1) The Scientific 23
We come across Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s work on developmental neuroscience when we look at the adolescent brain in A2. Increasingly, we refer to it during other parts of the course. She has been significantly involved in promoting public understanding of science and science as a career. This website is designed to do both, with a focus on a teenage audience. The 23 in the title refers to a set of questions which young people have devised.
2) Time To Change Mental Health Awareness Day / Clark Carlisle
This was on Thursday. There were several stories in the media about sharing experiences and breaking down stigma. I have to admit, as someone whose work is in Psychology and who likes football, to being shocked and a little upset by this news story about Clark Carlisle.
This link to a story from Australia shows that these issues are not limited to the UK or to football.
I have been struck this year in working with several students who play sport competitively by how strong sport can be as a protection against risk factors associated with mental illness. Understanding how it can damage people as well is also important.
3) Varieties Of Childhood
In studying cultural variations in attachment, we have got interested in the idea that childhood looks different in different cultures. The problem we have had is to decide whether putting a child in the strange situation makes sense as a measure of attachment in different cultural settings. I’m still not sure. This article though takes us into the differences in childcare practices across the world and challenges our preconceptions about what is normal or healthy.
4) Parenting Classes
This is fascinating.
The UK government is putting resources into providing parenting classes. Some of the impetus for this comes from Australia where the Triple P parenting programme started life as an academic project and is now a commercial organisation. Underlying this is the idea that the first three or four years of life are critical for development and getting it wrong early can have disastrous consequences later. There’s a bit of Ainsworth in all of this. As with so much in Psychology, what we know depends on how we know. The outcomes of parenting programmes are not measured by randomised control trials.
5) Mental Health In The Workplace
In AS, we have been looking at the workplace as a source of stress and have thought about the links between status and poor physical health. It is becoming increasingly clear that while attitudes in other areas of life are changing, the workplace remains an area where the stigma of mental illness remains.
This link explains more.
6) What Do Health Experts See In Our Near Future?
Here are a couple of names we have seen before – Gary Taubes and Robert Lustig – plus some other people in related areas of science talking about diet and lifestyle over the next five years. I continue to be surprised by how the landscape is changing.
On a similar theme, I am about to get my Year 7 tutor group to do a food diary. The idea is that we get to the end of the week and reflect on the choices we have made. Here is how this idea is being developed to promote the idea of mindful eating.
7) Autism In Women
We are told that autism is a feature of an extreme male brain. That makes it sound like women can’t get it at all. They can and this article explains something of what it is like.
8) Gaming To Death
Here is Mark Griffiths on CNN talking about when gaming turns from being a pastime into an addiction.
Here he is again from last year talking about the connection between gaming and gambling.