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Physical activity is increasingly positioned as playing an important role in preventing and mitigating many of the decrements associated with biological ageing. As a result, public health messages encourage older people to remain active in later life. Despite this, physical activity participation rates among older adults are low. This may be in part related to the conventional approach to understanding physical activity participation as a product of motivation. We contend that this approach does not allow for a deeper exploration of the wider structural, historical and discursive contexts in which physical activity participation occurs. Therefore, we propose that physical activity can be reconceptualised as a career. Through a synthesis of findings from four studies exploring physical activity experiences in later life, we demonstrate that beginning and maintaining a physical activity career requires a disposition towards physical activity, the legitimation of physically active practices and dealing with contingencies. In addition, we demonstrate that maintaining a physical activity career requires investment and deliberation to adapt physical activity practices continually within an individual's own personal biography. As such, we conclude that current strategies to promote physical activity to older adults are unlikely to result in increased levels of participation. To promote physical activity to older adults an understanding of how structural, cultural and historical contexts influence participation is needed.
The human–animal bond is beneficial for human health, but companion animals also pose a potential threat as vectors of zoonotic parasites, especially in urban areas where both human and dog densities are high. However, the knowledge about parasitic spillover in the urban environment is relatively scarce. The aim of the present study was to reveal which factors determine parasitic contamination in Estonian towns and provide up-to-date information about intestinal parasites of the Estonian dog population. In total, 657 samples of dog excrement was collected over one year of investigation from five towns in Estonia. Generalized linear mixed models were used to evaluate factors predicting infection risk in urban areas. In general, infection risk and intensity models predicted higher infection with endoparasites for small dogs in smaller towns, especially in apartment-house districts and in potential hazard zones. Helminth eggs and Giardia/Cystoisospora oocysts were detected in 64 samples, with an overall prevalence of 9.8%.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) has been associated with depression and can have an impact on quality of life. Therefore, researchers have suggested the potential utility of psychological interventions for targeting depression among CSU patients. Psychological interventions that may hold the most promise are those that are brief and easily transportable, such as brief behavioural activation treatment for depression. We report results of a preliminary investigation of an uncontrolled open trial of a one-session behavioural activation treatment for depression designed for patients with CSU (BATD-CSU) at a university-based allergy and immunology clinic. Participants were 11 females with chronic, poorly controlled urticaria and symptoms of depression. Following the completion of pretreatment questionnaires, participants were administered BATD-CSU primarily by non-mental health professionals trained and supervised in its delivery. One month post-BATD-CSU, participants completed follow-up questionnaires. Participants exhibited significant reductions in depression severity, avoidance/rumination, and work/school impairment. BATD-CSU was also associated with improvements in urticaria control one month post-treatment. Moreover, five of nine patients reported reliable and clinically significant improvement on at least one outcome. Results demonstrate that BATD-CSU may have benefits for CSU patients even when consisting of one session and delivered by professionals with limited background in psychological interventions, thus speaking to its feasibility and transportability.
The present study sought to explicate the time-course of posttraumatic stress (PTS)-related attentional bias to threat (ABT) by examining differences in attention bias variability (ABV; a measure which accounts for the temporal dynamics of ABT). A dot-probe task with four presentation durations was used to capture both subliminal and supraliminal stages of processing. Task stimuli consisted of neutral and threat images. Attentional control (AC) was examined as a moderator of the relationship between PTSD and ABV. At an experimental session, participants (PTSD = 11, trauma control = 18) completed questionnaires, a modified dot-probe task, and a stimulus-response task measuring AC. Individuals in the PTSD group exhibited greater ABV compared to trauma control participants. AC moderated this relationship, with participants with PTSD and poor AC exhibiting significantly greater ABV than trauma-exposed control participants with poor AC. These effects remained significant after accounting for traditionally calculated ABT scores and variability on trials for which only neutral stimuli were present, thus ensuring that the observed effects were specific to the presence of threat stimuli and not merely a function of general variability in response times. Findings implicate AC as a buffering mechanism against threat-related attentional dyscontrol among those with PTSD. Clinical implications will be discussed.
This prospective experimental study sought to examine the unique effects of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity on risky behaviours over time. To this end, 20 African American women enrolled in a historically Black university in the southern United States were randomly assigned to receive one of two brief empirically supported skills training modules (i.e., emotion modulation [EM] or impulsivity reduction [IR]). Participants completed measures of emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, and past-week risky behaviours before (pre-) and one week after (post-) the experimental manipulation. Participants assigned to the EM condition reported significant improvements from pre- to post-manipulation in overall emotion dysregulation (as well as all specific dimensions of emotion dysregulation other than lack of emotional awareness), as well as two dimensions of impulsivity: negative and positive urgency. Participants assigned to the IR condition reported a significant decrease in one dimension of impulsivity (lack of premeditation) from pre- to post-manipulation. Findings also revealed a significant effect of time on risky behaviours, with participants reporting significantly fewer past-week risky behaviours at the post- (vs. pre-) manipulation assessment. Finally, changes in emotion dysregulation from pre- to post-manipulation accounted for the observed reduction in risky behaviours over time (above and beyond changes in impulsivity dimensions). Results highlight the relevance of emotion dysregulation to risky behaviours and suggest that treatments targeting emotion dysregulation may be useful in reducing risky behaviours.
Horns are one of the most distinctive physical characters of cattle and of bovids in general. In fact, the presence of cattle horns has been the signature character of a number of critical religious and artistic figures through human history, including the seminal Ba’al of the ancient Middle East, the Minotaur of Greek legend, Apis of Egyptian mythology and the Ushi-Oni of Japan, among others (Figure 8.1). While there are many other, more subtle skeletal and soft tissue characters that distinguish bovids from other ruminants, the presence of paired frontal horns (and not antlers, ossicones or pronghorns: Davis et al. 2011) is an obvious character that clearly diagnoses the evolutionary group (Bibi et al. 2009). Among bovids, cattle horns are notable for the presence of horns in both sexes (before domestication) and their lack of surface elaboration (e.g. keels and rings). Consequently, the presence of horns in at least one sex is plesiomorphic within cattle, so their presence tells us little of the evolutionary relationships within the group. Rather, the distinctive shape of cattle horns, with broad, straight beams and a lack of surface elaboration, aids in distinguishing their fossil relatives from the closely related tragelaphine antelopes.
Besides their iconic appearance and role in evolutionary studies, horns affect the economics of raising and managing cattle.
Research on power-sharing in Africa remains silent on the effects of national peace agreements on the sub-national level. Conversely, most armed conflicts originate and are fought in (or over) specific areas. A plausible hypothesis would be that for power-sharing to have the desired pacifying effect throughout the national territory, it needs to be extended to the local level. Based on fieldwork in six former hotspots in Liberia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) we find that there is hardly any local content, including local power-sharing, in national agreements. However, contrary to our hypothesis, neither local content (inclusion of actors or interest) nor local-power-sharing (either introducing a local power balance or monopoly) are indispensable to effectively bring about local peace, at least in the short-term. On the contrary, it might even endanger the peace process. The importance of the sub-national level is overestimated in some cases and romanticised in others. However, the history of spatial-political links, centralised policies, and the establishment of local balances or monopolies of power ultimately play an important role.
Despite the clinical importance of deliberate self-harm (DSH; also referred to as non-suicidal self-injury) within borderline personality disorder (BPD), empirically supported treatments for this behavior among individuals with BPD are difficult to implement in many clinical settings. To address this limitation, a 14-week, adjunctive emotion regulation group therapy (ERGT) for DSH among women with BPD was developed. The current study examined the efficacy of this ERGT in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and the durability of treatment gains over a 9-month uncontrolled follow-up period.
Female out-patients with BPD and recent recurrent DSH were randomly assigned to receive this ERGT in addition to their ongoing out-patient therapy immediately (n = 31) or after 14 weeks (n = 30). Measures of DSH and other self-destructive behaviors, psychiatric symptoms, adaptive functioning and the proposed mechanisms of change (emotion dysregulation/avoidance) were administered pre- and post-treatment or -waitlist (to assess treatment efficacy), and 3 and 9 months post-treatment (to assess durability of treatment gains).
Intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses (n = 61) revealed significant effects of this ERGT on DSH and other self-destructive behaviors, emotion dysregulation, BPD symptoms, depression and stress symptoms, and quality of life. Analyses of all participants who began ERGT (across treatment and waitlist conditions; n = 51) revealed significant improvements from pre- to post-treatment on all outcomes, additional significant improvements from post-treatment to 9-month follow-up for DSH, emotion dysregulation/avoidance, BPD symptoms and quality of life, and no significant changes from post-treatment to 9-month follow-up on the other measures.
The results support the efficacy of this ERGT and the durability of treatment gains.
This paper discusses findings from a qualitative study which explored older adults' experiences of becoming regular exercisers in a gym triggered by health problems and their interactions with their younger gym instructors. A key question which the study sought to address was whether becoming embedded in the sub-field of exercise challenged traditional discourses of ageing (age habitus). While these older gym users reported significant benefits (greater health capital, expanded social networks and a return to active life after illness), they nevertheless were engaged in a complex and ambiguous negotiation of attitudes to bodily ageing and meanings of fitness and competence. In contrast, the instructors subscribed to a model of physical activity oriented towards physical capital as greater fitness. The paper suggests that these positions manifest competing understandings about what constitutes appropriate and desirable physical capital in later life. Budgetary constraints, beliefs about physical ability, professional expectations and the persistence of the discourse of decline prevent this gap from being easily bridged and allow alternative notions of ageing physicality to colonise the sub-field of exercise. The paper concludes that there is a need to develop ways of breaking down barriers in communication to overcome divergent understandings of what constitutes legitimate physical capital as we get older.
This paper examines contentious state–society and centre–periphery relations in the DR Congo and their implications for state-building. Since the 2006 post-conflict elections, the state's authority has come under fire in the western province of Bas Congo, where a politico-religious group (Bundu Dia Kongo) has emerged as a serious challenger. Enjoying huge local legitimacy, the group has articulated political grievances that the newly elected central government has violently repressed. As locally perceived, elections are a legitimising tool in the hands of the government to impose its unfettered authority in the name of the state-building project. Furthermore, and backed by donors, the Kinshasa authorities also refuse to implement a wide-ranging decentralisation reform. This has fed disenchantment about post-conflict politics in Bas Congo, boding ill for democratic politics and the prospects of state-building in the DR Congo.
Although research has been conducted on the course, consequences, and correlates of borderline personality disorder (BPD), little is known about its emergence in childhood, and no studies have examined the extent to which theoretical models of the pathogenesis of BPD in adults are applicable to the correlates of borderline personality symptoms in children. The goal of this study was to examine the interrelationships between two BPD-relevant personality traits (affective dysfunction and disinhibition), self- and emotion-regulation deficits, and childhood borderline personality symptoms among 263 children aged 9 to 13. We predicted that affective dysfunction, disinhibition, and their interaction would be associated with childhood borderline personality symptoms, and that self- and emotion-regulation deficits would mediate these relationships. Results provided support for the roles of both affective dysfunction and disinhibition (in the form of sensation seeking) in childhood borderline personality symptoms, as well as their hypothesized interaction. Further, both self- and emotion-regulation deficits partially mediated the relationship between affective dysfunction and childhood borderline personality symptoms. Finally, results provided evidence of different gender-based pathways to childhood borderline personality symptoms, suggesting that models of BPD among adults are more relevant to understanding the factors associated with borderline personality symptoms among girls than boys.