understanding human emotional and behavioral systems and expediting the treatments of devastating illnesses such as WS, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and possibly even autism, according to Korenberg, senior author on the study and one of the world’s leading experts in genetics, brain, and behavior of WS.
“Our results could be very important for guiding the treatment of these disorders,” Korenberg says. “It could have enormous implications for personal the use of drugs to help people.”
The study also is the first to reveal new genes that control emotional responses and to show that AVP is involved in the response to music…
- Hormones, Elvis and Human Emotion (neurosciencenews.com)
- Hormones, Elvis, and human emotion: Shedding light on what makes people feel and act the way they do (medicalxpress.com)
- Personality Traits Traced In Brain (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Williams syndrome personality traits traced in brain (scienceblog.com)
- Predicting post-traumatic stress disorder before it happens (eurekalert.org)
- Williams Syndrome: What Is It, and What Can A Parent Do? (alternativendhealth.wordpress.com)
- Hormones responsible for the strongest human emotions // Hormonas responsables de las mas fuertes emociones Humanas (michumedia.wordpress.com)
- Friendly-to-a-Fault, yet Intense: Peronality Traits Traced in Brain (nih.gov)
Improving Access to Mental Health Care and Psychosocial Support within a Fragile Context: A Case Study from Afghanistan
While American service men and women are being treated for war related traumas, let us not forget the effects of war on civilians…
- After the fall of the Taliban, the rebuilding of the Afghan health care system, from scratch, provided opportunities to integrate mental health into basic health services through the use of funds that became available during this complex humanitarian emergency.
- Practice-oriented mental health trainings for general health workers and ongoing clinical supervision in the basic health care system led to substantially increased demand for and access to basic mental health care services.
- Treatment of mental disorders within the health care system needs to be accompanied by a community-based approach that focuses on psychosocial problems.
- Addressing service delivery needs in a fragile state has to be accompanied by capacity building and policy development in order to foster structural changes within the health care system.
Looking to the Future
The experience in Nangarhar shows that, even within a fragile and resource poor context, it is possible to develop integrated services for mental health and psychosocial support, to rapidly cover an area of more than a million people. It is important to use funds available during a humanitarian emergency to pursue lasting improvements in the health care system . There is an urgent need to develop a system of routine outcome measuring tools that includes both symptom reduction and improvement of social functioning. It is challenging to develop context-specific and low-cost outcome measures, but recent evidence for child psychosocial programmes in post conflict areas demonstrates that it can be done . People with a limited background in mental health care can deliver integrated services, once their tasks are integrated within a system of care that includes focused, competency-based trainings, regular supervision, and refresher training . It is important to strengthen the psychosocial elements of treatment within the health care system, and to ensure that the social context in which the symptoms occur and are maintained, are considered in the treatment plans of health care providers. The most recent version of the BPHS includes the addition of psychosocial counsellors at the district hospitals and comprehensive health centres. Preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of adding psychosocial counselling in primary health care settings in Afghanistan is encouraging  Apart from health system–based interventions, the authors have learned the importance of addressing psychosocial problems through activities outside the formal health care sector to strengthen self-help and foster resilience.
- Community and health system approaches improves mental health in Afghanistan (eurekalert.org)
- Community and health system approaches improves mental health in Afghanistan (medicalxpress.com)
- Providing psychosocial assessment and support for migrants: A critical urge (icmhd.wordpress.com)
- Combatting Mental Illness Stigma in Society (psychcentral.com)
- Adolescent Suicide Prompts Look at Mental Health System: Ontario, Canada (jeanettebartha.wordpress.com)
What makes your brain happy and why you should do the opposite
Why do we routinely choose options that don’t meet our short-term needs and undermine our long-term goals? Why do we willingly expose ourselves to temptations that undercut our hard-fought progress to overcome addictions? Why are we prone to assigning meaning to statistically common coincidences? Why do we insist we’re right even when evidence contradicts us? In WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAIN HAPPY AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO THE OPPOSITE (Prometheus Books $19), science writer David DiSalvo reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains “happy” leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which make getting out of our own way extremely difficult.
New Scientist says, “David DiSalvo takes us on a whistle-stop tour of our mind’s delusions. No aspect of daily life is left untouched: whether he is exploring job interviews, first dates or the perils of eBay, DiSalvo will change the way you think about thinking… an enjoyable manual to your psyche that may change your life.”
DiSalvo’s search includes forays into evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics—as well as interviews with many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today. From this research-based platform, the author draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains’ foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Joseph T. Hallinan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Why We Make Mistakes”, calls DiSalvo’s book “the Swiss Army knife of psychology and neuroscience research—handy, practical, and very, very useful. It boils down the latest findings into simple easy-to-understand lessons you can apply to your daily life.”
Ultimately, DiSalvo argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers, but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives…
- The Dangers of Listening to Your Brain (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Why It’s Important to Tackle Brain Myths Head On (psychologytoday.com)
- The Neuroscience of Emotions (learningwithscience.wordpress.com)
- Changing The Brain to Enhance Well-Being, Happiness (psychcentral.com)
- Changing brains for the better; article documents benefits of multiple practices – UW Madison (news.wisc.edu)
- How to Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success (cnbc.com)