Posts Tagged Stress Response
The findings show that girls tend to initiate the transition to a mixed-gender friendship network earlier than boys, and continue this transition at a faster pace during adolescence. As a result girls who experienced this transition early and fast were more likely to develop substance abuse problems during late adolescence.
Researchers followed a sample of almost 400 adolescents (58% girls), aged twelve to eighteen, from a large French-speaking school district in Canada. They were interviewed annually over a seven-year period about their friendship network and their use of alcohol and drugs.
Lead author Dr. François Poulin, “Peer relationships are considered to be one of the main risk factors for substance use. However, for boys, the formation of other-sex friendships is not associated with later substance use problems. Boys reported receiving higher levels of emotional support from their other-sex friends, whereas girls receive more support from their same-sex friends. It is possible that having other-sex friends is protective for boys because they gain emotional support and are therefore less likely to engage in problem behavior.”
The study finds that among girls, antisocial behavior and early pubertal maturation accelerated the increase in the proportion of other-sex friends. Compared to their same-sex friends, girls tended to form friendships with older males in out-of-school contexts. Since the legal drinking age is 18 in Canada, it may simply be more difficult for younger girls to purchase their own alcohol, thus older boys become one point of access for this substance. The study findings imply that parents may wish to take a more active role in monitoring their daughters’ friendships, especially with older boys.
The authors maintain that by middle adolescence, once this transition has been completed, the impact of other-sex friendships on girls’ maladjustment fades away. Mixed-gender networks then become more normative and girls are more likely to form romantic relationships with their male peers. The influence of boys on girls’ substance-using behavior might then operate in the context of these romantic relationships.
The authors suggest that future studies should also examine the longitudinal associations between other-sex friends and other outcomes such as educational achievement and antisocial behavior. Finally, aspects of these other-sex friendships in early adolescence should be more carefully investigated, including the setting in which they take place, their linkages with the rest of the youth’s friendship network, and parental supervision of these new emerging relationships
Joseph Burgo, one of our bloggers here at Psych Central, has recently inaugurated a new series of videos about psychodynamic psychotherapy, aimed at people who may be considering treatment and don’t know quite what to expect from this particular type of therapy.
His first video deals with the intake or initial consultation, focusing on the anxieties felt by both client and therapist as they embark upon a new relationship with a total stranger. His next video will focus on the types of issues that come up during the first few sessions; in future, he plans to cover other issues such as: the emergence of the transference, vacation breaks, the role of humor, therapist errors, etc.
These videos will appear on his YouTube channel and Dr. Burgo will announce each new one via his Therapy Case Notes blog. Even if you’re already familiar with psychodynamic psychotherapy, his thoughts about first sessions apply to all types of treatment and may be of interest:
- The Geezer’s Dirty Dozen on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (jajsamos.wordpress.com)
- Psychotherapy to Treat Erectile Dysfunction (everydayhealth.com)
- Finding a Good Psychotherapist (my.psychologytoday.com)
Learning Works Best When You Rest
By JANICE WOOD Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 25, 2012
A new study shows that sleeping soon after learning new material is best for recall.
Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne and colleagues studied 207 students who habitually slept for at least six hours each night. Participants were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., and returned for testing 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours later.
Declarative memory refers to the ability to consciously remember facts and events. It can be broken down into memory for events — known as episodic memory — and semantic memory, which is memory for facts about the world.
People routinely use both types of memory every day, such as recalling where we parked or learning how a colleague prefers to be addressed, Payne said.
At the 12-hour retest, memory was superior following a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness, she said.
However, this performance difference was a result of a pronounced deterioration in memory for unrelated word pairs, she said, noting there was no difference for related word pairs. At the 24-hour retest, with all subjects having received both a full night of sleep and a full day of wakefulness, memories were superior when sleep occurred shortly after learning, rather than following a full day of wakefulness.
“Our study confirms that sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory,” she said. “What’s novel about this study is that we tried to shine light on sleep’s influence on both types of declarative memory by studying semantically unrelated and related word pairs.”
“Since we found that sleeping soon after learning benefited both types of memory, this means that it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed,” she continued. “In some sense, you may be ‘telling’ the sleeping brain what to consolidate.”
Titled “Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake,” the study was published March 22 in PLOS One.
Source: University of Notre Dame
A Warm-Weather Mindfulness Activity
By SUMMER BERETSKY
Happy Autumn! The leaves are beginning to change colors and there’s a cozy chill in the air that invites jackets and light scarves. Isn’t it nice?
But did you stop for a second to look at the calendar? You know, just to make sure that May through September didn’t blindly pass you by?
You can’t find seasons at the Lost and Found
It’s true: you can miss an entire season if you’re not paying attention. Have you ever taken a shower (yes, I hope, but let me continue…) in which you’re completely blind to the fact that you’re even taking a shower until the second you shut off the tap?
This is what happens when we let our minds hang in the past or scurry to the future. We forget where we are, what we’re doing, and what the present moment holds for us.
I like showers. They’re warm and refreshing. But, sometimes, I miss them. And by “miss”, I mean this: an entire ten minutes of showertime passes until I realize that I’ve just completed a shower. I missed all the warmth. I missed all the refreshment.
You know what else I really like?
Summer. (That’d be summertime, thank you. See my name at the top of this post? Yeah. Just wanted to clear that up. My own self-esteem is nauseatingly mediocre, but that’s another day and another blog post.)
I love the warm weather. I love the flowers and the trees. I love the vacations and the camping and even the sticky air (sometimes).
I don’t want it to fly by without realizing it! Do you feel the same way? If so, this week’s video is for you:
This video is based on Christy Matta’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? A Seasonal Mindfulness” post from her PsychCentral blog, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Exposed. Her latest book, The Stress Response, is available on Amazon.