Monthly Archives: December 2011

Family Structure and Aggression among Children/Adolescents

Happy family. Parents and kids in a line

Looks can be deceiving

Several features of the home environment are known to have a significant impact on aggression among children and adolescents. One feature that has received much attention in the psychological literature is family structure. Sheline, Skipper and Broadhead (1994, cited in Summers and Bakken, 2006) found that when compared to non-violent children, violent youngsters are about six times more likely to have unmarried parents and 11 times as likely to live with their fathers only. Other studies suggest that a lack of contact with fathers may also increase aggression. Pfiffner, McBurnett, and Rathouz (2001, cited in Summers & Bakken, 2006), for example, found a gradual rise in violent behavior starting with youths who lived with both parents, increasing for those who had some contact with their fathers and increasing further for those who had no contact with their fathers.  Similarly, Fagan and Rector (2000, cited in Smith & Green, 2007),  found that children from father-absent households usually harbor feelings of hostility, associate with deviant peers and get involved in negative activities. Continue reading

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Parenting Styles

parents playing with childrenBaumrind’s model of parenting styles is arguably the most influential framework that has been proposed for classifying styles of parenting. Based on her studies, Diana Baumrind delineated various parenting styles which can be classified along two dimensions: responsiveness (warmth) and demandingness (control). She defined parental responsiveness as “the extent to which parents intentionally foster individuality, self-regulation, and self-assertion by being attuned, supportive, and acquiescent to children’s special needs and demands” (Baumrind, 1996, p. 410, cited in Grolnick, 2003, p. 6). Continue reading

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Aggression in Jamaica

hand gun and bloodIn many areas of Jamaica, interpersonal aggression and societal violence are commonplace. Such is the state of affairs that Jamaica has earned the unfavourable reputation of being one of the most violent countries in the world (Hickling, 2008). The staggering statistics attest to this fact. In the year 2000, Jamaica ranked third in the world in murders per capita and in 2005, the annual rate of homicide was more than three times the global average (World Bank, 2007, cited in Smith & Green, 2007). Continue reading

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What is Biopsychology?

drugs medication spoons

Happiness by the spoonful?

Biopsychology is the study of how emotions, thoughts and behavior are affected by the brain, the nervous system and neurotransmitters in human and non-human animals. The field goes by a number of alternative names including biological psychology, behavioral neuroscience, psychobiology or physiological psychology and can be viewed as a combination of neuroscience and basic psychology.  Continue reading

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