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Perceived loneliness and objective social network size are related but distinct factors, which negatively affect mental health and are prevalent in patients who have experienced childhood maltreatment (CM), for example, patients with persistent depressive disorder (PDD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD). This cross-diagnostic study investigated whether loneliness, social network size, or both are associated with self-reported CM.
Loneliness and social network size were assessed in a population-based sample at two time points (Study 1, N = 509), and a clinical group of patients with PDD or BPD (Study 2, N = 190) using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Social Network Index. Further measures were the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and standard depression rating scales. Linear regression analyses were applied to compare associations of loneliness or social network size with CM. Multiple mediation analyses were used to test the relative importance of loneliness and social network size in the relationship between CM and depressive symptoms.
In both studies, loneliness showed a stronger association than social network size with CM. This was particularly marked for emotional neglect and emotional abuse. Loneliness but not social network size mediated the relationship between CM and depressive symptoms.
Loneliness is particularly associated with self-reported CM, and in this respect distinct from the social network size. Our results underline the importance of differentiating both psychosocial constructs and suggest focusing on perceived loneliness and its etiological underpinnings by mechanism-based psychosocial interventions.
Background: Based on the vulnerability model, several studies indicate that low self-esteem seems to contribute to depressive symptoms. Aims: The aim of this study was to treat depressive symptoms in a cognitive behavioural group therapy, focusing on the enhancement of self-esteem, and to explore co-variation in depressive symptoms and the level of self-esteem. Method: The Multidimensional Self-esteem Scale (MSWS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered to 147 psychiatric in-patients with current depressive symptoms due to an affective disorder (major depression, bipolar I, dysthymia). Self-esteem was measured pre-treatment (t0) and post-treatment (t4, after 5 weeks of eight group sessions); the BDI was applied weekly. A linear mixed growth analysis was conducted to estimate the change in depressive symptoms including interactions with self-esteem. Results: Within the 5 weeks of group therapy, depressive symptoms showed a linear decline, which was stronger for patients with higher gains in self-esteem between t0 and t4. Self-esteem at t0 was unrelated to the change in depression but predicted self-esteem at t4. Conclusions: Treating depressive symptoms in a cognitive behavioural group therapy in a naturalistic setting might have a positive effect on the process of recovery. Moreover, depressive symptoms and level of self-esteem seemed to co-vary.
Using a qualitative case study design, a demonstration farm approach implemented in northern Patagonia, Argentina, was assessed to examine differences in perceptions between participating stakeholder groups regarding their roles and how these affect the collaboration process. Moreover, differences in stakeholder perceptions regarding positive impacts and constraints of the implemented innovation (supplemental feeding of small ruminants) were assessed, as one exemplary innovation to improve low-external-input pastoral livestock systems. Three cases of demonstration farm projects were selected and a total of 31 semi-structured and narrative interviews were carried out with participating livestock keepers, extension workers and scientists. Together with information gained by employing visual tools and participant observation, data was analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results reveal that major decisions regarding the collaboration process were taken by scientists in advance, hence, livestock keepers' participation was used to meet predetermined objectives, which is characteristic to the concept of functional participation. While scientists seemed to transfer the control principles of on-station research to the on-farm situation, extension workers recognised the need for replacing teaching by the aim of creating learning opportunities. Here, incongruences in role understanding indicate an overall lack of joint role definition and the need of balancing power differences. Livestock keepers' perceptions of the supplemental feeding strategy highlight substantial management constraints for implementation, which were not recognised by scientists and extension workers, nor were they captured by the monitoring system implemented. We recommend furnishing the demonstration farm approach with principles, methods and tools of collaborative learning, to create a change in actors' understanding of roles and to induce a shift towards increased transdisciplinarity.
We report on the EPICA Dronning Maud Land (East Antarctica) deep drilling operation. Starting with the scientific questions that led to the outline of the EPICA project, we introduce the setting of sister drillings at NorthGRIP and EPICA Dome C within the European ice-coring community. The progress of the drilling operation is described within the context of three parallel, deep-drilling operations, the problems that occurred and the solutions we developed. Modified procedures are described, such as the monitoring of penetration rate via cable weight rather than motor torque, and modifications to the system (e.g. closing the openings at the lower end of the outer barrel to reduce the risk of immersing the drill in highly concentrated chip suspension). Parameters of the drilling (e.g. core-break force, cutter pitch, chips balance, liquid level, core production rate and piece number) are discussed. We also review the operational mode, particularly in the context of achieved core length and piece length, which have to be optimized for drilling efficiency and core quality respectively. We conclude with recommendations addressing the design of the chip-collection openings and strictly limiting the cable-load drop with respect to the load at the start of the run.
Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) are efficient light sources based on
organic semiconductors. Unlike inorganic LEDs which are more or less point
sources, OLED are planar light sources with up to 1 m2 in area.
By using organic materials, they are cheap to produce and economical to use.
The determination of triplet exciton energy levels is of interest for the
development of efficient OLED, based on the fact that electrical excitation
usually creates three times as many triplets as singlets. Additionally, the
knowledge of these energy levels is crucial for the design and choice of
emitter matrix materials and exciton blocking layers. These values are
normally determined by photoluminescence (PL) measurements in solution for
materials which show intersystem crossing (ISC) between singlet and triplet
states. For some materials, the triplet levels cannot be measured this way
because some materials prohibit ISC. In this work, a method is presented
which allows the determination of the energy levels using low-temperature
electroluminescence (EL) spectroscopy. The dependence on ISC is avoided by
creating triplets directly with electrical excitation and this allows to
measure a large class of organic materials. A low-temperature EL spectrum is
N,N'-bis(3-methylphenyl)-N,N'-diphenyl-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4,4'-diamine (TPD) in
a 3-phenyl-4-(1‘-naphthyl)-5-phenyl-1,2,4-triazole (TAZ) matrix (TPD/TAZ
1:3) at 77 K. Triplet emission is only observed at very low charge carrier
density (0.5 μA/mm2). Quenching processes are analyzed using
combined EL and PL measurements and unipolar devices. Two factors can be the
cause of the quenching: A strong quenching based on a low concentration of
electrically activated impurities could explain the dependency. The other
explanation points to a quenching based on electrons in the emitting layer.
This might be explained with triplet-polaron quenching (TPQ). TPQ is
proportional to the charge carrier density and contributes the dominant part
to the quenching at low current densities.
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