Saturday, 17 February 2018

Accept Yourself Unconditionally (Even When You're Struggling)

a post by Brianna Johnson for the Tiny Buddha blog

“Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself.” ~Nathaniel Branden

Have you ever thought that you accepted yourself fully, only to realize there were conditions placed upon that acceptance?

There was a point in my life when I realized I had stopped making tangible progress with my emotions, self-esteem, and habits. I'd made some profoundly positive shifts that remained with me, like eating healthier, practicing yoga, and phasing out negative friends. You could say I was “cleaning house” in a sense—getting clear on what I wanted my life to look like and discarding the rest.

I began my first truly healthy relationship in years, had a small freelance business that was thriving, and even became a certified yoga teacher. I was no longer a slave to self-doubt and social anxiety like I was in college. However, I didn't feel like I could vulnerably bare all like other yoga teachers seemed to do so effortlessly.

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The differential influence of absent and harsh fathers on juvenile delinquency

an article by Cortney Simmons and Elizabeth Cauffman (University of California, Irvine, CA, USA), Laurence Steinberg (Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) and Paul J.Frick (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA; Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia) published in Journal of Adolescence Volume 62 (January 2018)


Researchers have identified father absence as a contributor to juvenile delinquency. Consequently, politicians and community leaders are making efforts to re-engage fathers.

However, it is possible that the presence of fathers is not, in itself, a substantial protective factor and, in some cases, can even be more detrimental than father absence.

Employing a diverse sample of male juvenile offenders in the U.S. (ages 13–17), the present study examined the differential effects of absent fathers and harsh fathers on delinquency.

Results indicated that youth in the harsh-father group engaged in more offending behaviors and used more substances than youth in the absent-father group. This difference remained even after controlling for the mother-child relationship.

Implications of these findings for future research and delinquency prevention programs are discussed.

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Rehabilitating prisoners: the place of basic life skills programmes

an article by  Michelle Jolley (University of Northampton, Northampton, UK) published in Safer Communities Volume 17 Issue 1 (2018)


Tackling high reoffending rates in England and Wales is of significant political interest, with education and training being viewed as an important mechanism to achieve change. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a small empirical study examining a life skills programme delivered in a Category C prison in the West Midlands.

The study used a multi-method approach incorporating observations of two modules, four focus groups with prisoners enrolled on the programme, questionnaires with programme completers, and semi-structured interviews with staff.

The findings indicate that life skills are an important component in rehabilitation. More specifically, developing the necessary tools to assist prisoners in everyday life, such as recognition, interpretation, reflection, response, and planning is fundamental to rehabilitation.

Research limitations/implications
A limitation of this study was that only prisoners currently at this Category C prison were included. This could be complemented by the inclusion of more participants who had completed the programme; however, access and data protection considerations limited the study to one location.

Practical implications
The key message of this study is that without addressing basic life skills, education and vocational rehabilitation is severely limited.

Social implications
To reduce reoffending rates, it is important to conceive rehabilitation in broader terms, not simply in relation to education and vocational training.

This paper offers insight into an unreported area of good practice in prison rehabilitation provision.

To maintain our welfare state we need to rethink how we pay for it

a post by Torsten Bell for the Resolution Foundation blog

Social democracy gave 20th Century Britain the welfare state. But in the 21st Century it’s wandered off for a long post-crisis snooze, just at the time when big challenges to that welfare state are looming into view. It’s time it woke up because, for a new generation of social democrats, there is work to do.

We each cost the state when young, pay in when working and then rely on it again in retirement. But it’s not just individuals that give and take different amounts from the welfare state – generations do too.

The ‘silent generation’, born before war, founded the welfare state and paid for it, despite not benefiting from its expanded education system or recent moves to make state pension more generous. As a result they are the generation that has put most in compared to what they took out.

The baby boomers got a much better deal, benefitting from the expansion of the welfare state, rising longevity, and an underpinning assumption in Britain’s ‘Pay As You Go’ welfare state that the rising costs of their old age will be passed onto later generations. They are Britain’s welfare winners, who we project will take out over a fifth more than they will have put in.

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Whilst not doubting anything that the author says I would have liked to see some data back up.

What Is Revenge Porn?

a post by Kurt Smith for the World of Psychology blog

Break-ups can be difficult and often quite painful. But imagine that the person you loved and trusted for the duration of your relationship decided to take revenge on you for breaking it off. What does that look like? Well, there are a variety of ways that a scorned lover might express their resentment, but in today’s era of cyber-everything, revenge porn is becoming a tool of choice for many in their quest for vengeance.

Revenge porn has been defined by the government as “the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress.” Often there will be additional personal information included with the images or videos that are published. This combination can leave a person feeling vulnerable and could possibly put them in danger. At minimum, it is psychologically damaging to the victim.

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How to tell the truth about climate change

an article by Kellan Anfinson (University of South Florida, Tampa, USA) published in Environmental Politics Volume 27 Issue 2 (2018)


Scientific knowledge, it is argued, is insufficient to overcome climate skepticism. Spiritual truth is proposed as a way to do so.

First, the cases of Eric Holthaus and Paul Kingsnorth are examined. Though they knew about climate change, they were only able to tell the truth and act on it after a personal collapse that transformed them. Telling the truth in this way carried a political force that their previous advocacy did not.

These figures help animate and adapt Foucault’s notion of spiritual truth for climate change.

Finally, this theory of spiritual truth is compared to Naomi Klein’s argument that climate science determines political truth and Bruno Latour’s argument that politics should decide the truth of climate science.

Spiritual truth accommodates the insights these perspectives provide while adding transformation as a key element for telling the truth about climate change.

People with depression use language differently – here’s how to spot it

a post by Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi for the Big Think blog

Article Image
Actor Robin Williams appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on April 27, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.

Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.

Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this field have been carried out by researchers reading and taking notes. Nowadays, computerised text analysis methods allow the processing of extremely large data banks in minutes. This can help spot linguistic features which humans may miss, calculating the percentage prevalence of words and classes of words, lexical diversity, average sentence length, grammatical patterns and many other metrics.

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