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June 25, 2008, 10:23 PM CT

Feeling powerless leads to expensive purchases

Feeling powerless leads to expensive purchases
Feeling powerless can trigger strong desires to purchase products that convey high status, as per new research in the Journal of Consumer Research

In a study that may explain why so a number of Americans who are deeply in debt still spend beyond their means, authors Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky (both Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University) observed that research subjects who were asked to recall times when someone else had power over them were willing to pay higher prices for status-symbol items.

"This increased willingness to pay for status-related objects stems from the belief that obtaining such objects will indeed restore a lost sense of power," write the authors.

In three experiments, the authors asked participants to either describe a situation where they had power over another person or one in which someone had power over them. Then the scientists showed them items and asked how much they would be willing to pay.

After recalling situations where they were powerless, participants were willing to pay more for items that signal status, like silk ties and fur coats, but not products like minivans and dryers. They also agreed to pay more for a framed picture of their university if it was portrayed as rare and exclusive.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 10:12 PM CT

Hurried doctor visits may leave patients feeling forgetful

Hurried doctor visits may leave patients feeling forgetful
Have you ever been whisked through a doctor's visit, and afterward were unable to remember what the doctor said? A University of Rochester Medical Center study disclosed that doctors don't often take the steps necessary to help patients recall medical instructions.

The study, published online in this month's Journal of General Internal Medicine, investigated how frequently physicians repeat themselves, write down information, summarize instructions or take other steps to help patients remember the doctor's advice. The results suggest that doctors do not use these tools effectively or consistently. In fact, not one of the 49 doctors who participated in the study summarized their therapy recommendations.

"It's common for patients to forget half of what they're told in a medical visit," said the study's lead author, Jordan Silberman, a second-year University of Rochester medical student. "Obviously, this is cause for concern. As noted by the British researcher Philip Ley, 'if the patient cannot remember what he is supposed to do, he is extremely unlikely to do it.' No matter how effective a therapy is, it can be rendered useless by poor recall".

Scientists sent unannounced standardized patients (actors trained for this study) into primary care doctor practices across Rochester, N.Y., with hidden recording devices. The actors complained of typical heartburn symptoms. Scientists then coded the recordings to determine how often doctors reinforced their instructions in some way.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 10:09 PM CT

Stepfamilies make caring more complex

Stepfamilies make caring more complex
"I felt so insulted and so hurt. It was like [their father] had met some gal at a bar and married her the next day, and she wanted all his money. I felt they didn't give me any credit, or any respect, appreciation or anything. It still hurts."-Remarried wife of 12 years, caring for husband with Alzheimer's disease, about her adult stepchildren.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Late-life remarriage complicates caring for an ailing spouse, as per a University of Michigan researcher who is conducting one of the first known studies to focus on the challenges facing older remarried caregivers-a growing segment of the older U.S. population.

"Caring for an aging spouse is extremely difficult under the best of circumstances," said researcher Carey Wexler Sherman. "When stepfamily tensions and conflicts are added to the mix, the stress can become overwhelming".

With funding from the national Alzheimer's Association, Sherman plans to interview about 125 men and women with the goal of documenting the type, level and quality of social support received from step-children and other social network members, and assessing how late-life remarriage affects the experience of caregiving.

"Past research and current public policy relies heavily on the assumption that most older people who develop dementia are in long-term, intact marriages where the spouses - most often the wife-and adult children will provide most of their care," said Sherman, a research investigator at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). "It's not clear exactly how late-life remarriage and stepfamily relationships affect the spouse's ability to get meaningful help in providing that care.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 10:04 PM CT

Pediatrics review of underage drinking

Pediatrics review of underage drinking
Richard Spoth, director of the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute (PPSI) at Iowa State, received a letter of commendation from the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for his work in the institute's underage drinking initiative. Photo by Bob Elbert

Underage drinking is a national concern that led the U.S. surgeon general to issue a "Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking" last year. Now, a new report by an Iowa State University researcher assesses the effectiveness of underage drinking prevention programs and provides a better idea of how to achieve key goals outlined by the surgeon general.

Lead author Richard Spoth, director of the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute (PPSI) at Iowa State, along with co-authors Mark Greenberg and Robert Turrisi of Penn State, published "Preventive Interventions Addressing Underage Drinking: State of the Evidence and Steps Toward Public Health Impact" in the recent issue of Pediatrics -- the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The article can be found online here.

"The Pediatrics supplement underscores the scope of the underage drinking problem, reporting that over 4 million youths ages 12-17 drink monthly, and more than half of them have a drinking pattern that puts them at high risk for negative health and social consequences," Spoth said.

Out of the 400 interventions that the scientists identified and screened, 12 were defined as "most promising" because they met these six criteria:

"Essentially, interventions meeting criteria were those that had been tested through rigorous, well-designed studies consistent with accepted standards for intervention research, had demonstrated practically significant results, and had detailed summaries of intervention procedures," said Spoth.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 16, 2008, 9:19 PM CT

Complex Changes in the Brain's Vascular System Occur after Menopause

Complex Changes in the Brain's Vascular System Occur after Menopause
A number of women experience menopausal changes in their body including hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, but the changes they don't notice can be more dangerous. In a new study, scientists at the University of Missouri have discovered significant changes in the brain's vascular system when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. MU researchers predict that currently used estrogen-based hormone therapies may complicate this process and may do more harm than good in postmenopausal women.

"Before menopause, women are much more protected from certain conditions such as heart disease and stroke, but these vascular changes might explain why women lose this protection after menopause," said Olga Glinskii, research assistant professor of medical pharmacology and physiology in MU's School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Because the body eventually will naturally adapt to the loss of estrogen, we advise extreme caution when using estrogen-based treatment in postmenopausal women".

In their study, MU scientists removed the ovaries of pigs, which have a reproductive cycle similar to humans, to create postmenopausal conditions. Two months after the ovaries were removed, they observed dramatic differences in the brain's vascular system. There was a huge loss of micro vessels, and blood vessels became "leaky".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 9, 2008, 9:55 PM CT

Students with a delayed school start time sleep longer

Students with a delayed school start time sleep longer
High school students with a delayed school start time are more likely to take advantage of the extra time in bed, and less likely to report daytime sleepiness, as per a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Zaw W. Htwe, MD, of Norwalk Hospitals Sleep Disorders Center in Norwalk, Conn., focused on 259 high school students who completed the condensed School Sleep Habits Questionnaire. Previous to the delay, students reported sleeping a mean of 422 minutes (7.03 hours) per school night, with a mean bed-time of 10:52 p.m. and a mean wake-up time as 6:12 a.m.

As per the results, after a 40-minute delay in the school start time from 7:35 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., students slept significantly longer on school nights. Total sleep time on school nights increased 33 minutes, which was due mainly to a later rise time. These changes were consistent across all age groups. Students bedtime on school nights was marginally later, and weekend night sleep time decreased slightly. More students reported no problem with sleepiness after the schedule change.

Following a 40-minute delay in start time, the students utilized 83 percent of the extra time for sleep. This increase in sleep time came as a result of being able to sleep in to 6:53 a.m., with little delay in their reported school night bedtime. This study demonstrates that students given the opportunity to sleep longer, will, rather than extend their wake activities on school nights, said Mary B. O'Malley, MD, PhD, corresponding author of the study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 9, 2008, 9:29 PM CT

Children with high risk for a sleep-related breathing disorder

Children with high risk for a sleep-related breathing disorder
Children with high risk for a sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) are more likely to have anxiety, as per a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Shalini Paruthi, MD, of the University of Michigan, focused on 341 families with a child in second through fifth grade, who were surveyed about SRBD symptoms as well as behavior. Parents completed two well-validated instruments: the SRBD subscale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire and the Conners Parent Rating Scale.

As per the results, children with a high risk for an SRBD, in comparison to those without, were more likely to have anxiety. This relationship was independent of hyperactivity, which is known to be linked to both SRBD and anxiety.

SRBD is a common condition in children, and is frequently linked to cognitive and behavioral morbidities such as hyperactivity, said Dr. Paruthi. Anxiety in children is often multifactorial and can be linked to other disorders, including ADHD. As ADHD has been linked to SRBD, our results showed that therapy of an SRBD has been shown to improve behavior and cognitive function in children diagnosed with ADHD, and may translate into therapy options for school age children with anxiety. More studies are needed to further explore this relationship between SRBD and anxiety.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 9, 2008, 9:25 PM CT

Women worrying about cancer

Women worrying about cancer
A significant number of women worrying about cancer may be experiencing sleep disturbances, even without a breast cancer diagnosis, as per a research abstract that will be presented by Amita Dharawat, MD, on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

This collaborative study, from the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, focused on 1,038 community-based residents, between 50 and 70 years of age; none of whom had a history of a physician-diagnosed cancer. Sleep complaint was defined as a report of either difficulty initiating sleep, maintaining sleep, or early morning awakening.

As per the results, 65 percent of the women reported that they worried about developing breast cancer, and 49 percent reported a sleep complaint. Twenty-seven percent indicated that cancer worry affected their mood, while 25 percent indicated that it affected their daily activity. The odds of reporting sleep complaints for women who worry about cancer were nearly 50 percent greater than odds for women who reported no cancer worry, independent of several confounders.

This is a unique and important finding because sleep-related complaints have never been studied in women who worry about cancer, without a diagnosis, and it provides practitioners with knowledge with regards to identifying and targeting women who report sleep-related complaints with cognitive behavioral treatment, said Dr. Dharawat, who is a second year medical resident, working with Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis on an NIH funded Womens Health Project.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:45 PM CT

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care
Mothers play an important role in determining how much fathers get involved in taking care of their infants, as per new research.

A study of 97 couples observed that fathers were more involved in the day-to-day care of their infants when they received active encouragement from their wife or partner.

In fact, this encouragement was important even after taking into account fathers and mothers views about how involved dads should be, the overall quality of the couples parenting relationship, and how much mothers worked outside the home.

In addition, fathers beliefs about how involved they should be in child care did not matter when mothers were highly critical of fathers parenting. In other words, fathers didnt put their beliefs into practice when faced with a especially judgmental mother.

Mothers are in the drivers seat, said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

Mothers can be very encouraging to fathers, and open the gate to their involvement in child care, or be very critical, and close the gate.

This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:33 PM CT

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings
Contrary to popular notions about what is normal or healthy, new research has observed that it is okay not to express one's thoughts and feelings after experiencing a collective trauma, such as a school shooting or terrorist attack.

In fact, people who choose not to express their feelings after such an event may be better off than those who do talk about their feelings, as per University at Buffalo psychology expert Mark Seery, Ph.D., lead author of a study to appear in the recent issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The study investigated the mental and physical effects of collective traumas on people who are exposed to a tragedy but who do not experience a direct loss of a friend or family member. It focused on people's responses to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the results may generalize to include responses to other collective traumas.

The findings have important implications for expectations of how people should respond in the face of a collective trauma affecting a whole community or even an entire nation, says Seery, an assistant professor of psychology.

Seery says the results should not be interpreted to mean that expressing one's thoughts and feelings is harmful or that if someone wants to express their emotions they should not do so. "It's important to remember that not everyone copes with events in the same way, and in the immediate aftermath of a collective trauma, it is perfectly healthy to not want to express one's thoughts and feelings," he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

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