Women are frequently objectified in the media and in person, and many women are subjected to unwanted sexual advances from men in the form of stares, cat calls, and physical advances. Researchers at the University of Tennessee conducted a survey of 270 young women and found that women who are being sexually objectified experience psychological distress and feelings of shame, often attributing the unwanted sexual attention to their own inferiority.
Results of their study lead researchers to believe that resilient women experience fewer negative emotions in response to sexual objectification. They suggest that this information could help mental health professionals prepare women to more effectively deal with sexual objectification by learning to assign meaning to adversity and view the objectification as a cultural norm, however flawed, rather than internalizing the experience.
A study of 246 preschoolers has found that depression can begin early, with 74 study participants showing symptoms of depression. Having a mother with depression or being diagnosed with a conduct disorder increased children’s likelihood of having depression. Researchers also found that early childhood depression increases the likelihood of recurring episodes of depression in adulthood.
It’s not flashcards and endless drilling that lead to rapid brain development in children, researchers have found. Instead, researchers are increasingly finding that play changes neurons in a way other activities don’t, spurring brain growth, improving basic skills, and potentially helping children earn better grades. Researchers emphasize the countries with schools that still have recess time show higher academic achievement than countries that have abolished recess.
Popular stereotypes hold that seniors get up earlier and sleep fewer hours than younger people. A new study has found that this may be because seniors’ brains simply work better in the morning. Researchers gave memory tests to sixteen 19- to 30-year-olds and sixteen seniors aged 60 to 82. The tests were given between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and researchers scanned participants’ brains during the test using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Older adults had more difficulty with the memory test, and were 10% more likely to pay attention to distracting information than younger adults were, suggesting that distraction can play a role in memory challenges among seniors. Researchers then changed the study, testing 18 seniors between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Seniors performed better during the morning, and paid less attention to distracting information.
In a study of 11 older adults who regularly played computer games, researchers found that the games were as effective as treating depression as an antidepressant. Video games can help improve executive functioning skills, the deterioration of which has been linked to depression in seniors.
Popular wisdom holds that men are more likely to view online pornography regularly and develop cybersex addictions than women, but researchers have found that women who regularly view online pornography are just as likely to develop an addiction as men who look at online pornography. The study only looked at Internet users under 30, but researchers state that understanding consumers’ relationships with pornography can help shed light on the phenomenon of online pornography addiction.
A study investigating alcohol use among more than 4,000 Finnish teens has found that aggressive behavior is a strong predictor of alcohol use, but depression is not. The study also found that 60% of all participants—who ranged in age from 13 to 18—used alcohol.
After videos surfaced of correctional officers abusing inmates with severe mental health conditions, a federal judge ordered California to revise its policies for working with inmates who have mental health challenges. The new policy requires, among other things, that a mental health professional conduct an evaluation before correctional officers can use force against an inmate. The policy also prohibits the use of pepper spray in mental health units without the prison warden’s approval. It does not ban the use of solitary confinement, but does recommend moving inmates with mental health challenges out of solitary confinement more quickly.
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