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Consumers with similar claims in the United States (US) often join forces to pursue remedies using class actions. This allows them to obtain remedies with little cost and effort and serves a ‘private attorney general’ function by bringing light to purchase problems and deceptive practices that may otherwise be ignored. This is especially true in small dollar claims, where the cost to individually litigate is disproportionate to the eventual judgment. However, some have criticised class actions in the US for forcing settlements and padding the pockets of lawyers, while leaving consumers with minimal pay-outs. This chapter will provide an overview of how enforcement and class actions operate in the US, using the Volkswagen (VW) case as an example. This chapter will also initiate ideas for using online dispute resolution (ODR) for consumer claims as means for expanding access to remedies and opening an alternative to class actions. The hope is that this chapter will engage renewed interest in global access to remedies, especially in cases like Dieselgate where consumers throughout the world suffer similar harms.
Borders lose meaning as consumers purchase goods from all over the world and manufacturers set up shop overseas. However, borders matter when disputes develop due to jurisdictional differences in laws and procedures for obtaining remedies. This is especially true when it comes to deceptive trade practices, like when Volkswagen (VW) used software in its diesel engines to manipulate emission levels. This manipulation gave rise to ‘Dieselgate’ and an eruption of lawsuits in the US that have helped many consumers obtain compensation. Meanwhile, some have complained that many consumers in Europe have yet to receive remedies due to arguably limited procedures for obtaining redress on such mass claims.
Consumers all over the world may suffer the same harms but have very different remedies depending on where they live. For example, many consumers in the US obtained remedies related to Dieselgate before their European counterparts. It is therefore critical to consider legal redress mechanisms on a global scale. Businesses and policymakers must address differences in consumer redress systems and collaborate to create mechanisms that operate efficiently and fairly for consumers regardless of residence.
Substance use disorders are highly prevalent among people with schizophrenia. Dually diagnosed patients present with unfavorable course and poor long-term outcomes. Integrated, motivation-based treatment for both disorders in the same setting is considered the treatment of choice. However, integrated treatment programs are not readily available and effect sizes of the programs are modest.
To evaluate an integrated psychosocial treatment program for people with schizophrenia and substance use disorders in the setting of a community psychiatric hospital.
100 in-patients with schizophrenia and substance use disorders were randomized to Integrated Treatment (IT) or Treatment as usual (TAU). The IT group was initially treated in a specialized open ward; upon discharge they were offered treatment in a specialized out-patient program of the hospital. The TAU group was initially treated in another non-specialized open ward; upon discharge they were offered treatment in the non-specialized out-patient unit of the hospital. TAU included pharmacotherapy, medical treatment, supportive psychotherapy and further aids by nursing staff and social workers. IT included all elements of TAU plus manualized group therapy with motivational interviewing, psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Assessments were performed at baseline and after 3, 6 and 12 months.
The IT group had slightly less drop-outs in the follow-up period (non-significant). The IT group was more satisfied with treatment and they developed a higher motivation to reduce substance use. Both groups succeeded in reducing substance use during follow-up, whereas the IT group did slightly better (non-significant).
To investigate the relationships between work environmental factors and the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) over one year and to identify factors associated with the outcomes of individuals with MDD.
We conducted a population-based longitudinal study of employees who were randomly selected in Alberta (n = 4239). MDD was assessed using the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview - Auto 2.1.
The one-year incidence of MDD was 3.6% (95% CI: 2.8%-4.6%) overall. It was 2.9% (95% CI: 1.9% - 4.2%) in men and 4.5% (95% CI: 3.3% - 6.2%) in women. The relationships between work environmental factors and MDD differed by sex. In men, high job strain increased the risk of MDD in those who worked 35-40 hours per week; job insecurity and family-work conflict were predictive of MDD. Women who worked 35-40 hours, who reported job insecurity, high effort-reward imbalance and work-family conflict were at higher risk of MDD. Long working hours, negative thinking and having comorbid social phobia were predictive of MDD. Perceived work-family conflict, severity of major depressive episode and symptom of depressed mood were significantly associated with recurrence of MDD.
Job strain, effort-reward imbalance, job insecurity and work-family conflicts are important risk factors for the onset of MDD, and should be targets of primary prevention. However, these work environmental factors appear to operate differently in men and in women. Clinical and psychosocial factors are important in the prognosis of MDD. The factors associated with persistence and recurrence of MDD may be different.
To develop and validate a prognostic model for predicting recurrence of major depression using data from a population-based, nationally representative cohort.
Wave 1 and wave 2 longitudinal data from the US National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Condition. Participants with a major depressive disorder at baseline and who had visited health professionals for depression were included in this analysis. Mental disorders were assessed based on the DSM-IV criteria. For this study, we included the wave 1 (baseline) participants who reported current or lifetime major depressive episode. We included eligible participants from South and West region in the training data (n = 1,518). Eligible participants from Northeast and Mid-West region were kept in validation data (n = 1,195).
With the training data, a prediction model with 19 unique factors had a C statistics of 0.7504 and excellent calibration. The model had a C statistics of 0.7195 in external validation data (n = 1195) and 0.7365 in combined data. The algorithm calibrated very well in validation data. In the combined data, the 3-year observed and predicted risk of recurrence was 25.40% and 25.34%, respectively.
The developed prediction model for recurrence of major depression has acceptable discrimination and excellent calibration and is feasible to be used by physicians. The prognostic model may assist physicians and patients in quantifying the probability of recurrence so that physicians can develop specific treatment plans for those who are at high risk of recurrence, leading to personalized treatment and better use of resources.
Posttraumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder is an important comorbidity in terms of its prevalence, clinical impact, and treatment challenges. To date, interventions for this comorbidity have been solely professionally led.
In this pilot study, we sought to evaluate the impact of a peer-led model, using Seeking Safety (SS; Najavits, 2002), which is the most evidence-based intervention thus far for the comorbidity. We adapted it for peer-led use to help make it accessible and safe for this modality.
Eighteen women in residential substance abuse treatment participated. The 25 SS topics were conducted twice weekly. They were assessed at baseline and end of treatment, with some measures also collected at monthly interims.
Results showed decreases in trauma-related symptoms (Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 total scale and all subscales, i.e., dissociation, sexual problems, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and sexual abuse); self-compassion (the Self-Compassion Scale subscales self-judgment, isolation, and overidentified); the Brief Symptom Inventory (total and all nine subscales); and a measure of use of SS coping skills (total score). Also, ratings of fidelity to SS was very high (on the SS Adherence Scale), as was satisfaction with SS.
Limitations of the study and areas for future research development are discussed.
The goals of the present study were to examine the associations between depressive symptoms, sleep problems and the risk of developing heart disease in a Canadian community sample.
Baseline data were from the CARTaGENE study, a community health survey of adults aged 40–69 years in Quebec, Canada. Incidence of heart disease was examined in N = 33 455 participants by linking survey data with administrative health insurance data. Incident heart disease was identified using the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases, 9th or 10th edition (ICD-9 and ICD-10) diagnostic codes for heart disease. Sleep problems were assessed with diagnostic codes for sleep disorders within the 2 years preceding the baseline assessment. Average sleep duration was assessed by self-report. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire.
In total, 2448 (7.3%) participants developed heart disease over an average follow-up period of 4.6 years. Compared to those without depressive symptoms and with no sleep disorders, those with elevated depressive symptoms and a sleep disorder (HR = 2.60, 95% CI 1.83–3.69), those with depressive symptoms alone (HR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.25–1.57) and those with sleep disorders alone (HR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.03–1.73) were more likely to develop heart disease. Test of additive interaction suggested a synergistic interaction between depressive symptoms and sleep disorders (synergy index = 2.17 [95% CI 1.01–4.64]). When sleep duration was considered, those with long sleep duration and elevated depressive symptoms were more likely to develop heart disease than those with long sleep alone (HR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.37–2.28; and HR = 1.16, 95% CI 0.99–1.36, respectively).
Depression and diagnosed sleep disorders or long sleep duration are independent risk factors for heart disease and are associated with a stronger risk of heart disease when occurring together.
Previous studies have examined associations of cardiometabolic factors with depression and cognition separately.
To determine if depressive symptoms mediate the association between cardiometabolic factors and cognitive decline in two community studies.
Data for the analyses were drawn from the Rotterdam Study, the Netherlands (n = 2940) and the Whitehall II study, UK (n = 4469).
Mediation analyses suggested a direct association between cardiometabolic factors and cognitive decline and an indirect association through depression: poorer cardiometabolic status at time 1 was associated with a higher level of depressive symptoms at time 2 (standardised regression coefficient 0.07 and 0.06, respectively), which, in turn, was associated with greater cognitive decline between time 2 and time 3 (standardised regression coefficient of −0.15 and −0.41, respectively).
Evidence from two independent cohort studies suggest an association between cardiometabolic dysregulation and cognitive decline and that depressive symptoms tend to precede this decline.
This chapter will consider the use of online arbitration (OArb) for resolution of disputes, especially those in business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. First, it will provide background on arbitration law and explain the impetus for moving arbitration from face-to-face (F2F) to online procedures in order to augment the efficiency and fairness of these processes. Next, the chapter will discuss the development of quasi-OArb and OArb programs already in existence that may serve as models for OArb aimed to benefit both businesses and consumers. The chapter will conclude by acknowledging hurdles and drawbacks to OArb programs, and suggest ideas for fostering global development of OArb that expand individuals’ access to justice.
Partisan identification is a fundamental force in individual and mass political behavior around the world. Informed by scholarship on human sociality, coalitional psychology, and group behavior, this research argues that partisan identification, like many other group-based behaviors, is influenced by forces of evolution. If correct, then party identifiers should exhibit adaptive behaviors when making group-related political decisions. The authors test this assertion with citizen assessments of the relative physical formidability of competing leaders, an important adaptive factor in leader evaluations. Using original and novel data collected during the contextually different 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections, as well as two distinct measures obtained during both elections, this article presents evidence that partisans overestimate the physical stature of the presidential candidate of their own party compared with the stature of the candidate of the opposition party. These findings suggest that the power of party identification on political behavior may be attributable to the fact that modern political parties address problems similar to the problems groups faced in human ancestral times.
The discovery and dating of a volcanic ash bed within the upper Phosphoria Formation in SE Idaho, USA, is reported. The ash occurs 11 m below the top of the phosphatic Meade Peak Member and yielded a 206Pb/238U date of 260.57 ± 0.07 / 0.14 / 0.31 Ma, i.e. latest Capitanian, Guadalupian. The stratigraphic position of this ash near the top of the Meade Peak phosphatic Member of Phosphoria Formation indicates plausible completeness of the sedimentation within the Guadalupian–Lopingian and probably at the Permo-Triassic (P-T) transitions. The new radiometric age reveals that the regional biostratigraphy and palaeontology of Phosphoria and Park City formations requires serious reconsideration, particularly in cool water conodonts, bryozoans and brachiopods. The new age proposes that the Guadalupian–Lopingian boundary (GLB) coincides with the Meade Peak – Rex contact and consequently with the end-Guadalupian extinction event. The lack of a major unconformity at the P-T transition suggests that the effects of the Sonoma orogeny were not as extensive as has been assumed.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamic association between depressive symptoms and glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).
The sample was comprised of 2886 participants aged ⩾50 years who participated in three clinical assessments over an 8-year period (21% with prediabetes and 7% with diabetes at baseline). Structural equation models were used to address reciprocal associations between depressive symptoms and HbA1c levels and to evaluate the mediating effects of lifestyle-related behaviors and cardiometabolic factors.
We found a reciprocal association between depressive symptoms and HbA1c levels: depressive symptoms at one assessment point predicted HbA1c levels at the next assessment point (standardized β = 0.052) which in turn predicted depressive symptoms at the following assessment point (standardized β = 0.051). Mediation analysis suggested that both lifestyle-related behaviors and cardiometabolic factors might mediate the association between depressive symptoms and HbA1c levels: depressive symptoms at baseline predicted lifestyle-related behaviors and cardiometabolic factors at the next assessment, which in turn predicted HbA1c levels 4 years later. A similar association was observed for the other direction: HbA1c levels at baseline predicted lifestyle-related behaviors and cardiometabolic factors at the next assessment, which in turn predicted depressive symptoms 4 years later.
Our results suggest a dynamic relationship between depressive symptoms and HbA1c which might be mediated by both lifestyle and cardiometabolic factors. This has important implications for investigating the pathways which could link depressive symptoms and increased risk of diabetes.
The Wisconsin Plasma Astrophysics Laboratory (WiPAL) is a flexible user facility designed to study a range of astrophysically relevant plasma processes as well as novel geometries that mimic astrophysical systems. A multi-cusp magnetic bucket constructed from strong samarium cobalt permanent magnets now confines a
, fully ionized, magnetic-field-free plasma in a spherical geometry. Plasma parameters of
provide an ideal testbed for a range of astrophysical experiments, including self-exciting dynamos, collisionless magnetic reconnection, jet stability, stellar winds and more. This article describes the capabilities of WiPAL, along with several experiments, in both operating and planning stages, that illustrate the range of possibilities for future users.
Ecological systems are extraordinarily complex. Thus classical approaches to resolve ecosystem functioning have simplified analyses by conceptualizing ecosystems as being organized into trophic level compartments that contain organisms with similar feeding dependencies (e.g., producers, herbivores, carnivores) (Elton, 1927; Lindeman, 1942). Two competing worldviews on the regulation of ecosystem productivity emanated from such a conceptualization of ecosystem structure. The bottom-up view posits that the productivity of each trophic level is essentially limited by the one immediately below it (Lindeman, 1942; Feeny, 1968), while the top-down view recognizes that resource levels influence production, but contends that herbivore populations are mostly limited by predators rather than producer biomass (Hairston et al., 1960). Accordingly, predators can indirectly increase the productivity of a given system by reducing the negative effects of herbivores on plant biomass, resulting in a world that is green with plant material, rather than denuded by herbivory (Paine, 1969; Oksanen et al., 1981). Bottom-up theory countered that the world is green not because of predators, but instead due to variation in plant quality as a result of anti-herbivore defenses or weather patterns (Murdoch, 1966; Ehrlich and Birch, 1967; Scriber and Feeny, 1975; White, 1978; Feeny, 1991; Polis and Strong, 1996). This variation causes much of the “green” world to be inedible to herbivores; thus herbivores are still resource-limited.
The recognition of context-dependence in the degree of top-down or bottom-up control of ecosystems has resulted in gradual changes in how ecosystem functioning is envisioned. For instance, the “exploitation ecosystems” hypothesis (EEH) addresses context-dependence by combining elements of top-down and bottom-up concepts (Oksanen et al., 1981; Oksanen and Oksanen, 2000). At low levels of soil resource availability, plants are not productive enough to support herbivore populations and are thus bottom-up controlled (see Fig. 5.3). At medium levels of soil resources, an ecosystem can support herbivore populations, which in turn control plant productivity, while carnivores enter the ecosystem and control the herbivore population at the highest resource availability, thus releasing plant productivity from herbivore control.
Microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered immunity (MTI) is an important component of the plant innate immunity response to invading pathogens. Although several MTI responses can be measured in different plant species, their magnitude is probably plant species specific and even cultivar specific. In this study, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis of two soybean parental lines and two progeny lines treated for 30 min with the MAMPs flg22 and chitin was carried out. This analysis revealed a clear variation in gene expression, under both untreated and flg22+chitin-treated conditions. In addition, genes with potential additive and non-additive effects were identified in the two progeny lines, with several of these genes having a potential function in the control of innate immunity. The data presented herein represent the basis for further functional analysis that can lead to a better understanding of the soybean innate immunity response.
We provide a theoretical and empirical comparison of two historic production quota buyouts: the 2002 US Peanut Quota Buyout and the 2004 US Tobacco Quota Buyout. Producer compensation under the US Peanut Quota Buyout came from the treasury while the US Tobacco Buyout was paid for by a consumer tax (i.e., tobacco tax). Given these two buyouts, an important question arises: How does the method of compensation affect distribution and efficiency? Producers, consumers, and society favor a treasury buyout (TB) for several reasons. Producers are compensated considerably more under a TB, consumers are not burdened with the charge of funding the buyout, and society does not face additional efficiency losses due to the buyout.
We present a radio survey of molecules in a sample of Galactic center molecular clouds, including M0.25 + 0.01, the clouds near Sgr A, and Sgr B2. The molecules detected are primarily NH3 and HC3N; in Sgr B2-N we also detect non-metastable NH3, vibrationally-excited HC3N, torsionally-excited CH3OH, and numerous isotopologues of these species. 36 GHz Class I CH3OH masers are ubiquitous in these fields, and in several cases are associated with new NH3 (3,3) maser candidates. We also find that NH3 and HC3N are depleted or absent toward several of the highest dust column density peaks identified in submillimeter observations, which are associated with water masers and are thus likely in the early stages of star formation.
Phenotypic plasticity is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature, and provides a basis for trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs) among species in ecological communities. Since trait-mediated indirect effects (TMIEs) are replete across a wide range of ecosystems, it is becoming increasingly apparent that phenotypic plasticity in response to interacting species can play an important role in determining community organization and dynamics. Below we highlight the major findings of community consequences of TMIIs in this volume.
TMIIs are common and can determine trophic structure in marine pelagic and insect host–parasitoid systems, both of which have been little explored (Chapters 3 and 4).
TMIEs in prey–predator systems should be taken into consideration in terms of non-trophic links (Chapter 2), size- and age-structure of a population (Chapter 5) and density-dependence (Chapter 6).
Herbivore-caused phenotypic plasticity and/or genetic variations of plants have significant, indirect impacts on diversity and abundance of predators, and prey–predator interactions by bottom-up cascading effects (Chapters 7 and 9).
Community ecology is experiencing a resurgence, driven in part by its central importance in addressing critical applied problems, ranging from the control of pest and invasive species, to the wise harvest of natural resources, to projecting the impact of global climate change. A fundamental tenet of community ecology is that species do not exist in isolation: they are directly, and more importantly, indirectly interconnected with myriad other species. The essential ‘glue’ that holds communities together and that makes them more than the haphazard sum of individual species is the nexus of indirect interactions among three or more species that emerges from direct interactions such as predation, competition and mutualism between pairs of species. The recognition of indirect effects has triggered a rapid growth of empirical and theoretical research that aims to predict community-level dynamics under different contexts.
Indirect effects occur when the impacts of one species on another are influenced by one or more intermediate species. Indirect effects are diverse, but can be classified broadly as either (1) density-mediated or (2) trait-mediated. Density-mediated indirect effects (DMIEs) result from numerical responses of species to each other. For instance, a fox may kill rabbits, reducing rabbit population size, and so relaxing herbivory upon herbaceous plants. Hence, the fox’s indirect effect on plants is mediated by density changes in rabbits; this is known as a trophic cascade. DMIEs, such as depicted by this trophic cascade, and other mechanisms such as apparent competition between prey mediated by the numerical response of a shared predator, have been well studied and have contributed to our understanding of community organization and ecosystem functioning in both terrestrial and aquatic systems (Holt and Lawton 1994; Polis et al. 2000; Terborgh and Estes 2010). However, the fox may not only kill rabbits, it may alter their behaviour and other traits. For instance, rabbits may hide more in the presence of foxes and so have less opportunity to feed on herbs. This indirect effect of the fox upon the plants could be strong, even though rabbit abundance remains high in the presence of foxes. In this case, it is a change in a rabbit’s trait – altered behaviour to avoid predation – that determines the outcome of the predator–prey direct interaction and the nature of the indirect effect of foxes on plants.