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Without rapid international action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists have predicted catastrophic sea-level rise by 2100. Globally, archaeologists are documenting the effects of sea-level rise on coastal cultural heritage. Here, the authors model the impact of 1m, 2m and 5m sea-level rise on China's coastal archaeological sites using data from the Atlas of Chinese Cultural Relics and Shanghai City's Third National Survey of Cultural Relics. Although the resulting number of endangered sites is large, the authors argue that these represent only a fraction of those actually at risk, and they issue a call to mitigate the direct and indirect effects of rising sea levels.
Suicidal behavior is moderately heritable and a consequence of a combination of the diathesis traits for suicidal behavior and suicide-related major psychiatric disorders. Here, we sought to examine shared polygenic effects between various psychiatric disorders/traits and suicidal behavior and to compare the shared polygenic effects of various psychiatric disorders/traits on non-fatal suicide attempt and suicide death.
We used our genotyped European ancestry sample of 260 non-fatal suicide attempters, 317 suicide decedents and 874 non-psychiatric controls to test whether polygenic risk scores (PRSs) obtained from large GWASs for 22 suicide-related psychiatric disorders/traits were associated with suicidal behavior. Results were compared between non-fatal suicide attempt and suicide death in a sensitivity analysis.
PRSs for major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, alcohol dependence, sensitivity to environmental stress and adversity, educational attainment, cognitive performance, and IQ were associated with suicidal behavior (Bonferroni-corrected p < 2.5 × 10−4). The polygenic effects of all 22 psychiatric disorders/traits had the same direction (p for binomial tests = 4.8 × 10−7) and were correlated (Spearman's ρ = 0.85) between non-fatal suicide attempters and suicide decedents.
We found that polygenic effects for major psychiatric disorders and diathesis-related traits including stress responsiveness and intellect/cognitive function contributed to suicidal behavior. While we found comparable polygenic architecture between non-fatal suicide attempters and suicide decedents based on correlations with PRSs of suicide-related psychiatric disorders/traits, our analyses are limited by small sample size resulting in low statistical power to detect difference between non-fatal suicide attempt and suicide death.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating gastrointestinal disease of prematurity that typically develops after the administration of infant formula, suggesting a link between nutritional components and disease development. One of the most significant complications that develops in patients with NEC is severe lung injury. We have previously shown that the administration of a nutritional formula that is enriched in pre-digested Triacylglyceride that do not require lipase action can significantly reduce the severity of NEC in a mouse model. We now hypothesise that this ‘pre-digested fat (PDF) system’ may reduce NEC-associated lung injury. In support of this hypothesis, we now show that rearing newborn mice on a nutritional formula based on the ‘PDF system’ promotes lung development, as evidenced by increased tight junctions and surfactant protein expression. Mice that were administered this ‘PDF system’ were significantly less vulnerable to the development of NEC-induced lung inflammation, and the administration of the ‘PDF system’ conferred lung protection. In seeking to define the mechanisms involved, the administration of the ‘PDF system’ significantly enhanced lung maturation and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These findings suggest that the PDF system protects the development of NEC-induced lung injury through effects on lung maturation and reduced ROS in the lung and also increases lung maturation in non-NEC mice.
Cross-cultural research is burgeoning. Behavioral and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, management, marketing, and political science witness a steady increase in cross-cultural studies. For example, during the last decades, there has been a consistently increasing number of psychological studies on cross-cultural similarities and differences (Boer, Hanke, & He, 2018; Smith, Harb, Lonner, & Van de Vijver, 2001; Van de Vijver & Lonner, 1995). The increased interest is undoubtedly inspired by various factors, such as the opening of previously sealed international borders, large migration streams, globalization of the economic market, international tourism, increased cross-cultural communications, and technological innovations such as new means of telecommunication.
In the previous chapters, typical problems and pitfalls of cross-cultural research were discussed and solutions proposed. The current chapter briefly integrates the major methodological issues into eight statements. Each statement is followed by an explanation. The last section is devoted to our view on the future of cross-cultural research.
This chapter contains a description of the sampling of cultures, design, data analysis, and major strengths and weaknesses of the eight types of cross-cultural studies described in Chapter 2: structure- and level-oriented psychological differences studies; structure- and level-oriented generalizability studies; structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage exploration studies; and structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage validation studies. The structure- and level-oriented studies differ primarily in the analyses employed, so their presentation is integrated. A schematic overview is given in Table 5.1.
This book addresses the methodological features of cross-cultural research. The common characteristic of such studies is their comparative nature, which involves the comparison of at least two cultural populations. Many studies involve different nation states, in sociology (e.g., Inglehart & Welzel, 2010; Van Deth, Montero, & Westholm, 2007), education (e.g., Arnove, Torres, & Franz, 2012; Van de Werfhorst & Mijs, 2010), political sciences (e.g., Coffé & Bolzendahl, 2010; Poguntke & Webb, 2007), management (e.g., House et al., 2004), and psychology (e.g., Schmitt, Allik, McCrae, & Benet-Martínez, 2007). However, comparative studies can also involve different ethnic groups from a single country such as the comparison of ethnic groups in the United States (e.g., Trinidad, Pérez-Stable, White, Emery, & Messer, 2011) and in Europe (Phalet & Kosic, 2006).
Two closely related concepts play an essential role in cross-cultural comparisons, namely equivalence and bias (Poortinga, 1989; Van de Vijver, 2015). There is no consensual definition of either concept in the cross-cultural literature. Johnson (1998) identified more than fifty types of definitions of equivalence, addressing dissimilar features, such as constructs, methodology, language, and context. All definitions refer to some aspect that is shared across cultures or to a qualitative or quantitative procedure to establish the shared features. A review of bias approaches would probably show a comparable variety.
Four procedures for sampling cultures can be discerned (cf. Boehnke, Lietz, Schreier, & Wilhelm, 2011). In convenience sampling, researchers select a culture simply because of considerations of convenience. These considerations can derive from various sources; researchers may be from that culture, are acquainted with collaborators from that culture, or happen to stay there for a period of time. The choice of culture is not related to the theoretical questions raised and is often haphazard. Studies adopting this sampling scheme often fall into the category of psychological differences studies.
Data analysis in cross-cultural research involves more than the preparation of the correct instructions to run a computer program of a statistical package. It is a link in the long chain of empirical research that starts with the specification of a theoretical framework and ends with drawing conclusions. Strategic decisions in the data analysis such as the choice of statistical techniques can only be made on the basis of a combination of substantive considerations such as the research questions or hypotheses involved and statistical considerations such as measurement level and sample size.
This book gives an up-to-date overview of methodological and data-analytical issues of cross-cultural studies. Written by leading experts in the field, it presents the most important tools for doing cross-cultural research and outlines design considerations, methods, and analytical techniques that can improve ecological validity and help researchers to avoid pitfalls in cross-cultural psychology. By focusing on the relevant research questions that can be tackled with particular methods, it provides practical guidance on how to translate conceptual questions into decisions on study design and statistical techniques. Featuring examples from cognitive and educational assessment, personality, health, and intercultural communication and management, and illustrating key techniques in feature boxes, this concise and accessible guide is essential reading for researchers, graduate students, and professionals who work with culture-comparative data.