Karyn Zlatkovic

Counselling & Psychology ~ Gold Coast, Qld – Lismore, NSW

Can Social Media be useful for education purposes ? November 15, 2018

Filed under: Annotated Bibliography,Methods & Concepts in Psychology — profesoraingles @ 10:57 am

1,563 words.

 

Annotated Bibliography: Can Social Media be useful for education purposes and what are the commonly held beliefs and attitudes around social media use amongst students and their teachers?

I began by searching for evidence of social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter and Weebo (China) causing depression and anxiety in young people.

The preponderance of the scientific literature found in regards to social media use seem to point to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety being exacerbated by social media use (Baker & Algorta, 2016; Ehrenreich, & Underwood, 2016; Lin, Sidani, Shensa, Radovic, Miller, Colditz & Primack, 2016; Steers, Quist, Bryan, Foster, Young & Neighbors, 2016; Park, N., Kee, K. F., & Valenzuela, S., 2009). However, some studies suggest that it is the way SNS’s are used that are related to positive or negative outcomes, for example, one study found that “passive Facebook usage leads to declines in affective well-being by increasing envy” (Verdyn, Lee, Park, Shablack,, Orvell, Bayer, Ybarra, Jonides & Kross, 2015), suggesting taking a more pro-active approach may lead to a positive result.  Interestingly, Michikyan, Subrahmanyam and Dennis, found a correlation between lower GPA students and negatively-themed status updates (2015). As I searched through the literature I found an interesting trend toward new research regarding how social media can positively impact the student experience of university. This is interesting as clinicians ought to remain objective. Hence, this paper investigates the research into more positive outcomes for social media use by students.

Alwagait, Shahzad, & Alim (2015), found no linear relationship between SNS use and GPA. Whereas another study found students SNS usage increased their perceptions of diverse social support  (DeAndrea, Ellison, LaRose, Steinfield & Fiore, 2011). Additionally, some studies show SNS use could actually help students academic performance and even raise their GPA, and among these are the ones I will focus on here.

There is more than one definition of depression and anxiety in psychology (American Psychological Association, 2013). Clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder may not be related or effected at all by internet use, although there seems to be a correlational link (Ehrenreich & Underwood, 2016; Lin, Sidani, Shensa, Radovic, Miller, Colditz, Hoffman, Giles & Primack, 2016). Depression and anxiety are commonly understood as a new epidemic in our modern world, and oftentimes social media use is identified as the cause; as Shaw and Gant (2002), pointed out, this may be due to one of the earliest studies found in the literature on this topic where internet use was linked to depression (Kraut, Patterson, Lundmark, Kiesler, Mukophadhyay & Scherlis, 1998). However correlation does not imply causality, so further investigation was required.

A fairly recent study linked Internet addiction to maladaptive personality traits such as perfectionism, neuroticism and psychoticism (Şenormancı, Saraçlı, Atasoy, Şenormancı, Koktürk, & Atik, 2014). On the other hand, Steers, Quist, Bryan, Foster, Young and Neighbors (2016) have produced a study linking anxiety and extroversion, mediated by a need for approval, with Facebook use. A systematic review of 30 current, quantitative, empirical studies (Baker & Algorta, 2016) found that the relationship between depression and online social networks is complex. Baker and Algorta found that SNS’s had both positive and negative impact on student psychological wellbeing (2016).

To summarise, there is more to social media usage than loneliness, jealousy, depression and anxiety (Michikyan, Subrahmanyam & Dennis, 2015). With this in mind, the following literature review outlines positive outcomes for social media usage amongst university students.

 

Paper 1

Anwar, K., Sajid, M. R., Cahusac, P., Shaikh, A. A., Elgammal, A., Alshedoukhy, A., & Kashir, J. (2017). Can Facebook pages be a mode of blended learning to supplement in-class teaching in Saudi Arabia?. Advances in physiology education, 41(3), 472-477.

 

I found the paper via an online search of the database on the SCU library website using the search terms “facebook” , “teach*” and “learn*”

 

This papers researchers claim they demonstrated that Facebook is a “powerful tool for undergraduate education, supplementing in-class teaching, and assisting in exam preparation, potentially increasing average student performance.”

Participants were 197 neuroscience students, and the GPA of this 2015 cohort was compared to n=160 students of the 2014 cohort. Analysing the data, it seems that the best improvement was amongst students who already had poor grades. In other words, there were less students with lower grades in the 2015 cohort. Meaning, the Facebook page did not seem to help high-achieving students so much as it helped the struggling students to achieve better grades.

To examine the utility of social media as a learning aid for medical students, firstly the researchers identified Facebook as the most used social media page, then they created a Facebook page for Neuroscience medical college students at the Alfaisal University. This page incorporated e-learning materials and supplemented lecture content. In addition multiple choice questions (MCQ’s) were posted as exam preparation and answers were posted after 48 hours. Students were encouraged to participate and post content, under moderation. The page also contained links to general interest articles, not directly related to neuroscience, as well as neuroscience-related content external links. The study was run over a ten week block with second year students.

 

Paper 2

Mao, J. (2014). Social media for learning: A mixed methods study on high school students’ technology affordances and perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior, 33, 213-223.

 

This paper found by browsing through the SCU library database using the search terms “learn*” , “teach*” and “social media*”

 

This study explored student use of social media for their own learning purposes, and found that while teachers are reluctant to use the technology for teaching purposes, students have positive attitudes about social media and use it for informal learning purposes as well as social interaction with other students. A distinction was made between Web 2.0 technologies and Social Networking Sites (SNS), which utilize Web 2.0 technologies in order to function. The researcher found that “rigid school networking policies” and negative beliefs and attitudes held teachers back from fully utilizing social networking sites (SNS). While so-called “digital native” students were already using these new tools for learning, socializing and communicating.

The research design included collecting qualitative data through semi-structured interviews and open-ended questions. The researcher hoped to shed some light on quantitative data by using a mixed-methods study and declared limitations to his study being self-reported data on Facebook use. As well as self-report method, he also used a five-point Likert scale with 22 items.

Data was collected from one hundred and sixty-six students aged 14-17 (47.6% females) via an online survey about utilizing social media in education. Participants first engaged with the quantitative phase of the study, “attitude and belief scale” with 12 attitude  items, and 10 belief items, with a total of 22 items. Six open-ended structured interview questions were developed based on analysis of this data. Participants were then invited to volunteer for the second, qualitative phase of the study.

An exploratory factor analysis of the data was performed on the quantitative data in SPSS, with three negatively-worded items reversed to calculate reliability. Whereas constant comparison analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data, this was performed with QDA Miner software.   The results were then blended and it was found that the qualitative data supported and enriched the findings from the quantitative phase of the study with detailed stories, explanations and reasoning.

The results were that three key issues emerged being: the changed concepts about learning;  conceptualisation of social media as a learning tool; and open-minded, innate (digital native) use versus closed-minded, acquired use.

 

Paper 3

Maqableh, M., Rajab, L., Quteshat, W., Masa’deh, R. E. M., Khatib, T., & Karajeh, H. (2015). The impact of social media networks websites usage on students’ academic performance. Communications and Network Issue 7. 159-171

 

This paper was found by reading through Alwagait, Shahzad, & Alim, (2015), then doing a search on Google scholar to cite the article, but this paper came up in the search and seemed more relevant due to the fact that it analyses the use of more popular SNS platforms, rather than one made up just for the study.

 

There seems to be some interesting research on this topic coming from the geographical location of the middle east, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. This particular study found a significant result for SNS impact on academic performance of students from different faculties at Jordan University.  The researchers found 366 undergraduates to participate in their survey and used ANOVA, t-testing and descriptive analysis. Their results seem to suggest that time-management was more of an issue for academic achievement than the actual use of “rapid and heavy communication technology” or, social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The main objective of this study was find whether SNS had a positive impact on academic performance.

The research methodology was informed by the literature review. They aimed to examine the causal relationship between academic achievement measured in GPA and social media use. They also investigated the statistical significance of differences determined by age and gender, as well as how frequently people accessed SNS, what sites they were accessing and the duration.

In their literature review they point out that students need to develop new social networks in order to feel supported and transition into university life. In particular those who were new to the academic experience such as: first generation university students, immigrants and first year students benefited the most from utilising SNS’s to connect with other students and develop a support network, even to set up peer-support networks before first year students enter the university campus.

 

References

Alwagait, E., Shahzad, B., & Alim, S. . (2015). Impact of social media usage on students’ academic performance in Saudi Arabia. Computers in Human Behavior,, 51, 1092-1097.

Anwar, K., Sajid, M. R., Cahusac, P., Shaikh, A. A., Elgammal, A., Alshedoukhy, A., & Kashir, J. . (2017). Can Facebook pages be a mode of blended learning to supplement in-class teaching in Saudi Arabia? Advances in physiology education, 41(3), 472-477.

Association, A. P. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®): American Psychiatric Pub.

Baker, D. A., & Algorta, G. P. . (2016). The relationship between online social networking and depression: a systematic review of quantitative studies. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(11), 638-648.

Ehrenreich, S. E., & Underwood, M. K. . (2016). Adolescents’ internalizing symptoms as predictors of the content of their Facebook communication and responses received from peers. . Translational Issues in Psychological Science; Special Issue: Psychological Advances in Social Media., 2(3), 227.

Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. . (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American psychologist, 53(9), 1017.

Lin, L. Y., Sidani, J. E., Shensa, A., Radovic, A., Miller, E., Colditz, J. B., Hoffman, B. L., Giles, L. M. & Primack, B. A. . (2016). Association between social media use and depression among US young adults. Depression and anxiety, 33(4), 323-331.

Mao, J. (2014). Social media for learning: A mixed methods study on high school students’ technology affordances and perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior,, 33, 213-223.

Maqableh, M., Rajab, L., Quteshat, W., Masa’deh, R. E. M., Khatib, T., & Karajeh, H. (2015). The impact of social media networks websites usage on students’ academic performance. Communications and Network Issue 7. 159-171

Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. . (2015). Facebook use and academic performance among college students: A mixed-methods study with a multi-ethnic sample. . Computers in Human Behavior,, 45, 265-272.

Park, N., Kee, K. F., & Valenzuela, S. . (2009). Being immersed in social networking environment: Facebook groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(6), 729-733.

Şenormancı, Ö., Saraçlı, Ö., Atasoy, N., Şenormancı, G., Koktürk, F., & Atik, L. . (2014). Relationship of Internet addiction with cognitive style, personality, and depression in university students. . Comprehensive Psychiatry,, 55(6), 1385-1390.

Shaw, L. H., & Gant, L. M. . (2002). In defense of the Internet: The relationship between Internet communication and depression, loneliness, self-esteem, and perceived social support. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 5(2), 157-171.

Steers, M. N., Quist, M. C., Bryan, J. L., Foster, D. W., Young, C. M., Neighbors, C. (2016). I want you to like me: extraversion, need for approval, and time on Facebook as predictors of anxiety. Translational Issues in Psychological Science; Special Issue: Psychological Advances in Social Media., 2(3), 283-293.

Verduyn, P., Lee, D. S., Park, J., Shablack, H., Orvell, A., Bayer, J., Ybarra, O., Jonies, J. & Kross, E. . (2015). Passive Facebook usage undermines affective well-being: Experimental and longitudinal evidence. . Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(2), 480.

Young, K. S. (2007). Cognitive behavior therapy with Internet addicts: treatment outcomes and implications. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 671-679.

 

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Parental expectations of developmental milestones in different cultural groups. November 14, 2018

Filed under: Developmental Psychology — profesoraingles @ 7:25 pm

TITLE: Parental expectations of developmental milestones in different cultural groups.

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

This present study investigated the beliefs held about developmental milestone expectations in Anglo-Australian and Indian-Australian caregivers in seven domain competencies. Participants were instructed to classify developmental milestones into age categories. Contrary to hypothesis, in the area of environmental independence there was actually no significant difference between all types of caregivers. Also no significant difference was found in the domains of peer interaction and communication. However, in the field of education, emotional, control self-care and compliance there were measurable differences. The results suggest that parent’s developmental timetables reflect cultural as well as gender values. Additionally, this study focuses on caregivers of children under the age of ten.

 

Keywords: parental, parents, parenting style, caregivers, Anglo-Australian, Indian-Australian, developmental milestone expectations, competencies.

 

 

 

 

Developmental psychologists have for some time been paying attention to childhood development and recognise that cultural and family environment plays a role. This aim of this study was to explore how parents from different cultural backgrounds and different genders have different expectations for developmental milestones of their children. Previous studies, for example, Rosenthal & Bornholt, (1988) suggest that parental expectations of developmental milestones are mediated by the cultural atmosphere of the family environment. They cite several studies which show that individualism is high in English-speaking countries, while Asian countries are low. Hofstede, (1980, as quoted in Rosenthal & Bornholt, 1988), described individualism as a culture which places high value on individual achievement and needs, with a low value on the collective. Indian culture is traditionally collectivist while Western culture, as is practiced in the dominant culture of Australia, is individualist (Bhagat, Kedia, Harveston, & Triandis, 2002). For this reason, Rosenthal & Bornholt (1988) argue, independence is highly valued in Anglo-Celtic cultures and therefore may be expected at an earlier age by caregivers. On the other hand, according to Ang, (2006), Indian culture is collectivist in general and values authoritarian parenting style, while an authoritative parenting style has better outcomes for education and behaviour for western children (Garcia & Garcia, 2009; Rosenthal & Bornholt, 1988). Measuring acculturation presents its own dilemma: Keefe and Padilla’s 1987 study (as cited by Nguyenm Messé & Stollak, 1999) discussed the limitations of measuring acculturation. This is important because Australia is essentially a multicultural nation and has been since the early days of settlement (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006; Naidoo, 2007), so education professionals and also those working in health and social services need to have an awareness of differentiated cultural values in the community. This study builds on past work, for example, according to Goodnow (1999), mothers of Lebanese origin and Anglo-Australian mothers were asked what was the best age for children to be starting school and what sorts of skills would they expect their children to have by the time they start school. Interestingly, when mothers reported an earlier age expectation for skills, they were also skills which they reported teaching to their own children before school commenced.

Parental cognitions concerning child development are also of interest to developmental psychologists due to the fact that parenting style has been found to have a long-term effect on children’s self-esteem (Herz & Gullone, 1999). Self-esteem is defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary online as “a feeling of satisfaction that someone has in himself or herself and his or her own abilities” Bun, Louiselle, Misukanis, & Mueller (1988), found that an authoritarian parenting style led to lower self-esteem outcomes, especially in girls. Whereas an authoritative parenting style led to greater self-esteem in all children. On the other hand, they found that permissiveness seemed to have no effect on child self-esteem.

 

Several mechanisms could explain the association between acculturation, cultural differences and adjustment. Nguyen, Messé, & Stollak (1999), presented some studies which have shown acculturation to be a helpful component of adjustment, whilst other studies have yielded differing results. They proposed that these contradictions may have several explanations such as; it depends on what group is being studied, where they live, how acculturation is conceptualised and what part of the adjustment is being measured.  According to Nguyen, Messé, & Stollak (1999), there seems to be a dichotomy in the conceptualisation of acculturation, being assimilation versus cultural plurality. On one end of the spectrum; acculturation is synonymic of assimilation and suggests acquisition of the host country’s behaviours and values, and the diminishing ethnicity. At the other end of the spectrum, exists ethnic pluralism where various groups maintain varying degrees of their original culture (Nguyen, Messé, & Stollak, 1999).

Conceivably, due to the implications of subjective survey data, which might have also influenced the extent to which the participants felt they were expected to perform proficiently (Bertrand & Mullainathan, 2001). Further research, therefore, needs to be conducted to establish objectivity. In particular, Bertrand & Mullainathan, (2001) showed that people answered questions based on what they thought they should answer but not what they actually think, feel or do in real life. Furthermore, if expectations affect behaviour, as concluded by Berry (1997), then parents’ developmental expectations are important to the child’s behavioural outcomes. These studies enlighten developmental psychologists as to the parent’s cognitions as well as understanding of children’s outcomes. However, the role of circumstances and genetics also needs to be investigated, rather than simply how the parental and cultural expectations affect behaviour.

 

Materials

Questionnaires were translated and back translated into Punjabi by a Punjabi-English bilingual. The Developmental milestone expectations questionnaire (see Appendix A) was used to collect the data

 

Participants.

40 Anglo-Australian mothers, 40 Anglo-Australian fathers and 40 Indian- Australian mothers (age range: 22 to 48 years).    *Note we don’t have data for Indian-Australian fathers.

All parents currently had a child less than 10 years old.

All Anglo-Australian mothers and fathers were born in Australia.

The Indian-Australian mothers were recruited through community groups and organizations.

 

Participants were asked to complete a survey of 43 questions regarding developmental milestones.  The questions consist of seven domains of competency – Education, Self-care, Compliance, Peer interaction, Communication, Emotional control and Environmental independence. Respondents were instructed to select an age of expected achievement. (1 – >12 years).

The results for the 40 Anglo-Australian mothers, 40 Anglo-Australian fathers and 40 Indian-Australian mothers (data for Indian-Australian fathers has not been collected) on the 7 domain competencies  in the developmental milestone questionnaire were compared using a series of analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Results are presented in Figure 1.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 7.20.19 PM

1 = Education, 2 = Self-care, 3 = Compliance, 4 = Peer interaction, 5 = Communication, 6 = Emotional Control and 7 = Environmental Independence (Data Table in Appendix 2)

For education, caregivers were asked at what age should children be able to count to ten and write alphabet. Anglo-Australian mothers and Anglo-Australian fathers were both significantly earlier than the Indian-Australian mothers. This might be explained by as discussed in Goodnow’s paper (1999), perhaps the immigrant mothers do not wish to clash with teachers established educational style or maybe they teach these things in their own language at home, waiting for teachers to teach this in English at school.

Contrary to hypothesis, Anglo-Australian mothers and Anglo-Australian fathers did not always agree on developmental milestones, and a surprising result was that Indian-Australian mothers were closer to Anglo-Australian fathers in some areas of development, being self-care and compliance where Anglo-Australian mothers had earlier expectations for the offspring. This could be attributed to the fact that Anglo-Australian mothers are bound by a sense of duty, culturally-speaking to put their kids in preschool and go back to work or study and may feel cultural pressure to perform as a member of society, which means their children need to be independent at an earlier age.

In the domains of peer interaction and communication no significant difference was found in all caregivers. This might be because Indian-Australian mothers seem to be leaning toward a more authoritative approach in some areas. Therefore, the results could be attributed to acculturation.

However, whilst in the area emotional control, the results showed that Anglo-Australians were significantly later than Indian-Australians. This could be due to the fact that, the questions here included behaviours which might be highly valued in a collectivistic culture and as Jambunathan & Kenneth, (2002) showed that Indian cultures are traditionally more collectivist.

Finally, a part of the original hypothesis stood up to scrutiny, there was actually no significant difference between all types of caregivers in the area of environmental independence. This might be due to the fact that the questions for this area were involving safety issues which would only be appropriate for older children, and not be effected by cultural values.

Alternative arguments, however, could explain the finding that other studies have shown mothers from different cultural backgrounds differ in the developmental expectations for their offspring, (Goodnow, Cashmore, Cotton, & Knight, 1984). Perhaps the underlying concepts of parental cognitions could be brought to light in future research. According to Rudy & Grusec, (2006):

“maternal negative thoughts and feelings, associated with authoritarianism in individualist but not collectivist groups, may be more detrimental to children’s self-esteem than is authoritarianism in and of itself”.

Herz & Gullone (1999), explored these issues with Vietnamese-Australian families. They found that a traditional collectivist style of parenting involving being over-protective and controlling, but low in affect and emotional warmth is good practice and actually quite psychologically healthy when raising children in a collectivist culture, however as the children of immigrants acculturate more quickly than their parents, it can have an adverse effect on the self-esteem of the adolescent offspring of parents taking an authoritarian approach to their parenting style when raising children in highly individualistic culture such as Australia.

Methodological limitation needs to be addressed, for example; how long have Indian-Australian mothers in the study been living in Australia? Are they first, second or third generation as acculturation would have an effect (Berry, 1997). Also did we screen for mixed-culture families? Strictly Indian-Australian or Anglo-Australian seems to be a false dichotomy. Indian-Australian fathers ought to be included in future research as Rosenthal & Bornholt (1988), pointed out; fathers are exposed to the dominant culture more often through the workplace. Winskel, Salehuddin & Stanbury (2013), showed that their Malaysian respondents had a higher education level than their Anglo-Australian counterparts, the current study had no data for education level or employment status of participants from either cultural group. Future studies could also include sub-cultures such as those parents who follow an alternative lifestyle, which would have an effect on their parenting style. Further testing could also include additional psychological testing tools such as Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory; the Parental Bonding Instrument, an acculturation measure; and two subscales of Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire, which were used by Herz and Gullone in their study (1999).

As mentioned previously, the implications for future educational planning and curriculum design as well as inter-cultural training for education professionals needs to be considered. Crichton & Scarino (2007), examined the concept of intercultural education and discovered that current constructions are not capable of meeting the demands of internationalisation. They quote Knight (2004), who is a recognised scholar of international education and the related concepts of globalisation and internationalisation. She projects there will be many changes to education and business systems in the future due to these concepts, which is highly applicable to the science of lifespan development psychology.

In conclusion this study showed that there was no measurable difference in all groups for environmental independence, peer interaction and communication and that Anglo -Australian mothers had higher expectations for self-care and compliance, whereas Indian-Australian mothers had higher expectations in the field of education, and lower expectations for emotional control than their Australian counterparts. These findings indicate that acculturation could be affecting Indian-Australian parents which in turn could help their children to be more bicultural and to assimilate into the dominant culture.

 

Word Count: 1750

References

Ang, R. P. (2006). Effects of parenting style on personal and social variables for Asian adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 503.

Australian Bureau of Statistics http://abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/historicaldata2006

Berry, J.W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46, 5-68.

Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2001). Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data. The American Economic Review, 91(2), 67-72. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2677735

Bhagat, R. S., Kedia, B. L., Harveston, P. D., & Triandis, H. C. (2002). Cultural variations in the cross-border transfer of organizational knowledge: An integrative framework. Academy of management review, 27(2), 204-221.

Bun, J. R., Louiselle, P. A., Misukanis, T. M., & Mueller, R. A. (1988). Effects of parental authoritarianism and authoritativeness on self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin14(2), 271-282.

Crichton, J., & Scarino, A. (2007). How are we to understand the’intercultural dimension’?:[An examination of the intercultural dimension of internationalisation in the context of higher education in Australia.]. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics30(1), 04. [available at http://new.tru.ca/__shared/assets/intercultural-dimension29341.pdf accessed 8th January, 2017]

Garcia, F., & Gracia, E. (2009). Is always authoritative the optimum parenting style? Evidence from Spanish families. Adolescence, 44(173), 101.

Goodnow, J. J., Cashmore, J., Cotton, S., & Knight, R. (1984). Mothers’ developmental timetables in two cultural groups. International Journal of Psychology, 19, 193-205.

Herz, L., & Gullone, E. (1999). The relationship between self-esteem and parenting style a cross-cultural comparison of Australian and Vietnamese Australian adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology30(6), 742-761.

Jambunathan, S., & Counselman, K. P. (2002). Parenting attitudes of Asian Indian mothers living in the United States and in India. Early Child Development and Care, 172(6), 657–662.

Naidoo, L. (2007). Re-negotiating identity and reconciling cultural ambiguity in the Indian immigrant community in Sydney, Australia. In A. Singh (Ed.), Indian Diaspora – the 21st Century – Migration, Change and Adaption, Delhi: Kamla-Raj Publishers.

Nguyen, H. H., Messé, L. A., & Stollak, G. E. (1999). Toward a more complex understanding of acculturation and adjustment cultural involvements and psychosocial functioning in Vietnamese youth. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology30(1), 5-31.

Rosenthal, D. A., & Bornholt, L. (1988). Expectations about development in Greek and Anglo-Australian families. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 19(1), 19-34.

Rudy, D., & Grusec, J. E. (2006). Authoritarian parenting in individualist and collectivist groups: Associations with maternal emotion and cognition and children’s self-esteem. Journal of Family Psychology20(1), 68.

Self–esteem. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self–esteem

Winskel, H., Salehuddin, K., & Stanbury, J. (2013). Developmental milestone expectations, parenting styles and self construal in Malaysian and Australian caregivers. Kajian Malaysia, 31(1), 19-35.

 

 

 

Appendix A

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES EXPECTATIONS QUESTIONNAIRE ABOUT CHILDREN’S ABILITIES (based on Sissons Joshi & MacLean, 1997)

Background Information of Respondent (person who completes the questionnaire)

Gender:      Female                  Male

Age:

Birth place:

First language spoken:

 

INSTRUCTIONS: Please write what age you believe a child should be able to achieve the following:  (e.g.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, >12 years)

 

Education

  1. 1. Count to ten
  2. Write alphabet

Self-care

  1. Eat without help
  2. Wash hands before meals
  3. Use toilet without help
  4. Dress alone
  5. Brush teeth properly
  6. Bathe alone

Compliance

  1. Come or answer when called
  2. Stop misbehaving when told
  3. Not do things forbidden by parents
  4. Do something immediately when told
  5. Give up TV when asked to do something for mother
  6. Keep feet off furniture
  7. Give full attention to adults when they are speaking
  8. Answer phone properly
  9. Be polite to visiting adults
  10. Not interrupt adults when talking
  11. Show interest in wellbeing of relatives

Peer interaction

  1. Allow others to play with his/her toys
  2. Wait for turn when playing
  3. Be sympathetic to feelings of other children
  4. Take leadership role when playing
  5. Get own way by persuading others
  6. Resolve quarrels without fighting
  7. Resolve quarrels without adult help

Communication

  1. Answer a question clearly
  2. Ask for explanation when in doubt
  3. Explain why he or she feels angry
  4. When asked give own opinions
  5. Phone by him/herself

Emotional control

  1. Not bite or throw something in frustration
  2. Control anger by self
  3. Not cry easily
  4. Not go on and on about wanting expensive toys
  5. Stand disappointment without crying
  6. Not laugh at other child’s misfortune
  7. Not show disappointment with gift
  8. Hide being upset at being teased by children

Environmental independence

  1. Play in street without adult present
  2. Go to school unaccompanied by adult
  3. Stay home alone for 1-2 hours
  4. Buy things on his/her own

Appendix B

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 7.20.42 PM.png

 

Exploring Cultural Norm Violations. November 10, 2018

Filed under: Cross Cultural Psychology — profesoraingles @ 7:05 pm
Tags: , ,

Culture, Language and Communication:

Exploring Cultural Norm Violations.

 

Karyn Zlatkovic

 

Word count: 1750

 

 

Abstract

 

This paper examines people’s reactions to cultural norm violations and outlines social learning, cultural transmission, and includes an overview of memetics, gene-culture coevolution and exemplar theory. Norm violations research reveals that these are characterized by cognitive mechanisms related to moral judgment mediated by a combination of normative theory and negative affect such as disgust.

 

 

 

This paper explores the question of how the study of culture is related to psychology. Ingram and Bering studied the phenomenon of tattling amongst pre-schoolers (2010), whilst in an earlier study, Kiesler studied adolescents’ reactions to norm violations. The study of adult reactions to norm violations presented by Nichols includes a review of philosophical and psychological concepts of morality. Memetics and gene-culture coevolution are explored as possible theories of cultural transmission. On the other hand, Sripada and Stich discuss exemplar theory and explain how norms are stored in the mind (2005).  Cultural norms vary between cultures, thus has arisen the discipline of cross cultural psychology.

In an increasingly multicultural and growing population it is important to think about how the people will avoid interpersonal conflict. In order to accomplish this, it will be necessary to examine people’s reactions to norm violations. A recent study by Ingram & Bering (2010) suggests that children’s tattling has been observed to be connected to reporting of norm violations such as counter-normative (explicitly proscribed) behaviour. Motivation for reporting of norm violations seems to be intrinsically motivated and related to emotion regulation. Yearrs earlier, Kiesler (1973), studied teenager’s reactions to norm violations and found that norm violators would be disliked by others due to unpredictability, unless the situation called for unpredictable behavior, in which case norm violators were approved of for acting inappropriately. She found that in creative situations, norm violators are valued, although when considering future interactions with a person, predictability is valued over creativity, and so norm violators were deemed less attractive (Kiesler, 1973). The status of the individual is also a factor in acceptance, where a person viewed as high status was allowed to be more inappropriate. Appropriate behaviour was gauged as independence or conformity. Interestingly, independence was rated as appropriate behavior for a person considered to be high status, whereas a low status person was expected to conform. Predictability was based on whether the person acted as expected in the given situation. So high-status independents and low-status conformers were judged as behaving appropriately.

Adult reactions to norm violations have been studied by Nichols (2002), who found that affect plays a role in mediating the distinction between moral and conventional norm violations. He states that the study of cognitive mechanisms underlying moral judgement is a fairly new area of research. He argues that normative theory and negative affect combine to produce distinctions between moral or conventional norm violations or a behaviour being merely unconventional. Normative theory relates to a mental database about which types of actions are prohibited (2002). Severity of norm violation, and differentiating between moral and conventional (food) norms seems to be moderated by level of disgust (negative affect).

The cognitive mechanisms underlying moral judgement have been studied and to date we have memetics, exemplars and gene-culture coevolution.  It has been argued that the study of culture could be described as the study of memetics (Sperber, 2000). First coined by Dawkins (1976) the term meme refers to a cultural unit in a complex system such as “tunes, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.” Following this interesting idea Aunger (1999) contends that this definition is imprecise and compares memes to genes, supposing that memes are to cultural evolution as genes are to biology, yet the definition remains ambiguous. Memetics could also be described as social learning, or the scientific method of cultural evolution analysis. However, the field of study called memetics has become very controversial and Dawkins has since distanced himself from the conceptualization which is now widely considered a pseudoscience, or at the very least, a protoscience, and therefore rarely regarded seriously (Benítez-Bribiesca, 2001). Edmonds (2005) condemns memetics as a “short lived fad”. Psychologist Susan Blackmore has written prolifically on this topic and armed with a dazzling array of experiments and with studies published in many journals, she postulates that even robots would become conscious and develop their own culture based on the memeplex: a collection of memes interacting with each other which give rise to the illusion of consciousness (2003). Her thoughts and ideas have been widely criticised however, and a paper by Benítez-Bribiesca condemns memetics as a “sorcerer’s apprentice path” (2001) and points out that the study of memes is hardly scientific as the ethereal nature of memes renders them impossible to clearly define and therefore outside of the realms of scientific measurement or enquiry. As early as 1998, the field of memetics was regarded as controversial, but the same could be said for Darwin’s theory of evolution – particularly amongst the religiously minded – therefore further studies could possibly be justified by those who have an interest in the field (Rose, 1998). At this point we will depart from the concept of memetics and move on to gene-culture coevolution theory.

An overview of the literature did not clearly reveal whether memetics or Dual Inheritance Theory (or Gene-Culture Coevolution) came fist, but both terms seem to have arisen around the mid 1980’s. Boyd and Richerson’s (1985) Dual Inheritance Theory, explains how culture has driven the organism to evolve in ways other species did not or could not. This framework has focused on simple social biases, but not more complex cognitive mechanisms (Mercier, 2014). Although it might seem at first glance that gene-culture coevolution is somehow connected to the meme-gene concept, upon further investigation we find the Dual Inheritance Theory converges into a dynamic socially transmitted culture theory, where culture effects evolution and vice versa in a cross-pollination manner (Mesoudi, Whiten & Laland, 2006). Conceptually, gene-culture coevolution is a hybrid of memetics and evolutionary psychology, but unlike memetics, uses more a rigorous mathematical method (Laland, 2003).   Sripada and Stich offer a theory of exemplars in a psychological norm database, which are a collection of prototypes, that are not always intuitive. The norm acquisition mechanism in children is related to a sad face by caretakers (2005, pp. 297-299). The concept of norm violation exists within a framework of a socio-cultural psychological contract, where transgressions elicit powerful negative affect from third parties not directly harmed by the violation, implying punishment motivations and punitive behaviours (Sripada & Stich, 2005, pp. 293-295).

The main criticism of psychology has been that the majority of studies have been carried out on and by WEIRDO’s – people from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic countries (Matsumoto & Luang, 2013, pp.5). It stands to reason then, that one of the goals of cross cultural psychology would be to investigate the psychological frameworks and underlying cognitive mechanisms relating to cultures of other people. Some of the most obvious areas of cross cultural psychological research would be language, non-verbal communication, food norms and personal space. First let us consider, non-verbal communication.

Central Arrernte people from Mbantwe (Alice Springs) use many hand and facial gestures instead of talking, a practice that originated with needing to be quiet while hunting. Making eye contact is considered to be a norm violation in that culture. There are many cultural norms around who can speak to whom and violations often invite violent reprisal (Senft, 2007). In contrast, Spanish speakers do not seem to have any cultural norms around eye contact, however they do make use of haptics; being non-verbal behavior in the form of touch (Matsumoto & Luang, 2016, p.240). When greeting a friend or relative, dos besos or two kisses is a fundamental and considered to be very rude if people do not do it (Predieri, 2012). In Thailand it is very rude to touch a person on the head, and one must not show the bottom of one’s feet as this is considered a serious insult (Cooper, 2008).

Cultural transmission of etiquette norms is driven by Sperberian bias driven by disgust, raising the salience of these rules so that they are stored and recalled more easily. Sperber used data from sixteenth century Northern European etiquette manuals to show how norm violation around etiquette is mediated by disgust response (Nichols 2002, pp.306-307, cited in Stich). Interestingly, peoples’ sense of personal space changes when they are speaking in a second language (Sussman & Rosenfeld, 1982). Studies show Chinese immigrant children different personal space with family than with English speaking friends. (Matsumoto & Luang, 2013, pp.)

Chudek and Henrich connect human social psychology to culture-gene coevolution, stating that the “cognitive and affective foundations of large-scale cooperation, social norms and ethnicity” gives rise to norm-psychology. This psychological collection of adaptations relates to and is responsible for “inferring, encoding in memory, adhering to, enforcing, and redressing violations of the shared behavioural standards of one’s community” (2011, pp. 218).   Human pro-sociality is another term for morals. Nichols (2002) suggests an area of study he calls moral psychology, or the study of the cognitive mechanisms underlying moral judgements. Cultural norms have been defined by Van Den Bos, Marijn Poortvliet, Maas, Miedema and Van Den Ham (2003) as fair and unfair treatment. Sripada (2008), also examines moral psychology, offering three models of the innate structure of moral norms.

In summary, this research revealed that people’s reactions to norm violations are characterized by cognitive mechanisms related to moral judgment mediated by a combination of negative affect such as disgust and normative theory.

 

 

References

Aunger, R. (1999). Culture vultures. The Sciences, 39(5), 36-42.

Benitez-Bribiesca, L. (2001). Memetics: A dangerous idea. Interciencia, 26(1), 29-31.

Breen, G. & Pensalfini, R. (1999). Arrernte: A Language with No Syllable Onsets. Linguistic Inquiry, Volume 30, Number 1, Winter 1999. Pp. 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Accessed from https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:209796/UQ209796_OA.pdf

Blackmore, S. (2003). Consciousness in meme machines. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(4-5), 19-30.

Blackmore, S. (2001). Evolution and memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device. Cybernetics & Systems, 32(1-2), 225-255.

Blackmore, S. (1990). The lure of the paranormal. New Scientist, 22, 62-65.

 

Chudek, M., & Henrich, J. (2011). Culture–gene coevolution, norm-psychology and the emergence of human prosociality. Trends in cognitive sciences, 15(5), 218-226.

Cooper, R. (2008). CultureShock! Thailand: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd.

 

Dawkins, R. (1976). 11. Memes: the new replicators. The selfish gene.

Edmonds, B. (2005). The revealed poverty of the gene-meme analogy–why memetics per se has failed to produce substantive results.

Henry, J. (2004). Parapsychology: Research on exceptional experiences. Routledge.

 

Ingram, G. P., & Bering, J. M. (2010). Children’s tattling: The reporting of everyday norm violations in preschool settings. Child development, 81(3), 945-957.

Kiesler, S. B. (1973). Preference for predictability or unpredictability as a mediator of reactions to norm violations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 27(3), 354-359. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0034934

Laland, K. N. (2003). Gene–culture coevolution. Encyclopedia of cognitive science.

Mesoudi, A., Whiten, A., & Laland, K. N. (2006). Towards a unified science of cultural evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29(4), 329-347.

Nichols, S. (2002). Norms with feeling: Towards a psychological account of moral judgment. Cognition, 84(2), 221-236.

Predieri, S. (2012). A Student’s Guide to Studying Abroad in Spain.

Rose, N., 1998; Controversies in Meme Theory.
Journal of Memetics – Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 2.
http://cfpm.org/jom-emit/1998/vol2/rose_n.html

Senft, G. (2007). The Nijmegen space games: Studying the interrelationship between language, culture and cognition. In Person, space and memory in the contemporary Pacific: Experiencing new worlds (pp. 224-244). Berghahn Books.

Soriano Salinas, C., Fontaine, J., Ogarkova, A., Mejía Quijano, C., Volkova, Y., Ionova, S., & Shakhovskyy, V. (2013). Types of anger in Spanish and Russian.

Sperber, D. (2000). An objection to the memetic approach to culture.

Sripada, C. S. (2008). Nativism and moral psychology: Three models of the innate structure that shapes the contents of moral norms. Moral psychology, 1, 319-343.

Sripada, C. S., & Stich, S. (2005). A framework for the psychology of norms.

Van den Bos, K., Poortvliet, P. M., Maas, M., Miedema, J., & Van den Ham, E. J. (2005). An enquiry concerning the principles of cultural norms and values: The impact of uncertainty and mortality salience on reactions to violations and bolstering of cultural worldviews. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41(2), 91-113.

Wilkins, D. (1986). Particle/clitics for criticism and complaint in Mparntwe Arrernte (Aranda). Journal of Pragmatics, 10(5), 575-596.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word of the month ~ Portmanteau

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Portmanteau

A portmanteau or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.
 

Word of the Month ~ Palindrome November 6, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — profesoraingles @ 5:44 pm

A palindrome is a word, number, phrase, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as madam or racecar or the number 10201. Sentence-length palindromes may be written when allowances are made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers, such as “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”, “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” or “No ‘x’ in Nixon”.

 

Treatment Efficacy for Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Filed under: Abnormal Psychology,Anxiety — profesoraingles @ 5:40 pm
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Hirsh, Mar & Peterson (2012), proposed the theory of psychological entropy, where they applied the second law of thermodynamics to psychology and found that increased entropy affects anxiety in individuals. They cited Karl Friston and colleagues, who suggested entropy minimisation to create order from chaos and reduce the anxiety caused by uncertainty. In other words, to reduce anxiety, we need to reduce uncertainty. This paper provides a DSM-5 diagnosis for GAD and explores the literature to discover who, when, how and what studies suggest is the most effective treatment for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). The currently accepted best treatment for anxiety in general, and GAD in particular, is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), (Arch, Eifert, Davies, Vilardaga, Rose & Craske, 2012), however some studies suggest that acceptance-based behaviour therapy (ABBT) might be just as effective. Applied relaxation (AR) and worry exposure were found to have some efficacy, although not as strong as CBT and ABBT. Yoga and mindfulness meditation were found to be less effective as stand-alone therapies, but can be quite helpful as an adjunct to other behaviour-modification therapies.

According to NICE guidelines, drug treatment should be a last resort for GAD (Anon GP, 2011), so this paper aims to examine several studies to find the most effective non-pharmacological treatments for this debilitating disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), is the most widely utilised glossary in current use by researchers and clinicians for the identification of mental disorders. GAD made its entry into the DSM in 1980 (Furukawa, 2011).  Since then, the diagnostic criteria have changed quite significantly, several times (Beesdo-Baum, Jenjahn, Hofler, Lueken, Becker, & Hoyer, 2012). The disorder effectively disables the patient with chronic anxiety, including out-of-control worries about everyday concerns. Current definitive diagnosis in the DSM–5 includes six symptoms: restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension and fatigue, yet difficulty sleeping. GAD causes significant distress to the patient as well as functional impairment, with gradual onset and fluctuations in severity. It is one of the most common psychological disorders and consumes a disproportionately large percentage of public health services.

GAD is often found in comorbidity with depression, panic, obsessive-compulsions and health anxiety, (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, 2015). Beesdo-Baum, et al. (2012) found evidence that the disorder’s diagnostic criteria may need to be reviewed again in future to improve the definition. The reason they gave for this is that GAD is presently the only anxiety disorder which does not include behavioural symptoms in the DSM–5. The behavioural symptoms they suggest ought to be included in the diagnostic criteria are: avoidance (cognitive, behavioural and “other”), safety behaviour and reassurance-seeking.

According to the DSM-5 the central feature of GAD is uncontrollable, excessive, chronic worry, or apprehensive expectation, sometimes manifesting in physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, feeling keyed up and on edge (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 222). The Contrast Avoidance model, based on early cognitive research suggests that patients with GAD worry to avoid emotional contrasts – keeping themselves in a perpetual state of negativity in apprehensive expectation of the next negative valence event (Llera & Newman, 2014).

Acceptance Based Behaviour Therapy vs. Applied Relaxation

A randomized clinical trial performed in 2013 compared acceptance-based behaviour therapy (ABBT) and applied relaxation (AR). 81 mostly white, adult females with confirmed diagnosis for GAD participated in the trial. Mean age: 32.92.  There was no control group. Ethics were approved by the Boston University, Massachusetts in Boston, Suffolk University Internal Review Board and a data safety and monitoring board.

N=40 participants were randomly assigned to ABBT, which consists of mindfulness and meditation, as well as acceptance of physiological symptoms of GAD, and committing to making decisions based on values rather than anxious feelings being the main motivator. Whereas n=41 participants were randomly assigned to AR, which focuses more on relaxation skills such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and diaphragmatic breathing, also awareness training for early client-specific anxiety symptoms, plus how to apply brief relaxation exercises in response to anxious feelings.

It was confirmed that ABBT is a viable alternative for CBT. It was hypothesised that ABBT would outperform AR, however AR was found to have a stronger than expected efficacy, probably due to the fact that the researchers programmed their AR protocol to have maximum potency.  To achieve this end, they expanded number of treatments from the usual 12 to 16, made sure to have competently trained doctoral student clinicians, who were approved by the designer of AR (Tom Borkovec), as well as teaching clients to have a finely tuned radar for early signs of anxiety, so that alternate response techniques could be applied promptly.

Some limitations of the study include the impracticality of comparing outcomes across studies, which was pointed out by the researchers in their discussion section. They also suggested that recovery rates across other similar studies used similar assessment tools, but not exactly the same tools for each study, which makes comparison more difficult. Strengths of this study include the use of Cohen’s d effect sizes to measure results across studies, which should be helpful in comparing research with different sample sizes and statistical analyses. Meanwhile weaknesses could be that psychopharmacology and unrelated therapy were allowed by protocol, so it would be difficult or impossible to allow for effects of that in the measurement of improvement during follow-up, particularly over the time between the trial and the 6-month follow-up. This research might be improved by directly comparing metacognitive therapy with these treatments, as well as examining underlying mechanisms of change in these treatments.

An older study of the efficacy of ABBT was also found in the literature, performed in the USA, n= 31 (22 females) adults, majority self-identified as white. Roemer, Orsillo & Salters-Pedneault (2008) found that 78% of participants no longer met the criteria for GAD in post-treatment assessment, results which remained stable at 3-month and 9-month follow-up. Assessments used were the Action and Acceptance Questionnaire (AAQ; Hayes, Strosahl, Wilson, Bissett, Pistorello, Toarmino, 2004) and Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS; Brown & Ryan, 2003). Researchers report limitations to be: a) 3 participants started a course of anxiety medication during the treatment trial (they re-assessed the measures after removing these 3 and noted that the durable effects of treatment only dropped slightly); b) waiting list control could have been influenced by something outside of the researchers control; c) the majority of participants self-identifying as white. Further research would be required to check that this treatment would be as effective for patients in other cultural groups, also longer follow-up periods would be useful in gaining insight into the durability of positive effects from treatment.

Clinician-assisted Computerised CBT

One study was found in the literature which performed clinician-assisted computerised cognitive behavioural treatment (CaCCBT) for GAD. It was performed in Australia, including 48 participants over age 18 (mean age: 44 years), who volunteered for the study via an advertisement on the Internet. The researchers did not state the gender of participants. All had a diagnosis for GAD in the DSM-IV, which had been confirmed by a telephone interview using the GAD section of the Neuropsychiatric Interview Version 5.0.0. Exclusion criteria were: 1) currently in CBT, 2) substance use issues, and 3) currently experiencing psychotic, suicidal or depressive episode. Ten excluded applicants were directed to health care professionals. Ethics approval for the CaCCBT study was given by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) of the University of New South Wales and Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.

Randomised allocation to waitlist control (n=23) and internet treatment in the “Worry programme” (n=25). The internet was selected as a method of delivery to remove obstacles to treatment. Participants were directed to six online sessions, with homework for each, and instant messaging with a clinician. Lessons included information about health anxiety, assertiveness training, basic principles of CBT, challenging beliefs, graded exposure, relapse prevention and FAQ’s. Although only 18 completed all available lessons; 20 participants completed the assessment questionnaires post-treatment, as well as some demographics and a credibility/expectations survey.

The strengths of this study were hypothesis that treatment group would have significantly lower anxiety scores than control post-treatment was confirmed.

Weaknesses were small sample size and no follow-up, as observed by the researchers in their own study limitations comments section of the article. Future research might be improved with a larger sample size and follow up at 6-months post-treatment.

Mindfulness meditation, yoga and other therapies

Mindfulness was investigated by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH, June 22, 2015) in a meta-analysis of 23 studies performed over a ten-year period between 2005-2015. It was found that while these techniques may be helpful as an adjunct for treating hyper-arousal, there was insufficient evidence to suggest mindfulness is any more effective than standard clinical techniques. Another meta-analysis assessing the efficacy of yoga included 23 studies and found insufficient evidence to support yoga as a treatment for GAD (CADTH, Jun 22, 2015). Unlike previous examples, mindfulness did not incorporate behaviour strategies hence the more modest results.

Worry exposure and applied relaxation were investigated by Beesdo-Baum, et al., who pointed out that behavioural strategies of avoidance, safety-behaviour and reassurance-seeking, were not yet included in the diagnostic criteria for GAD and suggested further research to add these components in a future review of the DSM. They discovered that the behavioural therapies of worry exposure and applied relaxation did reduce behavioural strategies of avoidance, safety-behaviour and reassurance-seeking, however if the participant continued to performed these dysfunctional behaviours soon after treatment the future did not look so good (2012, p. 954). Due to a lack of research around strategic worry-related behaviours of avoidance, safety-behaviour and assurance-seeking the authors of this study suggest further investigation to explore the underlying mechanisms of GAD.

Ethics

Ethical concerns that could arise during assessment, diagnosis or treatment might be competence, confidentiality and informed consent. A credibility / expectations survey was used to measure the participants’ satisfaction with the trial treatment and the clinicians’ comportment in the AABT/AR (Hayes-Skelton, Roemer & Orsillo, 2013) and CaCCBT (Titov, et al., 2009) studies. In the Roemer, Orsillo & Salters-Pedneault study (2008) a clerical error was made, which they made a note of. The error related to 5 domains being omitted from the measure of PSWQ, the researchers accounted for this in their calculations and have been transparent about how they performed these calculations.

Conclusion

In summary, despite GAD being chronic and debilitating, it is treatable. Patients and therapists should not give up hope, the course of the illness is long and the severity fluctuates, however with practice and education those effected can make progress in managing their condition.  Some evidence was found to suggest that yoga and mindfulness meditation can be quite helpful as an adjunct to other behaviour-modification therapies, although they were found to be less effective as stand-alone therapies. Worry exposure and AR were found to have some efficacy, although not as strong as CBT and ABBT. While CBT currently is the leading anxiety and GAD treatment, studies suggest ABBT might have equal or higher efficacy. Patients are able to access CBT online in the comfort of their own home if need be, and studies confirm that CaCCBT is just as effective as in-person treatment. It was suggested that treatment target is to lower entropy, being the amount of uncertainty and disorder in a system (Hirsh, Mar & Peterson, 2012).

 

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC. 222-227.

Anonymous GP. (2011). Partial update of NICE guidelines. Haymarket Business Publications. Feb 18, 2011.

Arch, J. J., Eifert, G. H., Davies, C., Vilardaga, J. C. P., Rose, R. D., & Craske, M. G. (2012). Randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) versus acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for mixed anxiety disorders. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, Volume 80, Issue 5, 750.

Beck, A.T., & Steer, R.A. (1993). Beck Anxiety Inventory Manual. Psychological Corporation. San Antonio, TX:

Beesdo-Baum, K., Jenjahn, E., Hofler, M., Lueken, U., Becker, E. S., & Hoyer, J. (2012). Avoidance, safety behaviour, and reassurance seeking in generalised anxiety disorder. Depression and Anxiety, Volume 29, 948-957.

Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: The role of mindfulness in psychological well-being, (Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale; MAAS). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 84, 822–848.

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. (2015). Mindfulness interventions for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, depression, and substance use disorders: a review of the clinical effectiveness guidelines. Rapid Response Report: Summary of evidence with Critical Appraisal. June 19. Ottowa (ON).

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. (2015). Yoga for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse: a review of the clinical effectiveness and guidelines. Rapid Response Report: Summary of evidence with Critical Appraisal. June 22. Ottowa (ON).

Cuijpers, P., Sijbrandij, M., Koole, S., Huibers, M., Berking, M., & Andersson, G. (2014). Psychological treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(2), 130-140.

Furukawa, T. A. (2011). Drug treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. BMJ: British Medical Journal. Volume 342 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1216

Hamilton, M. (1959). Hamilton Anxiety Scale HAM-A: The assessment of anxiety states by rating. British Journal of Medical Psychology. Volume 55, 32:50.

Hasheminasab, M., Kheiroddin, J. B., Aliloo, M. M., & Fakhari, A. (2015). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) For Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Iranian journal of public health, Volume 44, Issue 5, 718.

Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., Wilson, K. G., Bissett, R. T., Pistorello, J., Toarmino, D. (2004). Measuring experiential avoidance: A preliminary test of a working model. (Action and Acceptance Questionnaire; AAQ). The Psychological Record, Volume 54, 553–578.

 

Hirsh, J. B., Mar, R. A., & Peterson, J. B. (2012). Psychological entropy: a framework for understanding uncertainty-related anxiety. Psychological review, Volume 119, Issue 2, 304.

Llera, S.J., & Newman, M.G. (2014). Rethinking the role of worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: evidence supporting a model of emotional contrast avoidance. Science Direct: Behaviour Therapy Volume 45, 283-299

Meyer, T. J., Miller, M. L., Metzger, R. L., & Borkovec, T. D. (1990). Development and validation of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Behaviour research and therapy, Volume 28, Issue 6, 487-495.

Roemer, L., Orsillo, S. M., & Salters-Pedneault, K. (2008). Efficacy of an acceptance-based behavior therapy for generalized anxiety disorder: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, Volume 76, Issue 6, 1083.

 

Word of the Month ~ Epistemology February 5, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — profesoraingles @ 1:01 pm
epis¦tem|ol¦ogy
[ɪˌpɪstɪˈmɒlədʒi, ɛˌpɪstɪˈmɒlədʒi]

NOUN
philosophy
  1. the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.

Standpoint Epistemology

Episteme = knowledge / science Epistemology – knowledge production Standpoint epistemology is a framework for producing knowledge from the point of view of the person doing the research.