Archive of 2008 PsycEXTRA® Sample Searches Podcasts

December 2008

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month. Every day in the United States approximately 750 people are injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver ( PsycEXTRA contains useful information on drunk and drugged driving prevention.

In a 2004 press release entitled "More Than Four Million Youth Engaged in Drunk and Drugged Driving," the United States Department of Health and Human Services provided the results of the 2002–2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The survey, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found that more than 4 million people aged 16–20 (21 percent of the U.S. youth in that age group) drove under the influence of either alcohol or drugs Among 16–20 year olds, 14 percent drove under the influence of illicit drugs, 17 percent reported driving under the influence of alcohol, and eight percent reported driving after consuming a combination of alcohol and illicit drugs. The report also notes that only 4 percent of persons who reported driving under the influence were arrested and booked for driving in the year preceding their survey.

SAMHSA is actively working to create prevention programs in local communities throughout the United States. Many of these programs support parents and other adults who reinforce the message that when youth drink and use illicit drugs they can ruin their lives, and the lives of the community, family and friends.

November 2008

November is Alzheimer's Disease Month. Alzheimer's is a brain disorder that destroys brain cells, causes severe memory loss, and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States ( PsycEXTRA contains useful information on Alzheimer's research.

In a February 2007 press release from the US Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health titled "Active Minds May Keep Alzheimer's at Bay," scientists described research on the disease. Many experts believe that Alzheimer's is caused by a steady accumulation of amyloidal plaque proteins in the brain. Scientists have shown that learning slows the build-up of the plaques in the patient. The study reinforces the idea that, in humans, maintaining an active mind may help delay or even prevent the disease from occurring. Dr. Gary Kennedy, one of the lead researchers of the project, argued that the study advances the notion that mental exercise acts as a protective tool against Alzheimer's. Researchers hope to use this information to develop a drug for future use with Alzheimer's patients. Such studies would identify exactly how learning influences pathology and identify an appropriate drug treatment for the possible eradication of the disorder.

October 2008

October is Disability Awareness Month, a celebration designed to recognize the social and cultural contributions made by people with disabilities and to increase awareness of changes that still need to be made to create equal opportunities among the general public and people who are disabled.

Adolescence can be a difficult time for young people and even more so for those who have ongoing health problems. Health practitioners work closely with families to prepare adolescents with disabilities for changes in care as they transition to adulthood. PsycEXTRA contains useful information on the relationship between health professionals and young patients with disabilities. In a February 2008 report by the United Kingdom's Department of Health titled "Transition: Moving on Well—A Good Practice Guide for Health Professionals and Their Partners," the authors built on what is happening in the contemporary global health services field, providing the reader with effective ways to serve adolescents with disabilities. Written for health professionals, the guide focuses on young people with a neuro-disability and the planning required to transfer their care to adult services. This transfer often involves multidisciplinary and multiagency input. The authors noted that it is critical that everyone understand the roles of different professionals, working as a team, and how to access services to ensure that young people get the appropriate support.

September 2008

National Grandparent's Day is celebrated during September. PsycEXTRA contains interesting research on grandparent and grandchild's social behavioral relations. For example, in research reported in the 2007 APA Convention presentation "Grandmother–Grandchild Relationship Predicts Adjustments Among Youth From Divorced Families," Craig Henderson, Leah Sanders, and Bert Hayslip Jr. compared participants' reports of closeness to grandmothers with their reports of psychological adjustment (that is, interpersonal competence, self-efficacy, and internalizing symptoms) in a sample of late adolescent/emerging adulthood youths from divorced families. The authors wondered whether higher levels of relationship quality with grandmothers were associated with lower levels of symptomatology and higher levels of social competence and self-efficacy. The sample included 439 participants between the ages of 17 and 20 recruited from local high schools and a university located in North Texas.

August 2008

APA staff is excited to work with the Archives of the History of American Psychology in Akron, OH to obtain great grey literature on various subjects in psychology and the social behavioral sciences. These include documents from military psychology. This literature has become increasingly valuable due to the heightened awareness of military operations from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

In 1954 the United States Army produced an interim report titled the "Characteristic of Fighters and Non-Fighters: III. An Analysis of Clinical Interview and Life History Data," by Victor Cline, Robert Egbert, Tor Meeland, and Edward Forgy. The report is the third in a series that has dealt with the psychological characteristics of fighters and non-fighters in the Korean War.

During the summer of 1953, the authors went to Korea to interview frontline infantrymen in the 2nd, 7th, and 45th Infantry Divisions. Several months later the men were placed into small analysis groups at a test center near Ch'uinch'on, Korea. Each soldier was given a battery of tests and procedures lasting 1 week. An analysis of the clinical interviews and life history data revealed that the soldiers were affected by several psychological factors including home environment, race and religion, health and vitality, socioeconomics, and social relations.

July 2008

July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Boredom is defined in the APA Dictionary of Psychology as "a state of weariness or ennui resulting from a lack of engagement with stimuli in the environment." Many psychologists believe that boredom can be a symptom of clinical depression. Moreover, it can be a form of learned helplessness, a phenomenon closely related to depression.

Great information on the psychological effects of boredom can be found in PsycEXTRA. Here is an example from a conference paper presented at the American Psychological Association's 111th Annual Convention in 2003: "Boredom Proneness in Anger and Aggression: Effects of Impulsiveness and Sensation Seeking," by Eric R. Dahlen, Ryan C. Martin, Katie Ragan, and Myndki M. Kuhlman. The authors analyzed the role of boredom proneness in anger expression and aggression with a study on impulsiveness and sensation seeking in 224 college student volunteers. The volunteers completed various measures of boredom proneness, impulsiveness, sensation seeking, anger expression, and aggression to enable the authors to determine whether these variables account for relationships between boredom proneness, anger expression, and aggression. The authors' research findings demonstrate that boredom proneness has more pervasive effects on aggression than do the other variables. They used a hierarchical multiple regression analysis model to demonstrate that the relationships between boredom proneness and trait anger, anger expression/control, and aggression persisted even after impulsiveness and sensation seeking were accounted for. PsycEXTRA users will acquire an improved understanding of how boredom proneness is associated with aggression, anger expression, and anger control.

June 2008

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the United States (National Safety Council [NSC], 2007). June, which is National Safety Month, is a good time to focus on reducing that statistic by examining teens' risky driving behavior and helping them develop responsible driver skills.

PsycEXTRA includes information on teen driving behavior. For example, in "Predicting Teen Driving Outcomes: Does Personality Matter," Renee F. Slick explored whether personality measures relate to driving outcomes—as research has shown that personality variables such as sensation seeking, anger, and mild social deviance account for a percentage ranging from 14% to 19% of the overall variance in crash involvement rates. She combined several promising measures into one survey instrument: The Teen Driver Awareness Survey for High Schools (Teen-DASH). Through such an instrument, social psychologists can help policymakers craft alert driving education programs to help teenagers become more aware of their own personality traits that may predispose them to risky driving behavior.

May 2008

May is "National Mental Health Month". PsycEXTRA contains timely materials to help you understand mental health topics. For example, the passage of the U.S. Senate's Mental Health Parity Act in 2007 brought us a step closer to equal treatment for millions of Americans with mental health and substance use disorders. In a newsletter article entitled "Federal mental health parity legislation is closer to a reality" (Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (DMHMR) Outlook, 2007), the author noted that the parity bill provides Americans with equitable mental health insurance coverage. The bill broadens the modest 1996 Mental Health Parity Act (which required parity only for annual and lifetime dollar limits) with the addition of equitable coverage requirements for mental illness treatment with respect to durational treatment limits and financial limitations. The 2007 bill also includes both mental illness and substance abuse in the coverage requirements. The article also noted how the bill increased the scope of mental health benefits, out-of- network coverage and mandated benefit laws.

April 2008

April is "National Child Abuse Prevention" month. If you are looking for content to share with your users, PsycEXTRA contains literature on contemporary crisis intervention in child abuse. A manual entitled "Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect" addresses key principles and techniques of crisis intervention and recognizes the interrelatedness of all forms of intra-familial and societal violence. Developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the document highlights various situations involving suspected child abuse or neglect in a crisis. The manual is intended for use by caseworkers and other professionals in the field of child protection, who want to improve assistance to children and families in crisis.

April is also "Autism Awareness Month". Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that includes differences and disabilities in social communication, motor and intellectual skills. In "New Guidelines Promise Earlier Identification of Autism", authors Cecilia Breinbauer and Ruby Salazar present information on the 2007 report by a special working group formed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental Learning Disorders (ICDL). The CDC-ICDL framework report presents newly formulated indicators to identify at-risk children in the first and second years of life. It cites risk indicators designed to detect a lack of mastery of age-expected emotional, social, and cognitive milestones during a child's first two years of life.

March 2008

March is Women's History Month. PsycEXTRA includes a wealth of literature on women's professional and social behavior. Women who focus on undergraduate collegiate studies are often socialized to focus on relationships and the needs of others. As a result, many of these women pursue careers and graduate training in community, child and school counseling. In "Beyond helping: Mentoring undergraduate women for leadership roles", Eileen Cooley and Laura Tuttle discuss contemporary trends in the encouragement of female students to seek careers in research, program management, and social change. Published in the Fall 2006 issue of the Feminist Psychology, the authors advise female students to exercise their options when pursuing a career path. Cooley and Tuttle believe that female students should try to find the correct match of talents and jobs, and to broaden the scope of their options. This can be accomplished through advanced skills, motivation, and the promotion of leadership opportunities in fields of study that women do not usually take part in (i.e. engineering, neuropsychology). Cooley and Tuttle conclude that faculty members can help these women to visualize themselves as new-found leaders, which in the long run, develops self confidence within the women.

February 2008

February is Black History Month. If you are looking for information on recent issues pertaining to cross-cultural issues, you'll find that PsycEXTRA includes publications on the diverse perspectives of how psychology relates to the Black experience. In "Katrina's Cultural Lessons", Bridget Murray Law reports on the findings of Priscilla P. Dass-Brailsford, EdD at APA's 2006 Annual Convention. Dr. Dass-Brailsford argued that Katrina's devastation taught us strategies for helping people affected by a natural catastrophe and how responders should keep in mind the culturally specific needs of the individuals. The article highlights the need for increased mental health therapy during natural disasters, particularly when helping minorities within a community.

Valentine's Day has become a symbol of romance and is often used to inspire romantic expression. PsycEXTRA has great information on the study of romance in psychology. In the "Attachment and Communication in Adult Romantic Relationships", Rachel Domingue and Debra Mollen explore the proposed connections between adult attachment styles and communication patterns. The paper, which was presented during the 2007 APA Convention, examines how the combination of individuals' attachment styles with their partners, or their couple type, relates to their self reported communication patterns. The authors contend that increased attachment security uplifts the likelihood of a successful life transition among the study group.

Many Americans vote during the Presidential primaries in February. In "Backtalk: Women Voting in 2004", published in the Feminist Psychologist 2005, author Keri Heitner profiles the Votes for Women 2004 project of the Communications Consortium Media Center. This center helps non-profit organizations use media and new telecommunication technologies as a tool for public education and policy change. The author discusses how the project was used to increase women's engagement in the 2004 US Presidential election by emphasizing the importance of women's views, voices and votes in and outside of the political arena. Dr. Heitner also explores research on the gender gap in voting behavior during that election.

January 2008

The New Year is often a time to reflect on the changes we want to make, and PsycEXTRA has great information on some common resolutions. Many Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. In a report from Child Trends "Family Strengths: Often Overlooked, But Real", Kristin Anderson Moore, Rosemary Chalk, Juliet Scarpa and Sharon Vandievere identify the makeup of a strong family. According to the authors, family strengths are a set of relationships and processes that support and protect family members (especially during times of adversity and change).

Weight loss is also one of the most popular New Year's resolutions in the United States. A 2004 factsheet published by The US Department of Health and Human Services, "Preventing Obesity and Chronic Disease through Good Nutrition and Physical Activity" incorporates various statistical data on obesity and weight loss in the United States. The document asserts that many Americans can save money through increased physical activity and continued weigh management. Some promising approaches to preventing obesity are also presented.

PsycEXTRA contains a wealth of information on behavior modification written with a professional or lay audience in mind. Some other examples include:

  • Smoking-related Behaviour and Attitudes, 2006, from the UK's Office of National Statistics

  • A Program for the Treatment of Pathological Gambling: Program Participation and Treatment Outcomes from the Washington State Department of Social Services

  • BodyMind Exercises for Stress Reduction from Hypnotherapy Today