Despite all that contemporary medicine knows about psychology, neurology and human behavior, it has yet to devise anything that works better than Alcoholics Anonymous to help drunks stay sober.
Washington, April 20 (ANI): Therapy can help even very distressed married couples if both partners want to improve their marriage, says a new study.
The study, conducted by Andrew Christensen, a UCLA professor of psychology and lead author of the study, included 134 married couples, 71 in Los Angeles and 63 in Seattle. Most were in their 30s and 40s, and slightly more than half had children.
The couples were ”chronically, seriously distressed” and fought frequently, but they were hoping to improve their marriages.
“We didn”t want couples who would get better on their own. We wanted couples who were consistently unhappy. We excluded almost 100 couples who wanted couple therapy but who did not meet our criteria of consistent and serious distress,” Christensen said.
The couples received up to 26 therapy sessions within a year. Psychologists conducted follow-up sessions approximately every six months for five years after therapy ended.
The couples all participated in one of two kinds of therapy. The first, traditional behavioural couple therapy, focuses on making positive changes, including learning better ways of communicating, especially about problems, and better ways of working toward solutions.
The second, integrative behavioural couple therapy, uses similar strategies but focuses more on the emotional reactions and not just the actions that led to the emotional reactions. In this approach, couples work at understanding their spouse”s emotional sensitivities.
Christensen uses the integrative therapy, the second approach, which he described in his 2000 book ”Reconcilable Differences”. The couples who used this approach read the book as part of their treatment, while the couples in the traditional therapy group read a different self-help book.
When the therapy sessions were over, about two-thirds of the couples overall had shown significant clinical improvement.
“Given this population, that”s a good figure. If couples do not improve in 26 sessions, that is a bad sign. This is not psychoanalysis,” said Christensen.
The integrative therapy approach was significantly more effective than traditional therapy over the first two years of follow-up. The difference between the treatments, however, was not dramatic and did not last as the years went on.
Five years after treatment ended, about half the couples were significantly improved from where they were at the start of treatment, about a quarter were separated or divorced, and about a quarter were unchanged.
At that five-year mark, about a third of the couples were “normal, happy couples,” said Christensen.
For another 16 percent, their marriage was significantly improved and was tolerable, if not very happy.
“They”re clearly better and their marriages might last. We know from many studies that couple therapy can be beneficial to couples, although it certainly does not help all couples. We also know distressed couples tend not to get better on their own,” Christensen said.
For therapy to work, both partners have to be strongly committed to saving the marriage, and both need to be willing to do their share to work at the relationship and not just blame the other, Christensen said.
The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association.
NORTHFIELD, IL, Apr 05 (MARKET WIRE) —
A new online clinic has been launched which results in 75% better results
for chronic bed-wetters than alarm treatments alone. The “Bed-wetting
Solution” combines a unique alarm system with professional guidance
provided by a medical psychologist with over 25 years in the field.
“Chronic bed-wetting is a problem that many families face,” said Dr.
Baruch Kushnir. “It not only can be immediately inconvenient, but the
impact on the child and the family can be long-term, resulting in
self-image and socialization problems.”
The Interactive Online Progress Chart provides constant assistance,
professional support and supervision. It enables continuous online
contact between the family and our professional staff.
Parents can sign up for the treatment and then receive an alarm device
within a few days. This comes with complete instructions of the treatment.
A daily progress report is transmitted through the Interactive Online
Progress Chart, directly to the assigned therapist. The chart is marked
electronically, including any comments or special requests. Telephone
support is also available whenever necessary. The assigned therapist will
regularly comment and deliver special instructions on how to proceed and
how to overcome any possible hurdles.
The professional staff is made of specially-trained psychologists who
have years of experience in counseling and support for families. All
cases are closely monitored by Dr. Baruch Kushnir.
“It is a well documented fact that a Bed-Wetting alarm treatment is the
most effective and long lasting treatment,” says Dr. Kushnir. “However,
without professional guidance the success rate is only 15%, compared with
90% success rate when a professional follow up program is applied.”
Dr. Kushnir received his Ph.D in Medical Psychology from Leeds University
in the United Kingdom. He is a worldwide expert of sphincter control, who
has devoted his life to the treatment and research of bed-wetting and
sphincter control problems in children. After successfully applying his
approach with over 30,000 children during the last 25 years in his native
country of Israel, this Internet-based solution now enables Dr. Kushnir’s
system to be available world-wide.
“The Internet has afforded us the ability to treat children in every
country on the globe through our unique online counseling and support
service,” says Dr. Kushnir. “The interactive Progress Chart is available
24/7 and provides continuous contact between the children and their
families and the assigned therapist. This can have dramatic impact on the
life of a child.”
Copyright 2010, Market Wire, All rights reserved.
Washington, Mar 31 (ANI): Remembering to take a daily medication is apparently a tough task for many. Now, researchers have pointed out the reason behind the forgetfulness.
The landmark study from North Carolina State University has found that changes in daily behavior have a significant effect on whether we remember to take our medication – and that these changes influence older and younger adults differently.
“We’ve found that it is not just differences between people, but differences in what we do each day, that affect our ability to remember to take medication,” says Dr. Shevaun Neupert, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research. “This is the first time anyone has looked at the effect daily changes in how busy we are affects our ability to remember medications. We also learned that these changes in daily behavior affect different age groups in different ways.
“For example, young people do the best job of remembering to take their medication on days when they are busier than usual,” Neupert says. “But older adults do a better job of remembering their medication on days when they are less busy.”
To reach the conclusion, the researchers evaluated study participants who were on prescribed daily medications. The participants were divided into two groups: younger adults (between the ages of 18 and 20) and older adults (between the ages of 60 and 89).
For both age groups, the researchers found that participants were more likely to remember to take their medications on days when they performed better than usual on “cognition” tests – which evaluate memory and critical thinking.
“We found that cognition is an important factor in remembering medications,” Neupert says, “but that how busy we are is also important.” This has very real applications for helping people remember to take medications that can be essential to their health and well-being.
“We’ve found such a disparity between young and old adults, that it’s clear we need to tailor our messages to these two groups,” Neupert says. “For example, it is important for young people to stay busy and be active. That will help them remember to take their medications. However, we need to let older adults know that need to be particularly vigilant about remembering medication on days when they expect to be busier than usual.”
The study, “Age Differences in Daily Predictors of Forgetting to Take Medication: The Importance of Context and Cognition,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of Experimental Aging Research. (ANI)
London, Mar 30 (ANI): DIY (Do-It-Yourself) skills are in the genes, conclude scientists.
Psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson, Visiting Professor of Psychology, Gresham College, London, who led the experiment, said: ””Although there is not one specific DIY gene, spatial awareness is vital in understanding how shapes fit together and is therefore fundamental to DIY skills.
””Some people simply do not have the mental equipment necessary to manipulate shapes and will always struggle to complete DIY tasks successfully.””
To reach the conclusion and measure inherent DIY ability, researchers asked volunteers to complete specially designed multi-dimensional puzzles, reports The Telegraph.
The analyses revealed innate understanding of shapes and mechanics, an ability not subject to ””trial and error”” learning, the researchers said.
The study was conducted for Halifax Home Insurance. (ANI)
Washington, Mar 16 (ANI): If you’re one of those who avoid karaoke, then there’s something you should know: A researcher has claimed that most people possess hidden singing talent.
According to Lawrence Rosenblum, professor of psychology at the University of California, “you likely sing better than you realize.”
Rosenblum”s new book, See What I”m Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses, explains that “most of us can carry a tune when given the appropriate context,” reports Discovery News.
In the tome, the expert mentioned a study, where individuals were randomly approached in a Montreal public park and were asked to sing the Quebec version of “Happy Birthday.”
The impromptu versions were then later computer analyzed for pitch and tempo errors.
“The results showed that a large majority of these park goers sung with few tempo errors, and only some slight errors in pitch,” Rosenblum wrote.
A follow-up experiment asked subjects with zero musical training to sing this same song at a slower rate. Surprisingly, 85 percent of the singers nailed the tune, with “errors so small as to rival those of a group of professional singers.” (ANI)
Washington, September 17 (ANI): It may not be wrong to say that the pen is mightier than the keyboard, for a new study on schoolchildren so suggests.
Virginia Berninger, a University of Washington professor of Educational Psychology, looked at the ability of second, fourth, and sixth grade children to write the alphabet, sentences, and essays using a pen and a keyboard.
“Children consistently did better writing with a pen when they wrote essays. They wrote more and they wrote faster,” said Berninger.
The researcher further said that only for writing the alphabet was the keyboard better than the pen.
Results were mixed for sentences.
However, when using a pen, the children in the three grade levels produced longer essays and composed them at a faster pace.
The study also showed that fourth and sixth graders wrote more complete sentences when they used a pen, and that this ability was not affected by the children’s spelling skills.
The research also showed that many children don’t have a reliable idea of what a sentence is until the third or fourth grade.
“Children first have to understand what a sentence or a complete thought is before they can write one. Talking is very different from writing. We don’t talk in complete sentence. In conversation we produce units smaller and larger than sentences,” Berninger said.
She, however, added: “We need to learn more about the process of writing with a computer, and even though schools have computers they haven’t integrated them in teaching at the early grades. We need to help children become bilingual writers so they can write by both the pen and the computer. So don’t throw away your pen or your keyboard. We need them both.”
She further said: “We need more research to figure out how forming letters by a pen and selecting them by pressing a key may engage our thinking brains differently.” (ANI)
Melbourne, Sep 14 (ANI): While homosexual marriages are not legal everywhere, most of the gays in Australia prefer marriage to other form of relationships, a survey has revealed.
Researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) conducted a survey of those attracted to the same sex in Australia.
They also found that a huge majority of homosexuals felt marriage should be an option for same-sex couples in Australia.
The survey revealed that the majority (54.1 per cent) of same-sex attracted participants selected marriage as their personal choice and close to 80 per cent felt that same-sex couples in Australia should be allowed to marry if they want to.
Researcher Sharon Dane, from UQ’s School of Psychology, said marriage was still the personal choice of the majority irrespective of the current legal status of participants’ same-sex relationships.
“The findings work to dispel the myth that most same-sex people do not wish to marry or are content with de facto status,” News.com.au quoted Dane as saying.
“This majority preference for marriage may be a reflection of the fact that fewer same-sex couples feel the need to live their lives in secret.
“A generally less hostile environment means same-sex couples can live their lives more openly and honestly and in doing so wish to be treated like everyone else,” she added. (ANI)
Melbourne, Sep 12 (ANI): Driving a silver car is a statement of success, but still white car, which is synonymous with change, has become the most popular colour for people’s vehicles around the world.
A yellow or red car screams that the person behind the wheels is a confident extrovert.
Colour and confidence go hand in hand, said University of Delaware psychologist Dr Peter Weil, who charts the psychology of car colours.
In his opinion, owning a white car may be taken to mean that one is bland and institutional.
But, in a recent study for DuPont, Weil discovered that white has become a popular global colour coinciding with the start of the global financial crisis.
“White is associated with transition,” the Herald Sun quoted Weil as saying.
Until 2006, silver, which is connected with high status, was the most popular colour and had been for six years.
On the other hand, younger drivers were likely to take risks with smaller cars by specifying bright, attention-seeking colours. (ANI)
London, Sept 11 (ANI): Diet drugs work because they make people eat more healthily, claim psychologists.
In the study, presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology conference in Birmingham, researchers found that dieters who lost the most weight on the drugs had also reduced the amount of fatty junk food they ate.
However, some people reacted differently to starting the drugs, taking them as a license to eat more unhealthy food such as crisps, reports The Telegraph.
To reach the conclusion, researchers analysed data of 572 people who had been prescribed the diet drug orlistat by their doctor.
The drug works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed by the body.However, this fat is them eliminated in bowel movements, which can cause disagreeable side effects.
Amelia Hollywood, a PHD student at the University of Surrey and one of the researchers who carried out the study, said: “Our findings support the idea that orlistat works not only on a physical level, but also psychologically – as it encourages people to see their diet as a cause of their weight problem.
“In addition, the side effects are so unpleasant that people avoid bad eating fatty foods and therefore lose weight.
“However, the way in which some people responded to orlistat was surprising.
“Some participants in this study reported that their eating behaviour became significantly unhealthier over the six month period.”
She added: “People also told us that they were not adhering to the medication as they should. It seemed that these people were taking orlistat as a lifestyle drug – choosing to take it when they were eating foods higher in fat to reduce any weight gain or not taking it when going on holiday or out for a meal as they didn’t want to experience the consequences of eating fatty foods.”
The preliminary findings found that on average those taking the diet pills lost almost 10lb over six months. (ANI)
Washington, Sept 11 (ANI): Here’s a pointer for students flubbing multiple-choice tests: Sleep can reduce mistakes in memory, says a new study.
The first-of-its-kind study led by a cognitive neuroscientist at Michigan State University, appears in the September issue of the journal Learning and Memory.
Kimberly Fenn, principal investigator and MSU assistant professor of psychology, said: “It’s easy to muddle things in your mind.”
“This research suggests that after sleep you’re better able to tease apart the incorrect aspect of that memory,” the expert added.
To reach the conclusion, Fenn and colleagues from the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis studied the presence of false memory in groups of college students. While previous research has shown that sleep improves memory, this study is the first to address errors in memory, she said.
Study participants were exposed to lists of words and then, 12 hours later, exposed to individual words and asked to identify which words they had seen or heard in the earlier session. One group of students was trained in the morning (10 a.m.) and tested after the course of a normal sleepless day (10 p.m.), while another group was trained at night and tested 12 hours later in the morning, after at least six hours of sleep.
Three experiments were conducted, using different stimuli. In each, the students who had slept had fewer problems with false memory – choosing fewer incorrect words. (ANI)
London, Sep 7 (ANI): Women indulge in sex not for love and passion, but for various other “unromantic” reasons- including relieving themselves of boredom, out of pity for a man and even to cure a migraine headache-says a new book.
‘Why Women Have Sex’ by Cindy Meston and David Buss has highlighted 200 reasons as to why women have sexual intercourse.
While attraction ranks way down in the list, it seems that women go to bed with their partners as a way of relieving boredom, keeping the peace, curing a headache and even as a thank you for a nice dinner.
“Research has shown that most men find most women at least somewhat sexually attractive, whereas most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all,” the Telegraph quoted the authors, who are both psychology professors at the University of Texas, as saying.
The researchers interviewed 1,006 women as research for the book, and found some very surprising answers.
One revealed that she did it for a spiritual experience, as she thought it to be “the closest thing to God”.
Others listed “cure for stress headache”, “to make my sexual skills better” and “for a clearer complexion”.
However, the majority (84 per cent), admitted that they had sex to ensure a quiet life or to bargain for their partners to carry out household chores.
“I have sex to relieve the boredom.Because it’s easier than fighting. Plus it gives me something to do,” said one of the interviewee.
While another admitted: “I had sex with a couple of guys because I felt sorry for them.”
One of the surveys carried out by the authors revealed that one in ten women admitted having sexual intercourse in return for presents, or lavish meals.
Responses included “he bought me a nice dinner” or “he spent a lot of money on me early on”, “he gave me gifts early on” and “he showed me he had an extravagant lifestyle”. (ANI)
Washington, Aug 29 (ANI): While experts have long been trying to use handwriting as a tool in forensic labs or their personality traits, researchers have now developed a computerized tool that can measure handwriting characteristics more effectively, making it greatly useful in lie detection.
Headed by Gil Luria and Sara Rosenblum at the University of Haifa, the researchers utilised a computerized tablet that measured the physical properties of the subject’s handwriting, which are difficult to consciously control (for example: the duration of time that the pen is on paper versus in the air, the length height and width of each writing stroke, the pressure implemented on the writing surface).
And they have found that these handwriting characteristics differ when an individual is in the process of writing deceptive sentences as opposed to truthful sentences.
The handwriting tool has the potential to replace, or work in tandem, with popular, verbal-based lie detection technology such as the polygraph to ensure greater accuracy and objectivity in law enforcement deception detection.
Besides, polygraphs are often intrusive to the subject and sometimes inconclusive.
Thus, the handwriting tool provides ease and increased accuracy over common, verbal-based methods.
The study appears in an upcoming issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology. (ANI)
Washington, Aug 25 (ANI): Employees who are invigorated and dedicated have a happier home life, according to a new Kansas State University study.
The researchers studied how positive work experiences extend into family life and facilitate family interactions.
They found that employees who are engaged in their work, which includes higher levels of vigour, more dedication and absorption in daily activities, have better moods and more satisfaction at home.
The research team involved Clive Fullagar, professor of psychology; Satoris Culbertson, assistant professor of psychology; and Maura Mills, graduate student in psychology, Manhattan.
“Our research indicated that individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions and became more effective overall in the home environment,” Culbertson said.
The researchers tracked 67 extension agents for two-weeks to determine the relationship between daily work engagement and work-to-family facilitation.
The participants responded to two daily surveys, one at the end of their workday and the other immediately before going to bed for the night.
They also completed a separate survey prior to the start of the two-week period and another after the daily data collection had ended.
Culbertson said stress at work and stress at home interact in ways that affect outcomes in both domains.
The study results suggested that engagement is significantly related to daily mood, and mood also is positively correlated with work-family facilitation.
The researchers found that both work engagement and work-to-family facilitation vary considerably from day-to-day.
“Just because an employee might not be invigorated or dedicated to his or her work on a Monday doesn’t mean he or she won’t be engaged on Tuesday or vice versa,” Culbertson said.
“Additionally, one’s work can facilitate things at home to a different extent depending on the day and what has happened on that particular day,” Culbertson added.
The researchers also found that daily work engagement had a positive effect on family life after controlling for workload – heavy or light work hours were not a factor.
Culbertson stressed that engagement refers to positive work involvement rather than more negative forms of job involvement like workaholism and work addiction, which differ in their effects on home lives.
“Work addicts, or workaholics, have been shown to experience higher levels of work-family conflict. On the contrary, our study showed that higher levels of engagement were related to higher levels of work-family facilitation rather than conflict,” Culbertson said.
The research has been presented at the annual conference for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in New Orleans. (ANI)