The protracted and uneven recovery from the Great Recession has led most Americans to conclude that the U.S. economy has undergone a permanent change for the worse, according to a new national study at Rutgers. Seven in 10 now say the recession’s impact is permanent, up from half in 2009 when the recession officially ended, according to the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.
Among key findings in “Unhappy, Worried and Pessimistic: Americans in the Aftermath of the Great Recession,” the center’s latest Work Trends report, are:
- Despite sustained job growth and lower levels of employment, most Americans do not think the economy has improved in the last year or that it will in the next.
- Just one in six Americans believe that job opportunities for the next generation will be better than for theirs; five years ago, four in 10 held that view.
Full story of Americans mental health after the recession at Science Daily
Individuals with schizophrenia often have trouble engaging in daily tasks or setting goals for themselves, and a new study from San Francisco State University suggests the reason might be their difficulty in assessing the amount of effort required to complete tasks.
The research, detailed in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, can assist health professionals in countering motivation deficits among patients with schizophrenia and help those patients function normally by breaking up larger, complex tasks into smaller, easier-to-grasp ones.
“This is one of the first studies to carefully and systematically look at the daily activities of people with schizophrenia — what those people are doing, what goals are they setting for themselves,” said David Gard, an associate professor of psychology at SF State who has spent years researching motivation and emotion. “We knew that people with schizophrenia were not engaging in a lot of goal-directed behavior. We just didn’t know why.”
Full story of motivation and schizophrenia at Science Daily
A mindfulness-based therapy for depression has the added benefit of reducing health-care visits among patients who often see their family doctors, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
The research showed that frequent health service users who received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy showed a significant reduction in non-mental health care visits over a one-year period, compared with those who received other types of group therapy.
The smart phone has changed our behavior, sometimes for the better as we are now able to connect and engage with many more people than ever before, sometimes for the worse in that we may have become over-reliant on the connectivity with the outside world that these devices afford us. Either way, there is no going back for the majority of users who can almost instantaneously connect with hundreds if not thousands of people through the various social media and other applications available on such devices and not least through the humble phone call.
However, our dependence brings anxiety. The loss of one’s smart phone not only represents an immediate disconnection from one’s online contacts but is also a potential privacy and security risk should the lost phone wend its way into the hands of a malicious third party. Writing in the International Journal of Mobile Communications, a Canadian team outlines the possible coping mechanisms that might be needed following loss or theft and the security problems that the user might face. The researchers point out that the same anxieties apply equally to lost or stolen laptops, tablet computers and other digital devices.
U.S. health officials say Robin Williams’ death highlights the increasing rate of suicide among American adults ages 45 to 64, The Wall Street Journal reports. Williams, 63, died in an apparent suicide on Monday.
Suicide risk increases in people who are struggling with drug and alcohol use and depression. Williams had dealt with all of these, according to The New York Times. After a period of cocaine use early in his career, Williams quit in the mid-80s. He sought treatment for alcohol abuse in 2006, and had recently been treated for severe depression.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates for adults ages 45 to 64 increased 40 percent from 1999 to 2011. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, Vice President of Research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says the suicide rate for people in middle age to late middle age is higher than any other group. “We don’t hear about middle-age or older people who kill themselves unless they’re a star like Robin Williams,” she said. “Because it’s so shocking when a younger person dies, there’s a tendency of re-reporting and romanticizing.”
Full story of suicide rates among adults at drugfree.org