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The psychological impact of suburban poverty could be big

11/29/2010

Suburban home When we think of suburban areas of the United States, we think of white picket fences, generous green lawns and kids playing hopscotch. The suburbs aren’t always the richest areas of the country, but they’re the most elite:  inhabited by the people who rose above traditional neighborhoods and landed in communities of choice.

It’s an outdated notion, if it was ever true.  During the Great Recession things are quite different for many suburban families. “Suburban Poverty” is now a phenomenon commented upon in newspapers and magazines.  Food and clothing shelters have come to suburbs that never had them before, and existing ones serving suburban areas have seen exponential growth in places like the suburbs of Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta. 

In some ways, Suburban poverty is very different from what we still think of as “regular” poverty:  most suburbs aren’t walkable and don’t have effective public transportation, meaning the suburban poor must still have cars.  The schools are often more genteel.  But in other ways “suburban poverty” is just “poverty” with an adjective. 

The question no one has the answer to:  will suburban poverty have the same psychological impact on children and adults that urban poverty does? 

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University

Thanksgiving Gratitude 365 days a year

11/25/2010

Obama_ThanksGiving_Turkey_Pardon_2009 This is a time of year when the word “gratitude” receives a lot of press, but if we’re honest about the way most of us spend the holiday, Thanksgiving is really all about the turkey, retail sales, and getting together with the family we hardly ever see. 

We’re selling gratitude short.  It’s not just a “feel good” measure – expressing gratitude actually does make you feel better.  It can also help you be healthier and live longer.  This Thanksgiving let’s walk through the scientific research and spiritual traditions that highlight gratitude’s importance.

Social scientists and psychologists have conducted research that supports the practice of gratitude. Robert Emmons has made it his professional life path to study the effects of living in gratitude. After interviewing over 1000 people who took part in the study by completing daily gratitude journals and by incorporating daily gratitude practices, Emmons found that there were overwhelming benefits for living in gratitude.

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University

Sanitation counts

11/24/2010

Decorative_toilet_seat Be honest:  did YOU celebrate World Toilet Day on Nov. 19? 

This may be something that is off your radar, but there are billions of people without safe and clean toilets. Toilets are a bit of a taboo and ewwwww subject ... but this is a serious and dangerous issue that is linked to millions of deaths every year.  Worlwide Diarrhea is the second biggest killer of children under the age of five:  providing children access to sanitary, safe, facilities reduces such deaths by 40 percent. 

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University

High school's Faustian bargain: academic success can lead to lonliness

11/23/2010

Girl reading Many youth make it through high school with a shelf full of trophies and awards. There’s not much that would make the average parent more proud of their child than to see their names listed on the honor roll at school or to be valedictorian.

For some youth - especially some minorities - being a shiny success in academics leads to many lonely days.

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University

Education doesn't start with teachers

11/22/2010

Classroom_Urumqi_No_1_high_School It seems every week now, local school districts and state and federal governments are announcing cuts on educational budgets with the ultimate impact on our children and their greatest resource; their minds.

Some people think they have better ideas.  Bill Gates, founder and former chairman of Microsoft Corporation, has been one of the most outspoken critics on educational reform in the wake of budget cuts. In the wake of stimulus money running out in school district, Gates has urged school budget officials to compensate based on teacher excellence; not on seniority or education. And, more importantly, to reward teachers based on their ability to control classrooms, educate troubled children, and include families in the process of educating their youngsters.

This agenda for schools assumes, however, that teachers can control the most significant variables impacting a child’s performance in school.  Is this really the case? 

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Alumni and Student Publishing Opportunity in Telepathy, Alternate States of Consciousness, and Dreaming

11/19/2010
Stan Krippner is co-coordinating a special issue for the Neuroquantology Journal on the topic,Telepathy, Alternate States of Consciousness, and Dreaming. The journal founder and editor, Sultan Tarlaci, MD, is requesting 7 or 8 high-quality, publishable contributions for the June 2011 issue of the journal and thought that alumni Saybrook alumni and students might be interested. Your submission...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus H.D. Kirkpatrick, PhD '78 Releases New Book

11/19/2010
Alumnus H.D. Kirkpatrick, PhD '78 Releases New Book Alienation of Affection May 2010 From Amazon: This psychological mystery goes to the heart of alienation.... Available at Amazon.com

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Alumni Messenger

Alumna Rivka Bertisch-Meir, PhD '05 Awarded Fellowship Status in the Eastern Psychological Association

11/19/2010
Alumna Rivka Bertisch-Meir, PhD '05 Awarded Fellowship Status in the EPA, Eastern Psychological Association Rivka Bertisch Meir, PhD '05, MPH, LMHC www.DoctorRivka.com

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Alumni Messenger

Save the Date, Sunday, January 16, 2011: Saybrook Alumni Gathering, Alumni - Student Mixer, Dinner, and Keynote Speech

11/19/2010
Save the Date, Sunday, January 16, 2011: Saybrook Alumni Gathering, Alumni - Student Mixer, Dinner, and Keynote Speech 4:00 - 5:00 PM Alumni Gathering 5:00 - 6:00 PM Alumni - Student Mixer and Regional Meeting 6:00 - 7:00 PM Dinner with Fellow Alumni and Students 7:30 PM Keynote Speech by Chip Conley Saybrook Honorary Doctorate Recipient and author of Peak, Inside Change, and other best...

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University

The search for meaning is NOT a mental illness!

11/19/2010

Something is wrong in the world of psychiatry. DSM 4

It’s not just that the new edition of the medical profession’s Bible, the DSM 5, was originally due to be released in 2012, but has now been delayed to 2013. 

It’s that the whole reason a new DSM is deemed necessary is that we’ve made recent advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and brain imagining.  You CAN’T have a diagnostic manual that doesn’t represent brain imaging! 

The trouble with this rational is:  there is not a single biological test that will be included in the diagnostic criteria sets of the DSM-V. So we need a manual about mental illness that includes our knowledge of biology and neuroscience, but we’re not actually going to include these things in the final result.

It seems the methodology of the psychiatric Bible is not as seamless as its proponents would like us to believe.

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