Archive for March, 2013

Does Physical Education matter?

March 29, 2013

Do the duration and frequency of physical education predict academic achievement, self-concept, social skills, food consumption, and body mass index?

From Health Education Journal

This paper assesses more comprehensively than previous studies whether PE continues to have relevance in producing desirable, policy-based outcomes in United States (US) schools as a whole. It evaluates PE in terms of its relationships with BMI, academic achievement, social skills, and self-concept. More simply put, this study helps to answer the question: does PE matter?

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A proposal to improve the registration process of much needed pharmaceutical products in developing countries

March 28, 2013

Product registration in developing countries

A proposal for an integrated regional licensing system among countries in regional economic blocs

From Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science

The product pipeline for diseases that disproportionately affect the developing world has considerably expanded over the last decade. There have been extraordinary efforts being committed towards research and development (R&D) of pharmaceutical products for diseases that disproportionately affect developing nations. There are currently about 134 products for these diseases in the pipeline, including vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, microbicides, and vector control tools. New regulatory models are urgently needed to offset product registration. This paper proposes how regional regulatory frameworks established by regional harmonization initiatives can be used to set up an integrated regional licensing system. By sharing the various regulatory tasks in an integrated manner, the total process will be accelerated and will facilitate product registration in the region. The authors review some of the challenges of regional regulatory cooperation, and then discuss the harmonized guideline process of regional harmonization initiatives (RHIs) as the main foundation of the proposed framework.

 

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Killer Anders Behring Breivik’s Manifesto provides a valuable resource for those studying the narrative and discursive dimension of crime

March 28, 2013

Are self-narratives strategic or determined, unified or fragmented? Reading Breivik’ Manifesto in light of narrative criminology

From Acta Sociologica

In 2011 Anders Behring Breivik carried out two terrorist attacks in Norway killing 77 people. Breivik was an anti-Islamic, critical of the government’s policy of multiculturalism. His apparent targets were the government and the future political leadership of the Social Democratic party. Only hours before the attacks, Breivik had emailed a 1500-page Manifesto, in English, to several thousand people explaining his acts and describing their planning in detail. It is a collection of texts from different sources. Some parts are written by other people, others are plagiarized but with some minor changes and finally there are parts written by himself.

This article analyses the manifesto and further develops a theoretical framework of narrative criminology. The Manifesto is a valuable resource for sociologists and criminologists studying the narrative and discursive dimension of crime. This paper demonstrates the fruitfulness of a theoretical framework of narrative criminology. Together with political, socioeconomic and psychological studies, narrative analysis can thus add to our understanding of crime.

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The paradoxical relationship between religious belief and criminality

March 21, 2013

With God on my side: The paradoxical relationship between religious belief and criminality among hardcore street offenders

From Theoretical Criminology

Research has found that many street offenders anticipate an early death, making them less prone to delay gratification, more likely to discount the future costs of crime, and thus more likely to offend. Ironically, many such offenders also hold strong religious convictions, including those related to the punitive afterlife consequences of offending. In this study 48 active street offenders were interviewed to determine their expectation of an early demise, belief in the afterlife, and notions of redemption and punishment. Findings suggest that religious belief and criminality co-exist. Offenders in this study overwhelmingly professed a belief in God and identified themselves with a particular religion, but also regularly engaged in serious criminality. Even more interesting however, the data further suggest a possible criminogenic role for religious belief among the sample of hardcore street offenders; these offenders actively referenced religious doctrine to justify past offenses and to excuse the continuation of serious criminal conduct. The authors have argued, religious belief deters crime for most people, but facilitates criminal conduct for certain subgroups. They find that offenders have a propensity to co-opt religious doctrine to permit and even encourage their criminal activity, thereby preserving their identity as criminals and maintaining their ability to pursue illicit action.

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Aging out: Youths’ perspectives on foster care and the transition to independence

March 20, 2013

From Qualitative Social Work

Former foster youth experience unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice system involvement, and early parenthood at higher rates than young adults in the general American population. Former foster youth seem to be particularly vulnerable during the transition from foster care to independence. This study used critical ethnography to engage youth in sharing their perspectives on the process of ‘aging out’ of foster care. Youths expressed anxiety about their subjective experiences of ‘aging out’, including economic challenges and housing instability, loss of social support, and pressure to be self-reliant. Youths’ narratives during the early stages of transition from foster care provide insights for professionals, policy makers, and future research.

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Science or science fiction? Professionals’ discursive construction of climate change

March 19, 2013

From Organization Studies

Is it possible that modern society’s bitter political divisions over belief in anthropogenic climate change is distracting decision-makers from the far more practical and urgent matter of confronting the risk that it presents, directly or indirectly, to businesses and the economy? Based on a survey of 1,000 professional engineers and geologists in Alberta, this paper suggests this may be so. It examines the different viewpoints these experts hold concerning climate change and possible ways forward. Five frames that differ with regard to the cause of climate change, its implications and impacts, and especially the necessary steps, including regulation, to attend to the problem are identified. The paper also offers insights on the different ways in which adherents of these frames justify their views, legitimate themselves as experts in the matter, and try to mobilize others to support them.

Exploring the link between position within corporations and government and the frames used, the study indicates that those who are more defensive occupy more senior organizational positions and are much closer to decision-making than pro-regulation activists. Despite the current scientific dissension, declining public interest and political intransigence, the paper concludes by outlining an opportunity to ‘broker’ dissention between these groups.

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Australia leads the world in e-Mental Health

March 14, 2013

Special Issue e-Mental Health

From Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

The Internet and related technologies are here to stay and have opened up a ‘brave new world’, which e-mental health has eagerly embraced – especially in Australia. E-mental health refers to ‘mental health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies’. Australian mental health researchers were amongst the first to realize the potential of this area. They have developed and evaluated a number of pioneering e-treatment programs and psychoeducation websites. Australia has been responsible for around half of the world’s e-mental health programs and has produced more publications on the topic over the last decade than the rest of the world put together.

In acknowledgment of Australia’s current leading position and the fast-moving pace of this area, the ANZJP invited four leading researchers to provide their perspectives on how they see this area evolving over the next 10–15 years the results are presented in this special issue. The articles included cover diverse aspects of e-mental health, but all indicate that e-mental health will grow in importance and have major implications for the whole mental health sector.

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Study examines the factors underlying suicides in the Army National Guard

March 13, 2013

Perspectives on suicide in the Army National Guard

From Armed Forces & Society

Studies report that since 2004, suicides rates in the U.S. Army have been on the rise. While researchers debate the cause, this study finds that among suicide cases from 2007 – 2010, young white males were more at risk than any other demographic. The authors analyzed data from the Army National Guard’s (ARNG) personnel data system, from a routine data collection of ARNG soldiers returning from deployment, and Army reserve soldiers’ responses to the 2009 Status of Forces Questionnaire. They found that 17-24 year-olds were an average of 1.59 times more likely to have committed suicide than their older peers, that males were 3.05 times more likely to have committed suicide than females, and that white soldiers were 1.85 times more likely to have committed suicide than other race groups. Researchers offered explanations for each of the three suicide patterns among ARNG soldiers. Researchers stated that they hoped their findings would help identify those who are at risk for suicide and concluded, “after identifying those at risk, soldiers need to be managed and provided appropriate support and care.”  Nevertheless, they also noted that this is complicated for reservists who spend most of their time in “part-time” or civilian status. As reservists now number about one-half the active duty Army, the researchers argued for more deliberate thought on how best to screen reserve soldiers who are at risk.

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Courage and cowardice in wartime

March 12, 2013

Special Issue

From War in History 

From the ancient period to the present, courage and cowardice have been central to the experience and interpretation of war. Arguably no virtue, attribute, or quality has a greater impact on the outcome of military endeavour than courage. The evolution of weapons technology and tactics over the centuries and the sort of violence soldiers have faced on the battlefield has varied a great deal from con­flict to conflict. Representations of battlefield courage, or lack thereof, have similarly changed significantly over time.

Identifying and investigating the sort of battlefield conduct that is either valorized as courageous or castigated as cowardly is a complex business that raises a series of challenging questions for the historian of war. The articles gathered together in this special issue consider European armies at war from the first century BC to the Second World War and attempt to go some way toward answering these questions. Each author approaches the subject from a different angle and, understandably, given the very broad chronological framework, a diverse range of methodologies has been employed. In each case, of the groups of combatants under review, courage and cowardice were central to their experience of combat and to the military and civilian interpretation of that experience.

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Perspectives on alcohol consumption and false allegations of rape

March 7, 2013

Regretting it after? Focus group perspectives on alcohol consumption, nonconsensual sex and false allegations of rape

From Social & Legal Studies

Recent social network responses to the conviction of the Welsh footballer Ched Evans for the rape of an extremely intoxicated woman, including the public ‘tweeting’ of the victim’s name, highlight the profound impact that alcohol consumption can have on third parties assessments of the legitimacy of alcohol-involved rapes. This article critically examines the findings of four focus groups which were based around an incident  in which sex takes place between intoxicated individuals and consent is disputed. The study provides a timely examination of young peoples’ attitudes and understandings around alcohol consumption, nonconsensual sex and the role of alcohol in the false allegation process. Findings indicate a considerable consensus across participants’ perspectives regarding alcohol-involved rape. When members of a drinking dyad are presented as equally intoxicated, there was a reduced willingness to label the depiction of nonconsensual sex as rape. It is acknowledged that further research is needed to help categorically clarify rates of false rape reporting and the factors associated with these allegations.

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