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In Australia, the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mental health and well-being is a major human rights issue, and escalating suicide rates represent a national emergency. This chapter describes the Australian human rights context and developments within the discipline and profession of psychology to address these inequities, with the reconciliation action plan developed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as one commitment to change. The focus on respectful relationships, cultural safety, and promoting self-determination is part of the background leading to the APS apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The apology highlighted the importance of a commitment by all psychologists to reconciliation and to modifying their attitudes and work practices to ensure a culturally appropriate, responsive, and safe workforce. The Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) represents a focus on the education and employment of the psychology workforce and illustrates collaboration with key stakeholders in psychology education to provide frameworks and guidelines for embedding cultural awareness, responsiveness, and competence throughout all psychology education.
Background: Ross syndrome is diagnosed by the presence of segmental anhidrosis, areflexia, and tonic pupils. Fewer than 60 cases have been described in literature so far. There have been reports of presence of antibodies in such patients, suggesting an autoimmune pathogenesis. Methods: We describe the clinical profile in this case series of 11 patients with Ross syndrome and discuss the current status of autoimmunity in its pathogenesis and the management. Results: Of the 11 patients with Ross syndrome there was an almost equal sex distribution (male:female ratio was 1.17:1) and the mean age of onset of symptoms was 26 years. Patients took an average of 6 years to present to a tertiary center. Sixty-three percent of the patients presented with complaints of excessive sweating, whereas only 27% had complaints of decreased sweating over a particular area of the body. Only 45% of the patients had the complete triad of Ross syndrome, which included segmental anhidrosis, tonic pupil, and absent reflexes. Eighty-nine percent of the patients had documented absent sympathetic skin response on electromyography. The various markers of autoimmunity were negative in all patients who were investigated for the same in this series. Ninety percent of the patients were managed conservatively. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, in Ross syndrome, generalized injury to ganglion cells or their projections are not purely autoimmune-mediated.
Peer drinking norms are arguably one of the strongest correlates of adolescent drinking. Prospective studies indicate that adolescents tend to select peers based on drinking (peer selection) and their peers' drinking is associated with changes in adolescent drinking over time (peer socialization). The present study investigated whether the peer selection and socialization processes in adolescent drinking differed as a function of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) variable number tandem repeat genotype in two independent prospective data sets. The first sample was 174 high school students drawn from a two-wave 6-month prospective study. The second sample was 237 college students drawn from a three-wave annual prospective study. Multigroup cross-lagged panel analyses of the high school student sample indicated stronger socialization via peer drinking norms among carriers, whereas analyses of the college student sample indicated stronger drinking-based peer selection in the junior year among carriers, compared to noncarriers. Although replication and meta-analytic synthesis are needed, these findings suggest that in part genetically determined peer selection (carriers of the DRD4 seven-repeat allele tend to associate with peers who have more favorable attitudes toward drinking and greater alcohol use) and peer socialization (carriers' subsequent drinking behaviors are more strongly associated with their peer drinking norms) may differ across adolescent developmental stages.