Dr. Grohol's Blog of Psychology

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 Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Bachelorette parties a sign of a new sexuality for women
It used to be that the pre-wedding ritual for men was the bachelor party, while the women's equivalent was the bridal shower. Well, the times they have been a-changing for many years now, and women can have just as much silly, no-holds-barred fun as the men nowadays, according to a Penn State researcher.

Interesting that my bride-to-be, Nancy, is having both! Hmmmmmmmmm....

(Posted at 09:03:08 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Studies about children and obesity
Two studies came out in the past week that may help shed light on the link between children and obesity. In Food Fight, a new book by a Yale expert on nutrition and obesity, the author warns that today's children might be the first generation in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents because of poor diet. You can read more about the book to drawn your own conclusions.

Could your child be preordained to be an overweight couch potato? New Zealand physiologists are proposing that the well-known association between obesity, metabolic syndrome, sedentary behavior, and overeating might have a common biological cause.

So is it biological or is the fast-food environment that children are now raised in? Like most science, the real conclusion is likely somewhere in-between.

(Posted at 04:05:16 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Scientists shed new light on speed of infant learning
New research by a team of psychologists, led by Scott Johnson of New York University, provides the first conclusive evidence that infants actually learn object concepts at a very young age - between three to six months - and that they do so through visual observation. The research sheds new light on how soon and how quickly infants learn, as well as their ability to build an understanding of object concepts through stationary observation of the standard home environment.

(Posted at 03:46:38 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Monday, August 25, 2003

Major depression in adolescence can reoccur in adulthood and diminish quality of life
Young adults who experienced an episode of major depression in adolescence may be more vulnerable to a relapse in adulthood that could significantly affect their quality of life, say researchers in a study on the psychosocial functioning of adults who have recovered from major depression.

(Posted at 04:42:19 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Personal Ads on the Internet
I was going through some resources waiting for review and came across this survey, Personal Ads on the Internet. If you use the Internet to meet people, please consider taking this survey and helping out some fellow online researchers.

This is timely, as we will be launching our own personal ads service here, probably by month's end. Stay tuned...

(Posted at 01:52:08 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Monday, August 18, 2003

Severe childhood ADHD may predict alcohol, substance use problems in teen years
Scientists tracking the progress of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as they became teenagers have shed new light on the link between ADHD and the risk of developing alcohol and substance use problems. The researchers found that individuals with severe problems of inattention as children were more likely than their peers to report alcohol-related problems, a greater frequency of getting drunk, and heavier and earlier use of tobacco and other drugs.

(Posted at 02:01:15 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

How a nightcap may hinder rather than help your sleep
Using alcohol as a sleep aid is somewhat of a paradox: although alcohol can initially help someone fall asleep, it can also disrupt sleep in the latter part of the night. Clinicians already know that alcoholics often have significant sleep problems both while actively drinking as well as after they've stopped drinking. A study in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that alcoholics can continue to have sleep problems for many months after they quit drinking, that problems with sleep onset may be more pronounced than with sleep maintenance, and that many former alcoholics had sleep problems that predated the onset of alcohol dependence.

(Posted at 01:59:47 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

 Friday, August 15, 2003

Full News Listing from the APA in Toronto
Sorry this has taken a little longer than I had intended to post, but here's a link to the APA News section on reports that came from the APA's recent convention in Toronto. Too many good news items to link to individually. Enjoy!

(Posted at 04:08:58 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Dentist and such...
So I had a dentist's appointment today. I really don't mind going to the dentist, except for the cleanings, which can be a real bear to endure. The cavities are, in many ways, easier to deal with. Maybe it's because of the shot of Novacaine they give you? lol

I was also going through some old work papers and came across a threatening letter from 1999 from the law firm representing drkoop.com at the time. They suggested a lawsuit could happen if I continued talking about my short employment with them. I left after I discovered one of the deals they were doing was questionable from an ethical POV. Instead of paying for content as some health portals do, the health provider was paying drkoop.com to feature and publish their content. Initially the content was used without any disclosure, completely violating the supposed "wall" they had erected between the editorial staff (such as me) and the advertising folks.

It's an amusing historical document about how high flying so many dot.coms were at the time, and how so very full of themselves they were. Now drkoop.com is owned by a vitamin holding company and has no association with the former Surgeon General of the United States. Meanwhile, we're still going strong!

(Posted at 04:43:48 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Monday, August 11, 2003

Psychological Treatment on the Internet Survey
A colleague of mine, Adrian Skinner, is conducting a survey about psychological treatment on the Internet and would like your opinions!

From the survey page, "The purpose of collecting this information is to find out more about the opinions of people about psychological treatment or counselling on the Internet as opposed to face-to-face. In particular we want to find out how easy people think it would be it to communicate in this medium, and to build up a rapport with their therapist."

Please take a moment to fill it out, thanks!

(Posted at 09:27:09 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Anxiety Hits Women Harder after Heart Attack
A heart attack can make anyone anxious, but women experience greater anxiety than men do after heart attacks, a pattern that is consistent across four continents, a new study notes. The higher level of anxiety among women is not connected to geography, to demographic factors like marital status and education or to medical condition, according to a report published in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

(Posted at 04:37:30 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

APA Starts Tomorrow
Well, the large annual gathering of the American Psychological Association begins tomorrow at 4:00pm ET in Toronto, Canada. This is the first year after 7 consecutive years of attending that I'm not attending. I decided to focus my energies and monies on my personal life this year, because I'm thankful to have a great fiancee'! We're planning our October wedding in Antigua, and a reception for friends and family a little bit later back here north of Boston in November. So to all of my colleagues and friends at APA this year -- have a great time and enjoy yourself!!

(Posted at 04:22:44 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Women most effective leaders for today's world
A question that has consumed both academic and popular writers is whether men and women have the same leadership abilities. According to a new -- and perhaps surprising -- study in the current Psychological Bulletin, women in management positions are better leaders than men in equivalent positions. Led by a Northwestern University professor, the meta-analysis examines 45 studies on leaders in business, academics and other areas to determine whether typical leadership styles of men and women differ. [...] The meta-analysis showed that women are more likely than men to use leadership styles that other studies have shown produce better worker performance and effectiveness in today's world.

(Posted at 04:44:21 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Living together before marriage: Now common but still risky
Even though more than half of couples now do it, compared with only 10 percent 30 years ago, living together before marriage still is linked to higher rates of troubled unions, divorce and separation, Penn State researchers have found.

Although all the reasons why cohabitation and troubled unions are related remains unknown, the researchers report that their data and a review of the literature suggest that both personal characteristics and the experience of cohabitation play important roles.

(Posted at 04:41:43 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

When is it Ethical to Research Online?
That's a good question and it recently came up on a professional mailing list I subscribe to. Some people's answer was, "If the Internet lets you do it, then go ahead and mine support group mailing lists for data." That didn't sit well with me and so in addition to replying on the list, I wrote a longer article about when it is and isn't ethical to conduct research online.

What concerns me most is when professionals conduct research in online support groups, without the group members' knowledge or consent to do so. Sorry, researchers, but getting IRB approval is just the start of ethics in one's research behavior, not the end of them.

(Posted at 04:35:42 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Friday, August 1, 2003

Antidepressant drugs may protect brain from damage due to depression
Studying women with histories of clinical depression, investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the use of antidepressant drugs appears to protect a key brain structure often damaged by depression.

"Our results suggest that if a woman takes antidepressants whenever she is depressed, depression would have less effect on the volume of her hippocampus," said Yvette Sheline, M.D., who led the study. "It is the untreated days that seem to affect hippocampal volumes." Read the full release here.

(Posted at 02:52:35 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

Social environment is the key to quality of life for older people
Healthy older people living with a partner feel they have the highest quality of life, whilst those in residential homes are likely to report the poorest, according to new research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council as part of its Growing Older Programme.

(Posted at 02:46:58 PM EDT.) Discuss this...

A couple of items under the Obvious category
From the No-duh Department, Stress leads to unhealthy diets and Mirrors can make women feel worse about working out. The first study found that teenagers who were more stressed ate more unhealthy foods (e.g., comfort snack foods), which is not surprising given that so many people use food as a coping mechanism to some extent. And does it surprise anyone that looking at yourself while working out is simply not a good idea?

(Posted at 08:16:38 AM EDT.) Discuss this...

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Sep 2008
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.
~ Herman Melville
 
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