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April 10, 2008, 8:20 PM CT

Men with Serious Injuries Often Abuse Alcohol

Men with Serious Injuries Often Abuse Alcohol
Men with serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, must deal with a range of emotions. If these men have strong traditional masculine ideas and abuse alcohol, it becomes even more difficult to help them heal and come to terms with their emotions and situations. A University of Missouri psychology researcher studied these challenging factors to find better ways to understand and treat men who fit this mold, such as the injured soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It is really a triple whammy," said Glenn Good, professor of educational, school and counseling psychology in the MU College of Education. "Counselors face a number of challenges when it comes to helping men deal with emotions surrounding serious injuries. Newly injured men often face adjustments in the level of personal assistance they require, and this may result in struggles with some aspect of the traditional masculine role, such as a 'go it alone' mentality. When three factors - injury, traditional male role and alcohol abuse - occur together, the rehabilitation process may be a challenge. In this study, we examined the combination of all three factors with the aim of better understanding how to treat men with several challenges."

Good and colleagues observed that a young man with a serious injury would often report a greater pursuit of status, higher drive for dominance and increased risk taking. However, they were more open to accepting assistance. Older men in the study tended to hold to the masculine attitude that they could do everything on their own and did not need any help, presenting a greater challenge.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 8, 2008, 10:13 PM CT

Marijuana increases alcohol toxicity

Marijuana increases alcohol toxicity
Marijuana is among the most frequently used illicit drugs by women during their childbearing years and there is growing concern that marijuana abuse during pregnancy, either alone or in combination with other drugs, may have serious effects on fetal brain development. There is good evidence that THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, crosses the placenta, that maternal marijuana abuse results in intrauterine growth retardation and that infants exposed to marijuana exhibit a temporary syndrome that includes lethargy and decreased muscle tone. Fetal exposure to THC can also result in attention deficits, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A new study using rats observed that THC combined with mildly intoxicating doses of alcohol induced widespread nerve cell death in the brain. The study is reported in the Annals of Neurology (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana), the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Henrik Hansen and Chrysanthy Ikonomidou, at the Neuroscience Research Center of the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Technology Dresden, Gera number of, scientists administered THC, a synthetic form of THC, ethanol, MK-801 (an anticonvulsant) and phenobarbital by injection to rats between 1 and 14 days old. A prior study by the same group had shown that ethanol and drugs such as sedatives, anesthetics and anticonvulsants triggered widespread nerve cell death in the developing brain of immature rodents; the current study was conducted to determine if cannabinoids had the same effect.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


April 8, 2008, 9:42 PM CT

Misery, Not Miserly

Misery, Not Miserly
Off to buy a new handbag and fabulous red shoes, or how about overalls and a riding lawnmower? Before going, a mood check for signs of despair and gloom might be in order because how a person feels can impact routine economic transactions, whether he or she is aware of it or not.

So says a team of behavioral researchers from four major U.S. universities, whose research study finds that sadness impacts spending. Specifically, people who feel sad and self-focused pay more money for goods than those in neutral states, even when purchasing the same item.

"The tendency is to focus on oneself when sad drives this effect," says the study's lead author Cynthia E. Cryder, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. "Our studies revealed the more self-focused people were in the sad condition, the more money they spent.".

"More studies are needed to determine whether participants are deliberately trying to improve their sense of self by acquiring goods," adds co-author of study Jennifer Lerner, an experimental social psychology expert at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.

The study, "Misery is not Miserly: Sad and Self-Focused Individuals Spend More," was funded by the National Science Foundation and was presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. in February of this year. It would be reported in the June 2008 issue of Psychological Science--a premier journal for scientific experiments in psychology.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 6, 2008, 8:13 PM CT

More likely to choose cocaine over food

More likely to choose cocaine over food
Having a lower social standing increases the likelihood that a monkey faced with a stressful situation will choose cocaine over food, as per a research studyat Wake Forest University School of Medicine. More dominant monkeys undergoing the same stressful situation had fewer changes in brain activity in areas of the brain involved in stress and anxiety and were less likely to choose cocaine.

Robert Warren Gould, a graduate student in the laboratory of Michael A. Nader, Ph.D., presented the study results Sunday at Experimental Biology 2008 in San Diego. The presentation was part of the scientific program of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).

Male cynomolgus monkeys live in a complex social structure in which the social hierarchy is established by physical aggression and maintained by clear signals. A monkey that has established his dominance over another monkey can elicit a subordinate response with no more than a meaningful look.

The scientists exposed four dominant and four subordinate monkeys to a socially stressful situation in which an individual monkey was taken out of his home cage and placed in an unfamiliar cage surrounded by four unfamiliar animals. The monkey was physically safe, but he could see and hear the animals around him engaging in aggressive behavior.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 2, 2008, 10:12 PM CT

Studies' message to women: Keep your cool

Studies' message to women: Keep your cool
Whether you are running for president or looking for a clerical job, you cannot afford to get angry if you are a woman, Yale University psychology expert Victoria Brescoll has found.

Brescoll and Eric Uhlmann at Northwestern University recently completed three separate studies to explore a phenomenon that may be all-too-familiar to women like New York Senator Hillary Clinton: People accept and even reward men who get angry but view women who lose their temper as less competent.

The studies, reported in the recent issue of Psychological Science, provide women with recommendations for navigating emotional hazards of the workplace. Brescoll says it pays to stay emotionally neutral and, if you can't, at least explain what ticked you off in the first place.

Clinton's presidential campaign has put a spotlight on the question of whether anger hurts a female candidate. The answer, as per the studies, appears to be an unequivocal yes - unless the anger deals with therapy of a family member.

"An angry woman loses status, no matter what her position,'' said Brescoll, who worked in Clinton's office as a Congressional Fellow in 2004 while she was preparing her doctoral thesis on gender bias. She noticed over the years that women pay a clear price for showing anger and men don't.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 2, 2008, 10:10 PM CT

Do we need alcohol prevention programs for 'tweens?'

Do we need alcohol prevention programs for 'tweens?'
The article examined a large study of six grade students across a metropolitan area, to see which factors distinguished young alcohol users from nonusers, including even their stated intentions regarding future alcohol use. Understanding that early alcohol use can affect development during a crucial time in life and can cause significant problems later, the scientists explored some current teen alcohol abuse prevention programs, concluding that even earlier intervention is imperative. The study looked at both positive and negative influences affecting early drinking, including such things as:
  • Parental influences, including communication, monitoring, and expectations
  • Peer influences, peers actual alcohol use and kids perceptions of peer use
  • The environment, access to alcohol, owning and wearing alcohol-related items
  • Kids involvement in sports, religious and other extra-curricular activities
  • Use of other substances, including tobacco and marijuana


Early users of alcohol are already at very high risk and earlier intervention is critical to alter risk factors while students are in their tweens, write the authors. Eventhough some research has been done in the primary prevention of developmental problems with tweens, the data suggests that a specific focus on particular alcohol-related risk factors is also needed to affect those at highest risk for teen alcohol use.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 2, 2008, 10:08 PM CT

Study finds that discrimination varies by gender and race

Study finds that discrimination varies by gender and race
Men are more likely to tolerate discrimination than women, however both sexes tend to accept prejudice against poorly educated immigrants and Arab-American airplane travelers, as per a research studyby the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.

In a survey of more than 3,300 people, scientists at USC Gould School of Law and USC College observed that both men and women are less willing to tolerate discrimination against the genetically disadvantaged. The study, would be published in June in Political Research Quarterly, also found tolerance levels between the sexes vary depending on whether or not their response is anonymous: men tend to understate, and women to overstate, their tolerance for discrimination when speaking to a live interviewer, as opposed to answering questions over the Internet.

Edward J. McCaffery, a USC law professor, who co-authored the study, said that an individual who sees nothing wrong with certain kinds of biases will often find others objectionable.

A number of political struggles of our time, in the United States as elsewhere, amount to clashes over the appropriate boundary between permissible and impermissible forms of discrimination, McCaffery said. We have observed that, while discrimination in its traditional forms based on race and gender may be receding somewhat, discrimination in other domains, as based on appearance, persists. Here we observed that people are more willing to accept discrimination against poorly educated immigrants, for example, than so-called genetic discrimination. Men are more willing to accept discrimination, but both men and women converge when we did a telephone survey and there was a live interviewer women became more, and men less, openly tolerant of discrimination.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 31, 2008, 9:35 PM CT

Are you my mother?

Are you my mother?
Sigmund Freud hailed the phenomenon of transference as fundamental to the process of dynamic psychotherapy. Freud depicted transference as a false correlation between patient's memories of a past relationship and the therapeutic context. He noted it as an integral part in the psychoanalytic cure.

New theories present a very different interpretation of transference. In that, it transcends the therapeutic context and constitutes part and parcel of everyday social perception. Much like stereotypes, mental representations of significant others may be activated from memory and applied to new people that you meet who resemble someone you know.

Psychodynamic theories argue that transference is an intense, resource-demanding process, but psychology experts Arie Kruglanski, University of Maryland, and Antonio Pierro, University of Rome "La Sapienza," suggest that transference is more likely to occur when an individual's energy resources are low, rather than abundant.

Extending the logic from existing research showing that individuals exhibited more stereotypic biases at a non-optimal time of day (i.e., in the morning for evening types and in the evening for morning types,) Kruglanski and Pierro examined the occurrence of transference in participants' as correlation to their circadian rhythm.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:35 PM CT

Cooperative classrooms lead to better friendships

Cooperative classrooms lead to better friendships
Students competing for resources in the classroom while discounting each others success are less likely to earn top grades than students who work together toward goals and share their success, as per an analysis of 80 years of research.

Competitive environments can disrupt childrens ability to form social relationships, which in turn may hurt their academic potential, as per scientists at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Cary J. Roseth, PhD, David W. Johnson, PhD, and Roger T. Johnson, PhD, evaluated the last eight decades of research on how social relationships affect individual behavior and achievement. Their findings appear in the current issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association.

The scientists examined 148 studies that compared the effects of cooperative, competitive and individualistic goals on early achievement and peer relationships among 12- to 15-year-olds. The studies included more than 17,000 adolescents from 11 countries and used four multinational samples. No one was excluded from the analysis because of gender, nationality, or academic or physical ability.

As per the studies, adolescents in classrooms that supported cooperative learning studying together to complete a project or prepare for an exam got along better with their peers, were more accurate on academic tests and achieved higher scores on problem-solving, reasoning and critical thinking tasks in comparison to adolescents who were in classrooms geared toward competitive learning studying alone knowing that success would mean only one winner and plenty of losers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 26, 2008, 9:51 PM CT

The Upside Of Anger

The Upside Of Anger
Here's a maxim from the "duh" department: People typically prefer to feel emotions that are pleasant, like excitement, and avoid those that are unpleasant, like anger.

But a new study appearing in the recent issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, says this may not always be the case. Psychology experts Maya Tamir and Christopher Mitchell of Boston College, and James Gross of Stanford University tested whether people prefer to experience emotions that are potentially useful, even when they are unpleasant to experience.

The authors wanted to examine whether individuals are motivated to increase their level of anger when they expect to complete a confrontational task, where anger might enhance performance. They told the study participants that they will either play a computer game that is confrontational (Soldier of fortune -- a first person shooter game where killing enemies is your primary goal) or one that is not confrontational ("Diner Dash"-- a game in which players guide a waitress serving customers). They were then asked to rate the extent to which they would like to engage in different activities before playing the game.

The scientists observed that participants preferred activities that were likely to make them angry (e.g., listening to anger-inducing music, recalling past events in which they were angry) when they expected to perform the confrontational task. In contrast, participants preferred more pleasant activities when they expected to perform a non-confrontational task.........

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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