Social and emotional development (SED) entails the acquisition of skills for expressing and regulating emotions, and managing social relationships. During middle childhood, with the transition to primary school and increasing involvement with peers, important gains are made refining rudimentary skills developed during the preschool years. From 6 to 12 years children develop multiple strategies for autonomously regulating emotions and managing relationships in increasingly sophisticated ways. The efficiency with which this occurs is influenced by complex interactions among multiple personal and contextual factors. Personal factors include genetic endowment, temperament, cognitive abilities, self-esteem, social cognition and moral development. Contextual factors include attachment, parenting style, parental adjustment, family functioning, school environment, peer group relationships, and the wider social and cultural environment. There is significant continuity in social emotional development from middle childhood to adolescence. Prevention and treatment programmes have been developed to address SED problems.
By combining the models and tasks of Game Theory with modern psychological and neuroscientific methods, the neuroeconomic approach to the study of social decision-making has the potential to extend our knowledge of brain mechanisms involved in social decisions and to advance theoretical models of how we make decisions in a rich, interactive environment. Research has already begun to illustrate how social exchange can act directly on the brain's reward system, how affective factors play an important role in bargaining and competitive games, and how the ability to assess another's intentions is related to strategic play. These findings provide a fruitful starting point for improved models of social decision-making, informed by the formal mathematical approach of economics and constrained by known neural mechanisms.
The paper examines the potential of a social-emotional learning (SEL) programme, Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)in Northern Ireland (NI), to prepare at-risk students to succeed in education and later life. At-risk students are defined as students living in communities traditionally divided and fractured by social, religious, cultural intolerance, and sectarianism. The risk is not developing the social-emotional competencies necessary for good emotional health and positive relationships that are often necessary for personal and academic achievement. Themes of freedom, education and development are explored in reference to findings from a matched randomised control evaluation of PATHS implemented in six primary schools in Northern Ireland between 2008 and 2011. Results of data obtained through individual student assessments of social-emotional skills and findings from interviews with school principals, teachers and students are reported, and the potential of SEL as a vehicle for at-risk students to succeed are discussed. Findings from the evaluation clearly demonstrate how SEL provides a potential vehicle for breaking down the constraints and barriers to personal development and success for at-risk students. Recommendations are made for the further development and implementation of SEL programmes in Europe to advance the opportunities for at-risk students in divided communities to succeed.
A growing body of research suggests that mindfulness-based therapies may be effective in treating a variety of disorders including stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety. However, there are few valid and reliable measures of mindfulness. Furthermore, mindfulness is often thought to be related to spirituality, given its roots in Buddhist tradition, but empirical studies on this relationship are difficult to find. The present study: (1) tested the reliability and validity of a new mindfulness measure, the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI), (2) explored the relationship between mindfulness and spirituality, and (3) investigated the relationship between mindfulness and/or spirituality and alcohol and tobacco use in an undergraduate college population (N=196). Results support the reliability of the FMI and suggest that spirituality and mindfulness may be separate constructs. In addition, smoking and frequent binge-drinking were negatively correlated with spirituality scores; as spirituality scores increased the use of alcohol and tobacco decreased. Thus, spirituality may be related to decreased substance use. In contrast, a positive relationship between mindfulness and smoking/frequent binge-drinking behavior was uncovered, and warrants further investigation.
In this book Alan Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism and with a background in science, argues for a new science of consciousness that takes subjectivity into account. He makes the point that consciousness is an unexplored and important domain of human existence and that current scientific paradigms systematically prevent its thorough investigation because of its own materialistic assumptions. The beginning of the book looks at the history and development of scientific materialism and its origins in Christian Europe during the scientific revolution. The author looks the history of scientific attempts at introspection, as well as modern criticisms of the possibility of observing the mind. Wallace proposes a new model for exploring consciousness guided by the insights of the world's contemplative traditions, focussing primarly on the Buddhist works attributed to Buddhaghosa, Asaṅga, and Padmasambhava. In the third section of the book, Wallace outlines the modern resistance to a science of observing the mind and documents the widespread influence of scientific materialism in the contemporary culture. (Zach Rowinski 2004-05-18)
<p>In this book Alan Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism and with a background in science, argues for a new science of consciousness that takes subjectivity into account. He makes the point that consciousness is an unexplored and important domain of human existence and that current scientific paradigms systematically prevent its thorough investigation because of its own materialistic assumptions. The beginning of the book looks at the history and development of scientific materialism and its origins in Christian Europe during the scientific revolution. The author looks the history of scientific attempts at introspection, as well as modern criticisms of the possibility of observing the mind. Wallace proposes a new model for exploring consciousness guided by the insights of the world's contemplative traditions, focussing primarly on the Buddhist works attributed to Buddhaghosa, Asaṅga, and Padmasambhava. In the third section of the book, Wallace outlines the modern resistance to a science of observing the mind and documents the widespread influence of scientific materialism in the contemporary culture. (Zach Rowinski 2004-05-18)</p>
This book takes a bold new look at ways of exploring the nature, origins, and potentials of consciousness within the context of science and religion. It draws careful distinctions between four elements of the scientific tradition: science itself, scientific realism, scientific materialism, and scientism. Arguing that the metaphysical doctrine of scientific materialism has taken on the role of ersatz-religion for its adherents, it traces its development from its Greek and Judeo-Christian origins, focusing on the interrelation between the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. It also looks at scientists' long term resistance to the firsthand study of consciousness and details the ways in which subjectivity has been deemed taboo within the scientific community. In conclusion, the book draws on William James's idea for a “science of religion” that would study the nature of religious and, in particular, contemplative experience.
This study evaluated the degree to which a range of social emotional learning skills--academic self-efficacy, academic motivation, social connections, importance of school, and managing psychological and emotional distress and academic stress--could be used as an indicator of future academic outcomes. Using a sample of 4,797 from a large urban school district, we found that high school students classified as performing in the lowest 25% of their grade reported lower social emotional skills than students classified in the top 25% of academic performers by the end of the 8th grade. Two variables, perceived importance of attending college and psychological and physical stress, accounted for nearly 26% of the variance in cumulative high school GPA after controlling for 9th-grade GPA. Finally, the results indicated that a combination of 5 social emotional learning subscales effectively discriminated between students making positive progress towards high school graduation and those identified as having dropped out of or failed more than 14% of their courses.
Background: School-based social-emotional and character development (SECD) programs can influence not only SECD but also academic-related outcomes. This study evaluated the impact of one SECD program, Positive Action (PA), on educational outcomes among low-income, urban youth. Methods: The longitudinal study used a matched-pair, cluster-randomized controlled design. Student-reported disaffection with learning and academic grades, and teacher ratings of academic ability and motivation were assessed for a cohort followed from grades 3 to 8. Aggregate school records were used to assess standardized test performance (for entire school, cohort, and demographic subgroups) and absenteeism (entire school). Multilevel growth-curve analyses tested program effects. Results: PA significantly improved growth in academic motivation and mitigated disaffection with learning. There was a positive impact of PA on absenteeism and marginally significant impact on math performance of all students. There were favorable program effects on reading for African American boys and cohort students transitioning between grades 7 and 8, and on math for girls and low-income students. Conclusions: A school-based SECD program was found to influence academic outcomes among students living in low-income, urban communities. Future research should examine mechanisms by which changes in SECD influence changes in academic outcomes.
We present a novel weighted Fourier series (WFS) representation for cortical surfaces. The WFS representation is a data smoothing technique that provides the explicit smooth functional estimation of unknown cortical boundary as a linear combination of basis functions. The basic properties of the representation are investigated in connection with a self-adjoint partial differential equation and the traditional spherical harmonic (SPHARM) representation. To reduce steep computational requirements, a new iterative residual fitting (IRF) algorithm is developed. Its computational and numerical implementation issues are discussed in detail. The computer codes are also available at http://www.stat.wisc.edu/-mchung/softwares/weighted.SPHARM/weighted-SPHARM.html. As an illustration, the WFS is applied i n quantifying the amount ofgray matter in a group of high functioning autistic subjects. Within the WFS framework, cortical thickness and gray matter density are computed and compared.
A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.