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It has been a central assumption in bankruptcy policy debates that financially troubled persons faced with bankruptcy will respond to economic incentives and disincentives. Two provisions of the Bankruptcy Code (Chapters 7 and 13) are most commonly used by individual debtors. Under Chapter 7 debtors agree to give up all their property (n excess of state-determined exemptions) to a trustee for sale and distribution to creditors. Under Chapter 13 debtors keep all their property but agree to pay all or part of their debts over three to five years. This empirical study of fifteen hundred consumers in three states explores whether economic incentives and disincentives are in fact the chief factors influencing choice of chapter. The analysis demonstrates that while economic factors play a part, noneconomic factors are also significant, among them intra- and interstate migration, marital status, self-employment, state of residence, and local legal culture. We conclude that to explore fully how individual decisions are made, the simplistic economic model must be replaced by a more sophisticated model that accounts for both economic and noneconomic factors.
This paper reports on a project conducted with representatives of indigenous Māori organizations that are active in New Zealand land-based sectors. The primary aim of the research was to assist these organizations in thinking about their current and future positioning with regard to climate change. Using Peter Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology as a broad framework for the research, the paper first seeks to capture some of the likely issues that enable and constrain strategic activity in the climate change arena. It then uses various soft systems modelling tools to research and structure a debate to consider the desirability and feasibility of particular interventions.
Many modern paleobiological analyses are conducted at the generic level, a practice predicated on the validity of genera as meaningful proxies for species. Uncritical application of genera in such analyses, however, has led—perhaps inadvertently—to the unjustified reification of genera in an evolutionary context. While the utility of genera as proxies for species in evolutionary studies should be evaluated as an empirical issue, in practice it is increasingly assumed (rather than demonstrated) that genera are suitable proxies for species. This is problematic on both ontological and epistemological grounds. Genera are arbitrarily circumscribed, non-equivalent, often paraphyletic, and sometimes polyphyletic collections of species. They are useful tools for communication but have no theoretical or biological reality of their own and, whether monophyletic or not, cannot themselves operate in the evolutionary process. Attributes considered important for understanding macroevolution—e.g., geographic ranges, niche breadths, and taxon durations—are frequently variable among species within genera and will be inflated at the generic level, especially in species-rich genera. Consequently, the meaning(s) of results attained at the generic level may not “trickle down” in any obvious way that elucidates our understanding of evolution at the species level. Ideally, then, evolutionary studies that are actually about species should be pursued using species-level data rather than proxy data tabulated using genera. Where genera are used, greater critical attention should be focused on the degree to which attributes tabulated at the generic level reflect biological properties and processes at the species level.
This study examined teachers’ perceptions of the role of teacher aides in mathematics classrooms in rural and remote Indigenous communities. Twelve teachers from three schools in rural and remote Queensland participated in the study. The results from the first year of the project indicated that there were differences in how these teachers worked with their teacher aides, particularly the specific roles assigned to them in the mathematics classroom, with non-Indigenous teacher aides being given greater responsibilities for student learning and Indigenous teacher aides for behavioural management. As a result of teacher aide in-service on mathematics learning, teachers’ perception of the Indigenous teacher aides changed, resulting in each being given greater responsibility for student learning.
This paper explores the role of oral language and representations in negotiating mathematical understanding. The data were gathered from two Indigenous Australian classrooms in Northern Queensland. The first classroom, a Year 6/7 consisted of 15 students whose ages range from 10 years to 12 years with eight being Aboriginal, six from Torres Strait and one from Papua New Guinea. The second classroom, a Years 4/5/6 classroom consisted of 14 Year 3/4/5 students, with eight being Aboriginal and six of Torres Strait Island origin. Both teachers had been working in this context for up to five years and were perceived by both the school community and local educational consultants as exemplary teachers of Indigenous Australian students. Data were gathered from conversations with the two teachers, and from videos of their lessons especially designed to illuminate issues they negotiate on a day-to-day basis when teaching mathematics. The results indicate that explicit consideration needs to be given to the careful development of precise mathematical language and concrete mathematical materials, the use of questioning in establishing classroom discourse, and the recognition that many of these classrooms are bilingual.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare evidence requirements for health technology assessment of pharmaceuticals by national agencies across Europe responsible for reimbursement decisions focusing specifically on relative effectiveness assessment.
Methods: Evidence requirements from thirty-three European countries were requested and twenty-nine national agencies provided documents to review. Data were extracted from national documents (manufacturer's submission templates and associated guidance) into a purpose-made framework with categories covering information about the health condition, the technology, clinical effectiveness and safety.
Results: The level of detail in the required evidence varies considerably across countries. Some countries include specific questions while others request information under general headings. Some countries include all information in a single document, which may or may not include guidance on how to complete the template. Others have specific guidance documents or methods and process manuals that help with the completion of the submission templates. Despite differences in quantity and detail, the content of the evidence requirements is broadly similar. All countries ask for information on the health technology, target disease, and clinical effectiveness and safety. However, one country only requests clinical effectiveness information as part of cost-effectiveness analyses. We found twenty-six evidence requirements for which generic answers may apply across borders and nineteen in which countries requested nationally specific information.
Conclusions: This work suggests that it would be possible to put together a minimum set of evidence requirements for HTA to support reimbursement decisions across Europe which could facilitate collaboration between jurisdictions.
Many patients approaching death experience hopelessness, helplessness, and a depressed mood, and these factors can contribute to a difficult end-of-life (EoL) period. Biography services may assist patients in finding meaning and purpose at this time. The aim of our study was to investigate the lived experience of volunteers involved in a biography service in Melbourne, Australia, using a qualitative methodology.
The participants were 10 volunteers who had participated in a biography service within a private palliative care service. Each volunteer was interviewed separately using a study-specific semistructured interview guide. The transcripts of these interviews were then subjected to thematic analysis.
Analysis yielded the following themes: motivations for volunteering; dealing with death, dying, and existential issues; psychosocial benefits of volunteering; and benefits and challenges of working with patients and their families. Our results indicated that volunteering gave the volunteers a deeper appreciation of existential issues, and helped them to be more appreciative of their own lives and gain a deeper awareness of the struggles other people experience. They also suggested that volunteers felt that their involvement contributed to their own personal development, and was personally rewarding. Furthermore, the results highlighted that volunteers found that encounters with family members were sometimes challenging. While some were appreciative, others imposed time limits, became overly reliant on the volunteers, and were sometimes offended, hurt, and angered by what was included in the final biography.
Significance of Results:
It is hoped that the findings of the current study will provide direction for improvements in the biography services that will benefit patients, family members, and volunteers. In particular, our findings highlight the need to provide ongoing support for volunteers to assist them in handling the challenges of volunteering in a palliative care setting.
Background: Initial therapy appointments have high nonattendance rates yet the reasons remain poorly understood. Aims: This study aimed to identify positive and negative attitudes towards therapy that predicted initial attendance, informed by a perceptual control theory account of approach-avoidance conflicts in help-seeking. Method: A prospective study was conducted within a low intensity CBT service using first appointment attendance (n = 96) as an outcome. Measures included attitudes towards therapy, depression and anxiety scales, and demographic variables. Results: Endorsement of a negative attitude item representing concern about self-disclosure was independently predictive of nonattendance. Positive attitudes predicted increased attendance, especially endorsement of motives for self-reflection, but only among less depressed individuals. Conclusions: Self-disclosure concerns contribute to therapy avoidance and having goals for self-reflection may represent approach motivation for therapy; however, the latter has less impact among more highly depressed people.
Due to the high turnover of teaching staff in remote schools, the long-term sustainability of educational initiatives that enhance Indigenous student's learning is a major concern. This article presents a study of a remote Indigenous school (Ischool) situated in Queensland. Ischool has changed its approach to leadership, particularly the distribution of power and authority within the school context, to address this concern. The focus is on building the capacity of Indigenous staff. It is a holistic and communal approach that is culturally inclusive of Indigenous ways of being and operating. The approach actively ensures that power and authority, and roles and responsibilities, are shared between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff. Data were collected in one-on-one interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants involved in the change process. A grounded methodological approach was utilised using open coding to break down data into distinct units of meaning. The results reveal that the Indigenous community of Ischool were more committed to promoting and sustaining education initiatives that improve student learning when: (a) school leadership structures were inclusive of Indigenous voices and Indigenous ways of relating; (b) power and authority within the school context was shared, and (c) Indigenous staff were included in professional development opportunities that foster collaborative classroom partnerships and legitimise their own knowledge of their culture and community.
To examine the association between breakfast skipping and physical activity among US adolescents aged 12–19 years.
A cross-sectional study of nationally representative 2007–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data.
Breakfast skipping was assessed by two 24 h dietary recalls. Physical activity was self-reported by participants and classified based on meeting national recommendations for physical activity for the appropriate age group. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to model the association between breakfast skipping and physical activity while controlling for confounders.
A total of 936 adolescents aged 12–19 years in the USA.
After adjusting for family income, there was no association between breakfast skipping and meeting physical activity guidelines for age among adolescents aged 12–19 years (OR = 0·95, 95 % CI 0·56, 1·32).
Findings from the study differ from previous research findings on breakfast skipping and physical activity. Therefore, further research that uses large, nationally representative US samples and national recommended guidelines for physical activity is needed.
Background: Nonattendance rates remain high for first therapy appointments, despite initiatives to increase access to psychological therapy. The reasons for nonattendance are poorly understood and studies of demographic and clinical predictors have produced conflicting findings. Aims: We aimed to pilot a method for investigating psychological factors associated with first appointment attendance in a primary care mental health service. Method: Questionnaires were completed by individuals at the point of referral to CBT with a low-intensity service in one general practice (n = 67), including a measure of beliefs, goals and attitudes towards therapy, as well as anxiety and depression scales. Subsequent attendance at the first appointment was used as an outcome. Results: Preliminary results showed that attendance was not associated with age or gender, severity of distress, or overall ratings for positive or negative attitudes towards therapy; although distress itself was associated with increased endorsement of negative attitudes. However, one specific psychological item, “Talking to a therapist will help me understand better how my mind works” had a significant association with subsequent attendance. Conclusions: The psychological factor that was associated with increased attendance may reflect the concept of psychological mindedness; however, this requires replication in a larger study. A full-scale study was deemed to be warranted based on this prospective design.
In Juffureh, Gambia, in the summer of 2006, a Gambian man followed a group of European and American tourists back to the boat that had brought them to his village after a three-hour trip from the capital of Banjul. He held up two small, wooden, hand-carved statues, and when he caught up to the tourists, he called out a price of 300 dalasi (about twelve American dollars) for the pair. As he and the tourists drew closer to the dock where the boat waited, he lowered his asking price. By the time they reached the dock he reduced it again, and when he saw that the tourists where still not interested, he lowered the amount once more to a third of his original price. Seeing that the visitors were more concerned about eating their noontime meal on the boat than buying the statues that he had to sell, the man appealed to the disinterested group one last time. ‘It's Kunta Kinte!’ he yelled, hoping that the tourists would understand the value of his handiwork by naming the famous enslaved ancestor of Alex Haley, American author of a book that traced his roots back to Africa. Holding a statue high in each of his hands, the Gambian seller shouted to the unfazed crowd, ‘How much for Kunta Kinte?!’
There is no intrinsic reason for a foreign tourist to visit the village of Juffureh on the River Gambia other than its link to Haley's best-selling book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. When Haley published Roots in 1976, he detailed how his family tree traced back over two centuries to a 17-year-old African ancestor named Kunta Kinte that slave traders had captured near that same village. The following year, the television mini-series captivated American audiences for eight nights in an unprecedented way.
This article examines the nature of oral language and representations used by teachers as they instruct young Indigenous Australian students at the beginning of formal schooling during play-based activities in mathematics. In particular, the use of Standard Australian English (SAE), the mathematical register used, and the interplay with mathematical representations during classroom instruction are analysed based upon the teachers' selfreported practices. The data are drawn from structured telephone interviews with 40 teachers in 15 schools from rural and remote or multicultural settings in Queensland at the initial stage of a large, longitudinal study. The specific aim of the study was the identification of effective pedagogical practices that may assist young Australian students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds to negotiate western mathematical understanding. The findings indicate that despite experience in these settings and focused professional learning sessions, the majority of these teachers report practices which reflect a strong emphasis on literacy acquisition rather than mathematical understanding. It is the contention of the researchers that the use of oral language with a rich selection of mathematical representations strongly supports mathematical understanding.
Self-help therapies, such as bibliotherapy, are becoming increasingly more available to the general population as a treatment for psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety. However, relatively few of these self-help books are properly evaluated to test their treatment efficacy. Two studies aimed to test a new self-help book to treat fears, phobias and anxiety in order to see if symptoms of anxiety and associated symptoms, such as functioning and coping, were improved compared to baseline scores and a waiting-list control group. Study 1 adopted a minimal guided approach (experimental group: n = 25; waiting-list control group: n = 29) whereas Study 2 adopted a non-guided approach (experimental group: n = 17; waiting-list control group: n = 16). In both studies, functioning and coping were improved and the current state of phobic symptoms was reduced. The main phobia improved only when adopting a guided approach and general psychological distress only reduced when adopting a non-guided approach. These studies provide preliminary support for a modest effect in a subclinical population. The results could have good implications for the treatment of anxiety and the use of self-help methods as an additional treatment aid or as a preventative treatment.
Working across knowledge-based research programmes, rather than institutional structures, should be central to interdisciplinary research. In this paper, a novel framework is proposed to facilitate interdisciplinary research, with the goals of promoting communication, understanding and collaborative work. Three core elements need to be addressed to improve interdisciplinary research: the types (forms and functions) of theories, the underlying philosophies of knowledge and the combination of research styles; these three elements combine to form the research programme. Case studies from sustainability science and environmental security illustrate the application of this research programme-based framework. This framework may be helpful in overcoming often oversimplified distinctions, such as qualitative/quantitative, deductive/inductive, normative/descriptive, subjective/objective and theory/practice. Applying this conceptual framework to interdisciplinary research should foster theoretical advances, more effective communication and better problem-solving in increasingly interdisciplinary environmental fields.
This study examined expectancy judgement and current concerns in high and low depression and anxiety participants. Expectancy judgement was measured using the Personal Future Task. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured using the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS). A novel scale, the Current Concerns Checklist, was developed to measure ten current concerns that were thought to relate to the most salient concerns of common Axis I disorders. Using the DASS, 19 participants were allocated to the distressed group and 17 to the non-distressed group. As hypothesized, there was a main effect for the current concern concept; participants thought of more future events regarding their current concern than their non-concern. However, the hypothesis that the distressed group would generate more negative relative to positive responses than the non-distressed group within the domain of their most prominent current concern was not supported. Future research and implications for CBT are discussed.
The consumer credit market is broken. Businesses have learned to exploit customers' systematic cognitive errors, selling complex credit products that are loaded with tricks and traps. Because customers cannot see or understand complete credit terms until it is too late, the market no longer operates to achieve competitive efficiency. Instead, creditors engage in a race to the bottom, boosting profits by offering ever-riskier products that families are poorly equipped to handle. The consequences are serious: Americans are sinking deeper in debt each year, and defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies are on the rise.
The regulatory framework that once controlled consumer credit is now in tatters. From colonial times until 1979, state-based usury laws were the central feature of consumer protection. In 1979, a Supreme Court interpretation of ambiguous language in a national banking law effectively ended state usury laws. Congress could easily have reversed the opinion by clarifying the language, but it turned away while this critical consumer protection vanished. By the 1990s, product innovation from payday lending to universal default to creative mortgage financing took root largely outside the purview of any regulatory body. Truth-in-Lending laws, which were designed to supplement usury protection, failed to keep pace with market changes. The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Controller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and other federal and state agencies regulate various financial institutions, but the mission of these regulators is aimed squarely at protecting the banks and the stability of the overall financial system, with scant attention to consumer protection.