Archive for April, 2011

Cyberbullying among youngsters: profiles of bullies and victims

April 28, 2011

 From New Media & Society

News stories about youngsters who have used the internet or their mobile phone to harass or insult classmates have become common in recent years. Both governments and academia have responded rather rapidly in trying to get a hold on the phenomenon. This study surveys 2052 primary and secondary school children and reveals that cyberbullying among youngsters  via the internet or mobile phone is not a marginal problem.

Bullying is the power imbalance between bully and victim. In the case of traditional bullying, this power imbalance is often based on physical strength. In cyberspace since people cannot impress others with their physical appearance, power in the online world may be facilitated by the bully having superior technological knowledge. In addition, the ability of the bully to keep his or her identity unknown, as an anonymous faceless tormentor is a unique method of asserting dominance online that conventional bullying does not allow.

The article considers the profile of cyberbullies and victims of cyberbullying, and suggests counter-measures concluding that parental involvement is crucial. Respondents whose parents are less involved with their internet use have a higher chance of becoming a cyberbully. Informing parents about new media and encouraging them to be involved with their child’s internet use seems to be a logical step in the prevention of cyberbullying.


Love, romantic obsession and friendship: key measuring factors in romantic relationships

April 27, 2011

Measuring love in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis

From Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Love is all around us, the experience of love is centrally important to close relationships. Because the concept of love can mean different things across different types of relationships (e.g. friends, children, romantic relationships), researchers have worked at developing models that allow differentiation between varying experiences of love. This study identifies the key factors underlying the most popular measures of love in use today through meta-analytic factor analysis. Findings reveal that general love, romantic obsession, and practical friendship are important measures in romantic relationships. Love was positively and obsession was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and length. The paper concludes by pointing towards the need for increased measurement methods in the field of love research.


If Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ is the answer, what is the question?

April 26, 2011

Leading questions: If ‘Total Place’, ‘Big Society’ and local leadership are the answers: What’s the question?


From Leadership

On 19 July 2010, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, explained his concept of ‘Big Society’. The idea calls for a dramatic redistribution of power. It is a move towards change from the current way of top-down governing. This Big Society is about a huge culture change, where people, in their everyday lives, in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their workplace, don’t always turn to officials, local authorities or central government for answers to the problems they face, but instead feel both free and powerful enough to help themselves and their own communities.

The Big Society is not a novel idea but just one response to the prevailing crisis in the public services triggered by the credit crunch of 2008–2009. There are many examples in the past where decentralization and local leadership has attempted to turn the local government around and failed. This article examines the proposed ideas of ‘Total Place’, ‘Big Society’ and local leadership to provide public services in an age of austerity, and considers if a power shift is the solution, what the questions that need to be asked are.


An adopted child may seem to be a favorite accessory among celebrities but the rest of the world is not following the trend

April 21, 2011

The rise and fall of intercountry adoption in the 21st century

From International Social Work

Despite adoption of children from developing countries seemingly en vogue within celebrity circles, global child adoption levels have actually dropped during the latter half of the last decade. The much publicized adoptions in recent years by Brad Pitt with Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock and Madonna may have given the impression to the public that intercountry adoption has become more popular but this article reveals that following continued steady growth during the last 50 years, it reached a worldwide high of over 45,000 a year in 2004 and has since steadily dropped.


Prediction of 81 million dementia sufferers fuels the artificial nutrition and hydration debate

April 20, 2011

Artificial nutrition and hydration for patients with advanced dementia: perspectives from medical practitioners in the Netherlands and Australia

From Palliative Medicine

The incidence of dementia is growing and is expected to double every 20 years. A large proportion of people with dementia will eventually receive end-of-life care. Patients with advanced dementia commonly develop eating difficulties, decreased feelings of hunger and thirst are often part of the dementia process. Patients can become incompetent to make decisions. At this point physicians and families decide whether artificial nutrition or hydration (ANH) is likely to be beneficial for the patient.

This article examines the ongoing debate surrounding patient assessment and appropriate use of ANH, it investigates opinions of some Dutch and Australian doctors and finds In general, they are reluctant to start ANH. It seems that Dutch and Australian doctors use somewhat different care approaches for patients with advanced dementia. The study concludes that combining the Dutch comprehensive approach and the Australian analytic approach may serve the interest of patients and their families best.


Bad classroom behavior doesn’t always mean bad grades

April 19, 2011

Reexamining the Relationship Between Academic Achievement and Social Behavior

From Journal of Positive Behavior

Students who have poor behavior in the classroom do not always have poor grades. This study followed 350 students in seven at-risk schools over a 5-year period. They assessed both teacher perceptions of student behavior and academic achievement, as well as actual performance. They found that teachers were more likely to report that well-behaved students did better academically and expected more of them – even when some of these students were struggling with school-work. At the same time, students who acted out in school were seen as having more academic difficulties, even though this was not always the case. It’s incorrect to assume that teaching academics will magically improve behavior (more…)

Physical therapy started within the first 24 hours leads to better recovery for knee operation patients

April 15, 2011

Benefits of starting rehabilitation within 24 hours of primary total knee arthroplasty: randomised clinical trial

From Clinical Rehabilitation 

Osteoarthritis is estimated to affect around three quarters of over 65s in developed countries, and when it affects the knees it can be intensely painful, affecting the gait and leading to deformity. As a result, replacing the knee joint with a surgical implant has now become a routine, but major, surgical procedure. This study finds that commencing physical therapy within 24 hours of surgery can improve pain, range of joint motion and muscle strength. On average, those beginning treatment earlier stayed in hospital two days less than the control group and had five fewer rehabilitation sessions before they were discharged. Considering the economic pressures hospitals are under, cutting the length of hospital stays has become a priority. The policy to starting rehabilitation sooner following knee surgery could pay dividends – for both patients and hospitals.


Is breast best? Or chosen by less competent women?: An examination of bias against breastfeeding mothers

April 13, 2011

Spoiled milk: An experimental examination of bias against mothers who breastfeed

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 

While breastfeeding babies has numerous health advantages to both mother and child, mothers who breastfeed may find that other people look down on them and do not want to work with them. This study found that mothers who breastfeed are viewed as less competent than other women, significantly less competent in general, in math and work specifically, and were less likely to be hired compared to others.


Children affected by earthquakes and their immediate emotional needs

April 12, 2011

From International Social Work

With the recent devastating events that have struck Japan, our thoughts turn to the heart breaking aftermath the people face.  The challenges are overwhelming for all, but hardest for the most vulnerable in society. Lessons may be learned from similar incidents across the globe, this article explores the way Iranian children were affected by loss, grief and the destabilizing consequences of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, December 2003.


Understanding the spiritual needs of dying patients

April 7, 2011

The understanding of spirituality and the potential role of spiritual care in end-of-life and palliative care: a meta-study of qualitative research

From Palliative Medicine

Patients confronted with death often engage in spiritual reflection with an increased questioning and searching for meaning. This study looks at the role of spirituality in end-of-life care, how these needs are defined and healthcare professionals response. Spiritual care is regarded as very important for many terminally ill patients. There has been a growing separation of the concepts of spirituality and religion. Spiritual needs may have fewer associations with a god and more with relationships. The study recognises that professionals have difficulty defining what such care could include but do recognise that relationships are an integral part of spiritual needs. This includes family, friends and care givers. Examining data from both patients and healthcare providers this research considers the physical, personal and social needs of the patient. Findings indicate that It is important to clarify the meaning of spirituality in relation to healthcare in order to enhance communication, practice, education and research, and to reduce the gap between policy and patient expectations.


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