Tag Archives: University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin – Madison study: Gender differences in depression appear at age 12

30 Apr

Both the culture and the economy are experiencing turmoil. For some communities, the unsettled environment is a new phenomenon, for other communities, children have been stressed for generations. According to the article, Understanding Depression which was posted at the Kids Health site:

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds.
As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html

It is important to diagnose and intervene early when an individual exhibits signs of depression.

Science Daily reported in Gender differences in depression appear at age 12:

An analysis just published online has broken new ground by finding gender differences in both symptoms and diagnoses of depression appearing at age 12.
The analysis, based on existing studies that looked at more than 3.5 million people in more than 90 countries, confirmed that depression affects far more females than males.
The study, published by the journal Psychological Bulletin, should convince doubters that depression largely, but not entirely, affects females, says co-author Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“We found that twice as many women as men were affected. Although this has been known for a couple of decades, it was based on evidence far less compelling than what we used in this meta-analysis. We want to stress that although twice as many women are affected, we don’t want to stereotype this as a women’s disorder. One-third of those affected are men.”
The gender gap was evident in the earliest data studied by co-authors Hyde; Rachel Salk, now a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Lyn Abramson, a professor of psychology at UW-Madison. “The gap was already present at age 12, which is earlier than previous studies have found,” says Hyde. We used to think that the gender difference emerged at 13 to 15 years but the better data we examined has pushed that down to age 12.”
The gender difference tapers off somewhat after adolescence, “which has never been identified, but the depression rate is still close to twice as high for women,” Hyde says.
Puberty, which occurs around age 12 in girls, could explain the onset, Hyde says. “Hormonal changes may have something to do with it, but it’s also true that the social environment changes for girls at that age. As they develop in puberty, they face more sexual harassment, but we can’t tell which of these might be responsible.”
Although the data did not cover people younger than 12, “there are processes going on at 11 or 12 that are worth thinking about, and that matters in terms of intervening,” Hyde says. “We need to start before age 12 if we want to prevent girls from sliding into depression. Depression is often quite treatable. People don’t have to suffer and face increased risk for the many related health problems.”
The results described averages across the nations covered in the study, Hyde says, but similar results emerged from the studies focusing on the United States….. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170427130629.htm

Citation:

Gender differences in depression appear at age 12
Date: April 27, 2017
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
A new analysis has broken new ground by finding gender differences in both symptoms and diagnoses of depression appearing at age 12.
Journal Reference:
1. Rachel H. Salk, Janet S. Hyde, Lyn Y. Abramson. Gender Differences in Depression in Representative National Samples: Meta-Analyses of Diagnoses and Symptoms.. Psychological Bulletin, 2017; DOI: 10.1037/bul0000102

Here is the press release from University of Wisconsin – Madison:

Analysis: Gender differences in depression appear at age 12

April 27, 2017 By David Tenenbaum
– See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/analysis-gender-differences-in-depression-appear-at-age-12/#sthash.LW4qASXy.dpuf

An analysis just published online has broken new ground by finding gender differences in both symptoms and diagnoses of depression appearing at age 12.
The analysis, based on existing studies that looked at more than 3.5 million people in more than 90 countries, confirmed that depression affects far more females than males.

The study, published by the journal Psychological Bulletin, should convince doubters that depression largely, but not entirely, affects females, says co-author Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“We found that twice as many women as men were affected. Although this has been known for a couple of decades, it was basd on evidence far less compelling than what we used in this meta-analysis. We want to stress that although twice as many women are affected, we don’t want to stereotype this as a women’s disorder. One-third of those affected are men.”

The gender gap was evident in the earliest data studied by co-authors Hyde; Rachel Salk, now a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Lyn Abramson, a professor of psychology at UW–Madison. “The gap was already present at age 12, which is earlier than previous studies have found,” says Hyde. We used to think that the gender difference emerged at 13 to 15 years but the better data we examined has pushed that down to age 12.”

The gender difference tapers off somewhat after adolescence, “which has never been identified, but the depression rate is still close to twice as high for women,” Hyde says.

Puberty, which occurs around age 12 in girls, could explain the onset, Hyde says. “Hormonal changes may have something to do with it, but it’s also true that the social environment changes for girls at that age. As they develop in puberty, they face more sexual harassment, but we can’t tell which of these might be responsible.”
Although the data did not cover people younger than 12, “there are processes going on at 11 or 12 that are worth thinking about, and that matters in terms of intervening,” Hyde says. “We need to start before age 12 if we want to prevent girls from sliding into depression. Depression is often quite treatable. People don’t have to suffer and face increased risk for the many related health problems.”
The results described averages across the nations covered in the study, Hyde says, but similar results emerged from the studies focusing on the United States.
The UW–Madison researchers looked at both diagnoses of major depression, and at symptom measure of depression, Hyde says. “Symptoms are based on self-reported measures — for example, ‘I feel blue most of the time’ — that do not necessarily meet the standard for a diagnosis of major depression. To meet the criteria for major depression, the condition must be evaluated much more rigorously.”
The researchers looked at the relationship between depression and gender equity in income. Surprisingly, nations with greater gender equity had larger gender differences — meaning women were disproportionately diagnosed with major depression. “This was something of the opposite of what was expected,” says Hyde. “It may occur because, in more gender-equitable nations, women have more contact with men, and therefore compare themselves to men, who don’t express feelings of depression because it doesn’t fit with the masculine role.”

Curiously, no relationship in either direction appeared for depression symptoms.
Despite the prevalence of and growing concern about depression, “this was the first meta-analysis on gender differences in depression,” Hyde says. “For a long while, I wondered why nobody had done this, but once I got into it, I realized it’s because there is too much data, and nobody had the courage to plow through it all. We did, and it took two years.”
– See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/analysis-gender-differences-in-depression-appear-at-age-12/#sthash.LW4qASXy.dpuf

See, School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children https://drwilda.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/
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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The University of Wisconsin ‘Flexible Option’ program: A college GED?

25 Jan

Caroline Porter reports in the Wall Street Journal article, College Degree, No Class Time Required:

Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs. But so far, no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor’s degree.

Now, educators in Wisconsin are offering a possible solution by decoupling the learning part of education from student assessment and degree-granting.

Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor’s degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses, which have grown in popularity through efforts by companies such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.

No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.

Elsewhere, some schools offer competency-based credits or associate degrees in areas such as nursing and business, while Northern Arizona University plans a similar program that would offer bachelor’s degrees for a flat fee, said spokesman Eric Dieterle. But no other state system is offering competency-based bachelor’s degrees on a systemwide basis.

Wisconsin’s Flexible Option program is “quite visionary,” said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, an education policy and lobbying group that represents some 1,800 accredited colleges and universities.

In Wisconsin, officials say that about 20% of adult residents have some college credits but lack a degree. Given that a growing number of jobs require a degree, the new program appeals to potential students who lack the time or resources to go back to school full time.

“It is a big new idea in a system like ours, and it is part of the way the ground is shifting under us in higher education,” said Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, which runs the state’s 26 public-university campuses.

Under the Flexible Option, assessment tests and related online courses are being written by faculty who normally teach the related subject-area classes, Mr. Reilly said.

Officials plan to launch the full program this fall, with bachelor’s degrees in subjects including information technology and diagnostic imaging, plus master’s and bachelor’s degrees for registered nurses. Faculty are working on writing those tests now.

The charges for the tests and related online courses haven’t been set. But university officials said the Flexible Option should be “significantly less expensive” than full-time resident tuition, which averages about $6,900 a year at Wisconsin’s four-year campuses.

The Wisconsin system isn’t focusing on the potential cost savings the program may offer it but instead “the university and the state are doing this to strengthen the state work force,” said university spokesman David Giroux. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255992379228564.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email

Here is a portion of the University of Wisconsin’s description:

University of Wisconsin Flexible Option FAQs

FAQs

What is the UW Flexible Option?

The UW Flexible Option is an innovative way to make UW degree and certificate programs more accessible, convenient and affordable for adult and nontraditional students. Built on the long-standing foundation of high-quality UW degree programs, the new UW Flexible Option will include self-paced, competency-based degree and certificate programs that allow students to earn credit by demonstrating knowledge they have acquired through prior coursework, military training, on-the-job training, and other learning experiences.

UW faculty will determine what students should know and be able to do (knowledge and skills) in order to earn their college degree. Students enrolled in UW Flex programs will make progress towards a degree by passing a series of assessments that demonstrate mastery over competencies (knowledge and skills). Students in a Flex Option program may use the knowledge they have acquired through prior coursework, military and on-the-job training, and other learning experiences, and take assessments wherever and whenever they are ready. As they prepare for those assessments, students acquire knowledge and instruction from a wide variety of sources, working with a UW advisor and progressing at their own pace.

Which UW degrees will be offered with the new UW Flexible Option?

The first cohort of Flexible Option programs, planned for Fall 2013, includes:

UW-Milwaukee will offer four degree programs and one certificate program: o The College of Nursing will offer both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree option for Registered Nurses who seek higher credentials (R.N. to B.S.N. and R.N. to M.N.).

o The College of Health Sciences will develop a degree completion in Diagnostic Imaging targeted toward bachelor’s degree-attainment for certified diagnostic imaging professionals.

o The School of Information Studies will offer a B.S. in Information Science & Technology, preparing students for a host of jobs in an increasingly digital culture and economy.

o The College of Letters & Science will offer a Certificate in Professional and Technical Communication, providing students with the essential written and oral communication skills needed in the workplace.

UW Colleges will offer liberal arts, general education courses in the flexible degree format.

o The University of Wisconsin Colleges is the UW System’s network of 13 freshman/sophomore campuses. Through traditional instruction and the UW Colleges Online, students can earn an Associate of Arts and Science degree and transfer to any baccalaureate and professional program at a four-year UW campus.

o For students who wish to be engaged in Flexible Option degree programs, the UW Colleges will provide general education, liberal arts freshman and sophomore level offerings that will be available in a competency-based, self-paced format as early as fall 2013. Students will be able to complete competencies and assessments in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics, psychology, health, exercise science and athletics, women’s studies, business, political science, English, Spanish, geography, anthropology and sociology, history, art, and music. The UW Colleges will work to provide the Associate of Arts and Science degree via the UW Flexible Option….http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2012/11-2012/FAQ_FlexOption.pdf

There is a debate about the move to competency-based degrees.

Elle Moxley writes in the NPR report, Why Some Schools Are Considering A Move To Competency-Based Education:

Southern New Hampshire University is the latest to announce it will confer degrees based on something other than credit hour completion. The school plans to offer a $5,000 online degree awarded through a system of “direct assessment.”

Here’s how it works: Students have to prove they can complete a series of tasks — say, writing a business memo or creating a spreadsheet — to advance in their studies.

It’s similar to the competency-based model Western Governors University uses, writes Joanne Jacobs over at Community College Spotlight.

The idea’s spreading. Twenty other schools are working with WGU to design their own competency based programs, Jacobs reports. We noted last month that the U.S. Department of Labor will give community colleges in three states a total of $12 million to teach competency-based courses in key technology fields.

Even though schools like WGU are nationally and regionally accredited, many brick-and-mortar institutions have been reluctant to forgo the traditional college model in favor of competency-based education. Paul Fain over at Inside Higher Ed explains:

The academy’s nervousness about competency is understandable. Students learn at their own pace under the model — without guidance from a traditional faculty member — and try to prove what they know through assessments. If the tests lack rigor and a link to real competencies, this approach starts looking like cash for credits.

And competency-based education is controversial even when it’s backed by sound measurements of college-level learning. Most online courses share plenty with the traditional college classroom, most notably course material delivered by a professor or instructor. … But competency-based education, by definition, eliminates this part of the learning process, typically relying instead on tutors to help students grasp concepts as they work through self-paced course material, and only if they need help.The academy isn’t the only one with reservations about competency-based education, writes Fain. There’s also tension in the federal government, which only has so much money and wants to make sure dollars flow into schools offering degrees of value. Schools like WGU say they offer more bang for the buck because they let students take as many competencies as they can complete in a set period of times. http://stateimpact.npr.org/indiana/2012/10/12/why-some-schools-are-considering-a-move-to-competency-based-education/

See, Competency-based education has fans, detractors http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765618631/Competency-based-education-has-fans-detractors.html?pg=all

The question is what a particular student hopes to achieve from their college experience. In addition to the academics, there is the opportunity for certain social experiences which an online education may not provide. Still, for the mature student with life experience, this might be an opportunity for education or training.

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