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Educational and developmental psychology faces a number of current and future challenges and opportunities in Australia. In this commentary we consider the identity of educational and developmental psychology in terms of the features that distinguish it from other specialisations, and address issues related to training, specialist endorsement, supervision and rebating under the Australian government's Medicare system. The current status of training in Australia is considered through a review of the four university programs in educational and developmental psychology currently offered, and the employment destinations of their graduates. Although the need for traditional services in settings such as schools, hospitals, disability and community organisations will undoubtedly continue, the role of educational and developmental psychologists is being influenced and to some extent redefined by advances in technology, medicine, genetics, and neuroscience. We review some of these advances and conclude with recommendations for training and professional development that will enable Australian educational and developmental psychologists to meet the challenges ahead.
All species of the order Chlamydiales are obligate intracellular eubacterial pathogens of their various hosts. Two chlamydial species, Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, are primarily human pathogens, and each is known to cause important diseases. Some strains of C. trachomatis are sexually transmitted and frequently cause severe reproductive problems, primarily in women. Other strains of the organism serve as the aetiological agents for blinding trachoma, still the leading cause of preventable blindness in underdeveloped nations. C. pneumoniae is a respiratory pathogen known to cause community-acquired pneumonia. Importantly, both organisms engender an immunopathogenic response in the human host, and both have been associated with widely diverse, relatively common and currently idiopathic chronic diseases, most of which include an important autoimmune component. In this article, we explore the available experimental data regarding the possible elicitation of autoimmunity in various contexts by chlamydial infection, and we suggest several avenues for research to explore this potentially important issue further.
Empirical evidence supports parental monitoring as a moderator of adolescent problem behaviours. A methodological review shows that monitoring has been measured using self-report questions based on parental knowledge of adolescent free-time use; however, inconsistencies in the definition of monitoring have created confusion. A process model of parental monitoring is proposed. This proposed model conceptualises monitoring interactions in a temporal sequence. It proposes that parental monitoring occurs in two distinct stages: before the adolescent goes out and when they return home. Parental and adolescent responses to monitoring interactions impact on future monitoring episodes. The proposed model demonstrates that a functional understanding of parent and adolescent monitoring behaviours is essential to clinical prevention and intervention.
Many children are reported by parents to exhibit problems of conduct at home, and similarly many children are reported by teachers to exhibit conduct problems at school. Surprisingly, very little research has examined the extent to which children exhibit behavioural problems in the clinical range at both home and school. The current study examined the co-occurrence of problems at home and school in a sample of 189 children in schools in Victoria. The total sample consisted of (a) 124 children whose parents responded to invitations to participate distributed through schools, and (b) 65 children who had been referred to various agencies because of conduct problems. The occurrence of problems at home was assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983), and problems at school were assessed using the Teacher Report Form (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1986). For the school sample, 7 children (5.6%) exhibited conduct problems in both settings (scores in the borderline/ clinical range), with 27 children (21.7%) exhibiting them in one setting only. For the clinic sample, 39 children (60.0%) exhibited problems in both settings, with 21 children (32.3%) exhibiting them in one setting only. The results of this study indicate the need for interventions that can be used consistently across home and school settings, as well as independently in single settings when warranted.
The fort at Birdoswald is situated on the line of Hadrian's Wall, some 25 km (15½ miles) east of Carlisle (FIG. 1). The site lies between the forts of Great Chesters 10 km (6⅓ miles) to the east, and Castlesteads 12 km (7⅓ miles) to the west.
Treatment of conduct problems in the home setting has received much attention in the literature, and there are well established, empirically derived treatment programs that have been demonstrated to be effective. However, treatment for conduct problems in the classroom has not received a comparable amount of attention, and the intervention programs are diverse, occasionally lacking empirical support, and often not consistent with strategies used in the home setting. As past research has demonstrated that conduct problems in multiple settings is related to poorer prognosis, it is logical to suggest that interventions should focus on as many of the settings as possible in which a child displays the behaviour problems. This paper reviews the literature on the effects of conduct problems in the classroom, on teacher managerial skills, and on interventions across the home and school settings. It is concluded that classroom management of conduct problems could be improved by providing a hierarchical system of intervention strategies.
A number of crucial issues face educational and developmental psychologists as they attempt to make sense of the emerging climate for contemporary practices. Downsizing, contracting out of services, and changes to standards of practice are examples of tensions in the work climate. This compilation of brief presentations at a symposium at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) is aimed to inform members of the APS College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists (CEDP) about some compelling issues in contemporary educational psychology work.
A strong case can be made that, in all areas of intervention into the lives of others, the interventions used ought be empirically validated. In response to the paper by King (1997), this paper argues that there is a need to improve the empirical basis of interventions in education, particularly in the areas of curriculum design, classroom management, and academic remediation. Further, it is argued that an initial step in facilitating that improvement is by ensuring that trainee teachers receive an extensive exposure to the scientific literature on educational practices.
In 1990, 13 regionally based Behaviour Intervention Support Teams (BISTs) were established in Victoria to assist agencies providing support to persons with an intellectual disability who exhibited challenging behaviour. A primary function of the BISTs was to conduct intensive interventions for clients with severe challenging behaviours. The outcomes of the interventions conducted by eight of these teams were monitored over the period from 1991 to 1993. During this time, a total of 134 such interventions were completed by the teams. Many outcome measures were used for each intervention. These included direct observational measures of the challenging behaviours, measures of skill acquisition by the clients, and satisfaction with the results by caregivers. It was concluded that the interventions resulted in a high rate of success (approximately 75%). Additionally, it was concluded that the use of regionally based specialist teams was an effective way of treating severe challenging behaviours that had previously proven difficult to manage.
In 1990 a number of regionally based Behaviour Intervention Support Teams (BISTs) were established in Victoria to assist agencies providing support to persons with an intellectual disability who exhibited challenging behaviour. A primary function of the BISTs was to conduct intensive interventions for clients with severe challenging behaviours. A cost-benefit analysis of these interventions was carried out. It was found that the existence of a severe challenging behaviour resulted in an additional cost to the service system of an average $40,510 per annum. In contrast, the cost of a single intensive intervention conducted by a BIST was $5,725. Allowing for the fact that not all intensive interventions were successful, it was still concluded that the interventions conducted by the BISTs were cost efficient. Methodological difficulties associated with the cost-benefit analysis are discussed.
In nine patients, suprascapular nerve palsy followed serious accidents associated with fractures of the cervical vertebrae, clavicle or scapula and after weight lifting, wrestling and a fall on the elbow or shoulder.
All patients were examined as to muscle wasting, weakness and shoulder fixation. EMG examination was done in all cases and six patients underwent surgical exploration.
The palsy was incomplete on clinical and EMG examination in all patients. On exploration, scarring, entrapment, tethering or kinking at the suprascapular notch was found in four and two had post-traumatic neuromas.
In contrast to published studies, none of our patients presented with shoulder pain, a spontaneous onset nor with involvement limited to the infraspinatus muscle. The differential diagnosis should include C5 root lesion, brachial plexus neuritis, frozen shoulder and tear of the rotator cuff.
Educational and Developmental Psychologists are frequently required to assess a person for the presence or absence of an intellectual disability. The assessment is important as the availability of particular services is usually tied to a formal determination that an intellectual disability is present. A key element to deciding on the existence of an intellectual disability is the presence of a level of intelligence below a predetermined level. Although definitions of intellectual disability usually refer only to significant sub-average intellectual functioning, the actual cut-off score used to indicate this level of intellectual functioning has varied over time. Whatever that cut-off level is determined to be, there are technical difficulties that make assessment of intellectual functioning less than straightforward. These difficulties result from (a) standardized tests having different standard deviations, resulting in differing scores for cut-off levels based on standard deviation calculations, (b) different standardized tests giving different scores when administered to the same person, (c) less than perfect test reliability creating uncertainty about whether the measured intelligence corresponds with the actual intelligence of the individual being assessed, and (d) many people having impairments in sight, hearing, or motor function that make the standardized administration of tests impossible. It is recommended that educational psychologists be familiar with these issues so that they can make decisions that satisfy social justice objectives. Furthermore, it is argued that familiarity with these issues will help psychologists to defend their decisions when it is necessary.
The bibliography following the body of this paper contains a total of 1,092 entries on the subject of diglossia. Entries dealing with diglossia in the classical sense of Ferguson (1959) and in the sense of functional compartmentalization of distinct languages are represented approximately equally. Scholarly publication in the area of diglossia continues unabated as indicated by the fact that approximately one-half of the entries in the bibliography were published between 1983 and 1992. However, there remains a need for a comprehensive integration, comparative analysis, and socioevolutionary interpretation of diglossia research. (Bilingualism, diglossia, functional variation, literary languages, registers, standard languages, standardization)
The technique known as facilitated communication training involves a disabled person being physically assisted to point to letters or words in order to communicate a message. Use of the technique is controversial in that it is difficult to determine if the person providing the physical assistance is also influencing the message. The literature reports little empirical evaluation of the validity of communication using the technique. The current paper outlines a methodology which can be used to investigate whether the messages relayed using the facilitated communication technique actually are generated by the disabled person. The methodology invoves both quantitative and qualitative procedures.
This study describes the effectiveness of using, then fading, a response cost procedure to reduce the frequency of persistent nosepicking by a 7-year old boy in a school classroom. The procedure which was employed by the class teacher and a teacher aide was easily implemented. Substantial success was achieved.