News & Views - Feb, 2000 Issue #66
OSHA RETRACTS RECOMMENDATION FOR HOME-OFFICE
(Jan 5, 2000) As the number of Americans regularly working at home has swelled to almost 20 million, Department of
Labor Secretary, Alexis Herman, withdrew a federal interpretation letter regarding OSHA standard in the at-home work place, issued
in response to an inquiry by a Texas employer. The letter stated that companies’ normal workplace safety obligations also apply to
employees who do their work at home. Withdrawn due to the barrage of criticism from business leaders, media commentators and political
groups on Capitol Hill, the informal letter stated that employers could be held liable for known home workplace hazards, and suggested
periodic inspection of at-home worker’s quarters. Currently OSHA does not contemplate such inspections.
LOW LEVELS OF CORTISOL FOUND IN VERY AGGRESSIVE
(Jan 13, 2000) According to the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, extreme antisocial behavior in
boys ages 7 to 12 appears to be related to low levels of cortisol. This stress hormone is typically released in response to fear,
such as fear of punishment for misbehaving. Low cortisol levels in antisocial boys might indicate they do not fear the possible consequences
of their actions, said Keith McBurnett, a child psychologist at the University Medical School, who led the study. “Perhaps what we’re
dealing with here is a biological propensity that’s resistant to treatment, which is very troubling,” he remarked, and added that
the correlation between cortisol and “childhood-onset conduct disorder” was very strong.
BULLYING IS NOT LIMITED TO UNPOPULAR LONERS
(Jan16, 2000) The American Psychological Association recently
reported that 80% of the 558 students questioned in a survey conducted at a Midwestern middle school had engaged in bullying behaviors
during the previous 30 days. Psychologist Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (217-333-9139
or firstname.lastname@example.org) said the results of her survey indicated “the bullying behaviors measured
(teasing, name calling, threatening, physical aggression and social ridiculing of peers) are very common. Kids who bully a lot also
say they’re been victimized too. Nearly 80 to 90 percent of adolescents report some form of victimization from a bully at school.”
The survey will be published in the Journal of Early Adolescence in August.
OVER HALF OF U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS REPORT
AT LEAST ONE CRIME IN 1996-1997
(Jan 16, 2000) The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) surveyed a nationally representative sample of
over 1,200 public, elementary, middle and secondary schools and found more than half reported experiencing at least one crime incident
in school year 1996-1997. 1 in 10 schools reported at least one serious violent crime during that school year.
WARNING SIGNS OF IMPENDING STUDENT VIOLENCE
(Aug, 1998) The U.S. Department of Education released a list
of warning signs that might lead to violence. The list includes: social withdrawal, excessive feelings of isolation, excessive
feelings of rejection, being a victim of violence, feelings of being picked on and persecuted, low school interest and poor academic
performance, expression of violence in writings and drawings, uncontrolled anger, patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating,
and bullying behaviors, history of discipline problems, past history of violent and aggressive behavior, intolerance of differences
and prejudicial attitudes, drug use and alcohol use, affiliation with gangs, inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms,
and serious threats of committing violence to oneself or others.
PHYSICIANS CRITICAL OF HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
(January 27, 2000) Harris Interactive and the Harvard School of Public Health reported
the results of a 1999 survey of attitudes toward managed care and the US health care system which can be found at They found that
83% “of all practicing physicians are highly critical of the nation’s health care system”, compared to 67% in 1997 and 51% in 1984.
STUDENT ORIGINAL FILM ART FESTIVAL
(January 28, 2000) David Loitz, co-founder of the Student Original Film Art Festival (SOFA),
announced the second annual film festival “for students by students” located in Wilsonville, Oregon for April 15, 2000. Student filmmakers
need to have their films in by March 25, 2000. The festival is designed to give low-budget students interested in film making an
opportunity to have their work showcased and reviewed.
TEEN SMOKING DOWN
(January 28, 2000 A nationwide survey of 7,529 high school students in September and October last year indicated that
28.4 percent of them had smoked in the last month, 8 percent fewer than the 1997 survey as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. It also indicated nearly one in ten children had smoked cigarettes by the time they reached middle school.
RURAL TEENS’ DRUG USE GROWS
(January 26, 2000) A private study by the National Center on Addiction
and Substance Abuse at Columbia University using primarily 1999 data was released showing “Eighth-graders in rural America are 104
percent likelier than those in urban centers to use amphetamines, including methamphetamines, and 50 percent likelier to use cocaine...
83 percent likelier to use crack cocaine, and 34 percent likelier to smoke marijuana than eighth-graders in urban centers....”
ADVENTURE THERAPY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
(January 24, 2000) The second International Adventure Therapy Conference will be held March 20-24, 2000 in Augsburg,
Germany. Keynotes will be by Mario Neri (Italy), Rudiger Gilsdorf (Germany), Simon Priest (Canada), and Lee Gillis (USA).
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BORED?
(January 24, 2000) A survey of more than 260,000 students at 462 two- and four-year schools participated in a survey
conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute found that 40 percent said they had been “frequently bored” in their High
School classes, double from the percentage asked that question in 1985. Also, an “Interest in teaching was expressed by 11 percent
of the students, a 30-year high, but far below the 1968 peak of 24 percent.” Also, 59 percent rated themselves as academically above
average and 34 percent reported an “A” average in high school, and 34 percent expected to earn at least a “B” average in college.
KELLY SERVICES PROVIDING SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS
(January 22, 2000) Kelly Services, a leading firm offering temporary employees nationally, has added substitute teachers
as part of their temporary employee services. School districts in 10 states have signed on. The full story can be found at cnn.com.
INFLUENCE ON DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTIONS
(January 26, 2000) An article found at www.zeop.com reported a study published by the Journal of the American Medical
Association (2000;283:373-380, 391-393) conducted by Dr. Ashley Wazana of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, based on an analysis
of 29 studies, showed “that after receiving lavish free ‘benefits’ from pharmaceutical manufacturers, physicians tend to prescribe
those drugs with greater frequency.”
Copyright © 2000, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced
without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)