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The Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS) is a prospective adoption study of birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted children (n = 561 adoptees). The original sample has been expanded to include siblings of the EGDS adoptees who were reared by the birth mother and assessed beginning at age 7 years (n = 217 biological children), and additional siblings in both the birth and adoptive family homes, recruited when the adoptees were 8–15 years old (n = 823). The overall study aims are to examine how family, peer and contextual processes affect child and adolescent adjustment, and to examine their interplay (mediation, moderation) with genetic influences. Adoptive and birth parents were originally recruited through adoption agencies located throughout the USA following the birth of a child. Assessments are ongoing and occurred in 9 month’s intervals until the adoptees turned 3 years of age, and in 1 to 2 year intervals thereafter through age 15. Data collection includes the following primary constructs: child temperament, behavior problems, mental health, peer relations, executive functioning, school performance and health; birth and adoptive parent personality characteristics, mental health, health, context, substance use, parenting and marital relations; and the prenatal environment. Findings highlight the power of the adoption design to detect environmental influences on child development and provide evidence of complex interactions and correlations between genetic, prenatal environmental and postnatal environmental influences on a range of child outcomes. The study sample, procedures and an overview of findings are summarized and ongoing assessment activities are described.
Foster and adoptive parents often face challenges while taking care of children who, due to their adverse early life experiences, are at risk of developing insecure attachment relationships, behavior problems, and stress dysregulation. Several intervention programs have been developed to help foster and adoptive parents to overcome these challenges. In the current study, a series of eight meta-analyses were performed to examine the effectiveness of these intervention programs on four parent outcomes (sensitive parenting, k = 11, N = 684; dysfunctional discipline, k = 4, N = 239; parenting knowledge and attitudes, k = 7, N = 535; parenting stress, k = 18, N = 1,306), three child outcomes (attachment security, k = 6, N = 395; behavior problems, k = 33, N = 2,661; diurnal cortisol levels, k = 3, N = 261), and placement disruption (k = 7, N = 1,100). Results show positive effects for the four parent outcomes and child behavior problems, but not for attachment security, child diurnal cortisol levels, or placement disruption. Indirect effects on child outcomes may be delayed, and therefore long-term follow-up studies are needed to examine the effects of parenting interventions on children.
Capturing people, sometimes by taking relatives hostage, is a common practice for purposes of conscription and law enforcement in the Wa State of Myanmar. Given the unreliability of the local census, as well as the relative weakness of civil government, and registration in a de facto state governed by an insurgent army, the personal politics of capture provides a functional equivalent to state legibility. This personal politics operates based on the reorganization of personal networks between representatives of the military state and ordinary people: first, circles of acquaintances within the military state that provide access to local knowledge, and second, relationships of patronage formed on the basis of those new acquaintanceships, as well as connections of kinship and co-residence. Conscription by capture, however, also requires anonymity; that is, the passive non-recognition of mutuality with strangers and the active refusal of mutuality with acquaintances. This article describes the historical emergence of networks of acquaintances and relationships of patronage as a combination of Maoist state-building and local institutions of war capture and adoption. It demonstrates how conscription by capture relies on relationships of acquaintances and non-recognition, as well as on patronage and the refusal of mutuality. The politics of conscription by capture are contrasted with conscription in imperial states and contemporary nation-states.
Using cover crops can be beneficial not only for soil health but also for the environment. However, relatively few farmers have adopted cover crops, so understanding the barriers to adoption is necessary. We used a probit model with data on 1,712 soybean producers from the 2012 USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey to identify factors affecting adoption of cover crops. We found that more precipitation was positively correlated with adoption, as was more hired labor. Adoption was also positively correlated with crop diversification and no-till adoption, which may relate to equipment availability.
Although many children adopted internationally show remarkable recovery once placed in families, as a group they continue to exhibit persisting developmental deficits and delays in self-regulation. The current study uses a stratified, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effects of mindfulness-based and executive function trainings (EFTs) on internationally adopted (IA) children's self-regulation, including effortful/inhibitory control, attention, delay of gratification, and emotion-regulation. IA children ages 6–10 years were randomized into mindfulness training (MT), EFT, or no intervention (NI) groups. The MT and EFT groups attended 12 one-hour group sessions. Ninety-six children (MT, n = 33; EFT, n = 32; NI, n = 31) completed the study and were tested on computerized and non-computerized measures of self-regulation. Compared with the NI group, the MT group improved delay of gratification, and the EFT group improved inhibitory control and selective attention. There was no effect of either intervention on emotion regulation. MTs and EFTs show promise for improving self-regulation in IA children.
In order to ensure sustainability of maize production in short-season environments of Nigeria, the Sudan savanna taskforce of Kano–Katsina–Maradi (KKM) Pilot Learning Site promoted short-season maize varieties in 2008 via Innovation Platforms (IPs). In the light of the promoted varieties, we evaluated the adoption and net benefits (productivity and income) of the maize varieties. We used cross-sectional household data elicited from 600 sampled households, double-hurdle model and propensity score matching. There was a remarkable increase in the adoption of short-season maize varieties in 2014 compared to what was obtained in a baseline conducted in 2008. Our empirical findings revealed that the adoption of the short-season maize varieties promoted through the IPs had significant productivity and income increasing effects. This implies that policy interventions to ensure sustainable maize intensification in the face of environmental limitations, such as early and late season drought, should intensify the promotion of short-season varieties in Sudan savannas. This will require well-concerted agricultural extension that can leverage IPs in view of its potentials.
Although adoption of agricultural innovations has been extensively examined in the literature, its impact on indicators of farm production and household welfare measures remains ambiguous in the context of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study contributes to the literature by conducting a meta-regression analysis on 92 studies published between 2001 and 2015 in the SSA region. Overall, empirical results from the meta-analysis suggest that adoption of agricultural innovations has a positive and significant effect on indicators of farm production and household welfare measures. However, the magnitude of the impact is relatively small, which also suggests a weak relationship.
Placement stability is sought for children who enter care and need a place to call home. This is deemed to be necessary for the formation and continuation of secure and loving relationships with parents and carers. However, the term placement stability does not capture the quality of the placement or the subjective experience of the young person. In contrast, the term relational permanence denotes an enduring and supportive relationship between a young person and a caring adult. Research studies have tended to focus on placement stability, or legal and physical permanence, and overlook relational permanence. Within the current study, we found high levels of long-term placement stability for the study population, 354 young people who were under five and in care in Northern Ireland on the 31st March 2000. Placements for those who were adopted, on Residence Order, and rehabilitated with birth parents were more likely to be stable than those in long-term foster care and kinship foster care. However, early interview data with 30 young people and/or their parents/carers revealed high levels of relational permanence, irrespective of placement type, and that placement disruption did not necessarily mean a breakdown in the relationship. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Many NGOs pride themselves with their ability to use grassroots participatory approaches when working with economically disadvantaged farmers. I asked whether current participatory approaches could be relied on to promote sustainable agriculture among subsistence farmers in Ghana's Upper-West Region. To ascertain this, I employed Arnstein's (2015) ladder of citizen participation as a theoretical basis. A two-phase exploratory sequential mixed method design was also used. Phase one consisted of a qualitative comparative analysis of the various participatory approaches of two purposively sampled NGOs using FGDs and in-depth interviews. In phase two, themes from phase one guided the formulation of a structured questionnaire, which ascertained the differences in grassroots participatory approaches between the two identified NGOs and how these differences influenced the likelihood of their respective beneficiary farmers adopting sustainable agronomic practices using chi-square and logistic regression. Findings show statistically significant associations between grassroots participation and farmers’ adoption of sustainable agronomic practices. The findings suggest that farmers who were engaged in higher levels of Arnstein's (2015) typology of participation were more likely to adopt sustainable agronomic practices than those who minimally participated. This suggests that development interventions can be most beneficial to the grassroots when intended beneficiaries fully participate in them.
Automatic milking systems (AMS), or milking robots, are becoming widely accepted as a milking technology that reduces labour and increases milk yield. However, reported amount of labour saved, changes in milk yield, and milk quality when transitioning to AMS vary widely. The purpose of this study was to document the impact of adopting AMS on farms with regards to reported changes in milking labour management, milk production, milk quality, and participation in dairy herd improvement (DHI) programmes. A survey was conducted across Canada over the phone, online, and in-person. In total, 530 AMS farms were contacted between May 2014 and the end of June 2015. A total of 217 AMS producers participated in the General Survey (Part 1), resulting in a 41% response rate, and 69 of the respondents completed the more detailed follow-up questions (Part 2). On average, after adopting AMS, the number of employees (full- and part-time non-family labour combined) decreased from 2.5 to 2.0, whereas time devoted to milking-related activities decreased by 62% (from 5.2 to 2.0 h/day). Median milking frequency was 3.0 milkings/day and robots were occupied on average 77% of the day. Producers went to fetch cows a median of 2 times/day, with a median of 3 fetch cows or 4% of the herd per robot/day. Farms had a median of 2.5 failed or incomplete milkings/robot per day. Producers reported an increase in milk yield, but little effect on milk quality. Mean milk yield on AMS farms was 32.6 kg/cow day. Median bulk tank somatic cell count was 180 000 cells/ml. Median milk fat on AMS farms was 4.0% and median milk protein was 3.3%. At the time of the survey, 67% of producers were current participants of a DHI programme. Half of the producers who were not DHI participants had stopped participation after adopting AMS. Overall, this study characterized impacts of adopting AMS and may be a useful guide for making this transition.
Conservation tillage offers economic and soil quality benefits, yet conventional tillage remains the prevailing system in some regions. The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of profitability factors, risk attitudes, crop rotations, and other farmer and farm characteristics on farmers’ choices to use no-till (NT), strip-till (ST) and reduced/conventional tillage (RCT) in producing dryland corn, wheat, and soybean in Kansas. The results show that factors such as crop yields, risk aversion, crop insurance, baling and grazing of crop residue, crop acreage, and farmers’ approach to adopting new technologies are significant factors in farmers’ choice of tillage practice.
This study explores factors affecting adoption of two stormwater management practices, rain gardens and rain barrels. Mail survey data from Columbia, Missouri indicate adoption rates of 3.12 percent (rain gardens) and 7.47 percent (rain barrels). This unique dataset enables us to distinguish among nonadopters using knowledge levels, and to investigate the effect of practice-specific barriers. Clustered multinomial logistic regressions reveal serious gardeners are more likely to adopt both practices. Specific barriers differ by practice and type of nonadopter. Adding practice-specific barriers increased pseudo R2 values from 0.12 to 0.22 for rain gardens and from 0.13 to 0.26 for rain barrels.
Precision agriculture technologies have been adopted individually and in bundles. A sample of 348 Kansas Farm Management Association farm-level observations provides insight into technology adoption patterns of precision agriculture technologies. Estimated transition probabilities shed light on how adoption paths lead to bundling of technologies. Three information intensive technologies were assigned to one of eight possible bundles, and the sequence of adoption was examined using Markov transition processes. The probability that farms remain with the same bundle or transition to a different bundle by the next time period are reported. Farms with the complete bundle of all three technologies were likely to persist with their current technology.
Over the past few decades, farmers have increasingly integrated cover crops into their cropping systems. Cover-crop benefits can help a farmer to achieve sustainability or reduce negative environmental externalities, such as soil erosion or chemical runoff. However, the impact on farm economics will likely be the strongest incentive to adopt cover crops. These impacts can include farm profits, cash crop yields or both. This paper provides a review of cover-crop adoption, production, risk and policy considerations from an economic perspective. These dimensions are examined through a review of cover-crop literature. This review was written to provide an overview of cover crops and their impacts on the farm business and the environment, especially with regard to economic considerations. Through increasing knowledge about cover crops, the intent here is to inform producers contemplating adoption and policy makers seeking to encourage adoption.
In the United Kingdom (UK), an ageing population met with the reduction of social care funding has led to reduced support for older people marked with an increased demand on family care-givers. Assistive telecare (AT) devices are viewed as an innovative and effective way to support older people. However, there is limited research which has explored adoption of AT from the perspectives of family care-givers. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 family care-givers of patients who used the Assistive Telehealth and Telecare service in Cambridgeshire, UK. Family care-givers were either the spouse (N = 8) or child of the patient (N = 6). The patients' age ranged from 75 to 98, and either received a telecare standalone device or connected service. Framework analysis was used to analyse the transcripts. This study revealed that family care-givers play a crucial role in supporting the patient's decision to adopt and engage with AT devices. Knowledge and awareness, perceived responsibility, usefulness and usability, alongside functionality of the equipment, were influential factors in the decision-making process. AT devices were viewed positively, considered easy to use, useful and functional, with reassurance of the patient's safety being a core reason for adoption. Efforts to increase adoption and engagement should adapt recruitment strategies and service pathways to support both the patient and their care-giver.
We examined the cross-national adoption of six major private food safety standards, focusing on the role of certifiers and international trade. Results show that the number of certification bodies existing in the domestic country, food exports, and the proportion of food exports to North America had positive effects on a country's adoption of food safety standards. Distance leads to product differentiation for the standards and therefore disadvantages developing countries in Africa and Asia for adopting the standards, which are all based in the United States or Europe. Providing these countries with better access to certifiers can alleviate this geographic disadvantage.
Tactics that target seedbanks are important components of weed management systems; however, such tactics can be difficult to adopt because consequences of seedbank reduction are often unclear. This study developed model-based software to provide insights on the economic outcomes, in the context of chile pepper production, of additions to tall morningglory seedbanks. Data for the model were derived from this and previous studies. In this study, field experiments were conducted to determine chile pepper yield and harvest efficiency responses to mid-season tall morningglory infestations. The experimental treatments were factorial combinations of herbicide (pendimethalin-treated, nontreated) and tall morningglory density (0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 plants 10-m row–1). Treatments were installed 9.5 weeks after crop seeding. Data collected included fresh weight of marketable chile peppers and time required for one individual to harvest 10-m of crop row, which was used to calculate the amount of chile pepper harvested in 1 min (harvest efficiency). Results indicated that crop yield was not influenced by tall morningglory density, pendimethalin treatment and interactions between tall morningglory density and pendimethalin. Harvest efficiency was influenced by tall morningglory density but was not influenced by herbicide treatment or interactions between herbicide treatment and tall morningglory density. Each additional tall morningglory plant decreased the amount of chile pepper harvested in 1 min by 9.7 g. The results of this and previous studies were used to develop model-based software that presents tall morningglory seedbank density effects on: (1) tall morningglory seedling densities after pendimethalin, (2) time requirements for hand-hoeing after pendimethalin, and (3) time requirements for hand-harvesting to acquire yield goals. The model-based software is intended to be used in the instruction of weed seedbank management strategies. By presenting seedbank density effects on weed control outcomes and crop production expenses, the model-based software might promote adoption of seedbank reduction strategies.
Over the last 25 years (1990–2015), the number of adoptions of children (and young persons) in Australia declined from 1,142 to 292 (25.5 %). Of the 292 adoptions that took place in 2014–15, 83 (28%) were inter country adoptions, with the remaining 209 (72 %) adoptions of Australian children. Very few of the adoptions of Australian children were in New South Wales. In amendments in 2014 to the New South Wales Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and the Adoptions Act 2000, a new emphasis on ‘open’ adoption was introduced. The focus of these amendments is on adoption of children who are in foster care where the New South Wales Children's Court has ruled that there is no realistic possibility of restoration of the child to parental care. This article is about the implementation of this new legislative emphasis on adoption. It does not examine the benefit or otherwise of adoption for children who cannot be safely restored to parental care as this issue has been extensively canvassed elsewhere. This article also highlights the US and English experience of adoption from care in order to place the New South Wales development in perspective. The article concludes with discussion of the issues adoption raises for the parents of a child who is being considered for adoption from care.
Between 1947 and 1953, Australia received over 170,000 Displaced People from Europe including widows and unmarried mothers. These refugees were expected to conform to the policies and expectations of the State, in particular the adherence to a 2-year work contract. This was an impossibility for many mothers who could not find work or accommodation outside of the government supplied migrant accommodation centres, and who, as a consequence, resorted to placing their children, either temporarily or permanently, in institutions or for adoption. Through an examination of archival documents, this paper examines the policies that resulted in migrant child placement and adoption and considers the role played by Department of Immigration social workers. It asks why, when migrant children were considered amongst the most desirable of new arrivals, were many fated to become orphans?
Although cross-sectional twin studies have assessed the genetic and environmental etiologies of substance use during adolescence and early adulthood, comparisons of results across different samples, measures, and cohorts are problematic. While several longitudinal twin studies have investigated these issues, few corroborating adoption studies have been conducted. The current study is the first to estimate the magnitude of genetic, shared environmental, and non-shared environmental influences on substance use (cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana) from ages 14 to 18 years, using a prospective longitudinal adoption design. Adoptive and control sibling correlations provided substantial evidence for early genetic effects on cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use/no use. Shared environmental effects were relatively modest, except for alcohol use, which showed increases in late adolescence (age 17 to 18 years). Sibling similarity for quantity/frequency of use also support additive genetic influences across adolescence, with some shared environmental influences for all three substances. To test the stability of these influences across time, a series of independent pathway models were run to explore common and age-specific influences. For all substances, there were minimal age-specific additive genetic and shared environmental influences on quantity/frequency of use. Further, there was a trend toward increasing genetic influences on cigarette and alcohol use across ages. Genetic influences on marijuana were important early, but did not contribute substantially at age 17 and 18 years. Overall, the findings indicate that genetic influences make important contributions to the frequency/quantity of substance use in adolescence, and suggest that new genetic influences may emerge in late adolescence for cigarette and alcohol use.