Association for Psychological Research study: Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows

24 Mar

The Urban Dictionary defined trigger warning:

Trigger Warning
A phrase posted at the beginning of various posts, articles, or blogs. Its purpose is to warn weak minded people who are easily offended that they might find what is being posted offensive in some way due to its content, causing them to overreact or otherwise start acting like a dipshit. Popular on reddit SRS or other places that social justice warriors like to hang out.

Trigger warnings are unnecessary 100% of the time due to the fact that people who are easily offended have no business randomly browsing the internet anyways. As a result of the phrases irrelevance, most opinions that start out with this phrase tend to be simplistic and dull since they were made by people ridiculous enough to think that the internet is supposed to cater to people who can’t take a joke.
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Trigger%20warning

An Atlantic article described the effect of trigger warnings.

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt wrote in the Atlantic article, The Coddling of the American Mind:

There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically….
But if you want to help her return to normalcy, you should take your cues from Ivan Pavlov and guide her through a process known as exposure therapy. You might start by asking the woman to merely look at an elevator from a distance—standing in a building lobby, perhaps—until her apprehension begins to subside. If nothing bad happens while she’s standing in the lobby—if the fear is not “reinforced”—then she will begin to learn a new association: elevators are not dangerous. (This reduction in fear during exposure is called habituation.) Then, on subsequent days, you might ask her to get closer, and on later days to push the call button, and eventually to step in and go up one floor. This is how the amygdala can get rewired again to associate a previously feared situation with safety or normalcy….
Attempts to shield students from words, ideas, and people that might cause them emotional discomfort are bad for the students. They are bad for the workplace, which will be mired in unending litigation if student expectations of safety are carried forward. And they are bad for American democracy, which is already paralyzed by worsening partisanship. When the ideas, values, and speech of the other side are seen not just as wrong but as willfully aggressive toward innocent victims, it is hard to imagine the kind of mutual respect, negotiation, and compromise that are needed to make politics a positive-sum game.
Rather than trying to protect students from words and ideas that they will inevitably encounter, colleges should do all they can to equip students to thrive in a world full of words and ideas that they cannot control. One of the great truths taught by Buddhism (and Stoicism, Hinduism, and many other traditions) is that you can never achieve happiness by making the world conform to your desires. But you can master your desires and habits of thought. This, of course, is the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy. With this in mind, here are some steps that might help reverse the tide of bad thinking on campus.
Universities themselves should try to raise consciousness about the need to balance freedom of speech with the need to make all students feel welcome. Talking openly about such conflicting but important values is just the sort of challenging exercise that any diverse but tolerant community must learn to do. Restrictive speech codes should be abandoned.
Universities should also officially and strongly discourage trigger warnings. They should endorse the American Association of University Professors’ report on these warnings, which notes, “The presumption that students need to be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual.” Professors should be free to use trigger warnings if they choose to do so, but by explicitly discouraging the practice, universities would help fortify the faculty against student requests for such warnings.
Finally, universities should rethink the skills and values they most want to impart to their incoming students. At present, many freshman-orientation programs try to raise student sensitivity to a nearly impossible level. Teaching students to avoid giving unintentional offense is a worthy goal, especially when the students come from many different cultural backgrounds. But students should also be taught how to live in a world full of potential offenses. Why not teach incoming students how to practice cognitive behavioral therapy? Given high and rising rates of mental illness, this simple step would be among the most humane and supportive things a university could do…. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

A study questioned the effectiveness of trigger warnings.

Science Daily reported in Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows:

Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“We, like many others, were hearing new stories week upon week about trigger warnings being asked for or introduced at universities around the world,” says psychology researcher Mevagh Sanson of The University of Waikato, first author on the research. “Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful.”
Trigger warnings may be increasingly prevalent, but there has been almost no research actually examining their effects.
It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress….
To resolve the question, the researchers conducted a series of six experiments with a total of 1,394 participants.
Some participants — a combination of college students and online participants — read a message about the content they were about to see, for example: “TRIGGER WARNING: The following video may contain graphic footage of a fatal car crash. You might find this content disturbing.” Others did not read a warning. All participants were then exposed to the content.
Afterward, the participants reported various symptoms of distress — their negative emotional state, and the degree to which they experienced intrusive thoughts and tried to avoid thinking about the content.
The results across all six experiments were consistent: Trigger warnings had little effect on participants’ distress. That is, participants responded to the content similarly, regardless of whether they saw a trigger warning.
The format of the content also did not make a difference: Trigger warnings had little impact regardless of whether participants read a story or watched a video clip.
Could it be that trigger warnings are specifically effective for those people who have previously experienced traumatic events? The data suggested the answer is no: There was little difference between groups. In other words, individuals with a personal history of trauma who received a trigger warning reported similar levels of distress as did those who did not receive a warning.
The researchers note that it remains to be seen whether these results would apply to individuals who have a specific clinical diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder. However, these findings indicate that trigger warnings are unlikely to have the meaningful impact they’re typically assumed to have.
“These results suggest a trigger warning is neither meaningfully helpful nor harmful,” says Sanson. “Of course, that doesn’t mean trigger warnings are benign. We need to consider the idea that their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190319142312.htm

Citation:

Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows
Date: March 19, 2019
Source: Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content.
Journal Reference:
Mevagh Sanson, Deryn Strange, Maryanne Garry. Trigger Warnings Are Trivially Helpful at Reducing Negative Affect, Intrusive Thoughts, and Avoidance. Clinical Psychological Science, 2019; 216770261982701 DOI: 10.1177/2167702619827018

Here is the press release from Association for Psychological Research:

Trigger Warnings Do Little to Reduce People’s Distress, Research Shows
TAGS:
• CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
• CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
• COGNITIVE PROCESSES
• EMOTION
• TEACHING
• TRAUMA
• WELL-BEING
Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“We, like many others, were hearing new stories week upon week about trigger warnings being asked for or introduced at universities around the world,” says psychology researcher Mevagh Sanson of The University of Waikato, first author on the research. “Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful.”
Trigger warnings may be increasingly prevalent, but there has been almost no research actually examining their effects.
It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress.
“We thought it was important to figure out how effective these warnings are,” says Sanson. “This is the first piece of empirical work directly examining if they have their intended effects.”
To resolve the question, the researchers conducted a series of six experiments with a total of 1,394 participants.
Some participants – a combination of college students and online participants – read a message about the content they were about to see, for example: “TRIGGER WARNING: The following video may contain graphic footage of a fatal car crash. You might find this content disturbing.” Others did not read a warning. All participants were then exposed to the content.
Afterward, the participants reported various symptoms of distress—their negative emotional state, and the degree to which they experienced intrusive thoughts and tried to avoid thinking about the content.
The results across all six experiments were consistent: Trigger warnings had little effect on participants’ distress. That is, participants responded to the content similarly, regardless of whether they saw a trigger warning.
The format of the content also did not make a difference: Trigger warnings had little impact regardless of whether participants read a story or watched a video clip.
Could it be that trigger warnings are specifically effective for those people who have previously experienced traumatic events? The data suggested the answer is no: There was little difference between groups. In other words, individuals with a personal history of trauma who received a trigger warning reported similar levels of distress as did those who did not receive a warning.
The researchers note that it remains to be seen whether these results would apply to individuals who have a specific clinical diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder. However, these findings indicate that trigger warnings are unlikely to have the meaningful impact they’re typically assumed to have.
“These results suggest a trigger warning is neither meaningfully helpful nor harmful,” says Sanson. “Of course, that doesn’t mean trigger warnings are benign. We need to consider the idea that their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them to interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger.”
M. Sanson was supported by Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Waikato, and Fulbright New Zealand.
________________________________________
News > Latest Research News > Trigger Warnings Do Little to Reduce People’s Distress, Research Shows
Published March 19, 2019

The First Amendment and Free Speech are vital ingredients to the preservation of the CONSTITUTION.

Iain Murray wrote in The Importance of Free Speech to Human Progress: From Principia Mathematica to Charlie Hebdo:

It is exactly that goal — to help us determine what actually is, rather than what is simply asserted — that free speech and free inquiry make possible. As an institution of liberty, free speech must be defended wherever it is attacked. (My colleague Hans Bader has written elsewhere about letting down our guard.) Those who seek to suppress free speech want to keep mankind mired in poverty and ignorance, subject to their own whims and beliefs. They cannot be allowed to succeed. https://fee.org/articles/the-importance-of-free-speech-to-human-progress/

 

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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University of York study: Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’

21 Mar

More and more, individuals with gravitas are opining about the American education system for reasons ranging from national security to economic competitiveness. Regarding  the Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein report about American Education, moi wrote:

The Council on Foreign Relations issued the report, U.S. Education Reform and National Security. The chairs for the report are Joel I. Klein, News Corporation and Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University. Moi opined about the state of education in U.S. education failure: Running out of excuses https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/u-s-education-failure-running-out-of-excuses/ Education tends to be populated by idealists and dreamers who are true believers and who think of what is possible. Otherwise, why would one look at children in second grade and think one of those children could win the Nobel Prize or be president? Maybe, that is why education as a discipline is so prone to fads and the constant quest for the “Holy Grail” or the next, next magic bullet. There is no one answer, there is what works for a particular population of kids. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/condoleezza-rice-and-joel-klein-report-about-american-education/

Citation:

U.S. Education Reform and National Security
Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press
Release Date March 2012
Price $15.00
108 pages
ISBN 978-0-87609-520-1
Task Force Report No. 68

Related:

Joy Resmovits of Huffington Post,Schools Report: Failing To Prepare Students Hurts National Security, Prosperity http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/schools-report-condoleezza-rice-joel-klein_n_1365144.html

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

Science Daily reported in Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’:

Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative, new research suggests.
The new study, published in the journal Educational Researcher, found that 40% of large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.
The researchers evaluated 141 trials involving more than one million students, which tested schemes ranging from whether providing free school breakfasts raises grades in Maths and English, to whether playing chess improves numeracy skills.
The trials, which were carried out by the charitable organisation the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) in the US, are expensive — with costs often exceeding £500,000.
The authors of the study argue that more research is urgently needed to understand why RCTs in education are so often uninformative.
Lead author of the research, Dr Hugues Lortie-Forgues, from the Department of Education at the University of York, UK, said: “Just like in medicine, trials of educational interventions are an important way to allow policy makers and teachers to make informed decisions about how to improve education. However, many of these trials are currently not fulfilling their main aim of demonstrating which interventions are effective and which are not….”
In recent years there have been a growing number of RCTs conducted in education. For example, in the UK, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned more than 191 trials since 2012.
The researchers cite possible reasons why current trials may be ineffective, including:
• The interventions being tested may not be suitable for trial in the first place.
• Interventions may not be being correctly implemented during trials — for example due to inadequate training of teachers in the methods being tested.
• The trials themselves may be poorly designed
The authors suggest a series of changes that could make the trials more informative, including higher-standards when considering which new initiatives are trialled…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315110913.htm

Citation:

Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’
Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative
Date: March 15, 2019
Source: University of York
Summary:
The new study found that 40% of large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.

Journal Reference:
Hugues Lortie-Forgues, Matthew Inglis. Rigorous Large-Scale Educational RCTs Are Often Uninformative: Should We Be Concerned? Educational Researcher, 2019; 0013189X1983285 DOI: 10.3102/0013189X19832850

Here is the press release from the University of York:

Trials testing new educational methods in schools often fail to produce useful evidence, say researchers
Posted on 15 March 2019
Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative, new research suggests.
The new study, published in the journal Educational Researcher, found that 40% of large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.
The researchers evaluated 141 trials involving more than one million students, which tested schemes ranging from whether providing free school breakfasts raises grades in Maths and English, to whether playing chess improves numeracy skills.
The trials, which were carried out by the charitable organisation the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) in the US, are expensive – with costs often exceeding £500,000.
Informed decisions
The authors of the study argue that more research is urgently needed to understand why RCTs in education are so often uninformative.
Lead author of the research, Dr Hugues Lortie-Forgues, from the Department of Education at the University of York, UK, said: “Just like in medicine, trials of educational interventions are an important way to allow policy makers and teachers to make informed decisions about how to improve education. However, many of these trials are currently not fulfilling their main aim of demonstrating which interventions are effective and which are not.”
“Further research to investigate the reasons for this should be a priority. These organisations are trying to achieve something positive and reform is urgently needed to help them to do so.”
Higher standards
In recent years there have been a growing number of RCTs conducted in education. For example, in the UK, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned more than 191 trials since 2012.
The researchers cite possible reasons why current trials may be ineffective, including:
The interventions being tested may not be suitable for trial in the first place.
Interventions may not be being correctly implemented during trials – for example due to inadequate training of teachers in the methods being tested.
The trials themselves may be poorly designed
The authors suggest a series of changes that could make the trials more informative, including higher-standards when considering which new initiatives are trialled. https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2019/research/trials-testing-new-educational-methods/

In Paul E. Peterson will piss you off, you might want to listen, moi said:
Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children, after all, you and your child should not be raising each other. Moi said this in Hard truths: The failure of the family:
This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/ It is interesting that the ruling elites do not want to touch the issue of unwed births with a ten thousand foot pole. After all, that would violate some one’s right to _____. Let moi fill in the blank, the right to be stupid, probably live in poverty, and not be able to give your child the advantages that a more prepared parent can give a child because to tell you to your face that you are an idiot for not using birth control is not P.C.
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/paul-e-peterson-will-piss-you-off-you-might-want-to-listen/

Where information leads to Hope. ©

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American Psychological Association study: Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade

17 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Reputation takes a long time to burnish and nurture. It can be destroyed by a smear or an ill-thought-out act in a nanosecond.

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
Socrates
“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”
Wayne W. Dyer
In an attempt to control online reputation, many schools are now helping their students clean their online presentation. Why? Because people like to gossip and most of us have been young and stupid or old and ill-advised.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
“Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?”
Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens

Science Daily reported in Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade: Shift may be due in part to rise of digital media, study suggests:

The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
“More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” said lead author Jean Twenge, PhD, author of the book “iGen” and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. “These trends are weak or non-existent among adults 26 years and over, suggesting a generational shift in mood disorders instead of an overall increase across all ages.”
The research was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Twenge and her co-authors analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey that has tracked drug and alcohol use, mental health and other health-related issues in individuals age 12 and over in the United States since 1971. They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents age 12 to 17 from 2005 to 2017, and almost 400,000 adults age 18 and over from 2008 to 2017.
The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression in the last 12 months increased 52 percent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 (from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent) and 63 percent in young adults age 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017 (from 8.1 percent to 13.2 percent). There was also a 71 percent increase in young adults experiencing serious psychological distress in the previous 30 days from 2008 to 2017 (from 7.7 percent to 13.1 percent). The rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017 (from 7.0 percent to 10.3 percent).
There was no significant increase in the percentage of older adults experiencing depression or psychological distress during corresponding time periods. The researchers even saw a slight decline in psychological distress in individuals over 65.
“Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations,” said Twenge, who believes this trend may be partially due to increased use of electronic communication and digital media, which may have changed modes of social interaction enough to affect mood disorders. She also noted research shows that young people are not sleeping as much as they did in previous generations.
The increase in digital media use may have had a bigger impact on teens and young adults because older adults’ social lives are more stable and might have changed less than teens’ social lives have in the last ten years, said Twenge. Older adults might also be less likely to use digital media in a way that interferes with sleep — for example, they might be better at not staying up late on their phones or using them in the middle of the night.
“These results suggest a need for more research to understand how digital communication versus face-to-face social interaction influences mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes and to develop specialized interventions for younger age groups,” she said…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315110908.htm

Citation:

Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade
Shift may be due in part to rise of digital media, study suggests
Date: March 15, 2019
Source: American Psychological Association
Summary:
The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to new research.

Journal Reference:
Jean M. Twenge, A. Bell Cooper, Thomas E. Joiner, Mary E. Duffy, Sarah G. Binau. Age, period, and cohort trends in mood disorder indicators and suicide-related outcomes in a nationally representative dataset, 2005–2017.. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/abn0000410

Here is the press release from the American Psychological Association:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 14-MAR-2019
Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade
Shift may be due in part to rise of digital media, study suggests
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
WASHINGTON — The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
“More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” said lead author Jean Twenge, PhD, author of the book “iGen” and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. “These trends are weak or non-existent among adults 26 years and over, suggesting a generational shift in mood disorders instead of an overall increase across all ages.”
The research was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Twenge and her co-authors analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey that has tracked drug and alcohol use, mental health and other health-related issues in individuals age 12 and over in the United States since 1971. They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents age 12 to 17 from 2005 to 2017, and almost 400,000 adults age 18 and over from 2008 to 2017.
The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression in the last 12 months increased 52 percent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 (from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent) and 63 percent in young adults age 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017 (from 8.1 percent to 13.2 percent). There was also a 71 percent increase in young adults experiencing serious psychological distress in the previous 30 days from 2008 to 2017 (from 7.7 percent to 13.1 percent). The rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017 (from 7.0 percent to 10.3 percent).
There was no significant increase in the percentage of older adults experiencing depression or psychological distress during corresponding time periods. The researchers even saw a slight decline in psychological distress in individuals over 65.
“Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations,” said Twenge, who believes this trend may be partially due to increased use of electronic communication and digital media, which may have changed modes of social interaction enough to affect mood disorders. She also noted research shows that young people are not sleeping as much as they did in previous generations.
The increase in digital media use may have had a bigger impact on teens and young adults because older adults’ social lives are more stable and might have changed less than teens’ social lives have in the last ten years, said Twenge. Older adults might also be less likely to use digital media in a way that interferes with sleep – for example, they might be better at not staying up late on their phones or using them in the middle of the night.
“These results suggest a need for more research to understand how digital communication versus face-to-face social interaction influences mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes and to develop specialized interventions for younger age groups,” she said.
Given that the increase in mental health issues was sharpest after 2011, Twenge believes it’s unlikely to be due to genetics or economic woes and more likely to be due to sudden cultural changes, such as shifts in how teens and young adults spend their time outside of work and school. If so, that may be good news, she said.
“Young people can’t change their genetics or the economic situation of the country, but they can choose how they spend their leisure time. First and most important is to get enough sleep. Make sure your device use doesn’t interfere with sleep — don’t keep phones or tablets in the bedroom at night, and put devices down within an hour of bedtime,” she said. “Overall, make sure digital media use doesn’t interfere with activities more beneficial to mental health such as face-to-face social interaction, exercise and sleep.”
###
Article: “Age, Period, and Cohort Trends in Mood Disorder and Suicide-Related Outcomes in a Nationally Representative Dataset, 2005-2017,” by Jean Twenge, PhD, San Diego State University; Thomas Joiner, PhD, and Mary Duffy, BA, Florida State University; Bell Cooper, PhD, Lynn University; and Sara Binau, Pomona College. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published online March 14, 2019.
Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at
http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/abn-abn0000410.pdf.
Contact: Jean Twenge can be contacted via email at jtwenge@mail.sdsu.edu.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes nearly 118,400 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.
http://www.apa.org
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
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There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also The

Importance of Eating Together: Family dinners build relationships, and help kids do better in school. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/

It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go https://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/toddlers-latch-onto-iphones-8212-and-wont-let-go/ Stout reports:

But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

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Cornell University study: Faster robots demoralize co-workers

13 Mar

Mojtaba Arvin wrote in the Machine Learning article, The robot that became racist:

AI that learnt from the web finds white-sounding names ‘pleasant’ and …
Humans look to the power of machine learning to make better and more effective decisions.
However, it seems that some algorithms are learning more than just how to recognize patterns – they are being taught how to be as biased as the humans they learn from.
Researchers found that a widely used AI characterizes black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’, which they believe is a result of our own human prejudice hidden in the data it learns from on the World Wide Web.
Researchers found that a widely used AI characterizes black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’, which they believe is a result of our own human prejudice hidden in the data it learns from on the World Wide Web
Machine learning has been adopted to make a range of decisions, from approving loans to determining what kind of health insurance, reports Jordan Pearson with Motherboard.
A recent example was reported by Pro Publica in May, when an algorithm used by officials in Florida automatically rated a more seasoned white criminal as being a lower risk of committing a future crime, than a black offender with only misdemeanors on her record.
Now, researchers at Princeton University have reproduced a stockpile of documented human prejudices in an algorithm using text pulled from the internet.
HOW A ROBOT BECAME RACIST
Princeton University conducted a word associate task with the popular algorithm GloVe, an unsupervised AI that uses online text to understand human language.
The team gave the AI words like ‘flowers’ and ‘insects’ to pair with other words that the researchers defined as being ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’ like ‘family’ or ‘crash’ – which it did successfully.
Then algorithm was given a list of white-sounding names, like Emily and Matt, and black-sounding ones, such as Ebony and Jamal’, which it was prompted to do the same word association.
The AI linked the white-sounding names with ‘pleasant’ and black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’.
Princeton’s results do not just prove datasets are polluted with prejudices and assumptions, but the algorithms currently being used for researchers are reproducing human’s worst values – racism and assumption… https://www.artificialintelligenceonline.com/19050/the-robot-that-became-racist-ai-that-learnt-from-the-web-finds-white-sounding-names-pleasant-and/

See, The robot that became racist: AI that learnt from the web finds white-sounding names ‘pleasant’ and black-sounding names ‘unpleasant’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3760795/The-robot-racist-AI-learnt-web-finds-white-sounding-names-pleasant-black-sounding-names-unpleasant.html

Science Daily reported in Faster robots demoralize co-workers:

It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how hard the robot is working.
A Cornell University-led team has found that when robots are beating humans in contests for cash prizes, people consider themselves less competent and expend slightly less effort — and they tend to dislike the robots.
The study, “Monetary-Incentive Competition Between Humans and Robots: Experimental Results,” brought together behavioral economists and roboticists to explore, for the first time, how a robot’s performance affects humans’ behavior and reactions when they’re competing against each other simultaneously.
Their findings validated behavioral economists’ theories about loss aversion, which predicts that people won’t try as hard when their competitors are doing better, and suggests how workplaces might optimize teams of people and robots working together.
“Humans and machines already share many workplaces, sometimes working on similar or even identical tasks,” said Guy Hoffman, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Hoffman and Ori Heffetz, associate professor of economics in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, are senior authors of the study.
“Think about a cashier working side-by-side with an automatic check-out machine, or someone operating a forklift in a warehouse which also employs delivery robots driving right next to them,” Hoffman said. “While it may be tempting to design such robots for optimal productivity, engineers and managers need to take into consideration how the robots’ performance may affect the human workers’ effort and attitudes toward the robot and even toward themselves. Our research is the first that specifically sheds light on these effects….”
After each round, participants filled out a questionnaire rating the robot’s competence, their own competence and the robot’s likability. The researchers found that as the robot performed better, people rated its competence higher, its likability lower and their own competence lower.
The research was partly supported by the Israel Science Foundation. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190311173205.htm

Citation:

Faster robots demoralize co-workers
Date: March 11, 2019
Source: Cornell University
Summary:
New research finds that when robots are beating humans in contests for cash prizes, people consider themselves less competent and expend slightly less effort — and they tend to dislike the robots.

Journal Reference:
Alap Kshirsagar, Bnaya Dreyfuss, Guy Ishai, Ori Heffetz, Guy Hoffman. Monetary-Incentive Competition Between Humans and Robots: Experimental Results. In Proc. of the 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI’19), IEEE, 2019 (forthcoming); [link]

Here is the press release from Cornell University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 11-MAR-2019

Faster robots demoralize co-workers

CORNELL UNIVERSITY

ITHACA, N.Y. – It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how hard the robot is working.
A Cornell University-led team has found that when robots are beating humans in contests for cash prizes, people consider themselves less competent and expend slightly less effort – and they tend to dislike the robots.
The study, “Monetary-Incentive Competition Between Humans and Robots: Experimental Results,” brought together behavioral economists and roboticists to explore, for the first time, how a robot’s performance affects humans’ behavior and reactions when they’re competing against each other simultaneously.
Their findings validated behavioral economists’ theories about loss aversion, which predicts that people won’t try as hard when their competitors are doing better, and suggests how workplaces might optimize teams of people and robots working together.
“Humans and machines already share many workplaces, sometimes working on similar or even identical tasks,” said Guy Hoffman, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Hoffman and Ori Heffetz, associate professor of economics in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, are senior authors of the study.
“Think about a cashier working side-by-side with an automatic check-out machine, or someone operating a forklift in a warehouse which also employs delivery robots driving right next to them,” Hoffman said. “While it may be tempting to design such robots for optimal productivity, engineers and managers need to take into consideration how the robots’ performance may affect the human workers’ effort and attitudes toward the robot and even toward themselves. Our research is the first that specifically sheds light on these effects.”
Alap Kshirsagar, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering, is the paper’s first author. In the study, humans competed against a robot in a tedious task – counting the number of times the letter G appears in a string of characters, and then placing a block in the bin corresponding to the number of occurrences. The person’s chance of winning each round was determined by a lottery based on the difference between the human’s and robot’s scores: If their scores were the same, the human had a 50 percent chance of winning the prize, and that likelihood rose or fell depending which participant was doing better.
To make sure competitors were aware of the stakes, the screen indicated their chance of winning at each moment.
After each round, participants filled out a questionnaire rating the robot’s competence, their own competence and the robot’s likability. The researchers found that as the robot performed better, people rated its competence higher, its likability lower and their own competence lower.
###
The research was partly supported by the Israel Science Foundation.
Cornell University has dedicated television and audio studios available for media interviews supporting full HD, ISDN and web-based platforms.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Evan Selinger and Woodrow Hartzog wrote about robots in The dangers of trusting robots.

According to Selinger and Hartzog:

We also need to think long and hard about how information is being stored and shared when it comes to robots that can record our every move. Some recording devices may have been designed for entertainment but can easily be adapted for more nefarious purposes. Take Nixie, the wearable camera that can fly off your wrist at a moment’s notice and take aerial shots around you. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how such technology could be abused.
Most people guard their secrets in the presence of a recording device. But what happens once we get used to a robot around the house, answering our every beck and call? We may be at risk of letting our guard down, treating them as extended members of the family. If the technology around us is able to record and process speech, images and movement – never mind eavesdrop on our juiciest secrets – what will happen to that information? Where will it be stored, who will have access? If our internet history is anything to go by, these details could be worth their weight in gold to advertising companies. If we grow accustomed to having trusted robots integrated into our daily lives, our words and deeds could easily become overly-exposed…. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150812-how-to-tell-a-good-robot-from-the-bad

We have to prove that digital manufacturing is inclusive. Then, the true narrative will emerge: Welcome, robots. You’ll help us. But humans are still our future.
Joe Kaeser

Resources:

Artificial Intelligence Will Redesign Healthcare                             https://medicalfuturist.com/artificial-intelligence-will-redesign-healthcare

9 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Affecting the Medical Field https://www.healthcentral.com/slideshow/8-ways-artificial-intelligence-is-affecting-the-medical-field#slide=2

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North Carolina State University study: Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the pavement

10 Mar

The Nature Conservancy published How Urban Trees Can Save Lives:

The Planting Healthy Air report documents which cities stand to benefit most from tree plantings, in terms of both heat and PM reduction, and how much investment would be required to achieve meaningful benefits.
The analysis found that investing just US$4 per resident in each of these cities in tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions.
Most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities—as well as those with higher overall pollution levels—tend to see the highest overall return on investment (ROI) from tree plantings…. https://global.nature.org/content/healthyair

Urban trees can affect the quality of life and health.

Science Daily reported in Why people reject city trees: Study explains why thousands of Detroit residents rejected city’s tree planting efforts:

Trees are a hallmark of vibrant neighborhoods. So why did nearly one-quarter of eligible residents in Detroit, Michigan, turn down free street trees? That’s the mystery University of Vermont researcher Christine Carmichael solves in one of the first studies to explore opposition to city tree planting programs.
As cities from New York to L.A. embark on major tree planting initiatives, the research helps to explain why more than 1,800 of 7,425 eligible Detroit residents — roughly 25% — submitted “no-tree requests” between 2011 and 2014 alone. The study was published January 7 by Society and Natural Resources journal.
“This research shows how local government actions can cause residents to reject environmental efforts — in this case, street trees — that would otherwise be in people’s interests,” says Carmichael, a postdoctoral researcher at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Carmichael found that the opposition in Detroit resulted primarily from negative past experiences with street trees, particularly in low-income neighborhoods grappling with blight from vacant properties. In 2014 alone, the city had an estimated 20,000 dead or hazardous trees, following the contraction of Detroit’s once-massive tree maintenance program from budget cuts and population decline.
For many long-term residents, wariness of the new trees was driven by past experiences of caring for vacant properties in their neighborhood. They believed responsibility for maintaining the trees would eventually fall to them. “Even though it’s city property, we’re gonna end up having to care for it and raking leaves and God knows whatever else we might have to do,” said one woman interviewed for the study.
Carmichael also found that skepticism of the program was tied to wider distrust of the city government and outside groups in parts of Detroit. As a result, residents wanted greater decision-making power in selecting which trees to plant in particular locations, adds Carmichael who completed the three-year study for her PhD with co-author Maureen McDonough of Michigan State University…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/19010714

A North Carolina State University study suggests that urban areas may require different development and management strategies than forests.

Science Daily reported in Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the pavement:

A North Carolina State University study examining urbanization, scale-insect abundance and latitudinal warming on tree health in the Southeast captured a few surprising results.
The study showed more scale insects on red maple trees in the midrange of eight cities within a 10-degree latitudinal difference, from Newark, Delaware, to Gainesville, Florida….
“Impervious surfaces — basically concrete and pavement — near trees was a better predictor of scale-insect abundance than temperature, and thus a better predictor of poor tree health in the study area,” said Michael Just, an NC State postdoctoral entomology researcher and corresponding author of a paper describing the research.
The finding was surprising, Just said, as the study’s original hypothesis predicted higher scale-insect abundance at lower latitudes — the study’s southernmost areas.
“What we’ve learned over the years in natural areas like forests didn’t translate in this study, which means we may need to consider if other natural-system theories can be used in urban areas,” Just said. “That’s important if we want to have reliable predictive ecological models.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190304140852.htm

Citation:

Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the pavement
Date: March 4, 2019
Source: North Carolina State University
Summary:
A new study of urban tree life in the Southeast shows pavement and concrete may have a bigger effect than longitudinal warming.

Journal Reference:
Michael G. Just, Adam G. Dale, Lawrence C. Long, Steven D. Frank. Urbanization drives unique latitudinal patterns of insect herbivory and tree condition. Oikos, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/oik.05874

Here is the press release from North Carolina State:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 4-MAR-2019

Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the pavement

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
A North Carolina State University study examining urbanization, scale-insect abundance and latitudinal warming on tree health in the Southeast captured a few surprising results.
The study showed more scale insects on red maple trees in the midrange of eight cities within a 10-degree latitudinal difference, from Newark, Delaware, to Gainesville, Florida.
Cities in that midrange, including Raleigh and Asheville, showed poorer tree health, due mostly to these high volumes of tree-destroying gloomy scale insects (Melanaspis tenebricosa), which appear as tiny bumps on tree branches and leaves.
“Impervious surfaces – basically concrete and pavement – near trees was a better predictor of scale-insect abundance than temperature, and thus a better predictor of poor tree health in the study area,” said Michael Just, an NC State postdoctoral entomology researcher and corresponding author of a paper describing the research.
The finding was surprising, Just said, as the study’s original hypothesis predicted higher scale-insect abundance at lower latitudes – the study’s southernmost areas.
“What we’ve learned over the years in natural areas like forests didn’t translate in this study, which means we may need to consider if other natural-system theories can be used in urban areas,” Just said. “That’s important if we want to have reliable predictive ecological models.”
###
The study appears in the journal Oikos.
Steven Frank, an NC State professor of entomology, and Lawrence Long, an NC State entomology graduate student, co-authored the paper along with Adam Dale from the University of Florida.
Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded Southern IPM Center, under Agreement No. 2014-70006-22485, as well USDA NIFA award Nos. 2013-02476 and 2016-70006-25827. It was also supported by Cooperative Agreement G15AP00153 from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Note: An abstract of the paper follows.
“Urbanization drives unique latitudinal patterns of insect herbivory and tree condition”
Authors: Michael Just, Lawrence Long and Steven Frank, NC State University; Adam Dale, University of Florida
Published: Feb. 15, 2019 in Oikos
DOI: 10.1111/oik.05874
Abstract: Urban landscapes are characterized by high proportions of impervious surface resulting in higher temperatures than adjacent natural landscapes. In some cities, like those at cooler latitudes, trees may benefit from warmer urban temperatures, but trees in many cities are beset with problems like drought stress and increased herbivory. What drives patterns of urban tree health across urbanization and latitudinal temperature gradients? In natural systems, latitude-herbivory relationships are well-studied, and recent temperate studies have shown that herbivory generally increases with decreasing latitudes (warmer temperatures). However, the applicability of this latitude-herbivory theory in already-warmed urban systems is unknown. In this study, we investigated how the interaction of urbanization, latitudinal warming, and scale insect abundance affected urban tree health. We predicted that trees in warmer, lower latitude cities would be in poorer health at lower levels of urbanization than trees at cooler, higher latitudes due to the interaction of urbanization, latitudinal temperature, and herbivory. To evaluate our predictions, we surveyed the abundance of scale insect herbivores on a single, common tree species Acer rubrum in eight US cities spanning 10° of latitude. We estimated urbanization at two extents, a local one that accounted for the direct effects on an individual tree, and a larger one that captured the surrounding urban landscape. We found that urban tree health did not vary with latitudinal temperature but was best predicted by local urbanization and herbivore abundance. We did not observe increased herbivore abundance in warmer, lower latitudes cities, but instead herbivore abundance peaked in the mid latitudes of our study. This study demonstrates that urban landscapes may deviate from classical theory developed in natural systems and reinforces the need for research reconciling ecological patterns in urban landscapes.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Media Contact
Michael Just
mjust@ncsu.edu

@NCStateNews
http://www.ncsu.edu

The Royal Parks of the United Kingdom summarized the benefits of urban trees. The Royal Parks wrote in Why are trees so important?

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.
Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they give us a link between the past, present and future.
It’s critical that woodlands, rainforests and trees in urban settings, such as parks, are preserved and sustainably managed across the world….
Trees benefit health
The canopies of trees act as a physical filter, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants from the air. Each individual tree removes up to 1.7 kilos every year. They also provide shade from solar radiation and reduce noise….
Trees benefit the environment
Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and the carbon that they store in their wood helps slow the rate of global warming.
They reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C.
Trees also help prevent flooding and soil erosion, absorbing thousands of litres of stormwater.
Trees boost wildlife
Trees host complex microhabitats. When young, they offer habitation and food to amazing communities of birds, insects, lichen and fungi. When ancient, their trunks also provide the hollow cover needed by species such as bats, woodboring beetles, tawny owls and woodpeckers.
One mature oak can be home to as many as 500 different species. Richmond Park is full of such trees, which is one of the reasons it has been designated a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Trees strengthen communities
Trees strengthen the distinctive character of a place and encourage local pride. Urban woodland can be used as an educational resource and to bring groups together for activities like walking and bird-watching. Trees are also invaluable for children to play in and discover their sense of adventure.
Trees grow the economy
People are attracted to live, work and invest in green surroundings. Research shows that average house prices are 5-18% higher when properties are close to mature trees. Companies benefit from a healthier, happier workforce if there are parks and trees nearby.
Trees protect the future
Soon, for the first time in history, the number of people with homes in cities will outstrip those living in the countryside. Parks and trees will become an even more vital component of urban life. We must respect them and protect them for the future…. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/things-to-see-and-do/gardens-and-landscapes/tree-map/why-trees-are-importantcarbon,

See, Envisioning a Great Green City: Nature needs cities. Cities need nature. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/envisioning-a-great-green-city/

Resources:

Urban Forestry & Energy Conservation Bibliography https://articles.extension.org/pages/71120/urban-forestry-energy-conservation-bibliography

Urban Forestry Bibliography Created by the Forest Service … https://www.milliontreesnyc.org/downloads/pdf/urban_tree_bib.pdf

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American College of Cardiology study: E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression

7 Mar

Some children consider smoking a rite of passage into adolescence. According to Tobacco Facts most teenage smoking starts early. Among the statistics cited at Tobacco Facts are the following:

Each day 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette.
Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16.
At least 3 million adolescents are smokers.
20 percent of American teens smoke.
Almost all first use occurs before high school graduation.
Roughly 6 million teens in the US today smoke despite the knowledge that it is addictive and leads to disease.
Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result from smoking.
Of every 100,000 15 year old smokers, tobacco will prematurely kill at least 20,000 before the age of 70.
Adolescent girls who smoke and take oral birth control pills greatly increase their chances of having blood clots and strokes.
According to the Surgeon’s General, Teenagers who smoke were:
* Three times more likely to use alcohol.
* Eight times are likely to smoke marijuana.
* And 22 times more likely to use Cocaine.
Although only 5 percent of high school smokers said that they would definitely be smoking five years later, close to 75 percent were still smoking 7 to 9 years later.
Kids who smoke experience changes in the lungs and reduced lung growth, and they risk not achieving normal lung function as an adult.
A person who starts smoking at age 13 will have a more difficult time quitting, has more health-related problems and probably will die earlier than a person who begins to smoke at age 21.
Kids who smoke have significant health problems, including cough and phlegm production, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.
If your child’s best friends smoke, then your youngster is 13 times more likely to smoke than if his or her friends did not smoke.
Adolescents who have two parents who smoke are more than twice as likely as youth without smoking parents to become smokers.
More than 90 percent of adult smokers started when they were teens. http://www.tobacco-facts.net/smoking-facts/teen-smoking-facts

It is important to prevent teens from beginning to smoke because of health issues and the difficulty many smokers have in quitting the habit.
Science Daily reported in E-cigarettes, as used, aren’t helping smokers quit, study shows, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160114162544.

DW reported in E-cigarettes can cause heart attacks, vascular diseases and depression:

Smokers of e-cigarettes have — in comparison to non-smokers — a 56 percent higher risk of heart attacks. The risk of a stroke is also about 30 percent higher.
Coronary artery disease occurs about 10 percent more frequently and circulatory problems, including blood clots 44 percent more frequently. Depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders occur about twice as frequently as in non-smokers.
These findings come from a team led by medical professor Mohinder Vindyhal, assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. Vindyhal will present his research results at the ACC19 cardiology congress in New Orleans on March 18, 2019.
Don’t use that vaporizer!
“I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape,” Vindyhal said. “We found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease.”
His study disproves the widespread myth that e-cigarettes are harmless because they do not emit fumes and thus release fewer toxins from the combustion process into the lungs.
However, normal cigarettes performed even worse than e-cigarettes, according to the study. There, the risk of a heart attack was 165 percent higher, coronary artery disease 94 percent higher and stroke 78 percent higher.
Vindyhal used data from the National Health Interview Survey of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
It included data from 96,467 participants from surveys taken in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In 2015, the questionnaire did not include a question on e-cigarettes.
Younger people vape more
On average, consumers of e-cigarettes were younger than those of traditional cigarettes with an age of 33 years compared to over 40 years.
“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular effects relative to e-cigarette use,” Vindyhal says. “These findings are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”
In e-cigarettes different carrier liquids are evaporated. These may contain chemicals such as glycerol, propylene or ethylene glycol.
In addition, the liquids contain various flavors and other chemicals. The temperature of the electrically operated “cigarette” must be high enough to generate steam.
Vindyhal estimates that there are more than 460 different e-cigarette types on the US market and more than 7700 flavors. About one in 20 US citizen “vapes” already…. https://www.dw.com/en/e-cigarettes-can-cause-heart-attacks-vascular-diseases-and-depression/a-47815356

Citation:

E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression
Data reveal toll of vaping; researchers say switching to e-cigarettes doesn’t eliminate health risks
Date: March 7, 2019
Source: American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Concerns about the addictive nature of e-cigarettes — now used by an estimated 1 out of 20 Americans — may only be part of the evolving public health story surrounding their use, according to new data. New research shows that adults who report puffing e-cigarettes, or vaping, are significantly more likely to have a heart attack, coronary artery disease and depression compared with those who don’t use them or any tobacco products.

Here is the press release from the American College Cardiology:

E-Cigarettes Linked to Heart Attacks, Coronary Artery Disease and Depression
Data reveal toll of vaping; researchers say switching to e-cigarettes doesn’t eliminate health risks
Mar 07, 2019
Contact: Nicole Napoli, nnapoli@acc.org, 202-375-6523
WASHINGTON (Mar 07, 2019) –
Concerns about the addictive nature of e-cigarettes—now used by an estimated 1 out of 20 Americans—may only be part of the evolving public health story surrounding their use, according to data being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session. New research shows that adults who report puffing e-cigarettes, or vaping, are significantly more likely to have a heart attack, coronary artery disease and depression compared with those who don’t use them or any tobacco products.
“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use. These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes,” said Mohinder Vindhyal, MD, assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita and the study’s lead author.
E-cigarettes—sometimes called “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens” or “electronic nicotine delivery systems”— are battery-operated, handheld devices that mimic the experience of smoking a cigarette. They work by heating the e-liquid, which may contain a combination of nicotine, solvent carriers (glycerol, propylene and/or ethylene glycol) and any number of flavors and other chemicals, to a high enough temperature to create an aerosol, or “vapor,” that is inhaled and exhaled. According to Vindhyal, there are now more than 460 brands of e-cigarettes and over 7,700 flavors.
E-cigarettes have been gaining in popularity since being introduced in 2007, with sales increasing nearly 14-fold in the last decade, researchers said. But they are also hotly debated—touted by some as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, while others are sounding the alarm about the explosion of vaping among teens and young adults.
This study found that compared with nonusers, e-cigarette users were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke. Coronary artery disease and circulatory problems, including blood clots, were also much higher among those who vape—10 percent and 44 percent higher, respectively. This group was also twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other emotional problems.
Most, but not all, of these associations held true when controlling for other known cardiovascular risk factors, such as age, sex, body mass index, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. After adjusting for these variables, e-cigarette users were 34 percent more likely to have a heart attack, 25 percent more likely to have coronary artery disease and 55 percent more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Stroke, high blood pressure and circulatory problems were no longer statistically different between the two groups.
“When the risk of heart attack increases by as much as 55 percent among e-cigarettes users compared to nonsmokers, I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape. When we dug deeper, we found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease,” Vindhyal said.
The study, one of the largest to date looking at the relationship between e-cigarette use and cardiovascular and other health outcomes and among the first to establish an association, included data from a total of 96,467 respondents from the National Health Interview Survey, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-fielded survey of Americans, from 2014, 2016 and 2017. The 2015 survey did not include any e-cigarette-related questions. In their analyses, researchers looked at the rates of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease, diabetes and depression/anxiety among those who reported using e-cigarettes (either some days or daily) and nonusers. Those who reported using e-cigarettes were younger than nonusers (33 years of age on average vs. 40.4 years old).
Researchers also compared the data for reported tobacco smokers and nonsmokers. Traditional tobacco cigarette smokers had strikingly higher odds of having a heart attack, coronary artery disease and stroke compared with nonsmokers—a 165, 94 and 78 percent increase, respectively. They were also significantly more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, circulatory problems, and depression or anxiety.
The researchers also looked at health outcomes by how often someone reported using e-cigarettes, either “daily” or “some days.” When compared to non-e-cigarette users, daily e-cigarette users had higher odds of heart attack, coronary artery disease and depression/anxiety, whereas some days users were more likely to have a heart attack and suffer from depression/anxiety, with only a trend toward coronary artery disease. Researchers said this could be due to decreased toxic effects of e-cigarette usage, early dissipation of the toxic effects, or the fact that it has not been studied long enough to show permanent damage to portray cardiovascular disease morbidity.
“Cigarette smoking carries a much higher probability of heart attack and stroke than e-cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is safe,” Vindhyal said, adding that some e-cigarettes contain nicotine and release very similar toxic compounds to tobacco smoking. Nicotine can quicken heart rate and raise blood pressure.
There are some limitations. For example, the study design doesn’t allow researchers to establish causation, but Vindhyal said it does show a clear association between any kind of smoking and negative health outcomes. He added that self-reported data is also subject to recall bias. The researchers were also unable to determine whether these outcomes may have occurred prior to using e-cigarettes. Further longitudinal data is needed.
Vindhyal will present the study, “Impact on Cardiovascular Outcomes among E-Cigarette Users: A review from National Health Interview Surveys,” on Monday, March 18, at 8:00 a.m. CT in Room 225.
The ACC’s Annual Scientific Session will take place March 16–18, 2019, in New Orleans, bringing together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world to share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention. Follow @ACCinTouch, @ACCMediaCenter and #ACC19 for the latest news from the meeting.
The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its more than 52,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.

As with a many issues adolescents face, it is important for parents and guardians to know what is going on in their children’s lives. You should know who your children’s friends are and how these friends feel about smoking, drugs, and issues like sex. You should also know how the parents of your children’s friends feel about these issues. Do they smoke, for example, or are they permissive in allowing their children to use alcohol and/or other drugs. Are these values in accord with your values?

Resources:
A History of Tobacco
http://archive.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html

American Lung Association’s Smoking and Teens Fact Sheet Women and Tobacco Use
African Americans and Tobacco Use
American Indians/Alaska Natives and Tobacco Use
Hispanics and Tobacco Use
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Tobacco Use
Military and Tobacco Use
Children/Teens and Tobacco Use
Older Adults and Tobacco Use
http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/specific-populations.html

Center for Young Women’s Health A Guide for Teens
http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/smokeinfo.html

Kroger Resources Teens and Smoking
http://kroger.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Wellness/Smoking/Teens/
Teens Health’s Smoking
http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html
Quit Smoking Support.com
http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/teens.htm

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Michigan State University study: How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters

3 Mar

Moi has posted about the “school-to-prison” pipeline in The ‘school-to-prison pipeline’: Moi wrote about the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:
Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline:

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).
The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz wrote a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=2&hpw&
Donna St. George wrote a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

See:

Education Law Center
http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/StudentRights/StudentDiscipline.htm

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?
http://www.eduguide.org/article/discipline-in-school-what-works-and-what-doesnt

Many schools deal with populations of children suffering from depression. Many children suffering from depression or other mental health issues escalate their behavior to the point they are involved in the criminal justice system, See, https://drwilda.com/tag/depression-in-children/ The preferred strategy is to treat depression and mental health issues in the education system.

Science Daily reported in How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters:

Of the 4 million prisoners released each year, 23 percent have suffered from major depressive disorder. Due to resource shortages, many go without adequate treatment while in prison. Oftentimes they rejoin society in worse mental shape than before their incarceration — which could be prevented with the right care. A team led by Michigan State University has found a cost-effective way to improve mental health in prisons.
The research, published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, tested the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy for inmates battling major depressive disorder, or MDD, as a strategy to bring affordable treatment into a prison setting. It is the first large randomized trial of any treatment for MDD, including therapy or medications, in any incarcerated population.
About 15 million people touch the criminal justice system each year in the United States,” said Jennifer Johnson, lead author and professor of public health in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. “Most of us have friends, family or neighbors who have been through this system. The fact we’ve waited until 2019 to conduct a trial like this means we’ve understudied and underserved a huge population.”
About 2.3 million people are incarcerated every day, and if they too suffer from depression, addiction or other disorders, they often do not get the help they need. Prison funding for mental health care is determined by state legislatures, which often leaves them understaffed and under-resourced, Johnson explained. Voters may be unsympathetic, which creates a deficit for mental health treatment in the prison system — which houses many people with untreated mental illnesses.
To address the issues of care and cost, Johnson and colleagues trained a team to treat 181 inmates through interpersonal psychotherapy, or IPT. The team included master’s level health therapists working in the prisons and bachelor’s level re-entry counselors. This allowed the researchers to keep costs down by extending the reach of counselors and care without having to hire new mental health professionals.
Johnson explained that IPT is one of the most-effective forms of therapy because it addresses difficult life events, which consistently burden prison populations. She explained that traumatic and challenging experiences — such as assault, abuse, poverty, death of loved ones and loss of family members, children and friends — are overwhelmingly present with those incarcerated….
Counselors worked in a group-setting with inmates twice a week for 10 weeks, which reduced the cost of treatment. Inmates were individually assessed at the beginning of the trial, after the trial ended and then three months later to see if the therapy had a lasting impact….
Using IPT proved a low-cost intervention as well. Once counselors are trained and supervision is no longer needed, the cost per patient would be $575 — significantly less than treatment options outside of prison, she said.
“This is the first large randomized study for major depression ever conducted for an incarcerated population, one that found an effective and cost-effective solution,” Johnson said. “This method could drastically improve the mental well-being of people while in prison — and when they re-enter the world.”
Moving forward, Johnson will continue researching ways to treat inmates by conducting the first large randomized suicide prevention trial for people leaving the criminal justice system.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190221115909.htm

Citation:

How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters
Date: February 21, 2019
Source: Michigan State University
Summary:
The first randomized study of its kind reveals effective treatment for prisoners suffering from mental illness.

Journal Reference:
Jennifer E. Johnson, Robert L. Stout, Ted R. Miller, Caron Zlotnick, Louis A. Cerbo, Joel T. Andrade, Jessica Nargiso, Joseph Bonner, Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman. Randomized cost-effectiveness trial of group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for prisoners with major depression.. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000379

Here is the press release from Michigan State University:

HOW TO TREAT DEPRESSION IN PRISON – AND WHY IT MATTERS
Contact(s): Caroline Brooks , Jennifer Johnson
Of the 4 million prisoners released each year, 23 percent have suffered from major depressive disorder. Due to resource shortages, many go without adequate treatment while in prison. Oftentimes they rejoin society in worse mental shape than before their incarceration – which could be prevented with the right care. A team led by Michigan State University has found a cost-effective way to improve mental health in prisons.
The research, published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, tested the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy for inmates battling major depressive disorder, or MDD, as a strategy to bring affordable treatment into a prison setting. It is the first large randomized trial of any treatment for MDD, including therapy or medications, in any incarcerated population.
About 15 million people touch the criminal justice system each year in the United States,” said Jennifer Johnson, lead author and professor of public health in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. “Most of us have friends, family or neighbors who have been through this system. The fact we’ve waited until 2019 to conduct a trial like this means we’ve understudied and underserved a huge population.”
About 2.3 million people are incarcerated every day, and if they too suffer from depression, addiction or other disorders, they often do not get the help they need. Prison funding for mental health care is determined by state legislatures, which often leaves them understaffed and under-resourced, Johnson explained. Voters may be unsympathetic, which creates a deficit for mental health treatment in the prison system – which houses many people with untreated mental illnesses.
To address the issues of care and cost, Johnson and colleagues trained a team to treat 181 inmates through interpersonal psychotherapy, or IPT. The team included master’s level health therapists working in the prisons and bachelor’s level re-entry counselors. This allowed the researchers to keep costs down by extending the reach of counselors and care without having to hire new mental health professionals.
Johnson explained that IPT is one of the most-effective forms of therapy because it addresses difficult life events, which consistently burden prison populations. She explained that traumatic and challenging experiences – such as assault, abuse, poverty, death of loved ones and loss of family members, children and friends – are overwhelmingly present with those incarcerated.
“When practicing IPT, you go back to when someone’s depressed mood began and talk about what was going on in their life at that time,” Johnson said. “IPT deals with relationships, feelings, conflicts with others, life changes and grief. Using this therapy, you’re helping people feel and express emotions, and problem-solve with them in ways to improve communications or improve relationships that address the original problem.”
Counselors worked in a group-setting with inmates twice a week for 10 weeks, which reduced the cost of treatment. Inmates were individually assessed at the beginning of the trial, after the trial ended and then three months later to see if the therapy had a lasting impact.
“As compared to the usual treatment prisons offer, IPT reduced depressive symptoms, hopelessness and PTSD symptoms and was better at ending cases of major depression,” Johnson said.
Using IPT proved a low-cost intervention as well. Once counselors are trained and supervision is no longer needed, the cost per patient would be $575 – significantly less than treatment options outside of prison, she said.
“This is the first large randomized study for major depression ever conducted for an incarcerated population, one that found an effective and cost-effective solution,” Johnson said. “This method could drastically improve the mental well-being of people while in prison – and when they re-enter the world.”
Moving forward, Johnson will continue researching ways to treat inmates by conducting the first large randomized suicide prevention trial for people leaving the criminal justice system.
(Note for media: Please include a link to the original paper in online coverage: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-05660-001?doi=1)

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/
Resources:

About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

Family Doctor’s What Is Depression? http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

Related:
A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

Single-sex classrooms should be allowed in public schools
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/single-sex-classrooms-should-be-allowed-in-public-schools/

Boys of color: Resources from the Boys Initiative
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/boys-of-color-resources-from-the-boys-initiative/

U.S. Education Dept. Civil Rights Office releases report on racial disparity in school retention
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/u-s-education-dept-civil-rights-office-releases-report-on-racial-disparity-in-school-retention/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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