Transforming Gender Norms to Prevent Violence, and Other News

A father hugs and kisses his toddler on the beachGeorgetown University’s Safe Passages study endeavors to understand and root out the causes of gender-based violence. Building upon previous research showing that unequal gender roles contribute to gender-based violence such as rape and domestic abuse, the study offers several suggestions for reducing gender-based violence and undermining gender inequality. The study’s authors emphasize the role of male socialization to be aggressive, and point out that many boys rarely or never see men in nurturing, gentle roles. Similarly, female passivity is expected and encouraged, contributing to the acceptance of violence against women.

The study argues that attempts to undermine unequal gender roles must begin in early childhood. Parents and other adults who spend time with children should actively reflect on gender roles, and offer alternative narratives to the standard dichotomies and stereotypes of male and female behavior.

Everyday Discrimination Impacts Mental Health

Race-based discrimination, according to a new study, can increase the risk of developing mental health issues. The study evaluated almost 4,500 African-American and Caribbean black participants ages 18 to 65, then compared their responses to a survey about discrimination to information about participants’ mental health. Eighty-three percent of all participants experienced discrimination in the last year. The study found that condescension and disrespect don’t lead to mental health issues, but when combined with hostility and character-based discrimination, disrespect can increase the risk of mental health challenges. 

Walking, Biking to Work May Boost Mental Health

Walking, biking, or riding a train to get to work could improve mental health, according to a study of 18,000 British commuters between the ages of 18 and 65. Researchers found that a long commute negatively affected well-being, but physically active commutes and time on a train or subway had the opposite effect. 

A Supportive Partner Is Just as Important as a Good Boss to Prevent Burnout at Work

Job burnout can lead to negative mental health consequences, workplace stress, and other everyday challenges. While the right job and a good boss help, new research suggests that a supportive partner can also prevent burnout. By evaluating the mental health of nearly 2,000 employees working at 63 different companies, researchers found that mental health isn’t something that happens in isolation. Instead, everything about a day, including the home environment, can affect workers’ mental health.

Drug-Free Therapy Tested for Young Kids With Depression

Even very young children can be affected by depression, but parents may be hesitant to put preschoolers on medication. An ongoing study that aims to recruit 250 children between the ages of three and seven is testing out a medication-free approach to depression treatment called parent-child interaction therapy and emotion development. This novel approach requires 18 weeks of three-part therapy sessions during which parents receive specific directions about how to interact with their children. Some parent participants are already reporting improvements in their children’s behavior. 

Failing Students Saved by Stress-Detecting App

A study of 48 college students has found that data from a student’s phone can predict his or her state of mind. Researchers previously found that academic performance greatly differed among similarly qualified students. Using an app that collects data about everything from location to frequency of conversations with friends, researchers could correctly predict which students would struggle. The study’s authors argue that phones can evaluate mental health and hope that their research could be used to help struggling students and predict mental health challenges. 

Do You Believe in Guardian Angels?

Previous research has found that more than half of all Americans believe in guardian angels, and a new study evaluated 198 people to understand how belief in angels might affect risk-taking behavior. Surprisingly, the study found that people who believed in guardian angels were actually less likely to take risks, suggesting that people who are risk-averse might be more likely to adopt beliefs about guardian angels.

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  • Cameron McD.

    Cameron McD.

    September 26th, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Isn’t that interesting that the way you commute to work can play such a role in how you feel about your day! I am a firm believer that the more time I spend in my car the unhappier I get, but to take that same time enjoying the great outdoors even when I am on my way to work? that feels just a little more marvelous to me ;)

  • Bo


    September 26th, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Yeah you just can’t imagine being talked down to and looked down upon every day and still be expected to feel good about yourself

  • kerri


    September 27th, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    If I am having a super bad day at work the only person that I want to talk to about it is my boyfriend. We are like peas and carrots when it coes to things like that, and even though stuff may be happening at work with people he doesn’t even know, he always has a better perspective on it than I do and he has just the right advice to keep me moving on.
    That to me, having someone I can come home and talk to who is in no way involved in the situation, is a pretty valuable thing. I like his objectivity and the way he has no judgement other than offering some advice that I couldn’t get from anyone else.

  • Keneth D.

    Keneth D.

    September 28th, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    I am not the parent who wants an rx for anything that ails me or my child so knowing that there are other treatment alternatives for kids who are depressed would very much appeal to me if this was a situation that I was having to face

  • Michael


    September 28th, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    um guardian angels?
    not so much for me

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