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Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds
An Applied Behavioral Approach
Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, draws on practice and research to help health care practitioners provide better care for children with chronic conditions and children undergoing rehabilitation after traumatic injury or surgery. By better understanding the behavior, emotions, and developmental challenges of children, health care professionals in practice and in training can solve a range of problems, from getting a distressed child to cooperate with a physical examination or diagnostic test, to teaching a child to adhere to medical self-care. More than nine million children in the United States regularly visit health care professionals for treatment of chronic or recurrent health conditions. These children experience multiple doctors’ visits, trips to the Emergency Department, hospital admissions, anesthesia, surgery, medications, needle sticks, wound cleaning, seizures, nausea, vomiting, pain, and fear. While most of these children are developing typically in terms of their intellectual and cognitive functioning, many children with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities also require frequent medical care, and as chronic health conditions increase so do the chances of having developmental, learning, emotional, and behavioral problems. A Clinician's Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care will benefit both health care professionals and children as practitioners aim to improve medical care and prevent the children’s behavior from disrupting clinics and distressing and frustrating health care workers and family caregivers. This book is for pediatric psychologists, pediatricians, family medicine practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurse specialists, pediatric subspecialists, and students in these fields—and for family members dedicated to helping their children cope with medical procedures and get the best possible medical care.
Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action
Ethnically homogenous communities often do a better job than diverse communities of producing public goods such as satisfactory schools and health care, adequate sanitation, and low levels of crime. Coethnicity reports the results of a landmark study that aimed to find out why diversity has this cooperation-undermining effect. The study, conducted in a neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda, notable for both its high levels of diversity and low levels of public goods provision, hones in on the mechanisms that might account for the difficulties diverse societies often face in trying to act collectively. The Mulago-Kyebando Community Study uses behavioral games to explore how the ethnicity of the person with whom one is interacting shapes social behavior. Hundreds of local participants interacted with various partners in laboratory games simulating real-life decisions involving the allocation of money and the completion of joint tasks. Many of the subsequent findings debunk long-standing explanations for diversity’s adverse effects. Contrary to the prevalent notion that shared preferences facilitate ethnic collective action, differences in goals and priorities among participants were not found to be structured along ethnic lines. Nor was there evidence that subjects favored the welfare of their coethnics over that of non-coethnics. When given the opportunity to act altruistically, individuals did not choose to benefit coethnics disproportionately when their actions were anonymous. Yet when anonymity was removed, subjects behaved very differently. With their actions publicly observed, subjects gave significantly more to coethnics, expected their partners to reciprocate, and expected that they would be sanctioned for a failure to cooperate. This effect was most pronounced among individuals who were otherwise least likely to cooperate. These results suggest that what may look like ethnic favoritism is, in fact, a set of reciprocity norms—stronger among coethnics than among non-coethnics—that make it possible for members of more homogeneous communities to take risks, invest, and cooperate without the fear of getting cheated. Such norms may be more subject to change than deeply held ethnic antipathies—a powerful finding for policymakers seeking to design social institutions in diverse societies. Research on ethnic diversity typically draws on either experimental research or field work. Coethnicity does both. By taking the crucial step from observation to experimentation, this study marks a major breakthrough in the study of ethnic diversity.
Narratives on Mental Wellness and Healing
In Committed to the Sane Asylum: Narratives on Mental Wellness and Healing, artist Susan Schellenberg, a former psychiatric patient, and psychologist Rosemary Barnes relate their own stories, conversations, and reflections concerning the contributions and limitations of conventional mental health care and their collaborative search for alternatives such as art therapy. Patient and doctor each describe personal decisions about the mental health system and the creative life possibilities that emerged when mind, body, and spirit were committed to well-being and healing.
Interwoven patient/doctor narratives explain conventional care, highlight critical steps in healing, and explore varied perspectives through conversations with experts in psychiatry, feminist approaches, art, storytelling, and business. The book also includes reproductions of Susan’s mental health records and dream paintings.
This book will be important for consumers of mental health care wishing to understand the conventional system and develop the best quality of life. Rich personal detail, critical perspective, clinical records, and art reproductions make the book engaging for a general audience and stimulating as a teaching resource in nursing, social work, psychology, psychiatry, and art therapy.
A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession
In this compelling book, we meet a man who can't let anyone get within a certain distance of his nose, two kleptomaniacs from very different walks of life, an Internet addict who chooses virtual life over real life, a professor with a dangerous gambling habit, and others with equally debilitating compulsive conditions. Writing with compassion, humor, and a deft literary touch, Elias Aboujaoude, an expert on obsessive compulsive disorder and behavioral addictions, tells stories inspired by memorable patients he has treated, taking us from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship. Into these interconnected vignettes Aboujaoude weaves his own personal experiences while presenting up-to-date, accessible medical information. Rich in both meaning and symbolism, Compulsive Acts is a journey of personal growth and hope that illuminates a fascinating yet troubling dimension of human experience as it explores a group of potentially disabling conditions that are too often suffered in silence and isolation.
An Issue in the Study of Human Behavior
Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives
As the essays in this volume show, conceptualizing dementia has always been a complex process. With contributions from noted professionals in psychiatry, neurology, molecular biology, sociology, history, ethics, and health policy, Concepts of Alzheimer Disease looks at the ways in which Alzheimer disease has been defined in various historical and cultural contexts. The book covers every major development in the field, from the first case described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907 through groundbreaking work on the genetics of the disease. Essays examine not only the prominent role that biomedical and clinical researchers have played in defining Alzheimer disease, but also the ways in which the perspectives of patients, their caregivers, and the broader public have shaped concepts.
A Pluralistic Approach to the Mind and Mental Illness
Because most psychiatric illnesses are complex phenomena, no single method or approach is sufficient to explain them or the experiences of persons who suffer from them. In The Concepts of Psychiatry S. Nassir Ghaemi, M.D. argues that the discipline of psychiatry can therefore be understood best from a pluralistic perspective. Grounding his approach in the works of Paul McHugh, Phillip Slavney, Leston Havens, and others, Ghaemi incorporates a more explicitly philosophical discussion of the strengths of a pluralistic model and the weaknesses of other approaches, such as biological or psychoanalytic theories, the biopsychosocial model, or eclecticism. Ghaemi's methodology is twofold: on the one hand, he applies philosophical ideas, such as utilitarian versus duty-based ethical models, to psychiatric practice. On the other hand, he subjects clinical psychiatric phenomena, such as psychosis or the Kraepelin nosology, to a conceptual analysis that is philosophically informed. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in psychiatry, as well as psychologists, social workers, philosophers, and general readers who are interested in understanding the field of psychiatry and its practices at a conceptual level.
New Directions in the Study of Concepts
Perspectives développementales et psychosociales
Consacré à la petite enfance et à l'âge scolaire, ce livre regroupe des chercheurs, des théoriciens et des cliniciens reconnus dans le domaine de l'agressivité au Canada, en France, en Belgique et aux États-Unis. Ils traitent particulièrement de la prévalence et de la stabilité, de l'agressivité indirecte, des difficultés langagières, du traitement de l'information sociale, du contexte familial, de l'attachement mère-enfant, du rejet par les pairs, des amitiés, des conduites agressives, de la violence en milieu scolaire et en sport, ainsi que de l'influence des médias sur les conduites agressives.