Sexual Victimization Evaluation

Journal Critique

I recently reviewed a study by J. Livingston, A. Hequembourg, M. Testa, and C. VanZile-Tamsen, published in 2007 the article Unique Aspects of Adolescent Sexual Victimization Experiences in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(4), 331-343. The writers of the above-cited article produced the research to study the susceptibility of adolescent females to unsolicited sexual experience with men and the reasons why those experiences occurred. The researchers began the study postulating from available data that adolescent women are more susceptible to sexual victimization than are mature women. The purpose of their findings was not to prove existing trends, but to categorize reasons that current trends for adolescent victimization among women and use that information to education men and women so that pitfalls for women in that category could be avoided.

Following will be my estimation of that study with perspective.

Scale and Survey Used

The researchers in this study used a few types of instruments to assist in discovering the information needed to begin the study. A telephone survey was conducted to find participants. A computer assisted survey introduced to the women who participated occurred at common facilities for the study to further target specific participants followed by interviews for those who answered questions positively on the scale for unwanted sexual experience—a yes or no question—who qualified for the study.

SURVEY POPULATION

Women between the ages of 18 to 30 were identified over the phone to participate from various ethnicities in research, a longitudinal women’s study. Seventy-four percent of the women were single. Seventy-six percent identified as Caucasian; 15 % identified as African American or Black; All other groups individually including multi-racial groups individually who participated constituted less than five percent each. “Consistent with local demographics, median income was $40,000, and 91% were high school graduates (compared to 89% of 18- to 34-year-old women in Erie County). Most were employed either full time (46.9%) or part time (31.1%)” (2007, p.333).

 

SAMPLING PROCEDURES

The survey procedure the researchers used were based on the telephone survey which invited to participated in the longitudinal study of women who over a three-year period participated at 12-month intervals to provide information for processing. The researchers included in the journal only the data collection implicit to study. Phase one of the study occurred at the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo, NY, which consisted of the computer-administered questionnaires. The second part of Phase one information gathering occurred during firsthand interviews to assess personality and social aspects of the participants that lasted approximately two hours for participants in all for both parts. Participants profited by $50 and all interviews were taped and transcribed with informed consent—consent gathered prior to initiation of participation.

SAMPLE SIZE

The survey sample size for the study, from which 61% of nearly two thousand eligible participants agreed, 38% of the participants responded affirmative to a singular or multiple questions on the Sexual Experience Survey. Of those who were selected, 369 women, most were on average 24 years of age with a difference of about three years form the average.

 

SIZE OF THE SURVEY POPULATION

Nearly 2000 women participated in the research study via the telephone but only 61% of them elected to participate in the survey. Obviously, a finite number of funds and labor existed to complete the study. As mentioned previously out of 2000 women candidates were selected to progress in the study.

RESPONSE RATE FROM THE SURVEY

As previously mentioned, 61% of surveyed participants willingly participated in the study. Of that 61%, 38% qualified for the study. The participation rate for the study was above 50% for the survey by phone giving the researchers a decent among of women to study. Of the final number of willing participates only 14 women were excluded for technical reason other than response or willingness to respond.

Does the Means Justify the Ends?

The researchers took care through a three-year long process carefully documenting the information over that period to make sure that participants were selected who could contribute to the study. In addition, the team of researchers kept all data from the study thought only included pertinent information for the study relating to discovering victimization data related to adolescent experiences of the over 300 who met the specification of the Sexual Experience Survey. Thirty percent of the participants experience pre-adult victimization or 112 participants. The researchers compared precursors, environment, for both groups that revealed victimization and verified their assumption that youth played a pivotal role in the type of situation an adolescent is likely raped. The Adolescent victims “adolescent girls were more likely than adult women to be victimized by a perpetrator with whom they were less acquainted, such as a stranger, acquaintance, or a friend” (p. 334), while adults, or those victimized 19 and above intimately knew their attackers.

The researchers used information factors such as intimate relationship, party/social gatherings, abusive or authority (parent, teacher, etc.) relationships and parent/guardian supervision to substantiate vulnerability. The adolescents according to the researchers usually were more enticing to predators due to the added fear of reputation and parental knowledge about an authorized rendezvous. Others were intimidated to a lesser degree by the authority of the aggressor or advantage of the aggressor.

“Consistent with lifestyles/routine activities theory” (p. 340) presented in the beginning of the article crediting it as the reason adolescent victimization occurs, the “results of the qualitative analysis revealed that adolescent girls are at risk of sexual victimization when they spend time in unsupervised contexts and engage in risky behavior, such as drinking at a party where there are no supervising adults present” (p. 340); however, not limited alone to that factor.

Determination

The researchers did a thorough examination of the participants using tools narrowing a potential large population down to over 300 subjects. The information was gathered over three years and catalogued to present the findings ins such a way as not to support assumptions, but mirror the qualitative data provided by the subjects. The fact that all interactions with subjects in the study were transcribed, recorded and catalogued by consensus revealed the scientific and objective approach to presenting the information.

Now what can be done with the information? This study provides evidence for assumptions that many adults already hold–that young women are targets because of social status. Teenagers like to sneak around and would rather lie about something happening to them than get caught by parents.

My solution to this problem is a strong ethical philosophy or religion practiced at home with clear boundaries and thorough practice and teaching. I can update my personal research on my own teens and see if it works. If I am still hubbing in ten years I can provide the update on how religion helped my daughters–or not.

Cigarette Smokers Can Quit!

Addiction

A young woman dangles a cigarette from her lips as she coolly exclaims, “I can quit anytime I want!”

She inhales deeply and slowly exhales the smoky mixture from her lungs to continue, “Why, I have done so on numerous occasions.”

Many people have similar views about addictive behaviors and substances—the I-can-quit-anytime-I-want-to’s. The addiction appears to have less value than the particular motivation to continue in the behavior. What incentive towards smoking in particular drives an individual to continue the behavior even though it harms the body—thwarting the natural inclination towards self-preservation? Extrinsic and intrinsic forces play what role in the development and maintenance of the smoking addiction and why?

Chemical dependency or classical conditioning (whether a conscientious choice or compulsion), or both may affect an addicts behavior about his or her addiction depending on the chemical make up of the person’s body and the genetic disposition to succumb to addictions. This article focuses on the function and structures of the brain associated with smoking and the extrinsic and intrinsic factors on the motivation to indulge in smoking behavior–with suggestions of how to overcome the addiction.

“Drugs motivate action by operating on individual neurons in the brain” (Decker, 2005, p. 92). Not only do drugs encourage action using neurons , but the brain itself consist of millions of cells that communicate with each other—transmitting and receiving—using neurons to convey information from one part of the body to another in a vast information superhighway called the central nervous system.

Biology

The brain communicates throughout the body as it receives information about the environment outside the body—particularly for warning, protection and such. The neurons themselves communicate with each other phasing electrical information to chemical information called neurotransmitters. The exchanges that occur between the neurons through this type of electrochemical osmosis occur constantly unless some interruption in the process happens.

Smokers experience this chemical interruption when the neurotransmitters functioning in the pleasure-producing sensor of the brain cease to function properly due to some outside interference blocking or replacing the hormonal/chemical actions that cause neurons to receive information (Decker, 2005).

This blockage or replacement can cause high levels of endorphins to accumulate in the brain because the neurons that would normally receive the neurotransmitters can not due to blockage by the alien imposter—leading to an over abundance of endorphins, acetylcholine and dopamine (Meeker-O’Connell, 2008). The proteins and biological chemicals cause an unusually euphoric, stimulating and pleasant response motivating an addict to continue the use of the drug (Meeker-O’Connell).

Sociality

As mentioned before, particular biochemical processes occur within the brain that motivates the participant to continue in the behaviors. An addict may achieve a particular pleasurable or soothing sensation from partaking of the nicotine drug, but other factors contribute to the continued use of the drug it appears aside from chemical needs.

An individual may decide to smoke because he or she may have heard that cigarettes “calms nerves”. There may be some excitement that exist in the individual’s life that triggers a desire to smoke the cigarette, such as a group of associates who introduce the idea of smoking. Extrinsic factors such as social gatherings, peer pressure and marketing all have roles that contribute to the desire of an individual to smoke. After a person has started smoking, social gatherings, peer pressure and such becomes a retention tool that promotes fraternity.

At one of the Arizona campuses of the University of Phoenix, students and employees can be observed congregating and chatting around coffeemaker and designated smoking areas. Of all these individuals, inference that some participate in the smoking behavior for the camaraderie—because of diverse reasons—has justification based on common knowledge that people desire some type of social interaction.

With this possible point of association involved, some may not necessarily smoke because of chemical dependency, but have the intrinsic reasons for participating in smoking. Smoking for the sheer enjoyment may exist as a possibility after the extrinsic factor of reinforcement of the behavior by some force. It appears that the only way an inner value for smoking cigarettes can occur is if some outside value exists to motivate the habit in the first place.

To change the behaviors of smoking seems to have a different element that allows internal values to motivate a person to cease the habit. It appears that one type of motivation, extrinsic, must exist to form the habit, and another, intrinsic, to cease.

It is rare that smoking begins in a vacuum, but stopping must be a personal choice.

Habit

Another incentive for smoking that enables addicts to continue the behavior, though it harms the body and apparently overrides the natural struggle towards self-preservation appears to be habit.

Habit occurs after repeated use of cigarettes for the “wake-up smoke,” the “after breakfast smoke,” the mid-morning smoke,” and so on and so forth. I assisted in the successful completion of a multi-step method to end the behavior associated with cigarette addiction. What I discovered as I administered the program to many individuals is that nicotine addiction goes away after two weeks approximately; but because the body and mind receive conditioning to smoke at certain times of the day and in places of recreation, the subjects in the program still possessed a strong urge to smoke cigarettes.

This desire did not occur because of nicotine. Pavlov’s classic conditioning gives insight to this particular view. Pavlov conditioned dogs to respond to a bell for dinner after presenting food to the dogs every time the bell rang. Similarly, smokers and cigarettes allow not only the nicotine to affect them, but the “bells” as mentioned before, the “wake-up smoke,” and such.

One study suggest that some type of medication to dose smokers could assist smokers cease the habit of smoking and could very well assist in many people not smoking. A group of researchers concluded in their recent study entitled Using Mediational Models to Explore the Nature of Tobacco Motivation and Tobacco Treatment Effects that “those individuals who were randomly assigned to bupropion (pharmaceutical) treatment showed reduced overall withdrawal and craving in the first week post quit and marginally higher levels of positive effect, relative to individuals receiving placebo treatment” (Piper, Federman, McCarthy, Bolt, Smith, and Fiore, 2008, p. 104).

The Addiction is not what is hard to stop, it is the habit.

To Stop

First of all, if you want to do it the natural way it will really be a hard thing to experience. Starting to smoke was not easy and neither will stopping be easy.

First, destroy the cigarettes and write a declaration letter of independence!

This is the hardest part of the steps because you think about the money you put into those packs. Waiting until you smoke them all or giving them away only gives you the psychological incentive to change your mind because you know where the cigarettes are.

Second, get rid of every ashtray and anything associate with smoking. That means, if you drink, while you are doing the steps don’t. If it is associated with a smoke, leave it lone until after the steps. Also, put no smoking signs on your door. If the sign becomes trigger though remove it.

Third, tell your friends and family that you are trying to quit smoking and not to do it round you. This may be hard because many of you friends may be smokers and you might have to choose between your health and a good smoking buddy. If you are serious about stopping though, this is a choice you must make. Also, you are going to be cranky and edgy for a while. Warn your family!

Fourth, go shopping! Purchase cinnamon flavored mouthwash, cinnamon flavored toothpaste, lots of non-sweetened grapefruit juice or grapefruit (or both) and cinnamon flavored sugarless gum.

You will have hard days. when you wake in the morning, mouthwash it. The cinnamon has the effect of curbing the cravings for some reason.

Fifth, after each meal or snack, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth! If even a particle of food is left in your teeth it could fall onto your tongue and trigger an urge to smoke

When the urge comes chew the gum. If that doesn’t work, drink the grapefruit juice or eat a grapefruit. Usually cigarettes do not taste good after grapefruit juice.

Sixth, have a buddy to call for support. Have some body to use a preselected reinforced to remind you of why you are trying to quit such as the declaration of independence.

Seventh, get religion or something close! When all else fails try meditation or prayer for strength. Knowing that something larger than you is there can help you not feel alone in the worst times.

Doing all these things you will stop smoking. If you relapse, start again. Do not harp on failures. These tools are for your success. They are to help you naturally kick the smoking habit. Oh yeah, do all of this for 21 days. After that you will not be addicted to cigarettes or have the habit.

If you put yourself back into the same environment though, it may be hard to stay free.

References

Deckers, L. (2005). Motivation (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Meeker-O’Connell A., (2008). How nicotine works. How Stuff
Works. Retrieved March 3, 2008, fromhttp://health.howstuffworks.com/nicotine4.htm
Piper, M., Federman, E., McCarthy, D., Bolt, D., Smith, S. and Fiore, M. (2008). Using mediational models to explore the nature of tobacco motivation and tobacco treatment effects. Journal of Abnormal Psychology117(1), 94-105. Retrieved March 3, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

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The Cultural Phenom E-learning

 E-Learning Defined

Learning has and will continue to draw the interests of Western society and play a crucial role in its advancement. Historically, vast numbers of records relate the pains professors of philosophy and instructors endured to promote the enlightenment of humanity and the evolution of learning. Great societies formed for the advancement of methods of instruction and cultural exchange such as those of the Egyptian, the Greek and European invention. These societies or institutions whether by governments of philanthropists facilitated learning through multiple means—the European brand seeming to have a far reaching effect on the world as the society or the culture of educational success through the spread of democratic and social governments—such as slavery and missionary work.

The world now stands at a precipice of education through physical conquest in most of Western society and culturally has virtually one area left unexplored, which it currently embarks upon establishing outposts in Western culture and footholds through the education world. This new world of education, e-learning, stands as the final frontier of conquest with possibilities limited only by the technology used to sustain it.

Random searches for the new term e-learning on the World Wide Web will return multiple interpretations of what the word means. In its elemental form, electronic learning seems specific in definition alone—to learn electronically. In the broad definition of the word, e-learning could include any type of learning which occurs using electronic means—technology at all. Wang and Gearhart (2006) refer to e-learning as the medium of learning occurring through electronic media not limited to web-based learning.

“E-learning basically boils down to learning that is facilitated and supported via information and communications technology” as determined by About E-Learning.com. This website goes on to list quite a number of functions that could include the definition of e-learning—admitting that depending on the organization defining the term determines the exclusivity of the word. Another website offers the following explanation of e-learning:

“Education via the Internet, network, or standalone computer. e-learning is essentially the network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. e-learning refers to using electronic applications and processes to learn. e-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM” (Webopidia, 2011, para.. 1)

Noticing from the definition at this website, it repeats many of the same wording that appears at the website prior to it using sweeping definition; however, the latter website does not leave an open interpretation of the definition; rather, it states boldly that it provides an authoritative grasp of the word e-learning. TheDictionary.com website offers simply that e-learning is the “process of learning online, especially via the internet”.

Learning online according to this website concludes the definition of the word though the other sites give a variety of adjectives to describe e-learning as other than via the internet. Dictionary.com also does not list any other uses in defining e-learning other than what appears on the website unlike the About E-learning website, which allows for a broad range of interpretation.

The cultural phenomenon known as e-learning has taken root in society in the past decade and grown in renown among prestigious institutions as the world moves into a technologically based societal structure to meet the growing needs of working adults who require additional training and education, while virtually juggling careers and families. Society shifted from the working-class, middle class family with little need of education to the service-class, middle class family with multiple degrees.

E-learning means web-based learning to most people when questioned about its definition because web-based learning is the type of learning that appears most popular in society and acceptable by society as a genuine form of instruction. A generation will need to pass in order for the e-learning brand of education to acquire the same or close to the same authority as a traditional type of in-class education; however, the way towards such a designation has begun as more institution utilize this form of instruction to progress its members.

As society changes more to focus on individual needs of adults and less on collective education standardization, more student-center programs will develop into e-learning strategies to buy into a market of career oriented individuals. In addition, the growing demands of the previous generations retiring and looking for other mean of society continue to provide avenues for more development in web-based e-learning as opposed to other electronic medium such as CDROM because the access to the software for instruction requires internet alone and not the purchase of hardware to insert in the computer. The evidence of online cultural dominance appears with the advent of the IPOD and the MP3 as preferred modes of entertainment rather than DVD and CD for music and movie enjoyment—both of which allow download directly from the internet. E-learning essentially will become synonymous with web-based learning.

Non-electronic Reference Source

Wang, H., Gearhart, D. L. (2006). Designing and developing web-based instruction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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