1. Describe the School-based Anti-violence Program, including its three main components. What do Jaffe and Baker describe as one of the key values of the program, and why? Describe the Newfoundland healthy babies peer mentoring program. Why has the program not been properly evaluated? What level of the nested ecological model do Jaffe and Baker seem to feel is most important to deal with?
For Jaffe and Baker, primary prevention is the ultimate solution to the problems of violence. They believe that to be able to prevent violence, it is crucial to deal with social issues that increase the risks of emerging violent attitudes among individuals during their early ages from birth to twelve years (i.e. poverty and exposure to violence through experience or through the media). Thus the need for instituting violence preventive measures focused in developing awareness of the issue of violence and improving the individual’s social relationships, with the family and with peers from school and the community, to mitigate risks of engaging in violence.
An example of these prevention programs is the School-based Anti-violence program (ASAP) formulated by Jaffe and Baker, together with their colleagues at the London Family Court Clinic, and in collaboration with local school boards and community agencies, in response to the increasing level of violence. Revolving around its three main components defined as educator and staff development and awareness, community involvement, and student programs, ASAP includes a published manual and a video designed to increase both awareness and involvement of every individual in the community in dealing with domestic as well as other forms of school violence. According to Jaffe and Baker, one of the key values of the program is the belief that every student, even though they were never victims or perpetrators of violence, needs to be aware of this issue because they are also integral in the prevention of violence in such a way that they can assist their peers or neighbors in learning ways to stop violence.
The Newfoundland healthy babies’ peer mentoring program, on the other hand, is a focused prevention initiative in the form of home visitations for high-risk parents. Implemented in the community of St. John, the program offers a variety of practical supports and parent coaching to foster a better parent-child relationship important in the child’s development. However, although it has shown great promise in decreasing low birth weight babies among the target mothers who went through the program, it has not been properly evaluated as well as introduced into high-risk families outside of the St. John community because of the lack of additional funding.
2. Describe cultural continuity. Describe the six markers that Chandler and Lalonde use to measure cultural continuity. What is the theoretical impact of cultural continuity on youth suicide? Cite the results of the study in terms of the impact of the six markers on suicide rates.
Cultural continuity is the steady existence of one’s indigenous culture including traditions, religion, language, economic practices, etc. Because much has been changed throughout the years, Chandler and Lalonde also includes efforts on the part of the communities to preserve, rebuild or reconstruct their culture as cultural continuity. Meanwhile, for the purpose of their study, Chandler and Lalonde enumerated the markers of continuity as land claims or steps taken or not taken to secure title to traditional lands, self-government or economic and political independence within their traditional territory, band control over education services, band control over police and fire services, band control over health services, and the presence of cultural facilities defined as a single facility specifically designated for cultural use. To the extent that the abovementioned markers are present in a given community, Chandler and Lalonde believe that cultural continuity would be added and the community’s overall suicide rate would decrease. Relatively, the results of their study showed that the suicide rate is lower in communities where each of the markers was present compared to those communities without them. The results showed that self-governance exhibited the most significant effect in suicide rate where an estimated 102.8 fewer suicides per 100,000 youth was observed in communities that have attained a degree of self-governance against those that have not.
1. Latham and Sue-Chan state that “perceptions of fairness in Canada regarding recruitment and selection are likely to increase in the 21st century” (1997, p. 16). However, they do not mention that fairness itself will increase. Give a brief opinion based on their description of future hiring practices. (Hint: Keep in mind their prediction of a shift from standard testing practices to more global assessments of ability.)
Recognizing the rise of the information technology era and the changing nature of organizations from the labor-extensive to the virtual-knowledge generating organizations in the 21st century, Latham and Sue-Chan argued that recruitment and selection of employees will likely shift to more global assessments that increase perceptions of fairness in the selection process. According to Latham and Sue-Chan, the selection process will no longer be based purely on written examinations but rather on a systematic analysis of a person’s core competencies and organizational behavior as emphasis of 21st century organizations will be towards commitment to one’s profession rather than commitment to the organization. Moreover, contrary to the usual practice wherein one person is tasked to assess an employee’s capacity for hiring or promotion, Latham and Sue-Chan described the 21st century employee selection process to include independent and various opinions among the members of the organization.
Although it was not indicated in the article that fairness will actually increase during the selection process of employees, the selection process suggested by Latham and Sue-Chan does designate a degree of perception of fairness among applicants as the selection process will tend to be more focused on the evaluation of the applicant’s core competencies as well as behavioral responses to a given situation (i.e. situational interviews, personality tests) and not on the person’s individuality in terms of nationality, religion or beliefs. Moreover, I believe that the presence of not just one but multiple and independent representatives to evaluate employees may be able to instill a degree of fairness on the selection process.
In my opinion, the selection process offered in the article also appears very applicable in the emerging environment of organizations today that really tend to be multi-cultural yet efficient as emphasis is accorded to the achievement of goals rather than the individual person who does the job.
2. Which of the alternative work arrangements would you prefer to have? Why? Are there any related concerns? Use the research to back up your opinion.
Among the alternative work arrangements discussed by Armstrong-Stassen, I prefer to have the Flextime because it would allow me to vary my starting and quitting times depending on my situation and needs without worrying about absenteeism and tardiness as long as I am able to comply with the required standard number of working hours. Through this alternative work arrangement, it will be easier to manage my schedule as I have control over both my working and personal time. Moreover, studies showed that the Flextime work arrangement contributes to people’s job satisfaction as it was significantly related to increased morale and productivity among employees.
Concerns about the Flextime alternative work arrangement, meanwhile, are mainly in terms of selection or eligibility, implementation, promotion of use, and compatibility with other organizational initiatives. As described by Armstrong-Stassen in his article, there is a need to formulate a formal set of criteria to identify who will be eligible to participate. If identified, on the other hand, another issue is the promotion of its use as some employees opt not to use it or are discouraged from engaging in the arrangement. Its implementation also needs improvement as research efforts showed that respondents felt the need for training, specifically in terms of managing flexible work-time scheduling, even though flextime is not new to their particular company. Finally, Armstrong-Stassen identified other initiatives of the organization to be a concern related to flextime as they may not be compatible as in the case of employees working in a team.
1. According to Weinberg et al., what factors differentiate drug usage from substance use disorders? In terms of prevention, how have social factors been addressed? What are the weaknesses of this form of prevention? What other methods of social prevention might work?
According to Weinberg et al., drug usage and substance use disorders (SUD) vary in pathways. While drug usage is more a function of social and peer factors, Weinberg et al. emphasized that substance use disorders are more related to biological and psychological processes. Weinberg et al. discussed that research shows that SUD is more prevalent among adolescents from parents with a history of substance abuse. Moreover, psychiatric disorders among biological parents showed a relationship in the corresponding psychiatric and behavioral disorders among the offspring thus increasing their risk toward SUD. Aside from the biological factors, studies also showed a connection between substance abuse among adolescents and social factors such as relationships with family and peers. It was denoted that SUD may be an effect of interactions at home like parenting styles, family stress and child victimization which increase the risk factors among adolescents such as antisocial and aggressive behaviors.
To address these social factors leading to SUD among adolescents, Weinberg et al. discussed certain preventive measures including family therapy, peer group therapy and school-based interventions aiming to improve adolescents’ social behavior. These types of prevention method, however, face key issues in implementation such as goal-setting and proper environment identification. Moreover, specifically with school-based interventions, reaching those at greatest risk has been difficult as they are most likely to be absent from school.
Rather than the above-mentioned single channel prevention programs, multi-channel prevention techniques integrating schools, parents, community leaders, and mass media components in the effort of rehabilitating both high- and low-risk youths may prove more effective in addressing the social factors of SUD.
2. The article by Centers and Weist describes influential factors in adolescent drug dealing in the United States. Which of those factors would you expect to be relevant to Canada? What factors may not be as salient in Canada?
As indicated in the article by Centers and Weist, familial factors, economic factors and perceptions of drug dealing are the main issues that influence drug dealing among adolescents in the United States. Based on their studies, the incidence of drug dealing tends to be more prevalent among inner city youth that came from a broken family or grew with family members that have had previous experience in drug usage and dealing. Their research also showed that the economic factor of drug dealing or the perception that it will provide them with an easy but high income affects the high frequency of drug dealing among teenagers. Finally, the varying perceptions of today’s adolescents about drug dealing also affect the number of teenagers engaging in drug dealing. The increasing view of drug dealing as a way of being ahead or above other teenagers is viewed as another factor that contributes to the growing number of adolescents engaged in drug dealing.
These three factors are not really unique to the United States but may exist in any other communities in the world including Canada. While there are continuously increasing numbers of broken and dysfunctional families as well as a rising cost of living thus increasing the need for a higher income all over the world, these factors should be relevant in Canada as well as in other countries in addressing drug dealing among adolescents. The perception of drug dealing among adolescents, meanwhile, would be relevant as a factor affecting the incidence of drug dealing depending on perception of the teenage population of a certain community that can be determined through further studies. It cannot, however, be regarded as irrelevant in Canada as well as in any given community.
Armstrong-Stassen, M. (1998). Alternative work arrangements: Meeting the challenges. Canadian Psychology, 39, 108-123.
Centers, N.L., & Weist, M.D. (1998). Inner city youth and drug dealing: A review of the problem. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 27(3), 395-411.
Chandler, M.J. & Lalonde, C.E. (1998). Cultural Continuity as a hedge against suicide in Canada’s First Nations. Transcultural Psychiatry, 35(2), 193-211.
Jaffe, P.G., & Baker, L.L. (1999). Why changing the YOA does not impact youth crime: Developing effective prevention programs for children and adolescents. Canadian Psychology, 40(1), 22-29.
Latham, G. & Sue-Chan, C. (1998). Selecting employees in the 21st century: Predicting the contribution of I-O psychology to Canada. Canadian Psychology, 39(1-2), 14-22.
Weinberg, N.Z., Rahdert, E., Colliver, J.D., & Clantz, M.D. (1998). Adolescent substance abuse: A review of the past 10 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(3), 252-261.