Tag Archives: Psychology Today

North Carolina State University study: To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead

26 Mar

Medical News Today described health in What is good health?

Fast facts on health
Here are some key points about health. More detail is in the main article.
• Health can be defined as physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life.
• It refers not only to the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems.
• Factors for good health include genetics, the environment, relationships, and education.
• A healthful diet, exercise, screening for diseases, and coping strategies can all enhance a person’s health….
Types
Mental and physical health are the two most commonly discussed types of health. We also talk about “spiritual health,” “emotional health,” and “financial health,” among others. These have also been linked to lower stress levels and mental and physical wellbeing.
Physical health
In a person who experiences physical health, bodily functions are working at peak performance, due not only to a lack of disease, but also to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest. We receive treatment, when necessary, to maintain the balance.
Physical wellbeing involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Physical health and well-being also help reduce the risk of an injury or health issue. Examples include minimizing hazards in the workplace, practicing safe sex, practicing good hygiene, or avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Mental health
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
It is harder to define mental health than physical health, because, in many cases, diagnosis depends on the individual’s perception of their experience. With improvements in testing, however, some signs of some types of mental illness are now becoming “visible” in CT scans and genetic testing.
Mental health is not only the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder.
It also depends on the ability to:
• enjoy life
• bounce back after difficult experiences
• achieve balance
• adapt to adversity
• feel safe and secure
• achieve your potential
Physical and mental health are linked. If chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, this may lead to depression and stress, for example, due to money problems…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#types

Mindfulness is a possible technique for coping with stress.

Psychology Today defined mindfulness in What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state encompasses observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
To live mindfully is to live in the moment and reawaken oneself to the present, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness can also be a healthy way to identify and manage latent emotions that are causing problems in personal or professional relationships.
Mindfulness is frequently used in meditation and certain kinds of therapy. It has many positive benefits, including lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research even suggests that mindfulness can help people better cope with rejection and social isolation…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness
Mindfulness can help individuals become more resilient in difficult situations.
Tamara A. Russell and Gerson Siegmund wrote in What and who? Mindfulness in the mental health setting:
Summary and conclusions
When used as a clinical intervention for major depressive disorder, there is good evidence that MBCT can prevent relapse to a degree that is at least similar to currently available treatments. It may have advantages for particular subgroups of depressed individuals with more long-standing, recurrent depressive illness and childhood adversity. Evidence for efficacy in other domains of mental ill health is less convincing, but it is emerging. Although strong evidence exists for the application of mindfulness in the management of anxiety (generalised), this work does not seem as prevalent in the UK setting. This may be because CBT approaches are very effective for anxiety disorders so there is less of a driver to find alternatives.
The breadth of ‘mindfulness interventions’ continues to grow, from standardised protocols to peer-led drop-ins, apps and self-help materials. Navigating this growing landscape in a way that is true to the transformational possibilities of mindfulness and that allows clients to connect to mindfulness in a meaningful and healthy way presents some challenges. Some recommendations have been made here to help in this endeavour. Specifically, to know the state of the evidence, to be aware of relevant client characteristics, and to know your own limitations as a teacher or facilitator of mindfulness. Continuing personal and professional development is essential and will have an impact on efficacy. These are exciting times as the impact of mindfulness training spreads throughout our health services, offering a chance for both staff and clients to benefit and improve their mental ‘wealth’. However, it is most important that this endeavour is conducted in a mindful way – paying attention, on purpose, moment by moment and without judgement…. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353507/

A North Carolina State University examined how to stay positive.

Science Daily reported in To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead:

A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200325130650.htm

Citation:

To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead
Date: March 25, 2020
Source: North Carolina State University
Summary:
A recent study finds that people who balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.

Journal Reference:
Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang, Shevaun D. Neupert. Thinking ahead and staying in the present: Implications for reactivity to daily stressors. Personality and Individual Differences, 2020; 161: 109971 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971

Here is the press release from the University of North Carolina: March 25, 2020

To Stay Positive, Live in the Moment – But Plan Ahead

March 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shevaun Neupertshevaun_neupert@ncsu.edu919.513.7952
Matt Shipmanmatt_shipman@ncsu.edu
A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect.
“Interventions targeting daily fluctuations in mindfulness may be especially helpful for those who are high in proactive coping and may be more inclined to think ahead to the future at the expense of remaining in the present.”
The paper, “Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors,” is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. First author of the paper is Melody Polk, an undergraduate at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Emily Smith and Ling-Rui Zhang, graduate students at NC State. The work was done with support from NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.
“Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors”
Authors: Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang and Shevaun D. Neupert, North Carolina State University
Published: March 25, Personality and Individual Differences
DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971
Abstract: We examined how proactive coping and daily mindfulness may work together to predict emotional reactivity to daily stressors. Using data from the Mindfulness and Anticipatory Coping Everyday study, 116 older adults and 107 younger adults participated in a daily diary study for nine consecutive days. Results from multilevel models suggest that people high in proactive coping were more emotionally reactive to daily stressors on days with decreased mindfulness. Due to the trait-like future-oriented thinking of proactive coping and the state-like present-oriented aspect of daily mindfulness, these results underscore the importance of simultaneously considering state and trait information to elucidate antecedents, correlates, and consequences of daily stressors.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Helen Keller

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Elsevier study: At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?

17 Nov

Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, 5 Patterns of Compulsive Buying: How do you know you have an addiction?

About 6% of the U.S. population can be said to have compulsive buying behavior with 80% of compulsive buyers being women. Many women have been socialized from a very young age to enjoy shopping with their mothers and friends (Workman & Paper, 2010). However, compulsive buying is likely to increase for men with the evolution of digital commerce. It is much faster and easier now to find what you are looking for.
Compulsive buying is similar to behavioral addiction, such as binge eating and gambling (Lawrence et al., 2014). Compulsive spending frequently co-occurs with other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Unlike other addictions, which take hold in the teens, spending addictions mostly develop in the 30s when people achieve financial independence.
Compulsive buying is not listed as an addiction in the DSM-5. However, the impulse problem appears to share certain characteristics common in addictive disorders (Black, 2012).
1. Impulse purchase. Compulsive buyers often purchase things on impulse that they can do without. And they often try to conceal their shopping habits…. Compulsive buyers may develop into hoarders later in life after their products have accumulated with time (Mueller, 2007).
2. Buyers high. Compulsive shoppers experience a rush of excitement when they buy. The euphoric experience is not from owning something but from the act of buying it…. And this excitement can become addictive.
3. Shopping to dampen unpleasant emotions. Compulsive shopping is an attempt to fill an emotional void, like loneliness, lack of control, or lack of self-esteem. Often, a negative mood, such as an argument or frustration triggers an urge to shop. However, the decrease in negative emotions is temporary and it is replaced by an increase in anxiety or guilt (Donnelly et al., 2016).
4. Guilt and remorse. Purchases are followed by feelings of remorse. They feel guilty and irresponsible for purchases that they perceive as indulges. The result may be a vicious cycle, that is, negative feeling fuel another “fix,” purchasing something else.
5. The pain of paying. Paying with cash is more painful than paying with credit cards (Ariely and Kreisler, 2017). The main psychological force of credit cards is that they separate the pleasure of buying from the pain of paying. Credit cards seduce us into thinking about the positive aspects of a purchase. In fact, CBD is only prevalent in developed countries where there is a system of credit and a consumer culture. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/science-choice/201806/5-patterns-compulsive-buying

See, Compulsive Shopping https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compulsive-shopping.asp and Compulsive Spending / Shopping https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/compulsive-shopping

Science Daily reported the Elsevier study: At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?

A new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
“It really is time to recognize BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” explained lead investigator Astrid Müller, MD, PhD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. At present, BSD is not categorized as a separate mental health condition; it is characterized as “other specified impulse control disorder” in the recently released 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
BSD is a cross-national problem that afflicts an estimated five percent of the population. It is characterized by extreme preoccupation with and craving for buying and/or shopping, as well as irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, need, or use. Their excessive purchasing serves to regulate emotions, e.g., to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings or cope with self-discrepancy. In the long run, the recurrent breakdown in self-control leads to extreme distress, psychiatric comorbidity, familial discord, clutter due to pathological hoarding of goods, and indebtedness and/or deception and embezzlement to enable continued spending despite insufficient finances.
As e-commerce has gained increasing popularity as a primary method for buying and shopping for goods over the past decade, a need has developed for mental health experts to explore whether traditional BSD manifests differently in the online retail market. The Internet offers a vast variety of shopping information and simultaneous access to many online stores, thereby meeting expectations for immediate reward, emotional enhancement, and identity gain.
Previous studies showed that certain Internet-specific aspects of buying and shopping, such as availability, anonymity, accessibility, and affordability, contribute to the development of an online subtype of BSD. However, there is a paucity of studies investigating addictive online shopping as a phenotype of BSD related to the problematic use of the Internet. This study, which analyzed data from earlier studies reporting on 122 treatment-seeking patients, is among the first to quantify and explore the phenomenon of online shopping in BSD diagnosed-patients…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191114100911.htm

Citation:

At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?
Date: November 14, 2019
Source: Elsevier
Summary:
A new study found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
Journal Reference:
Astrid Müller, Sabine Steins-Loeber, Patrick Trotzke, Birte Vogel, Ekaterini Georgiadou, Martina de Zwaan. Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2019; 94: 152120 DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2019.152120

Here is the press release from Elsevier:

At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?
One third of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder report symptoms of online shopping addiction, according to a new study published in Comprehensive Psychiatry

Philadelphia, November 13, 2019
A new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
“It really is time to recognize BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” explained lead investigator Astrid Müller, MD, PhD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. At present, BSD is not categorized as a separate mental health condition; it is characterized as “other specified impulse control disorder” in the recently released 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
BSD is a cross-national problem that afflicts an estimated five percent of the population. It is characterized by extreme preoccupation with and craving for buying and/or shopping, as well as irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, need, or use. Their excessive purchasing serves to regulate emotions (e.g., to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings or cope with self-discrepancy). In the long run, the recurrent breakdown in self-control leads to extreme distress, psychiatric comorbidity, familial discord, clutter due to pathological hoarding of goods, and indebtedness and/or deception and embezzlement to enable continued spending despite insufficient finances.
As e-commerce has gained increasing popularity as a primary method for buying and shopping for goods over the past decade, a need has developed for mental health experts to explore whether traditional BSD manifests differently in the online retail market. The Internet offers a vast variety of shopping information and simultaneous access to many online stores, thereby meeting expectations for immediate reward, emotional enhancement, and identity gain.
Previous studies showed that certain Internet-specific aspects of buying and shopping, such as availability, anonymity, accessibility, and affordability, contribute to the development of an online subtype of BSD. However, there is a paucity of studies investigating addictive online shopping as a phenotype of BSD related to the problematic use of the Internet. This study, which analyzed data from earlier studies reporting on 122 treatment-seeking patients, is among the first to quantify and explore the phenomenon of online shopping in BSD diagnosed-patients.
Dr. Müller added, “We hope that our results showing that the prevalence of addictive online shopping among treatment-seeking patients with BSD will encourage future research addressing the distinct phenomenological characteristics, underlying features, associated comorbidity, and specific treatment concepts.”
Notes for editors
The article is “Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder,”by Astrid Müller, Sabine Steins-Loeber, Patrick Trotzke, Birte Vogel, Ekaterini Georgiadou, and Martina de Zwaan (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2019.152120). It appears in Comprehensive Psychiatry, volume 94 published by Elsevier.
This study is published open access and can be downloaded by following the DOI link above.
Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628or hmsmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to speak to the authors should contact Astrid Müller at mueller.astrid@mh-hannover.de.
About Comprehensive Psychiatry
Comprehensive Psychiatry is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes on all aspects of psychiatry and mental health with a mission to disseminate cutting-edge knowledge in order to improve patient care and advance the understanding of mental illness. The Journal aims to publish high quality papers with a particular emphasis on the clinical implications of the work including an improved understanding of psychopathology.
About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray’s Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. http://www.elsevier.com
Media contact
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1 732 238 3628
hmsmedia@elsevier.com

Dr. April Benson wrote in Compulsive Shopping Treatment Overview:

As with most other addictive, impulse control, or compulsive disorders, there is a wide range of effective treatment options: drug treatment, individual, group, and couples therapy, counseling for compulsive buying, Debtors Anonymous, and Simplicity Circles can all be effective. The choice of what form or forms of compulsive shopping treatment to use with a particular person is a complex decision that goes well beyond the scope of this overview. For further information about making treatment decisions, consult my own writings, the For Therapists page of this website, as well as the bibliographic references at the end of each chapter in I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self.
Psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and opiod antagonists have been used to treat compulsive buying, with varying effectiveness. For further details, see McElroy and Goldsmith-Chapter 10 of I Shop, Therefore I Am and in Benson, April L. and Gengler, Marie. “Treatment of Compulsive Buying,” in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Group therapy for compulsive buyers has been reported since the late 1980s. At least five different forms of group therapy have been utilized with this population. My own group compulsive shopping treatment model is an amalgam of three things: useful techniques from existing models; didactic and experiential material used in group treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder; and material I’ve found effective in my clinical practice. A study of the efficacy of this model has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery and two additional papers, one about the model itself, and the second, a case illustration of the model, will appear in Volume 8, Number 1, of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery (2013).
There are chapters about two of the existing group therapy models in my book, I Shop, Therefore I Am and I describe all five in detail in Benson, April L. and Gengler, Marie. “Treatment of Compulsive Buying,” in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Couples therapy for compulsive buying is an extremely important treatment modality, because couples act as a financial unit and generally blend income as well as spending. Money issues are an intrinsic part of marriage and are often a source of intense and pervasive friction that can seep into other aspects of the relationship. Couples therapy is indicated when the compulsive spending problem can’t be dealt with adequately on an individual basis. Olivia Mellan, the country’s foremost expert in this area, discusses the treatment in Chapter 15, “Overcoming Overspending in Couples”, of I Shop, Therefore I Am.
How Does Compulsive Shopping Treatment Work?
Compulsive shopping treatment targets the specific problem and creates an action plan to stop the behavior. Targeted counseling for this problem alters the negative actions of compulsive buying and concurrently works toward healing the underlying emotions, although less emphasis is placed on exploring the emotional significance of compulsive buying than in traditional individual psychotherapy. The major premise of compulsive shopping treatment is the idea that insight alone will not stop the behavior. All stages in the compulsive buying cycle must be identified: the triggers, the feelings, the dysfunctional thoughts, the behaviors, the consequences of the behavior, as well as the meaning of the compulsive buying. Creating and using a spending plan is a cornerstone of compulsive shopping treatment. More information about compulsive buying counseling can be found in Karen McCall’s chapter “Financial Recovery Counseling”, as well as in my treatment chapter in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Debtors Anonymous (D.A.) can be a powerful tool in recovery from compulsive buying, especially for compulsive buyers who have problems with debt. D.A. sees debting as a disease similar to alcoholism that can be cured with solvency, which means abstinence from any new debt. Since individuals are trying to control their lives with addictive debting, D.A. offers a regimented program of surrender and recovery, a program with a spiritual emphasis. Individual debtors work through the steps of the program with a sponsor, a more experienced member of the group, using newly acquired tools in conjunction with the steps. How Debtors Anonymous and psychotherapy can work synergistically is the topic of Kellen and Levine’s chapter of I Shop, Therefore I Am….. https://www.shopaholicnomore.com/complusive-shopping-treatment/

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Helen Keller

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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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

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University of Tennessee Knoxville study: Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

20 Jan

Francois Grosjean Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, Who is Bilingual? How one describes bilinguals has changed over time.

This other way of looking at bilinguals allows one to include people ranging from the professional interpreter who is fluent in two languages all the way to the established immigrant who speaks the host country’s language but who may not be able to read or write it. In between we find the bilingual child who interacts with her parents in one language and with her friends in another, the scientist who reads and writes articles in a second language (but who rarely speaks it), the member of a linguistic minority who uses the minority language at home only and the majority language in all other domains of life, the Deaf person who uses sign language with her friends but uses the written form of the spoken language with a hearing person, and so on. Despite the great diversity that exists between these people, they all lead their lives with more than one language.
The more recent and more realistic view of bilingualism has allowed many people who live with two or more languages to accept who they are – bilingual, quite simply. (See here for some feedback on what it is like to be bilingual)…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-bilingual/201010/who-is-bilingual

Many argue the advantages of being bilingual.

Maria Konnikova wrote in the New Yorker article, Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?

So does that mean that there’s no such thing as a bilingual advantage? No. It’s just one study. But it adds further evidence to the argument that the bilingual advantage is sometimes overstated. “I’m definitely not saying there’s no bilingual advantage,” de Bruin says. But the advantage may be different from the way many researchers have described it: as a phenomenon that helps children to develop their ability to switch between tasks and, more broadly, enhances their executive-control functions. The true edge, de Bruin believes, may come far later, and in a form that has little to do with task-switching and executive control; it may, she says, be the result of simple learning…. https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/bilingual-advantage-aging-brain

A University of Tennessee Knoxville study examined one aspect of being bilingual.

Science Daily reported in Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no:

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks, according to a new study published in PLOS One.
The study, “No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children’s bilingualism on executive functions,” was coauthored by two UT faculty members: Nils Jaekel, clinical assistant professor of theory and practice in teacher education, and Julia Jaekel, associate professor of child and family studies, together with Jessica Willard and Birgit Leyendecker, researchers from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany….
For their research, the scientists used a computer test to compare the executive function of two groups of children between the ages of five and 15 living in the German Ruhr region. The first group consisted of 242 children who spoke both Turkish and German, and the other group consisted of 95 children who spoke only German.
The test measured the time bilingual and monolingual children took to correctly respond to computer-based problems and stimuli. The results showed no difference in the executive functions of the two groups.
The researchers also considered children’s German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages, factors for which previous studies on the topic had been criticized for lacking.
Does this mean there’s no value in speaking more than one language? Not exactly, said Nils Jaekel: “Although bilingual children are not necessarily more focused than monolingual children, speaking another language can provide other social opportunities along the way. However, it is important to continue the research on this topic so parents, educators, and policymakers do not overpromise on the benefits of speaking a second language.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190118123014.htm

Citation:

Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says n
Date: January 18, 2019
Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Summary:
Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.
Journal Reference:
Nils Jaekel, Julia Jaekel, Jessica Willard, Birgit Leyendecker. No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children‘s bilingualism on executive functions. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (1): e0209981 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209981

Here is the press release from University of Tennessee Knoxville:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 18-JAN-2019
Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE.
The study, “No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children’s bilingualism on executive functions,” was coauthored by two UT faculty members: Nils Jaekel, clinical assistant professor of theory and practice in teacher education, and Julia Jaekel, associate professor of child and family studies, together with Jessica Willard and Birgit Leyendecker, researchers from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany.
“The research of executive functions is important because they have direct application to success in both real-life and academic situations,” said Julia Jaekel.
For their research, the scientists used a computer test to compare the executive function of two groups of children between the ages of five and 15 living in the German Ruhr region. The first group consisted of 242 children who spoke both Turkish and German, and the other group consisted of 95 children who spoke only German.
The test measured the time bilingual and monolingual children took to correctly respond to computer-based problems and stimuli. The results showed no difference in the executive functions of the two groups.
The researchers also considered children’s German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages, factors for which previous studies on the topic had been criticized for lacking.
Does this mean there’s no value in speaking more than one language? Not exactly, said Nils Jaekel: “Although bilingual children are not necessarily more focused than monolingual children, speaking another language can provide other social opportunities along the way. However, it is important to continue the research on this topic so parents, educators, and policymakers do not overpromise on the benefits of speaking a second language.”
###
CONTACT:
Brian Canever
865-974-0937
bcanever@utk.edu
Jules Morris
865-719-7072
julesmo@utk.edu
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The issue of official language is often addressed in the context of national cohesion.

Brandon Brice wrote in Why English should be the official language of the United States:

The United States, contrary to popular belief, has no official language. Federal legislators have proposed laws to make English the official business language of the United States, and every year that legislation dies….
Making English the official language would encourage new migrants to learn the language of the country they have adopted as theirs. The end goal is to unite the American people, while improving the lives of immigrants and native-born inhabitants.
There would be savings; official English would save billions in federal spending. The direct cost of translators and bilingual education alone are billions, and many of these costs are born by local governments. In Los Angeles in 2002, $15 million, or 15 percent of the election budget, was devoted to printing ballots in seven languages and hiring bilingual poll workers. Los Angeles county hires over 400 full-time court interpreters at a cost of $265 per day. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law Executive Order 13166, which forces health care providers who accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to hire interpreters for any patient who requires one, at the providers’ own expense.
The indirect costs of accidents and lost productivity caused by the millions of people who don’t speak English are billions more….
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/why-english-should-be-official-language-united-sta/

Noemi Nagy asks an interesting question in Language Diversity as a Source of Conflict in Hungary—Possible Implications of Immigration.

Nagy described the language conflict:

Hungary has been a multinational and multilingual state for a thousand years, therefore had to implement policies and legislation on its minorities and linguistic diversity. After the democratic transition in 1989/90, the country’s new legislation on the protection of minorities became generally praised as standard setting in Europe. In 2011 a new Constitution and a new law on minorities were adopted, one of the major ‘innovations’ being Hungarian declared as the official language of the State. The aim of the paper is to present and critically evaluate the legislation and policies on language use and minority protection in Hungary in the democratic era, with special focus on the reverberations of today’s immigration boom in Europe, and the Hungarian government’s reactions to that. The paper opens questions such as: Is Hungary’s legal arrangement is appropriate to accommodate current needs of language minorities including new minorities, i.e. migrants? What are the possible implications of influx of immigrants into Hungary in terms of language policy? Will language resurface as a source of conflict as a new layout of multilingualism is taking shape in Europe? https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-77231-8_5

Something to ponder.

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University of California San Diego study: Targeted cognitive training benefits patients with severe schizophrenia

8 Dec

Bethany Yeiser wrote in the Psychology Today article, Schizophrenia and Homelessness: Paranoia drove me to sleep outside:

Over the past few years, I have been contacted by several families who have a loved one struggling with schizophrenia. Many of these people with schizophrenia are homeless.
For me, becoming homeless was a direct result of schizophrenia. Because of the illness, I could not work the easiest job or focus enough to take even one class. The illness brought on a paranoia which led me to cut off all my family members and my closest friends.
While homeless, I badly wanted a place to sleep, as I was tired of sleeping outside in a churchyard. Remarkably, I was given plenty of opportunities to leave my homeless life, and I rejected every one of them…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/recovery-road/201807/schizophrenia-and-homelessness

SARDAA has information about schizophrenia.

In Quick Facts About Schizophrenia, SARDAA reported:

Quick Facts About Schizophrenia
• Schizophrenia can be found in approximately 1.1% of the world’s population, regardless of racial, ethnic or economic background
• Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia and it is one of the leading causes of disability.
• Three-quarters of persons with schizophrenia develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age.
• The disorder is at least partially genetic.
• To be diagnosed as having schizophrenia, one must have associated symptoms for at least six months.
• Studies have indicated that 25% of those having schizophrenia recover completely, 50% are improved over a 10-year period, and 25% do not improve over time.
• Treatment and other economic costs due to schizophrenia are enormous, estimated between $32.5 and $65 billion annually.
• Between one-third and one-half of all homeless adults have schizophrenia.
• 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have received no treatment.
To learn more, we invite you to view a presentation by Linda Whitten Stalters, APRN, BC, FAPA, SARDAA Board of Directors. https://www.slideshare.net/SARDAA https://sardaa.org/resources/about-schizophrenia/

The University of California San Diego reported that cognitive training might aid those suffering from schizophrenia.

Science daily reported in Targeted cognitive training benefits patients with severe schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia is among the most difficult mental illnesses to treat, in part because it is characterized by a wide range of dysfunction, from hallucinations and mood disorders to cognitive impairment, especially verbal and working memory, which can be explained in part by abnormalities in early auditory information processing.
In recent years, targeted cognitive training (TCT) has emerged as a promising therapeutic intervention. TCT uses computerized training, such as sophisticated brain games, to target specific neural pathways, such as memory, learning and auditory-based senses, to beneficially alter the way they process information.
But while TCT has proven effective for mild to moderate forms of schizophrenia under carefully controlled conditions, it remains unclear whether the approach might benefit patients with chronic, refractory schizophrenia treated in non-academic settings, such as those cared for in locked residential rehabilitation centers.
In a study published in the December print issue of Schizophrenia Research, senior author Gregory A. Light, PhD, professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center at Veterans Affaris San Diego Healthcare System, and colleagues investigated whether TCT improved auditory and verbal outcomes among the most difficult of schizophrenia patients.
“Chronic, treatment-refractory patients mandated to locked residential care facilities make up just a small subgroup of persons with schizophrenia, but they consume a disproportionately large share of mental health care resources,” said Light. “Finding an effective therapy for them is critical.”
Light’s team studied 46 patients with schizophrenia psychosis recruited from a community-based residential treatment program, each following acute hospitalization. All were deemed “gravely disabled,” unable to care for themselves, and under the guardianship of a private party or government agency. Participants were randomized to either standard treatment-as-usual (TAU) or TAU plus TCT, in which they used laptop computers to perform various learning and memory game exercises, often involving auditory cues.
The researchers found that among participants who completed the roughly three months of TAU-TCT treatment, verbal learning and auditory perception scores improved; and severity of auditory hallucinations lessened. Of note: The benefits were not negatively impacted by age, clinical symptoms, medication or illness duration. “Our results suggest that chronically ill, highly disabled patients can benefit from TCT,” said Light. “That contradicts current assumptions.”
Light cited some caveats. “We’re somewhere between the Wild West and golden age of cognitive training for schizophrenia patients. There is much still to be learned and done,” he said. Patients in this study represented some of the most difficult patients to treat, with therapy regimens that are highly complex. “We need to do a lot more research….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181207112759.htm

Citation:

Targeted cognitive training benefits patients with severe schizophrenia
Study participants improved auditory and verbal outcomes
Date: December 7, 2018
Source: University of California – San Diego
Summary:
Researchers find that patients with severe, refractory schizophrenia benefit from targeted cognitive therapy, improving auditory and verbal outcomes and the way they process information.
Journal Reference:
Michael L. Thomas, Andrew W. Bismark, Yash B. Joshi, Melissa Tarasenko, Emily B.H. Treichler, William C. Hochberger, Wen Zhang, John Nungaray, Joyce Sprock, Lauren Cardoso, Kristine Tiernan, Mouna Attarha, David L. Braff, Sophia Vinogradov, Neal Swerdlow, Gregory A. Light. Targeted cognitive training improves auditory and verbal outcomes among treatment refractory schizophrenia patients mandated to residential care. Schizophrenia Research, 2018; 202: 378 DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2018.07.025

Here is the press release from University of California San Diego:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 6-DEC-2018
Targeted cognitive training benefits patients with severe schizophrenia
Study participants improved auditory and verbal outcomes
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO
Schizophrenia is among the most difficult mental illnesses to treat, in part because it is characterized by a wide range of dysfunction, from hallucinations and mood disorders to cognitive impairment, especially verbal and working memory, which can be explained in part by abnormalities in early auditory information processing.
In recent years, targeted cognitive training (TCT) has emerged as a promising therapeutic intervention. TCT uses computerized training, such as sophisticated brain games, to target specific neural pathways, such as memory, learning and auditory-based senses, to beneficially alter the way they process information.
But while TCT has proven effective for mild to moderate forms of schizophrenia under carefully controlled conditions, it remains unclear whether the approach might benefit patients with chronic, refractory schizophrenia treated in non-academic settings, such as those cared for in locked residential rehabilitation centers.
In a study published in the December print issue of Schizophrenia Research, senior author Gregory A. Light, PhD, professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center at Veterans Affaris San Diego Healthcare System, and colleagues investigated whether TCT improved auditory and verbal outcomes among the most difficult of schizophrenia patients.
“Chronic, treatment-refractory patients mandated to locked residential care facilities make up just a small subgroup of persons with schizophrenia, but they consume a disproportionately large share of mental health care resources,” said Light. “Finding an effective therapy for them is critical.”
Light’s team studied 46 patients with schizophrenia psychosis recruited from a community-based residential treatment program, each following acute hospitalization. All were deemed “gravely disabled,” unable to care for themselves, and under the guardianship of a private party or government agency. Participants were randomized to either standard treatment-as-usual (TAU) or TAU plus TCT, in which they used laptop computers to perform various learning and memory game exercises, often involving auditory cues.
The researchers found that among participants who completed the roughly three months of TAU-TCT treatment, verbal learning and auditory perception scores improved; and severity of auditory hallucinations lessened. Of note: The benefits were not negatively impacted by age, clinical symptoms, medication or illness duration. “Our results suggest that chronically ill, highly disabled patients can benefit from TCT,” said Light. “That contradicts current assumptions.”
Light cited some caveats. “We’re somewhere between the Wild West and golden age of cognitive training for schizophrenia patients. There is much still to be learned and done,” he said. Patients in this study represented some of the most difficult patients to treat, with therapy regimens that are highly complex. “We need to do a lot more research.”
Light and others are doing so. In a recent paper published in Neuropsychopharmacology, for example, he and colleagues described the underlying mechanism involved in TCT to improve auditory function. And in past work, schizophrenia-and-auditory-cues.aspx Light and others have shown that deficiencies in the neural processing of simple auditory tones can evolve into a cascade of dysfunctional information processing in the brains of patients with schizophrenia.
###
This study was made available online in July 2018 ahead of peer-review and publication this month.
Co-authors include: Michael L. Thomas, Andrew W. Bismark, Yash B. Joshi, Melissa Tarasenko, Emily B.H. Treichler, William C. Hochberger, Joyce Sprock, David L. Braff and Neal Swerdlow, UC San Diego and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System; Wes Zhang, SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology; John Nungaray, UC San Diego; Lauren Cardoso, UC San Diego and Alpine Special Treatment Center; Mouna Attarha, Alpine Special Treatment Center; and Sophia Vinogradov, University of Minnesota.
Disclosures: Dr. Greg Light has been a consultant to Astellas, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Dart Neuroscience, Heptares, Lundbeck, Merck, NeuroSig, Neuroverse and Takeda. Dr. Mouna Attarha is a research scientist and stock holder at Posit Science Corporations, which developed the computerized brain training program used in the study.
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.

Science Daily reported in Roots of schizophrenia: Excess of methionine during pregnancy?

An abundance of an amino acid called methionine, which is common in meat, cheese and beans, may provide new clues to the fetal brain development that can manifest in schizophrenia, University of California, Irvine pharmacology researchers report in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The findings point to the role methionine overload can play during pregnancy and suggest that targeting the effects of this amino acid may lead to new antipsychotic drugs….
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170816100305.htm

Citation:

Roots of schizophrenia: Excess of methionine during pregnancy?
Date: August 16, 2017
Source: University of California – Irvine
Summary:
An abundance of an amino acid called methionine, which is common in meat, cheese and beans, may provide new clues to the fetal brain development that can manifest in schizophrenia, pharmacology researchers report.
Journal Reference:
1. A Alachkar, L Wang, R Yoshimura, A R Hamzeh, Z Wang, N Sanathara, S M Lee, X Xu, G W Abbott, O Civelli. Prenatal one-carbon metabolism dysregulation programs
schizophrenia-like deficits. Molecular Psychiatry, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2017.164

Here is the press release from UC Irvine:

Public Release: 15-Aug-2017
UCI study uncovers possible roots of schizophrenia
Excess of methionine during pregnancy alters prenatal brain development related to the psychiatric disease
University of California – Irvine
Irvine, Calif., Aug. 15, 2017 – An abundance of an amino acid called methionine, which is common in meat, cheese and beans, may provide new clues to the fetal brain development that can manifest in schizophrenia, University of California, Irvine pharmacology researchers report in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The findings point to the role methionine overload can play during pregnancy and suggest that targeting the effects of this amino acid may lead to new antipsychotic drugs.
The UCI study also provides detailed information on the neural developmental mechanisms of the methionine effect, which results in changes in the expression of several genes important to healthy brain growth and, in particular, to one linked to schizophrenia in humans.
Amal Alachkar and colleagues based their approach on studies from the 1960s and 1970s in which schizophrenic patients injected with methionine experienced worsened symptoms. Knowing that schizophrenia is a developmental disorder, the UCI team hypothesized that administering three times the normal daily input of methionine to pregnant mice may produce pups that have also schizophrenia-like deficits, which is what occurred.
The pups of the injected mothers displayed deficits in nine different tests encompassing the three schizophrenia-like symptoms behaviors – “positive” symptoms of overactivity and stereotypy, “negative” symptoms of human interaction deficits, and “cognitive impairments” memory loss.
The research team treated the mice with anti-schizophrenic drugs well used in therapy. A drug that in schizophrenics treats mostly the positive symptoms (haloperidol) did the same in the mice, and a drug that treat preferentially the negative symptoms and the cognitive impairments (clozapine) did the same.
Alachkar, an associate adjunct professor of pharmacology, said that the study is the first to present a mouse model based on methionine-influenced neural development that leads to schizophrenic-like behaviors.
“This mouse model provides much broader detail of biological processes of schizophrenia and thus reflect much better the disorder than in the animal models presently widely used in drug discovery,” said Olivier Civelli, chair and professor of pharmacology and an author on the paper.
“Our study also agrees with the saying, ‘we are what our mothers ate’,” Alachkar added. “Methionine is one of the building blocks of proteins. It is not synthesized by our bodies, and it needs to be ingested. Our study points at the very important role of excess dietary methionine during pregnancy in fetal development, which might have a long-lasting influence on the offspring. This is a very exciting area of research that we hope can be explored in greater depth.”
###
The study received support from the National Institutes of Health (DA024746), the UCI’s Center for Autism Research & Translation, the Eric L and Lila D Nelson Chair of Neuropharmacology, and the Institute of International Education.
Link to study: http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2017164a.html?foxtrotcallback=true
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
Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
@UCIrvine
http://www.uci.edu
University of California – Irvine
Journal
Molecular Psychiatry
Funder
National Institutes of Health
Original Source
http://www.som.uci.edu/news_releases/uc-irvine-study-finds-possible-roots-of-schizophrenia.asp

Related Journal Article
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2017

Learn more about prenatal and preconception care.
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/Pages/prenatal-care.aspx

See, Prenatal care fact sheet http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

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Colorado State University study: An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation

28 Nov

Psychology Today defined child neglect:

Definition
Child neglect is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Once children are in school, personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Professionals have defined four types of neglect: physical, emotional, educational, and medical.
More children suffer from neglect in the United States than from physical and sexual abuse combined. The US Department of Health and Human Services found that in 2007 there were 794,000 victims of child maltreatment in the US, of those victims 59% were victims of neglect. Some researchers have proposed 5 different types of neglect: physical neglect, emotional neglect, medical neglect, mental health neglect, and educational neglect. States may code any maltreatment type that does not fall into one of the main categories—physical abuse, neglect, medical neglect, sexual abuse, and psychological or emotional maltreatment—as “other.”
In spite of this, neglect has received significantly less attention than physical and sexual abuse by practitioners, researchers, and the media. One explanation may be that neglect is so difficult to identify. Neglect often is an act of omission. But neglecting children’s needs can be just as injurious as striking out at them.
Additional Information
For 2003, 47.3 percent of child victims were boys, and 50.7 percent of the victims were girls. The youngest children had the highest rate of victimization. The rate of child victimization of the age group of birth to 3 years was 16.5 per 1,000 children. The victimization rate of children in the age group of 4-7 years was 13.5 per 1,000 children. Nearly three-quarters of child victims (73.1 percent) ages birth to 3 years were neglected compared with 52.7 percent of victims ages 16 years and older…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/child-neglect

Child neglect occurs in all societies.

Science Daily reported in An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation:

The scene: a bitter divorce, and a custody battle over the couple’s 7-year-old son. Awarded full custody, the mother — perhaps seeking revenge? — sets out to destroy the son’s relationship with his father. The mother tells the son lies about the father’s behavior, plants seeds of doubt about his fitness as a parent, and sabotages the father’s efforts to see his son. The son begins to believe the lies; as he grows up, his relationship with his father becomes strained.
According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents, like that fictional father, have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence.
An associate professor in CSU’s Department of Psychology, Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes. She and her co-authors explain how these behaviors are the source of long-term negative consequences for the psychological health and well-being of children and adults all over the world.
“We have to stop denying this exists,” said Harman, who previously co-authored a book about parental alienation with Zeynep Biringen, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “You have to treat an alienated parent like an abused person. You have to treat the child like an abused child. You take the child out of that abusive environment. You get treatment for the abusive parent, and you put the child in a safe environment — the healthier parent.”
In their new paper, Harman and co-authors Edward Kruk of University of British Columbia and Denise Hines of Clark University categorize parental alienation as an outcome of aggressive behaviors directed toward another individual, with the intent to cause harm. They draw direct lines between widely recognized patterns of abuse, like emotional or psychological aggression, and the behavior of alienating parents.
For example, psychological aggression is a common form of child maltreatment that involves “attacking a child’s emotional and social well-being.” In a similar manner, alienating parents terrorize their children by targeting the other parent, purposely creating fear that the other parent might be dangerous or unstable — when no evidence of such danger exists. Alienating parents will further reject, shame or guilt-trip their children for showing loyalty or warmth to the other parent.
The authors also argue that such alienating behaviors are abusive to the targeted parent, and they liken these behaviors to more familiar forms of intimate partner violence between spouses or dating partners…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181127171419.htm

Citation:

An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation
Researchers are urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as family violence
Date: November 27, 2018
Source: Colorado State University
Summary:
According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence. Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes.

Journal Reference:
Jennifer J. Harman, Edward Kruk, Denise A. Hines. Parental alienating behaviors: An unacknowledged form of family violence. Psychological Bulletin, 2018; 144 (12): 1275 DOI: 10.1037/bul0000175

Here is the press release from Colorado State University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 27-NOV-2018
An understudied form of child abuse and intimate terrorism: Parental Alienation
Researchers are urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as family violence
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
The scene: a bitter divorce, and a custody battle over the couple’s 7-year-old son. Awarded full custody, the mother – perhaps seeking revenge? – sets out to destroy the son’s relationship with his father. The mother tells the son lies about the father’s behavior, plants seeds of doubt about his fitness as a parent, and sabotages the father’s efforts to see his son. The son begins to believe the lies; as he grows up, his relationship with his father becomes strained.
According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents, like that fictional father, have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence.
An associate professor in CSU’s Department of Psychology, Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes. She and her co-authors explain how these behaviors are the source of long-term negative consequences for the psychological health and well-being of children and adults all over the world.
“We have to stop denying this exists,” said Harman, who previously co-authored a book about parental alienation with Zeynep Biringen, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “You have to treat an alienated parent like an abused person. You have to treat the child like an abused child. You take the child out of that abusive environment. You get treatment for the abusive parent, and you put the child in a safe environment – the healthier parent.”
In their new paper, Harman and co-authors Edward Kruk of University of British Columbia and Denise Hines of Clark University categorize parental alienation as an outcome of aggressive behaviors directed toward another individual, with the intent to cause harm. They draw direct lines between widely recognized patterns of abuse, like emotional or psychological aggression, and the behavior of alienating parents.
For example, psychological aggression is a common form of child maltreatment that involves “attacking a child’s emotional and social well-being.” In a similar manner, alienating parents terrorize their children by targeting the other parent, purposely creating fear that the other parent might be dangerous or unstable – when no evidence of such danger exists. Alienating parents will further reject, shame or guilt-trip their children for showing loyalty or warmth to the other parent.
The authors also argue that such alienating behaviors are abusive to the targeted parent, and they liken these behaviors to more familiar forms of intimate partner violence between spouses or dating partners.
Harman is an expert in power dynamics in human relationships. Her research has found that parental alienation is similar to what’s known as “intimate terrorism.” Intimate terrorism is chiefly characterized by a lopsided power dynamic, in which one partner subjugates the other through intimidation, coercion, or threats of (or actual) physical violence. Such a scenario is distinct from situational couple violence, in which both partners have relatively equal power in the relationship but cannot get along and resort to physical or emotional violence.
Analogously, children are used as weapons in the form of intimate terrorism known as parental alienation, Harman argues. The power imbalance in such intimate terrorism can be seen in custody disputes, in which one parent is awarded full custody of a child. This parent wields that court-ordained power to subjugate the other parent by withholding contact or actively seeking to destroy the other parent’s relationship with the child.
The family court systems see these situations every day, Harman says, but judges, lawyers and social workers aren’t attuned to the prevalence of parental alienation as child abuse or intimate partner abuse. Instead, such situations are regarded as simple custody disputes, or the inability of the parents to get along.
Harman says she’s hopeful her reframing of parental alienation will spur other social scientists to continue studying the problem. More research into this particular form of family violence will bring greater awareness, and may marshal resources to better identify and stop such behaviors.
###
Link to paper: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-58808-004
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.

Strategies to identify child neglect must be researched and refined.

Prevent Child Abuse America described strategies for preventing child neglect:

Prevent Child Abuse America advocates for:
• Increasing services to families such as home visiting, early childhood education, and parent education.
Child neglect often occurs when parents are overwhelmed with an array of stressors, including the difficulties of coping with poverty and its many associated burdens, single parenthood, limited parenting skills, depression, substance abuse, interpersonal violence, as well as the daily stressors most parents face.1 Services such as home visiting, early childhood education, and parent education provide emotional support, knowledge, and guidance on how to provide a nurturing environment for children. In addition, ensuring that all children have a quality education will help ensure this important need is met. Other services can assist potential parents in considering their readiness for a family, the number of children they wish to have, and appropriate spacing between births. These services can also help parents effectively care for the children they already have. In sum, services that strengthen families and support parents should in turn enhance children’s development, health and safety, and help prevent child neglect.
• Providing mental health services to parents and neglected children and youth.
Many neglected children have parents who are emotionally unstable or depressed.2 Mental health services can assist such parents to become emotionally healthier and better able to adequately care for their children. In addition, children often face adverse and potentially long-term psychological consequences due to neglect. Mental health services, especially at an early point, can help mitigate these consequences and can help ensure that neglect is not transmitted to the next generation.
• Ensuring access for all children to affordable, quality health care, including prenatal, dental, and mental health services.
Access to health care is critical to child and family well-being and helps protect against neglect. Without health insurance, families are less likely to seek timely and preventive health care. When they do, the cost of that care contributes to a family’s economic insecurity. Both of these are risk factors for neglect. In addition, children’s health care providers are a valuable source of support and advice for parents as they raise their children. They inform parents about community resources such as home visiting programs and parent support groups that can help prevent child abuse before it happens and provide information about child development and strategies for dealing with a variety of parenting challenges.
• Increasing efforts to address social problems such as poverty, substance abuse, and family violence which contribute to neglect.
Neglect is often intertwined with social problems, such as poverty, substance abuse, and family violence. It is crucial that greater resources be allocated to reduce these major problems that contribute to neglect. Such efforts must include the prevention of child neglect as an explicit goal.
• Increasing public awareness efforts to educate the public about child neglect, its seriousness, and how they can help prevent it, as well as foster a shared sense of societal responsibility.
Raising public awareness of the serious and pervasive nature of child neglect is essential in order for real change to occur. Children interact with an array of people in their community who play a vital role in their development. We need to recognize this and mobilize significant financial and human resources to address the problem. A public that appreciates the serious and pervasive nature of child neglect should be a crucial ally for necessary changes. They can help advocate for and support the policies and programs needed to enhance children’s development, health and safety, and help prevent their neglect.
• Increasing research efforts to improve our understanding of child neglect abuse – its nature, extent, causes, and consequences, as well as what helps prevent and address it.
Our current understanding of child neglect is limited. A better understanding is essential to guide policymakers and practitioners to develop policies and programs to tackle neglect. A variety of programs have been developed aiming to optimize children’s development, health and safety. Careful evaluation is needed to learn what works, and to replicate effective programs. It is also likely that new policies and programs addressing child neglect need to be developed and evaluated….. http://preventchildabuse.org/resource/preventing-child-neglect/

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy social in a healthy neighborhood (c)

Resources:

Chronic Child Neglect
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/chronic-neglect/

Chronic Neglect Can Lead to Aggression in Kids
https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/04/22/chronic-neglect-can-lead-to-aggression-in-kids/83788.html

Child Neglect
https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/child-neglect

Neglect
https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/deep-dives/neglect/

Child Abuse                                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/tag/child-abuse/

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Swansea University study: Excessive posting of selfies is associated with increase in narcissism

12 Nov

Lisa Firestone Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, Is Social Media to Blame For the Rise In Narcissism?

So who’s to blame for this generational increase in narcissism?
Can we pin the tail on Mark Zuckerberg and the advent of Facebook? Over the last couple years, a plethora of research has been pouring in that makes connections between Facebook and narcissism. Studies are consistently finding that people who score higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire tend to have more friends on Facebook, tag themselves more often in photos and update their statuses more frequently. According to Laura Buffadi, a postdoctoral researcher at the Universidad de Dueto in Bilbao, Spain, “Narcissists use Facebook and other social networking sites because they believe others are interested in what they’re doing, and they want others to know what they are doing.”
In general, social media websites encourage self-promotion, as users generate all of the content. W. Keith Campbell explains that people often utilize Facebook “to look important, look special and to gain attention and status and self-esteem.” The trouble with this aspect of social networking is that nearly everyone presents an unrealistic portrait of themselves. Just as people select the most attractive photos of themselves to use as profile pictures, they tend to populate their newsfeeds with the most attractive bits of news about themselves. Of course, this is not always the case, but the unrealistically sunny picture that so many social networkers paint can have a negative psychological effect on their friends or followers. Recent studies of undergraduates across the country have shown that “students who were more involved with Facebook were more likely to think other people’s lives were happier and better.” These heavy Facebook users were also more likely to negatively compare themselves to others and feel worse about themselves.
While Facebook is certainly a platform for narcissists, it is a mistake to assume that Facebook alone has caused this spike in narcissism. As researcher Shawn Bergman pointed out, “There is a significant amount of psychological research that shows that one’s personality is fairly well-established by age 7,” given that Facebook’s policy doesn’t allow users to register until age 13 “the personality traits of typical users are fairly well-ingrained by the time they get on a social network.”
The truth is the rise in narcissism among millennials may have less to do with our social networks online and more to do with our social networks at home. Throughout the last few decades, there has been an increase in parental coddling and the so-called “self-esteem” movement. Parents and teachers trying to instill a healthy sense of self-esteem in children by praising them lavishly often do more harm than good. In fact, studies show that children offered compliments for a skill they have not mastered or talents that they do not have are left feeling emptier and more insecure. Only when children are praised for real accomplishments are they able to build actual self-esteem. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201211/is-social-media-blame-the-rise-in-narcissism

The question most want to ask about narcissists is, are they bad people?

Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, Are Narcissists Bad People? Do they choose to hurt other people or are they unable to control themselves?

Most of the hurt that narcissists cause is the result of two basic sets of issues:
1. The need to retaliate to protect their self-esteem
Blame and retaliation: During any sort of disagreement, or even a fairly neutral situation, as soon as narcissists start to feel bad, they are likely to see whomever they are with as responsible for their discomfort. They quickly move from blaming the other person to angrily retaliating.
Justification: They feel justified because without whole object relations or object constancy, they now see the other person as the all-bad enemy. In addition, they have temporarily lost touch with any positive past history between them and the other person.
Fragile self-esteem: Their fragile self-esteem makes it extremely painful for them to become aware of their part in causing a fight. They do not even try to see how they might be at fault because that would pierce their narcissistic defenses and result in them feeling imperfect and deeply shamed.
Difficulty apologizing: After they calm down, they may realize that they over-reacted and regret it. Unfortunately, their underlying shaky self-esteem makes it very unlikely they will admit they were wrong and apologize. Instead, they are likely to make a reparative gesture, such as giving the person a present.
However, if the other person wants to talk about what happened, they are likely to become very defensive and feel attacked. Then the cycle of blame and retaliation and reparation may start all over again.
2. Self-centeredness and lack of emotional empathy
Narcissists often unintentionally do things that hurt other people because they are so self-centered and lack emotional empathy. For example, they may make fun of you in front of other people and just think they are being funny. Or you may tell them that you have a stomach virus and instead of sympathizing, they tell you that they had one much worse than yours.
How do we judge them?
Do we give them a free pass to hurt other people because they have a narcissistic personality disorder? I would not. At the very least, most well-intentioned people with NPD:
• Know that they are selfish.
• Know that other people are getting hurt by them.
• Know psychotherapy exists and most are choosing not to go for help to change.
• Have been told that what they are doing is hurtful and continue doing it anyway.
But: This subset of narcissists are not setting out to hurt other people on purpose…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-narcissism/201810/are-narcissists-bad-people

Researchers are studying the intersection of personality disorders and social media.

Science Daily reported in Excessive posting of selfies is associated with increase in narcissism:

A new study has established that excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism.
Published in The Open Psychology Journal, researchers from Swansea University and Milan University studied personality changes of 74 individuals aged 18 to 34 over a four-month period.
They also assessed the participants’ usage of social media — including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat — during that same period.
Narcissism is a personality characteristic that can involve grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement, and exploiting others.
Those who used social media excessively, through visual postings, displayed an average 25% increase in such narcissistic traits over the four months of the study.
This increase took many of these participants above the clinical cut-off for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to the measurement scale used.
The study also found that those who primarily used social media for verbal postings, such as Twitter, did not show these effects.
However, for this group of people, their initial levels of narcissism predicted a growth in this form of social media usage over time. The more narcissistic they were to begin with, the more verbal postings they made later.
All but one of the people in the study used social media, and their average use was about three hours a day, excluding usage for work, but some reported using social media for as much as eight hours a day for non-work related purposes.
Facebook was used by 60% of the sample, 25% used Instagram, and 13% used Twitter and Snapchat each. Over two thirds of the participants primarily used social media for posting images…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181109112655.htm

Citation:

Excessive posting of selfies is associated with increase in narcissism
Date: November 9, 2018
Source: Swansea University
Summary:
A new study has established that excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism by an average of 25 percent.

Journal Reference:
Phil Reed, Nazli I. Bircek, Lisa A. Osborne, Caterina Viganò, Roberto Truzoli. Visual Social Media Use Moderates the Relationship between Initial Problematic Internet Use and Later Narcissism. The Open Psychology Journal, 2018; 11 (1): 163 DOI: 10.2174/1874350101811010163

Here is the press release from Swansea University:

Excessive posting of photos on social media is associated with increase in narcissism
A new study has established that excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism.
Researchers from Swansea University and Milan University studied personality changes of 74 individuals aged 18 to 34 over a four-month period. They also assessed the participants’ usage of social media – including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – during that same period.
The work was published in The Open Psychology Journal.
Narcissism is a personality characteristic that can involve grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement, and exploiting others.
Those who used social media excessively, through visual postings, displayed an average 25% increase in such narcissistic traits over the four months of the study.
This increase took many of these participants above the clinical cut-off for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to the measurement scale used.
Read the research paper
The study also found that those who primarily used social media for verbal postings, such as Twitter, did not show these effects. However, for this group of people, their initial levels of narcissism predicted a growth in this form of social media usage over time. The more narcissistic they were to begin with, the more verbal postings they made later.
All but one of the people in the study used social media, and their average use was about three hours a day, excluding usage for work, but some reported using social media for as much as eight hours a day for non-work related purposes.
Facebook was used by 60% of the sample, 25% used Instagram, and 13% used Twitter and Snapchat each. Over two thirds of the participants primarily used social media for posting images.
Professor Phil Reed from the Department of Psychology at Swansea University, who led the study, said:
“There have been suggestions of links between narcissism and the use of visual postings on social media, such as Facebook, but, until this study, it was not known if narcissists use this form of social media more, or whether using such platforms is associated with the subsequent growth in narcissism.
“The results of this study suggest that both occur, but show that posting selfies can increase narcissism.
“Taking our sample as representative of the population, which there is no reason to doubt, this means that about 20% of people may be at risk of developing such narcissistic traits associated with their excessive visual social media use.
“That the predominant usage of social media for the participants was visual, mainly through Facebook, suggests the growth of this personality problem could be seen increasingly more often, unless we recognise the dangers in this form of communication.”
Professor Roberto Truzoli from Milan University added:
“The use of visual social media may emphasise the perception of narcissistic individuals that they are the main focus of attention.
“The lack of immediate ‘direct’ social censure, may offer them the opportunity to inflict aspects of their narcissistic personality, present themselves in a grandiose manner, and realise fantasies of omnipotence.”
The study was conducted by Professor Phil Reed and Nazli Bircek from Swansea University, Dr. Lisa Osborne from the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, and Dr. Caterina Viganò and Professor Roberto Truzoli from Milan University.
Find out about research in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University

Posted by Ben Donovan
Friday 9 November 2018 09.45 GMT
Public Relations Office

The healthy use of social media must be determined by each individual’

Pamela B. Rutledge Ph.D., M.B.A. wrote in the Psychology Today article, The Healthy Use of Social Media: Start with your goals. Is your social media use helping or hurting them?

Balance is key
While research does not support the fears about social media causing “addiction”, destroying empathy and social skills or turning a generation into narcissists, doing any one thing to the exclusion of others can create challenges. If you feel harrassed and overwhelmed by information overload or pressure from all that connectivity:
• Take the time to identify your larger goals, such as success at work or school, good relationships, or personal development.
• Evaluate your social media use and determine if it’s helping you meet those goals–keep a social media diary for a few days to learn what you use, when you use it and how it makes you feel
• Remember that you are the boss of your technology, not the other way around. Just because something rings or buzzes, doesn’t mean you have to answer
• Give youself permission to take a technology break from time to time and remind yourself what it feels like to be unplugged
• How you use your social media and mobile tools is unique to you and your goals. Don’t use others’ behavior to determine yours https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/positively-media/201310/the-healthy-use-social-media

While technology has advanced many aspects of civilization and made many tasks easier, its impact on social engagement and individual personality development may not be as salutatory.

“To know a species, look at its fears. To know yourself, look at your fears. Fear in itself is not important, but fear stands there and points you in the direction of things that are important. Don’t be afraid of your fears, they’re not there to scare you; they’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
C. Joy Bell C.

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University of Buffalo study: Social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect, study suggests

17 Dec

Psychology Today defined child neglect:

Definition
Child neglect is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Once children are in school, personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Professionals have defined four types of neglect: physical, emotional, educational, and medical.
More children suffer from neglect in the United States than from physical and sexual abuse combined. The US Department of Health and Human Services found that in 2007 there were 794,000 victims of child maltreatment in the US, of those victims 59% were victims of neglect. Some researchers have proposed 5 different types of neglect: physical neglect, emotional neglect, medical neglect, mental health neglect, and educational neglect. States may code any maltreatment type that does not fall into one of the main categories—physical abuse, neglect, medical neglect, sexual abuse, and psychological or emotional maltreatment—as “other.”
In spite of this, neglect has received significantly less attention than physical and sexual abuse by practitioners, researchers, and the media. One explanation may be that neglect is so difficult to identify. Neglect often is an act of omission. But neglecting children’s needs can be just as injurious as striking out at them.
Additional Information
For 2003, 47.3 percent of child victims were boys, and 50.7 percent of the victims were girls. The youngest children had the highest rate of victimization. The rate of child victimization of the age group of birth to 3 years was 16.5 per 1,000 children. The victimization rate of children in the age group of 4-7 years was 13.5 per 1,000 children. Nearly three-quarters of child victims (73.1 percent) ages birth to 3 years were neglected compared with 52.7 percent of victims ages 16 years and older…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/child-neglect

Child neglect occurs in all societies.

NSPCC described the signs of child neglect in Neglect Signs, indicators and effects:
Neglect can have serious and long-lasting effects. It can be anything from leaving a child home alone to the very worst cases where a child dies from malnutrition or being denied the care they need. In some cases it can cause permanent disabilities.
Neglect can be really difficult to identify, making it hard for professionals to take early action to protect a child.
Having one of the signs or symptoms below doesn’t necessarily mean that a child is being neglected. But if you notice multiple, or persistent, signs then it could indicate there’s a serious problem.
Children who are neglected may have:

Poor appearance and hygiene
Health and development problems
Housing and family issues

Children who are neglected often suffer other forms of abuse.
Things you may notice
If you’re worried that a child is being abused, watch out for any unusual behaviour.
• withdrawn
• suddenly behaves differently
• anxious
• clingy
• depressed
• aggressive
• problems sleeping
• eating disorders
• wets the bed
• soils clothes
• takes risks
• misses school
• changes in eating habits
• obsessive behaviour
• nightmares
• drugs
• alcohol
• self-harm
• thoughts about suicide
Find out more about the signs, symptoms and effects of child abuse.

The impact of neglect
Children who have been neglected may experience short-term and long-term effects that last throughout their life.
Children who don’t get the love and care they need from their parents may find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships with other people later in life, including their own children.
Children who have been neglected are more likely to experience mental health problems including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Young people may also take risks, such as running away from home, breaking the law, abusing drugs or alcohol, or getting involved in dangerous relationships – putting them at risk from sexual exploitation. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/neglect/signs-symptoms-effects-neglect/ https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/neglect/signs-symptoms-effects-neglect

A University of Buffalo study reported social workers lack tools to identify child neglect.

Science Daily reported in Social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect, study suggests:

Neglect accounts for more than 75 percent of all child protection cases in the United States, yet, despite this alarming frequency, child welfare workers lack effective assessment tools for identifying the associated risk and protective factors of chronic neglect, according to Patricia Logan-Greene, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.
Logan-Greene is the author of a newly published study with Annette Semanchin Jones, also an assistant professor of social work at UB, which suggests that the ineffective assessments are often the result of using instruments that are not specifically designed to include elements predicting chronic neglect.
Generally speaking, neglect refers to a lack of adequate care, including failure to meet basic needs like food and housing, lack of supervision, missing essential medical care and educational neglect. Chronic neglect refers to repeated incidents of neglect, often across several developmental stages.
The effects of chronic neglect can impact early brain development, cognitive development and emotional regulation, but even within child protection agencies, social workers might rate neglect cases as lower risk when compared to what they consider more serious offenses.
The authors say that many child protection agencies, in the absence of properly targeted assessments, turn to standardized assessments that do not address the potential accumulation of harm due to chronic neglect….’’
The authors identified critical predictors of chronic neglect, such as hazardous housing, mismanaged finances and alcohol abuse, which Logan-Greene says can help determine which families need help the most.
The primary caregiver in families with chronic neglect was also more likely to have a history of domestic violence, drug use and mental health problems.
Knowledge of these factors also makes it more likely to either develop new, more effective tools or to modify current ones that focus on chronic neglect.
“One of the implications here is that we could potentially add to or adjust standardized assessments so we could use them for chronic neglect,” says Semanchin Jones. “There are many ways neglect impacts on the well-being of these children, so if we know that, we can then intervene for families that might go on to develop chronic neglect.”
The findings, which add critical new insights to the understudied area of chronic child neglect, appear in the journal Child & Family Social Work…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171214142028.htm

Citation:

Social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect, study suggests
Date: December 14, 2017
Source: University at Buffalo
Summary:
Neglect accounts for the majority of all child protection cases in the United States, yet child welfare workers lack effective assessment tools for identifying the associated risk and protective factors of chronic neglect. The ineffective assessments are often the result of using instruments that are not specifically designed to include elements predicting chronic neglect, according to a new study.

Journal Reference:
1. Patricia Logan-Greene, Annette Semanchin Jones. Predicting chronic neglect: Understanding risk and protective factors for CPS-involved families. Child & Family Social Work, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12414

Here is the press release from the University of Buffalo:

Study suggests social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect
By Bert Gambini
Release Date: December 14, 2017

“Most of the time child neglect is considered among the least damaging forms of maltreatment compared to physical and sexual abuse, but we do have research that neglect and chronic neglect, especially, are significantly detrimental to children even when they’re not physically harmed.”
Patricia Logan-Greene, assistant professor of social work
University at Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Neglect accounts for more than 75 percent of all child protection cases in the United States, yet, despite this alarming frequency, child welfare workers lack effective assessment tools for identifying the associated risk and protective factors of chronic neglect, according to Patricia Logan-Greene, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.
Logan-Greene is the author of a newly published study with Annette Semanchin Jones, also an assistant professor of social work at UB, which suggests that the ineffective assessments are often the result of using instruments that are not specifically designed to include elements predicting chronic neglect.
Generally speaking, neglect refers to a lack of adequate care, including failure to meet basic needs like food and housing, lack of supervision, missing essential medical care and educational neglect. Chronic neglect refers to repeated incidents of neglect, often across several developmental stages.
The effects of chronic neglect can impact early brain development, cognitive development and emotional regulation, but even within child protection agencies, social workers might rate neglect cases as lower risk when compared to what they consider more serious offenses.
The authors say that many child protection agencies, in the absence of properly targeted assessments, turn to standardized assessments that do not address the potential accumulation of harm due to chronic neglect.
“Most of these tools weren’t developed with chronic neglect in mind at all, but even the standardized assessments, according to the results, weren’t consistently implemented,” says Logan-Greene. “We know from previous research, for example, that having in place good support systems protects against neglect, yet 99 percent of families with chronic neglect are categorized as having good support.
“That can’t possibly be true.”
“There’s a real opportunity here for states to look at implementation practices and train case workers to ensure effective implementation,” says Semanchin Jones.
The authors identified critical predictors of chronic neglect, such as hazardous housing, mismanaged finances and alcohol abuse, which Logan-Greene says can help determine which families need help the most.
The primary caregiver in families with chronic neglect was also more likely to have a history of domestic violence, drug use and mental health problems.
Knowledge of these factors also makes it more likely to either develop new, more effective tools or to modify current ones that focus on chronic neglect.
“One of the implications here is that we could potentially add to or adjust standardized assessments so we could use them for chronic neglect,” says Semanchin Jones. “There are many ways neglect impacts on the well-being of these children, so if we know that, we can then intervene for families that might go on to develop chronic neglect.”
The findings, which add critical new insights to the understudied area of chronic child neglect, appear in the journal Child & Family Social Work.
In addition to the prevalence of neglect, Logan-Greene mentions the ironic “neglect of neglect” in research, as noted decades ago by the child welfare scholar Leroy Pelton.
And while Pelton’s words still have an element of truth today, Logan-Greene and Semanchin Jones are among those researchers contributing to a growing body of literature on chronic neglect.
The challenges begin at a basic level.
Although evidence points to the seriousness of neglect, there is no federal definition of the term. Different states have different standards and because some child welfare systems exist as county-administered agencies, the definition of neglect can vary even within a particular state.
“Most of the time child neglect is considered among the least damaging forms of maltreatment compared to physical and sexual abuse, but we do have research that neglect and chronic neglect, especially, are significantly detrimental to children even when they’re not physically harmed,” says Logan-Greene.
For their study, Logan-Greene and Semanchin Jones conceptualized chronic neglect as five or more reports investigated by child protection agencies over a five-year period.
The research was prospective with the authors looking at roughly 2,000 cases from the time of a first neglect report and then followed the families into the future to determine if that neglect became chronic.
“We compared those who never had another report to others, and we also compared them using the agency’s risk assessment tools to determine if that tool effectively predicted chronic neglect,” says Semanchin Jones.
Media Contact Information
Bert Gambini
News Content Manager
Arts and Humanities, Economics, Social Sciences, Social Work
Tel: 716-645-5334
gambini@buffalo.edu

Strategies to identify child neglect must be researched and refined.

Prevent Child Abuse America described strategies for preventing child neglect:

Prevent Child Abuse America advocates for:
• Increasing services to families such as home visiting, early childhood education, and parent education.
Child neglect often occurs when parents are overwhelmed with an array of stressors, including the difficulties of coping with poverty and its many associated burdens, single parenthood, limited parenting skills, depression, substance abuse, interpersonal violence, as well as the daily stressors most parents face.1 Services such as home visiting, early childhood education, and parent education provide emotional support, knowledge, and guidance on how to provide a nurturing environment for children. In addition, ensuring that all children have a quality education will help ensure this important need is met. Other services can assist potential parents in considering their readiness for a family, the number of children they wish to have, and appropriate spacing between births. These services can also help parents effectively care for the children they already have. In sum, services that strengthen families and support parents should in turn enhance children’s development, health and safety, and help prevent child neglect.
• Providing mental health services to parents and neglected children and youth.
Many neglected children have parents who are emotionally unstable or depressed.2 Mental health services can assist such parents to become emotionally healthier and better able to adequately care for their children. In addition, children often face adverse and potentially long-term psychological consequences due to neglect. Mental health services, especially at an early point, can help mitigate these consequences and can help ensure that neglect is not transmitted to the next generation.
• Ensuring access for all children to affordable, quality health care, including prenatal, dental, and mental health services.
Access to health care is critical to child and family well-being and helps protect against neglect. Without health insurance, families are less likely to seek timely and preventive health care. When they do, the cost of that care contributes to a family’s economic insecurity. Both of these are risk factors for neglect. In addition, children’s health care providers are a valuable source of support and advice for parents as they raise their children. They inform parents about community resources such as home visiting programs and parent support groups that can help prevent child abuse before it happens and provide information about child development and strategies for dealing with a variety of parenting challenges.
• Increasing efforts to address social problems such as poverty, substance abuse, and family violence which contribute to neglect.
Neglect is often intertwined with social problems, such as poverty, substance abuse, and family violence. It is crucial that greater resources be allocated to reduce these major problems that contribute to neglect. Such efforts must include the prevention of child neglect as an explicit goal.
• Increasing public awareness efforts to educate the public about child neglect, its seriousness, and how they can help prevent it, as well as foster a shared sense of societal responsibility.
Raising public awareness of the serious and pervasive nature of child neglect is essential in order for real change to occur. Children interact with an array of people in their community who play a vital role in their development. We need to recognize this and mobilize significant financial and human resources to address the problem. A public that appreciates the serious and pervasive nature of child neglect should be a crucial ally for necessary changes. They can help advocate for and support the policies and programs needed to enhance children’s development, health and safety, and help prevent their neglect.
• Increasing research efforts to improve our understanding of child neglect abuse – its nature, extent, causes, and consequences, as well as what helps prevent and address it.
Our current understanding of child neglect is limited. A better understanding is essential to guide policymakers and practitioners to develop policies and programs to tackle neglect. A variety of programs have been developed aiming to optimize children’s development, health and safety. Careful evaluation is needed to learn what works, and to replicate effective programs. It is also likely that new policies and programs addressing child neglect need to be developed and evaluated….. http://preventchildabuse.org/resource/preventing-child-neglect/

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy social in a healthy neighborhood (c)

Resources:

Chronic Child Neglect https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/chronic-neglect/

Chronic Neglect Can Lead to Aggression in Kids https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/04/22/chronic-neglect-can-lead-to-aggression-in-kids/83788.html

Child Neglect https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/child-neglect

Neglect https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/deep-dives/neglect/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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