Posts made in July, 2015

NEARI News: Informing Public Policy with the Outcomes of Research-Based Programs

»Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

NEARI News: Informing Public Policy with the Outcomes of Research-Based Programs

The Question Considering their costs, is there enough outcome evidence to determine whether programs deserve public investment? The Research Elizabeth Drake, Steve Aos, and Marna Miller were faced with the question–are there any evidence-based options that can reduce the future need for prison beds, save taxpayers money, and contribute to lower tax rates. In this instance, “evidence-based” describes a program or policy supported by outcome evaluations clearly demonstrating effectiveness. Drake, Aos, and Miller found and analyzed 545 comparison group evaluations of adult corrections, juvenile corrections, and prevention programs. To be included in the actual study, the evaluation had to have a number of qualities including a control or comparison group (only...

read more

Diagnostic Shift May Account For Growth in Autism Cases

»Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Diagnostic Shift May Account For Growth in Autism Cases

A new paper suggests the greater than three-fold increase in autism diagnoses among students in special education programs in the United States is a result of a new classification system. Scientists at Penn State University believe the large growth in autism diagnoses between 2000 and 2010 is largely due to a reclassification of individuals who previously would have been diagnosed with other intellectual disability disorders. In a paper that appears online in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, researchers discuss their analysis of 11 years of special-education enrollment data on an average of 6.2 million children per year. The researchers found no overall increase in the number of students enrolled in special education. They also found that the increase in...

read more

Fighting Cognitive Dissonance & The Lies We Tell Ourselves

»Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Fighting Cognitive Dissonance & The Lies We Tell Ourselves

If you’re interested in psychology and human behavior, you’ve probably heard the phrase cognitive dissonance. It’s the term coined by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1954 to describe “the feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the combined presence of two thoughts that do not follow from one another. Festinger proposed that the greater the discomfort, the greater the desire to reduce the dissonance of the two cognitive elements” (Harmon-Jones & Mills, 1999). Dissonance theory suggests that if individuals act in ways that contradict their beliefs, then they typically will change their beliefs to align with their actions (or vice-a-versa). The easiest way to describe the concept is by a quick example. Say you’re a student looking to choose...

read more

The Impact of Stress

»Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

The Impact of Stress

Stress often is accompanied by an array of physical reactions. These symptoms can be characteristic of other physical or mental disorders. A health care professional can rule out other causes after you have undergone a physical examination. Signs of stress can include the following: sleep disturbance (insomnia, sleeping fitfully) clenched jaw grinding teeth digestive upsets lump in your throat difficulty swallowing agitated behavior, like twiddling your fingers playing with your hair increased heart rate general restlessness sense of muscle tension in your body, or actual muscle twitching noncardiac chest pains dizziness, lightheartedness hyperventilating sweaty palms nervousness stumbling over words high blood pressure lack of energy fatigue Cognitive signs...

read more

Domestic Abuse May Go On After Separation When Kids See Dad

»Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Domestic Abuse May Go On After Separation When Kids See Dad

A new study has found that contact between children and their fathers in families with a history of domestic abuse can “facilitate” the continued abuse of women and children. The research, conducted at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, raises the question about whether visits with their fathers should automatically be considered to be in children’s best interests where there has been a history of domestic violence. The challenge is to promote contact in a way that delivers benefits to children while not jeopardizing their safety or wellbeing, according to Dr. Stephanie Holt, an assistant professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the college. For the study, survey questionnaires were completed by 219 mothers regarding their 449 children....

read more