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News & Views - Oct, 2000 Issue (page 1).

Page 1 of 3- Next

(October 22, 1997) In an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “A Nation of Nuts,” Jim Windolf tallied the number of Americans allegedly suffering from some kind of mental disorder. “If you believe the statistics, 77 percent of America’s adult population is a mess....And we haven’t even thrown in alien abductees, road ragers, and internet addicts.”

(December 1999) In this month’s issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers found a tendency that those girls trying to diet had the most weight gain. They followed 692 9th graders for four years, each girl was evaluated by measuring height and weight, filling out a questionnaire and participating in a structured clinical interview. 

(April 24, 2000) The APA's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 78 No. 4, reported two research studies involving a number of college students, which concluded playing violent video games could increase aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in real life.

(May 2000) The YMCA of the USA released the results of a survey conducted in April by interviewing 200 12-15 year olds and 200 parents entitled “Talking with Teens.” It showed different perceptions between parents and children when asked comparable questions. For example, 20% of the children reported they spent most of their free time watching TV, while only 12% of the parents thought their teens spent most their free time watching TV. Or, 26% of the kids reported their parents frequently talked to them about drugs and alcohol, while 51% of the parents reported they frequently spoke to their kids about drugs and alcohol. 

(May 2000) Dr. Sybil Wolin presented her theory of seven “resiliencies” in a new book “The Struggle To Be Strong,” featuring stories by young people dealing with the changes and challenges of adolescence. Her theory is there are seven “resiliencies” that give teens what they need to assess a situation and take appropriate action. She identifies the seven resiliencies as insight, independence, relationships, initiative, creativity, humor and morality. 

(June 2000) Karen Pittman, in “Making the Case: Linking Youth Development and Positive Psychology,” in the June issue of Youth Today, reports Dr. Martin Seligman, president of the American Psychological Association is also a strong backer of “the emerging discipline of ‘positive psychology.” She reports his concern that psychology has emphasized addressing mental illness, and not done nearly as well addressing issues of well- being and nurturing talent. His hopes for “Positive Psychology” are “to have definitions, categorizations and measures for the psychological strengths that are comparable to those now available for the psychological pathologies.”

(August 4, 2000) A study by Emory University and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded “Abuse in early childhood dramatically changes the brain chemistry of women for life, making them more vulnerable to anxiety disorders and more easily frustrated by stress as adults.” Critic of the report, Allie C. Kilpatrick, a professor with the University of Georgia asserted “It’s not always so. There are so many intervening factors. Who was the person providing the abuse, how long did the abuse continue, how much force and trauma occurred at the time? All those factor in to how someone reacts later in life.” She referred to her own study of 500 women that showed “There were some women who had no traumatic effects and there were women who had a lot. It all depends on those intervening variables and the resiliency of the individual.” 

(August 7, 2000) The Christian Science Monitor, in an article titled “Corporate ways invade schools,” states: “Beset by lagging student performance, American schools are starting to run their classrooms like corporations – setting ‘performance’ targets for teachers and students, measuring results, and putting CEOs in superintendent’s chairs.”

(August 29, 2000) The New York Times reported a study conducted by researchers at Harvard University, Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin that found “Black students who switched to private schools from public schools on scholarships that were similar to vouchers performed significantly higher on standardized math and reading tests than similar students who remained in public schools.” “Groups that opposed vouchers criticized the study, with some noting that among those who helped pay for it were several conservative research groups and voucher advocates.”

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