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In this book, Yitzhaq Feder presents a novel and compelling account of pollution in ancient Israel, from its emergence as an embodied concept, rooted in physiological experience, to its expression as a pervasive metaphor in social-moral discourse. Feder aims to bring the biblical and ancient Near Eastern evidence into a sustained conversation with anthropological and psychological research through comparison with notions of contagion in other ancient and modern cultural contexts. Showing how numerous interpretive difficulties are the result of imposing modern concepts on the ancient texts, he guides readers through wide-ranging parallels to biblical attitudes in ancient Near Eastern, ethnographic, and modern cultures. Feder demonstrates how contemporary evolutionary and psychological research can be applied to ancient textual evidence. He also suggests a path of synthesis that can move beyond the polarized positions which currently characterize modern academic and popular debates bearing on the roles of biology and culture in shaping human behavior.
Problems in learning that sights, sounds, or situations that were once associated with danger have become safe (extinction learning) may explain why some individuals suffer prolonged psychological distress following traumatic experiences. Although simple learning models have been unable to provide a convincing account of why this learning fails, it has recently been proposed that this may be explained by individual differences in beliefs about the causal structure of the environment.
Here, we tested two competing hypotheses as to how differences in causal inference might be related to trauma-related psychopathology, using extinction learning data collected from clinically well-characterised individuals with varying degrees of post-traumatic stress (N = 56). Model parameters describing individual differences in causal inference were related to multiple post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptom dimensions via network analysis.
Individuals with more severe PTSD were more likely to assign observations from conditioning and extinction stages to a single underlying cause. Specifically, greater re-experiencing symptom severity was associated with a lower likelihood of inferring that multiple causes were active in the environment.
We interpret these results as providing evidence of a primary deficit in discriminative learning in participants with more severe PTSD. Specifically, a tendency to attribute a greater diversity of stimulus configurations to the same underlying cause resulted in greater uncertainty about stimulus-outcome associations, impeding learning both that certain stimuli were safe, and that certain stimuli were no longer dangerous. In the future, better understanding of the role of causal inference in trauma-related psychopathology may help refine cognitive therapies for these disorders.
Resilience is broadly defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity or trauma. Recent advances in resilience research have shifted away from merely describing individual characteristics towards focusing on the complex interactions between individuals and their dynamic personal, community and cultural contexts. It is clear that resilience involves both neurobiological and cultural processes. Neurobiological contributions include genes, epigenetics, stress-response systems, the immune system and neural circuitry. Culture helps to elucidate collective systems of belief and accepted positive adaptations. Importantly, resilience can also be affected by evidence-based interventions and deliberate practice on the part of the individual. This review seeks to understand resilience as a complex and active process that is shaped by neurobiological profiles, developmental experiences, cultural and temporal contexts, and practical training. It uses the COVID-19 pandemic as a case example to better understand individual and group responses to tragedy. We suggest practical recommendations to help populations around the world cope and recover from the global threat of COVID-19.
Care-leavers – those transitioning from alternative care towards young adulthood – are widely recognized as a vulnerable population, yet child protection legislation seldom applies to them because they have reached adulthood. Despite this, little internationally comparative research on care-leaving policy and legislation has been conducted. This paper maps multinational policy and legislation and its impact on the services to care-leavers and the challenges they experience. An online survey was conducted with key informants in 36 countries and analysed by a multinational team of care-leaving scholars. Findings reveal that few countries have well-developed care-leaving legislation. Most countries provide little aftercare beyond the age of 18, even when legislation provides for it. Within the context of suboptimal social policy and limited aftercare services, findings also reveal high vulnerability among care-leavers. Recommendations for policy development, global dialogue, further research and advocacy are proposed.
There is increasing evidence that domestic violence (DV) is an important risk factor for suicidal behaviour. The level of risk and its contribution to the overall burden of suicidal behaviour among men and women has not been quantified in South Asia. We carried out a large case-control study to examine the association between DV and self-poisoning in Sri Lanka.
Cases (N = 291) were patients aged ⩾18 years, admitted to a tertiary hospital in Kandy Sri Lanka for self-poisoning. Sex and age frequency matched controls were recruited from the hospital's outpatient department (N = 490) and local population (N = 450). Exposure to DV was collected through the Humiliation, Afraid, Rape, Kick questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression models were conducted to estimate the association between DV and self-poisoning, and population attributable fractions were calculated.
Exposure to at least one type of DV within the previous 12 months was strongly associated with self-poisoning for women [adjusted OR (AOR) 4.08, 95% CI 1.60–4.78] and men (AOR 2.52, 95% CI 1.51–4.21), compared to those reporting no abuse. Among women, the association was strongest for physical violence (AOR 14.07, 95% CI 5.87–33.72), whereas among men, emotional abuse showed the highest risk (AOR 2.75, 95% CI 1.57–4.82). PAF% for exposure to at least one type of DV was 38% (95% CI 32–43) in women and 22% (95% CI 14–29) in men.
Multi-sectoral interventions to address DV including enhanced identification in health care settings, community-based strategies, and integration of DV support and psychological services may substantially reduce suicidal behaviour in Sri Lanka.
Hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with the consequent hypercortisolism, is one of the most consistent findings in chronic stress and depression. The stress response will depend on characteristics of stressors, their subjective appraisal and the resulting coping strategies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive therapy (CT) in the treatment of a chronic stress condition, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), as it would be reflected through both psychological and biological parameters. For this purpose, a group of outpatients with GAD were treated with CT for up to a maximum of 24 sessions. In order to assess psychological and biological changes, anxiety-related symptoms were evaluated according to the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and the HPA function was determined through assessment of circulating cortisol levels.
Upon completion of the treatment, a significant decrease in HAM-A scores, along with significant changes in plasma cortisol levels, were observed in treated subjects. These observations contribute to demonstrate that CT may be effective to treat a chronic stress disorder, such as GAD, as it was observed at both psychological and biological levels, and moreover, this could represent an effective approach to treat hypercortisolism due to hyperactivity of the HPA axis. Therapeutic and preventive strategies will also be discussed.
There is little known about the extent to which men and women with mental disorders are at increased risk of being a victim of domestic violence. We therefore aimed to estimate the prevalence and risk of domestic violence victimisation among men and women with depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, and among psychiatric service users.
We searched 18 biomedical and social sciences databases (including MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO) and supplemented the search by hand searching of key journals and reference lists of included articles, citation tracking, expert recommendations, and updating a systematic review on victimisation among people with mental disorders. We included cross sectional, cohort and experimental studies that reported on the prevalence and/or risk of adulthood domestic violence victimisation among people meeting either ICD or DSM diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder. Two reviewers independently extracted data and appraised study quality. Random effects meta-analysis was used to pool data where possible.
High quality papers reported a median prevalence of adult lifetime domestic violence in mental health service users of 30% (IQR 26% - 39%) in female inpatients and 33% (IQR 31%-53%) in female outpatients. There was an increased risk of experiencing domestic violence in all diagnostic groups and in men and women but there were few high quality studies for men.
Mental disorder is associated with a high prevalence and increased risk of being a victim of domestic violence in both men and women.
Eclosion times and rates of Rhagoletis tabellaria (Fitch) (Diptera: Tephritidae) and its parasitoid wasp Utetes tabellariae (Fischer) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) held at different chilling durations were determined in the laboratory. Adult fly and wasp longevity were also determined. Adult female and male flies from R. tabellaria puparia chilled for 195 days at 4.8 °C and then held at 23.2 °C eclosed on average earlier than U. tabellariae reared from R. tabellaria puparia. Rhagoletis tabellaria also eclosed significantly earlier from puparia chilled for 150 days than 120 days at 2.7 °C, but U. tabellariae eclosion from the two treatments did not differ significantly. Rhagoletis tabellaria eclosion rates were greater with longer chill durations, but U. tabellariae eclosion rates per R. tabellaria puparium did not differ among chill durations. No R. tabellaria eclosed from nonchilled puparia held at 20–22 °C, but at least 18.8% of nonchilled U. tabellariae eclosed. Female and male R. tabellaria on average survived 52.1 and 83.3 days, respectively, while female and male U. tabellariae survived 37.7 and 28.7 days, respectively. Results indicate diapause and developmental traits of R. tabellaria may be more dependent on chilling durations and less flexible than those of U. tabellariae, a wasp that appears adapted to flies in the R. tabellaria species complex.
Ancient Egypt and the Egyptians have been renowned for their culture and literacy since classical antiquity. The storerooms of knowledge and literature were the libraries of the temples from the third millennium BC down to the fourth century AD. We distinguish three periods of ancient Egyptian history in the third and second millennia BC: the Old Kingdom (c. 2657–2120), the Middle Kingdom (c. 2119–1794), and the New Kingdom (c. 1550–1069). A period of foreign rule followed, and the pharaonic culture and religion were gradually Hellenized under the rule of Alexander and (after 332 BC) his successors, the Ptolemaic dynasty, and in the Roman empire, and finally replaced by Christendom. We can easily speak of 4,000 years of written culture in the Nile Valley if we include the Christian or Coptic period, which ended when the Ancient Egyptian language, of which Coptic is the latest offspring, disappeared and was finally replaced by Arabic in the fourteenth century AD. This immense time period is the frame or scope of this chapter.
The ability to understand others’ mental states carries profound consequences for mental and physical health, making efforts at validly and reliably assessing mental state understanding (MSU) of utmost importance. However, the most widely used and current NIMH-recommended task for assessing MSU – the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task (RMET) – suffers from potential assessment issues, including reliance on a participant's vocabulary/intelligence and the use of culturally biased stimuli. Here, we evaluate the impact of demographic and sociocultural factors (age, gender, education, ethnicity, race) on the RMET and other social and non-social cognitive tasks in an effort to determine the extent to which the RMET may be unduly influenced by participant characteristics.
In total, 40 248 international, native-/primarily English-speaking participants between the ages of 10 and 70 completed one of five measures on TestMyBrain.org: RMET, a shortened version of RMET, a multiracial emotion identification task, an emotion discrimination task, and a non-social/non-verbal processing speed task (digit symbol matching).
Contrary to other tasks, performance on the RMET increased across the lifespan. Education, race, and ethnicity explained more variance in RMET performance than the other tasks, and differences between levels of education, race, and ethnicity were more pronounced for the RMET than the other tasks such that more highly educated, non-Hispanic, and White/Caucasian individuals performed best.
These data suggest that the RMET may be unduly influenced by social class and culture, posing a serious challenge to assessing MSU in clinical populations given shared variance between social status and psychiatric illness.
The homo- and heteroepitaxial deposition of LGS (langasite, La3Ga5SiO14) thin films on LGS single crystals, Si and SiO2 substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) is demonstrated. PLD is performed at substrate temperatures up to about 700 °C and results initially in Ga deficient films. Two strategies of counterbalancing the Ga deficit are realized. First, off-stoichiometric targets with an enhanced Ga content are applied. Secondly, an increased oxygen partial pressure up to about 6 Pa is used during deposition to suppress evaporation of Ga suboxides. Combining these adaptions results in the growth of stoichiometric LGS thin films. Films deposited on LGS substrates do not show any additional X-ray diffraction reflexes nor broadening of the peaks with respect to the single crystalline substrates. Therefore, the homoepitaxial approach can be considered successful. The deposition on Si and SiO2 substrates under the same conditions leads to the formation of polycrystalline films. However, post-annealing at 800 °C increases crystallinity. Stoichiometry and homogeneous distribution of La, Ga and Si cations are confirmed by secondary neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS). The composition remains constant within the film, implying stable process parameters.
Domestic violence and abuse is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are relatives, partners or ex-partners. It includes abuse from adult children and from parents of adult children. Domestic violence is a breach of human rights as well as a major public health and clinical problem. In this chapter we focus largely on violence between partners or ex-partners when discussing prevalence, and exclusively on partner violence when reviewing evidence on the health impact of domestic violence and abuse, as this is the focus of most research to date.
Definition of intimate partner violence
Intimate partner violence is a form of domestic violence occurring between intimate partners or ex-partners. Whereas violence between partners occurs in all types of relationships and cuts across all sections of society, intimate partner violence is recognised as a gendered issue where women are overwhelmingly more likely to be injured as a result of violence, require medical attention or hospital admission, and fear for their lives, and men are more likely to perpetrate violence. Internationally, there are no consistent demographic associations with intimate partner violence, such as ethnicity, age and number of children, other than relative poverty. Although it is prevalent across the socioeconomic spectrum, intimate partner violence is more common in families and communities which are relatively deprived (Pickett & Wilkinson, 2009). In the UK, the USA and Canada, younger women (aged between 16 and 34) experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence (Smith et al, 2011; Catalano, 2012; Sinha, 2012) and there is some evidence that women with disabilities are at increased risk (Mirlees-Black, 1999).
In earlier decades, terms such as wife abuse, conjugal violence and spousal abuse were commonplace, but they have been superseded by more general terms, such as domestic violence, in recognition that violence and abuse does not just occur between married couples. In the UK, domestic violence has a precise definition denoting violence between adults who are relatives, partners or ex-partners (Home Office, 2012). Intimate partner violence specifically refers to abuse from partners or ex-partners, distinguishing it from other forms of violence that may occur in a family or domestic setting.