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International best-practice guidelines for the management of first-episode psychosis have recommended the provision of psychoeducation for multifamily groups. While there is ample evidence of their efficacy in multiepisode psychosis, there is a paucity of evidence supporting this approach specifically for first-episode psychosis. We sought to determine whether a six-week caregiver psychoeducation programme geared specifically at first-episode psychosis improves caregiver knowledge and attitudes.
Caregivers of people with first-episode psychosis completed a 23-item adapted version of the self-report Family Questionnaire (KQ) and a 17-item adapted version of the self-report Drug Attitudes Inventory (DAI) before and after the six-week DETECT Information and Support Course (DISC). Using a Generalised Linear Repeated Measures Model, we analyzed the differences in proportions of correct answers before and after the programme.
Over a 24-month study period, 31 caregivers (13 higher socioeconomic; 13 lower socioeconomic; five unspecified socioeconomic; 19 female; 12 male) participated in the DISC programme and completed inventories before and after the course. Knowledge of psychosis and specific knowledge of medication treatment improved among caregivers overall (p < .01; effect sizes 0.78 and 0.94 respectively). There were no significant gender or socioeconomic differences in any improvement.
This study confirms that caregiver psychoeducation specifically for first-episode psychosis directly improves knowledge of the illness overall and, in particular, knowledge of medication. Gender is not a factor in this, while the lack of any socioeconomic differences dispels the myth that patients in lower socioeconomic groups are disadvantaged because their caregivers know less.
Are legislators responsive to the priorities of the public? Research demonstrates a strong correspondence between the issues about which the public cares and the issues addressed by politicians, but conclusive evidence about who leads whom in setting the political agenda has yet to be uncovered. We answer this question with fine-grained temporal analyses of Twitter messages by legislators and the public during the 113th US Congress. After employing an unsupervised method that classifies tweets sent by legislators and citizens into topics, we use vector autoregression models to explore whose priorities more strongly predict the relationship between citizens and politicians. We find that legislators are more likely to follow, than to lead, discussion of public issues, results that hold even after controlling for the agenda-setting effects of the media. We also find, however, that legislators are more likely to be responsive to their supporters than to the general public.
To anyone who follows American politics, the association of specific issues with either the Democratic or Republican party makes a certain intuitive sense. The idea that Americans would trust the Republican Party to better “handle” the issue of taxes than the Democrats while putting their faith in the Democrats on the issue of health care is unsurprising. However, the reasons for these associations and thus their ultimate meaning remain remarkably vague despite decades of scholarship on the topic of issue ownership. The goals of this and the next two chapters are to bring clarity to the meaning of issue ownership by developing theoretically precise hypotheses about the concept; generating improved estimates of the parties’ reputations over time, and using these estimates to test the hypotheses with data on American public opinion and public policy.
MEASURING THE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN PARTIES AND ISSUES
How do we translate the intuition that there exist long-term associations between parties and issues in the public’s mind into quantifiable measures? The study of issue ownership is based largely on survey questions first identified as valid measures by John Petrocik in his pathbreaking article “Issue Ownership in Presidential Elections” (Petrocik 1996). These questions take the following form: “Which political party, the Democrats or the Republicans, do you trust to do a better job handling ... [issue X]?” Closely related questions ask Americans which party they think is better able to “deal with” a certain issue or “do a better job” on it.
This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book by demarcating the set of issues for which the concept of issue ownership is analytically relevant. These “consensus issues” have to do with shared goals on which surveys consistently show broad consensuses exist among Americans – liberals and conservatives alike – for spending and government action. Because of the universal popularity of these goals, neither party can afford to be explicitly against achieving them. Rather, the parties are differentiated in three ways: they disagree about which consensus goals should be priorities, they disagree about how well those in government have performed in pursuit of those goals, and they disagree about which policies are best suited to achieving the goals.
The remainder of the chapter discusses theoretical and empirical criteria for determining whether an issue qualifies as a consensus issue. It introduces the ceteris paribus criterion – the idea that, all things being equal, Americans must support government action and spending on a consensus goal in order for the debates associated with it to be considered a consensus issue. It then delves more deeply into the distinction between priorities and policies, and shows how common it is for voters to find a party’s prioritization of a consensus issue to be appealing while being opposed to key policy stances the party takes on the issue. The chapter then shows that Americans’ expressed support for multiple national priorities does not take into account the obvious trade-offs of time and resources that make it impossible for the government to pursue them all simultaneously. Thus, the Democratic and Republican parties lose very few votes because of their ownership of particular consensus issues. Because this is not true for the positions the parties take on non-consensus issues such as abortion, gay rights, or gun rights, the analytical relevance of the concept of issue ownership is largely limited to understanding the politics of consensus issues.
We have seen that a consensus exists in the United States across the ideological spectrum that Washington should address a broad set of national goals with spending and government action. In the previous chapter, we saw that over the past four decades, Americans have consistently associated most of these goals with one party or another. Here I begin to investigate why these associations persist so strongly over time. Political scientists have ascribed the sources of the parties’ issue ownership to any or all of three explanations, hypothesizing that parties own issues because the public prefers their policies, their performance, or their priorities to those of the other party. In this chapter, I rule out the first two explanations, showing that the policy and performance hypotheses are profoundly unable to explain why parties own issues.
The chapter begins with a short discussion of why the questions that motivate this book require a focus on issue ownership at the aggregate, rather than the individual, level of analysis. Turning to the policy hypothesis, I show that policy preferences – as measured by four decades of survey items on which Americans have placed the parties and themselves on issue-specific scales – are remarkably unrelated to issue ownership. Americans do not particularly favor Democratic policies on Democratic-owned issues such as health care or jobs, nor do they favor Republican policies on the military or crime. The chapter then examines the performance hypothesis by comparing over-time issue ownership data with objective indicators of national conditions – such as crime, air quality, taxes, and health outcomes. This analysis shows that the parties’ ownership of most issues is completely unrelated to whether conditions on that issue actually improve when they hold power in Washington. Remarkably, Americans’ stated beliefs that one party is better able to “handle” a particular issue than the other have little to do with whether conditions actually improve on the issue when the trusted party holds power.
Americans consistently name Republicans as the party better at handling issues like national security and crime, while they trust Democrats on issues like education and the environment - a phenomenon called 'issue ownership'. Partisan Priorities investigates the origins of issue ownership, showing that in fact the parties deliver neither superior performance nor popular policies on the issues they 'own'. Rather, Patrick J. Egan finds that Republicans and Democrats simply prioritize their owned issues with lawmaking and government spending when they are in power. Since the parties tend to be particularly ideologically rigid on the issues they own, politicians actually tend to ignore citizens' preferences when crafting policy on these issues. Thus, issue ownership distorts the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policies.
The goal of this book has been to advance our scholarly understanding of the role issue ownership plays in American politics. Along the way, it has confirmed some previous findings, refined others, and explored heretofore uncharted territory. I began by making clear the kinds of issues for which we should expect the notion of issue ownership to be relevant: issues around which there exists a broad consensus about national goals and government’s responsibility to pursue those goals. Where previous research has disagreed on the extent to which issue ownership can change over time, here I have shown that issue ownership is in fact relatively steady. For the vast majority of issues over the past four decades, the public’s beliefs that one party is better than the other at handling a specific issue have been stable.
I have verified that issue ownership is meaningfully related to presidential election results, although ambiguity remains regarding the direction of causality. Voters may use issue ownership as a kind of heuristic to determine which party is likely to tackle the nation’s most important problems. By contrast, it is also possible that they absorb the messages broadcast by the party winning a particular election that its owned issues are indeed important at the time. In either case, it is clear that the associations the public makes between the parties and particular consensus issues are beneficial to issue-owning parties.
The previous two chapters have shown that rather than being driven by popular policies or superior performance, issue ownership instead derives from the fact that the Democratic and Republican parties prioritize different sets of issues. Evidence for these priorities are found in partisans’ beliefs and actions. In survey after survey, party elites and party voters say their parties’ owned issues are the nation’s most important problems and that they favor increased federal spending on them. When a party comes to power in Washington, its politicians convert these beliefs into action by devoting more major legislation and increased federal spending to the issues it owns.
If issue ownership’s effects were limited to this, we might consider the phenomenon as having at worst benign and perhaps even positive implications for American politics and policy making. Political scientists have long held that voters benefit to the extent that the parties’ stances are consistent and distinctive and thus party labels of candidates represent clear, easy-to-understand choices. The results from previous chapters show that issue ownership is a meaningful, accurate aspect of these labels. In this sense, issue ownership may help voters make choices aligned with their preferences – and in fact, this is precisely how scholars of issue ownership explain the finding that parties gain votes when their owned issues are more salient during national elections.
Thus far, our investigations of how Americans determine which party is better able to handle particular issues have come up short. The American electorate neither accords issue ownership to parties because it prefers their policies nor because the parties deliver superior performance. This chapter explores the final proposed explanation for issue ownership: the priorities hypothesis. It proceeds from the definition of prioritization introduced in Chapter 2: a party’s commitment to devoting scarce time, resources, and political capital to address consensus goals. It analyzes the parties’ priorities through the familiar triumvirate of considering the party as organization, the party in the electorate, and the party in government.
I find that the priorities of all three elements of the parties are strongly correlated with issue ownership. For the past four decades, party elites and party voters have consistently said that their parties’ owned issues are more important problems than other issues, that they should be high governmental priorities, and that spending on these issues should be increased compared to other issues. These priorities are reflected by the party in government, as when they are in power in Washington, Democrats and Republicans spend more federal dollars and enact more major legislation on their parties’ owned issues than other issues.
In March 2012, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a budget resolution that in some sense was decades in the making. Crafted by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), the plan spelled out cuts to the tax rates paid by many Americans and proposed the consolidation of taxpayers into just two income brackets. The corporate income tax rate would be reduced, too. Although the cuts would be accompanied by reforms designed to broaden the tax base and end distortions and loopholes, total government revenues over the next ten years would still be $2 trillion less than projected by the budget released a month earlier by Democratic President Barack Obama (House Budget Committee 2012).
The budget reflected an alliance between the Republican Party and anti-tax activists that by 2012 had spanned almost forty years. Long ago, Republican fiscal policy had been firmly anchored in the principle of balancing budgets rather than shrinking revenues. But this changed in the 1970s (Karol 2009). The marquee event signaling the party’s embrace of the tax cut agenda was California’s Proposition 13, which wrote strict limits on property-tax increases into the state’s constitution when it was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1978. The initiative’s champion was Howard Jarvis, an activist who had been working hand in hand with state Republicans to craft tax limitation measures since the late 1960s. He found a natural partner in Governor Ronald Reagan, who had sponsored a failed statewide measure to reduce income taxes as far back as 1973 (Sears and Citrin 1982).
This paper considers the relationship between assessments of institutional quality in developing countries and the innovative activities of multinational corporations. Firm entry mode literature has established links between domestic institutions and ownership equity patterns among multinationals, but institutionalist analyses have not adequately addressed the types of activities pursued by multinational firms. I argue that in addition to various socioeconomic indicators, the quality of domestic political institutions in developing countries is an important determinant of local innovative activity. I argue that institutional quality in host countries reinforces consistent patterns of interaction between states and firms, leading to reduced risk of technological expropriation and other undesirable outcomes for firms. I test this argument by examining the impact of institutional assessments, carried out by firms themselves and by outside observers, on R&D effort among multinationals, using firm-level surveys conducted in developing countries between 2002 and 2005. The multilevel empirical analysis suggests that multinational firms are likely to both locate R&D activities and pursue them intensively in developing countries with well-regarded institutions, and that the impact of institutional variables is more significant than other likely predictors, such as education levels in host countries.
Group identities that are chosen, rather than inherited, are often associated with cohesive political attitudes and behaviours. Conventional wisdom holds that this distinctiveness is generated by mobilization through processes such as intra-group contact and acculturation. This article identifies another mechanism that can explain cohesiveness: selection. The characteristics that predict whether an individual selects a group identity may themselves determine political attitudes, and thus may account substantially for the political cohesion of those who share the identity. This mechanism is illustrated with analyses of the causes and consequences of the acquisition of lesbian, gay or bisexual identity. Seldom shared by parents and offspring, gay identity provides a rare opportunity to cleanly identify the selection process and its implications for political cohesion.