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In recent decades, turnout in US presidential elections has soared, education levels have hit historic highs, and the internet has made information more accessible than ever. Yet over that same period, Americans have grown less engaged with local politics and elections. Drawing on detailed analysis of fifteen years of reporting in over 200 local newspapers, along with election returns, surveys, and interviews with journalists, this study shows that the demise of local journalism has played a key role in the decline of civic engagement. As struggling newspapers have slashed staff, they have dramatically cut their coverage of mayors, city halls, school boards, county commissions, and virtually every aspect of local government. In turn, fewer Americans now know who their local elected officials are, and turnout in local elections has plummeted. To reverse this trend and preserve democratic accountability in our communities, the local news industry must be reinvigorated – and soon.
The Hawaiian archipelago was formerly home to one of the most species-rich land snail faunas (> 752 species), with levels of endemism > 99%. Many native Hawaiian land snail species are now extinct, and the remaining fauna is vulnerable. Unfortunately, lack of information on critical habitat requirements for Hawaiian land snails limits the development of effective conservation strategies. The purpose of this study was to examine the plant host preferences of native arboreal land snails in Puʻu Kukui Watershed, West Maui, Hawaiʻi, and compare these patterns to those from similar studies on the islands of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi. Concordant with studies on other islands, we found that four species from three diverse families of snails in Puʻu Kukui Watershed had preferences for a few species of understorey plants. These were not the most abundant canopy or mid canopy species, indicating that forests without key understorey plants may not support the few remaining lineages of native snails. Preference for Broussaisia arguta among various island endemic snails across all studies indicates that this species is important for restoration to improve snail habitat. As studies examining host plant preferences are often incongruent with studies examining snail feeding, we suggest that we are in the infancy of defining what constitutes critical habitat for most Hawaiian arboreal snails. However, our results indicate that preserving diverse native plant assemblages, particularly understorey plant species, which facilitate key interactions, is critical to the goal of conserving the remaining threatened snail fauna.
Who governs America’s cities: organized interests or mass publics? Though recent scholarship finds that local governments enact policies that align with citizens’ preferences, others argue that it is organized interests, not mass publics that are influential. To reconcile these perspectives, we show that election timing can help shed light on when voters or groups will be pivotal in city politics. Examining 1,600 large US cities, we find that off-cycle elections affect city policy responsiveness asymmetrically, weakening responsiveness on those issues where there is an active and organized interest whose policy objectives deviate from the preferences of the median resident. Here, we focus on public employees’ interests and find that local governments that are elected off cycle spend more on city workers than would be preferred by citizens in more conservative cities. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the study of interest groups and representation in local politics.
The study examines the impacts of a project-based learning (PBL) methodology on the development of emotional skills involved in the learner’s individual and social well-being. This paper summarises the preliminary results of the case study in which the project ‘Opera as a Vehicle for Learning’ (LOVA) was implemented with a key stage 2 group in Mexico City. This project fostered the development of the students’ intra- and interpersonal skills, group decision-making, critical reasoning, active listening, oral and written expression and emotion sharing. Findings suggest that LOVA has proved to be a powerful methodological resource for the development of collaborative learning, emotional education and social interaction in groups. Findings also suggest that music learning can be used as a highly effective device for the development of social skills.
We provide an exhaustive review of studies in the relatively new domain of research on the influence of orthography on second language (L2) phonological acquisition. While language teachers have long recognized the importance of written input—in addition to spoken input—on learners’ development, until this century there was very little systematic research investigating the relationship between orthography and L2 phonological acquisition. Here, we review studies of the influence of written input on L2 phonological awareness, phoneme perception, the acquisition of phonological processes and syllable structure, and the pronunciation and recognition of words. We elaborate the variables that appear to moderate written input effects: (1) whether or not a novel phonological contrast is systematically represented by the L2 writing system (systematicity); (2) whether some or all of the L2 graphemes are familiar to learners from the L1 (familiarity); (3) for familiar graphemes, whether the native language (L1) and the L2 employ the same grapheme-phoneme correspondences (congruence); and (4) the ability of learners to perceive an auditory contrast that is systematically represented in writing (perceptibility). We conclude by calling for future research on the pedagogical implications of this body of work, which has thus far received very little attention by researchers.
Objectives: The present study investigated the exposure effect of plus-size models on body dissatisfaction and mood, and the nature of participants’ commenting behaviour towards images of plus-size models. Method: The study was comprised of 92 female university students who were exposed to Facebook photos of plus-size models. Participants were randomly allocated to having the exposed photo paired with positive, negative, or neutral comments, and participants were asked to leave an anonymous comment on each picture. Results: Results showed that participants had less body dissatisfaction and better mood after exposure to plus-size models regardless of the comment condition. Additionally, comment condition significantly influenced the type of comments participants contributed — in photos paired with negative comments, participants were significantly more likely to leave negative comments themselves, with 40% of participants leaving negative comments compared with 4% in the positive condition, and 12% in the neutral condition. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the negative comments of plus-size models can encourage bystanders to contribute negative comments themselves; reinforcing the need to develop better protocols to oppose cyberbullying and encourage an online environment of positivity.
Although mania is the hallmark symptom of bipolar I disorder (BD-I), most patients initially present for treatment with depressive symptoms. Misdiagnosis of BD-I as major depressive disorder (MDD) is common, potentially resulting in poor outcomes and inappropriate antidepressant monotherapy treatment. Screening patients with depressive symptoms is a practical strategy to help healthcare providers (HCPs) identify when additional assessment for BD-I is warranted. The new 6-item Rapid Mood Screener (RMS) is a pragmatic patient-reported BD-I screening tool that relies on easily understood terminology to screen for manic symptoms and other BD-I features in <2 minutes. The RMS was validated in an observational study in patients with clinically confirmed BD-I (n=67) or MDD (n=72). When 4 or more items were endorsed (“yes”), the sensitivity of the RMS for identifying patients with BP-I was 0.88 and specificity was 0.80; positive and negative predictive values were 0.80 and 0.88, respectively. To more thoroughly understand screening tool use among HCPs, a 10-minute survey was conducted.
A nationwide sample of HCPs (N=200) was selected using multiple HCP panels; HCPs were asked to describe their opinions/current use of screening tools, assess the RMS, and evaluate the RMS versus the widely recognized Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ). Results were reported by grouped specialties (primary care physicians, general nurse practitioners [NPs]/physician assistants [PAs], psychiatrists, and psychiatric NPs/PAs). Included HCPs were in practice <30 years, spent at least 75% of their time in clinical practice, saw at least 10 patients with depression per month, and diagnosed MDD or BD in at least 1 patient per month. Findings were reported using descriptive statistics; statistical significance was reported at the 95% confidence interval.
Among HCPs, 82% used a tool to screen for MDD, while 32% used a tool for BD. Screening tool attributes considered to be of the greatest value included sensitivity (68%), easy to answer questions (66%), specificity (65%), confidence in results (64%), and practicality (62%). Of HCPs familiar with screening tools, 70% thought the RMS was at least somewhat better than other screening tools. Most HCPs were aware of the MDQ (85%), but only 29% reported current use. Most HCPs (81%) preferred the RMS to the MDQ, and the RMS significantly outperformed the MDQ across valued attributes; 76% reported that they were likely to use the RMS to screen new patients with depressive symptoms. A total of 84% said the RMS would have a positive impact on their practice, with 46% saying they would screen more patients for bipolar disorder.
The RMS was viewed positively by HCPs who participated in a brief survey. A large percentage of respondents preferred the RMS over the MDQ and indicated that they would use it in their practice. Collectively, responses indicated that the RMS is likely to have a positive impact on screening behavior.
States exert significant control over many different types of electoral institutions that influence the tone and direction of political representation in American democracy. Yet almost nothing is known about the consequences of the institution that has the greatest singular impact on the turnout and composition of the electorate: election timing. We argue that off-cycle elections will tend to produce governments that are not well-aligned with the political preferences of their median constituent. To empirically test this expectation, we examine the relationship between election timing and mass–elite congruence across local school district governments. Leveraging variation in election timing across districts within the same state, we find that board members are more likely to hold political preferences that are aligned with their constituents when boards are elected in on- versus off-cycle races. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the study of representation and election timing, suggesting some possible avenues for future research.
Although no drugs are licensed for the treatment of personality disorder, pharmacological treatment in clinical practice remains common.
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of psychotropic drug use and associations with psychological service use among people with personality disorder.
Using data from a large, anonymised mental healthcare database, we identified all adult patients with a diagnosis of personality disorder and ascertained psychotropic medication use between 1 August 2015 and 1 February 2016. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed, adjusting for sociodemographic, clinical and service use factors, to examine the association between psychological services use and psychotropic medication prescribing.
Of 3366 identified patients, 2029 (60.3%) were prescribed some form of psychotropic medication. Patients using psychological services were significantly less likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication (adjusted odds ratio 0.48, 95% CI 0.39–0.59, P<0.001) such as antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants. This effect was maintained following several sensitivity analyses. We found no difference in the risk for mood stabiliser (adjusted odds ratio 0.79, 95% CI 0.57–1.10, P = 0.169) and multi-class psychotropic use (adjusted odds ratio 0.80, 95% CI 0.60–1.07, P = 0.133) between patients who did and did not use psychological services.
Psychotropic medication prescribing is common in patients with personality disorder, but significantly less likely in those who have used psychological services. This does not appear to be explained by differences in demographic, clinical and service use characteristics. There is a need to develop clear prescribing guidelines and conduct research in clinical settings to examine medication effectiveness for this population.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: A short treatment of 8 obese postmenopausal women with conjugated estrogens and bazedoxifene does not alter insulin sensitivity or ectopic fat but increases serum markers of hepatic de novo lipogenesis and production of triacylglycerides. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Combining conjugated estrogens (CE) with the selective estrogen receptor modulator bazedoxifene (BZA) is a novel, orally-administered menopausal therapy. We investigated the effect of CE/BZA on insulin sensitivity, energy metabolism, and serum metabolome in postmenopausal women with obesity. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, crossover pilot trial, testing the effect of CE/BZA on cardiometabolic health in postmenopausal women. Eight postmenopausal women (age 50-60 y, BMI 30-40 kg/m2) were randomization to an 8-week CE/BZA or placebo treatment separated by an 8-week washout period [NCT02274571]. The primary outcome was insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp), while secondary outcomes included body composition (DXA); resting metabolic rate (RMR); substrate oxidation (indirect calorimetry); ectopic lipids (1H-MRS); fat cell size, adipose and skeletal muscle gene expression (biopsies); inflammatory markers; and serum metabolome (LC/MS). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: CE/BZA had no effect on insulin sensitivity, body composition, ectopic fat, or substrate oxidation, but resulted in a non-significant increase in RMR (basal: p=0.06; high-dose clamp: p=0.08) compared to placebo. CE/BZA increased serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. CE/BZA also increased serum diacylglycerol (DAG) and triacylglycerol (TAG) species containing long-chain saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs), and decreased long-chain acylcarnitines. These findings possibly reflect increased hepatic de novo FA synthesis and esterification into TAGs, and decreased FA oxidation, respectively (p<0.05). CE/BZA increased serum phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, ceramides, and sphingomyelins, possibly reflecting the increase in lipoproteins (p<0.05). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: A short treatment of postmenopausal women with CE/BZA did not alter insulin action or ectopic fat, but increased markers of hepatic de novo lipogenesis and TAG production. Study limitations include a small sample size and short treatment period. A larger, fully powered study is needed to validate the potential metabolic benefit of combining CE with BZA.
Many philosophers find welfare perfectionism implausible because it is arguably underinclusive, as it fails to count as good certain acts, events, and things that intuitively improve one's quality of life. Likewise, philosophers intuit that the experience of pleasure directly contributes to well-being. The problem for welfare perfectionism is straightforward: neither desire-satisfaction nor the experience of pleasure seem to perfect (or be perfections of) one's nature.
This leaves two options for the welfare perfectionist. He can “bite the bullet” and argue that these intuitions are mistaken and that pleasure and desire-satisfaction don't impact well-being. Alternatively, he can explain how such intuitive goods can directly contribute to well-being, despite initial appearances. I advance the latter approach.
I argue that at least for some perfectionists, desire-satisfaction and pleasure both directly contribute to well-being. One cannot argue that welfare perfectionism necessarily neglects the intuitive importance of desire-satisfaction and pleasure.
Therapist beliefs have been identified as a contributing factor to ‘therapist drift’ in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Scales have been developed to measure therapist beliefs, but none explicitly measure ‘therapy-interfering cognitions’, and there is no research on their usage. The aim of this study was to explore how best to conceptualise such a scale’s content and usage, based on clinicians’ perceptions and experiences of current scales. Three focus groups were conducted, involving 12 participants who were either qualified or trainee CBT therapists. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Four main themes were generated: (1) The Awareness and Importance of Cognitions, (2) Factors Fuelling Therapist Cognitions, (3) Addressing Therapist Cognitions, and (4) Using the Scale. Participants thought it important to be aware of and address therapist cognitions (not underlying beliefs). Participants emphasised that therapist cognitions are not just products of the individual, but are influenced by external factors. A scale could enable therapists to do better work through reflective practice, as long as it was used not just to identify cognitions but also to support changes in therapist behaviour. A scale could also meet a perceived need for making this part of routine practice. However, participants discussed how therapists might have reservations about disclosing cognitions in this way. Recommendations for current practice, and future research developing such a scale, are made.
Key learning aims
(1) To describe the phenomenon of therapist drift, and the contributions of therapist beliefs to this.
(2) To explore the usage of current scales for measuring therapist beliefs.
(3) To understand, based on therapist experience, how to address therapist beliefs in current practice using scales.