This article argues that the focus and scope of the current U.S. health care reform debate are too narrowly defined and the answers being offered are therefore inadequate. The question implicitly or explicitly being addressed is how to assure more universal access to medical care. An alternative focus for an informed health policy debate is how best to assure more universal access to health. Fundamental investments in enhancing the economic and social well-being of American families and neighborhoods may offer the greatest long-term possibilities for improving their physical, psychological, and social health and well-being. Providing more universal access to medical care may have some, but a more limited, effect in terms of improving individuals' and the nation's health. Competing universal health insurance proposals should be evaluated in terms of these effectiveness, as well as equity and efficiency, criteria. Ultimately, this article argues that a coherent and effective policy framework for improving the nation's health requires a broader vision and set of objectives than simply reforming methods of paying for medical care.
Agency: The power of actors to operate independently of the determining constraints of social structure. The term is intended to convey the volitional, purposive nature of human activity as opposed to its constrained, determined aspects.
— Harper Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 1991
The concept that the fetus is a patient, an individual whose maladies are a proper subject for medical treatment as well as scientific observation, is alarmingly modern. It was not until the last half of this century that the prying eye of the ultrasonographer rendered the once opaque womb transparent, letting the light of scientific observation fall on the shy and secretive fetus.
—M. R. Harrison
“The Fetus as a Patient: Historical Perspective”
The eastern mystical tradition's movement into American life is depicted in this paper, which reports on the intriguing pattern of changing attitudes toward the use of psychotherapy among many members of the two major groups studied and also suggests a new rationale to justify psychotherapy.
In this review, we touch on a broad array of ways that work is linked to health and health disparities for individuals and societies. First focusing on the health of individuals, we discuss the health differences between those who do and do not work for pay, and review key positive and negative exposures that can generate health disparities among the employed. These include both psychosocial factors like the benefits of a high status job or the burden of perceived job insecurity, as well as physical exposures to dangerous working conditions like asbestos or rotating shift work. We also provide a discussion of the ways differential exposure to these aspects of work contributes to social disparities in health within and across generations. Analytic complexities in assessing the link between work and health for individuals, such as health selection, are also discussed. We then touch on several contextual level associations between work and the health of populations, discussing the importance of the occupational structure in a given society, the policy environment that prevails there, and the oscillations of the macroeconomy for generating societal disparities in health. We close with a discussion of four areas and associated recommendations that draw on this corpus of knowledge but would push the research on work, health and inequality toward even greater scholarly and policy relevance.
The conservative movement and especially its think tanks play a critical role in denying the reality and significance of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), especially by manufacturing uncertainty over climate science. Books denying AGW are a crucial means of attacking climate science and scientists, and we examine the links between conservative think tanks (CTTs) and 108 climate change denial books published through 2010. We find a strong link, albeit noticeably weaker for the growing number of self-published denial books. We also examine the national origins of the books and the academic backgrounds of their authors or editors, finding that with the help of American CTTs climate change denial has spread to several other nations and that an increasing portion of denial books are produced by individuals with no scientific training. It appears that at least 90% of denial books do not undergo peer review, allowing authors or editors to recycle scientifically unfounded claims that are then amplified by the conservative movement, media, and political elites.
For millions of Americans-the poor and near poor who live in rural backwaters of this nation or populate its inner cities-the medical care system is not merely inadequate. It is almost non-existent. In addition, it is often an added source of injustice and oppression. For Americans who are not poor, but earn less than $20,000 a year, adequate medical care is becoming ever more elusive and more expensive [Citizens Board of Inquiry Into Health Services for Americans, 1971: 262].
In this new and rapidly changing era of digital technology, there is increasing consensus among media scholars that there is an urgent need to develop measurement approaches which more adequately capture media use The overarching goal of this paper is facilitate the development of measurement approaches appropriate for capturing children's media use in the digital age. The paper outlines various approaches to measurement, focusing mainly on those which have figured prominently in major existing studies of children's media use. We identify issues related to each technique, including advantages and disadvantages. We also include a review of existing empirical comparisons of various methodologies. The paper is intended to foster discussion of the best ways to further research and knowledge regarding the impact of media on children.
Researchers and academics have accumulated a great deal of knowledge on how to manipulate individuals' behaviors. Although health communication researchers and practitioners prefer to call their work public health campaigns or health education interventions, the truth is that their ultimate goal is to manipulate people into practicing healthy behaviors. A health communication research and practice moves into the 21st century, this issue must be faced squarely and directly, and strategies must be developed for the ethical use of manipulation techniques to promote health and to prevent disease.
The one fact I would cry from every housetop is this: the Good Life is waiting for us—here and now! At this very moment we have the necessary techniques, both material and psychological, to create a full and satisfying life for everyone.
—B. F. Skinner
The aim of this article is to present a model for resolving value dilemmas that has proven useful in my own applied social scientific activities and in teaching graduate students to recognize and resolve ethical problems. The model was developed to fill a void in my own training, and is probably best understood against that background.
The authors examine how the properties of peer networks affect amphetamine, cocaine, and injection drug use over 3 months among newly homeless adolescents, aged 12 to 20 in Los Angeles (n = 217; 83% retention at 3 months) and Melbourne (n = 119; 72% retention at 3 months). Several hypotheses regarding the effects of social network properties on the peer influence process are developed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses show that higher concentrations of homeless peers in networks at recruitment were associated with increased likelihood of amphetamine and cocaine use at 3-month follow-up. Higher concentrations of injecting peers were associated with increased risk of injection drug use 3 months later. Change in network structure over time toward increased concentrations of homeless peers was associated with increased risk of cocaine use and injecting. Higher density networks at baseline were positively associated with increased likelihood of cocaine and amphetamine use at 3 months.
From an ecological perspective, daily activities are both a cause and a consequence of youth development. Research on youth activities directs attention to the processes through which daily activities may have an impact on youth, including: (a) providing chances to learn and practice skills; (b) serving as a forum for identity development; (c) affording opportunities to build social ties; (d) connecting youth to social institutions; and (e) keeping youth from engaging in other kinds of activities. Youth's daily activities, in turn, both influence and are influenced by the multi-layered ecology within which their lives are embedded, an ecology that ranges from the proximal contexts of everyday life (e.g., family, peer group) to the larger political, economic, legal and cultural contexts of the larger society. The paper concludes with consideration of methodological issues and directions for research on the media and youth development.
Screened 412 consecutive admissions to an Ohio prison to identify "simple" sociopaths. 41 Ss, who gave informed consent, were given a 6-mo program of drug treatment (1 mo placebo, 3 mo imipramine hydrochloride, and 2 mo placebo). 22 men completed the program; and 9 of these appeared to "respond beneficially" from drug-induced arousal, as predicted, when compared with nonsociopathic controls. The need for further research and the complications involved are briefly discussed, as well as the moral, ethical, and legal questions which must be resolved if drug treatment is administered. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)