Subject: r psychology

Santangelo, Ashley; A Blueprint When Feeling Blue: How A Mental Health Diagnosis Can Be Empowering
A Canadian study that was facilitated in 2001 explored factors in the lives of adults with a mental illness that influenced the degree of empowerment felt in their lives. Every participant was in some kind of mental health treatment (either therapy, medication management, a peer support group, or a combination of more than one treatment method). The study revealed that the two factors below had a significant influence on empowerment:

1.) Personal motivation: When consumers of mental health services were able to take more initiative in making choices, it resulted in improved confidence, skill development, and greater sense of control over their lives.

2.) Supportive Relationships: Consumers of mental health services reported feeling more empowered when their personal and professional relationships were supportive and fair. This resulted in increased participation and involvement in the community, particularly if they were able to connect with a community of peers who they saw on a regular basis.

I have actually witnessed the peer support models become increasingly common in the past decade and know of individuals who have discovered a sense of purpose once they become involved in peer support. These kinds of groups and relationships have the potential to offer mental health consumers a sense of connection that may be difficult to find elsewhere.

Giving and receiving mutual support to other with a mental illness can provide empowerment and a sense of purpose.
Maruna, Shadd, & Mann Ruth E.; Quotes from: A fundamental attribution error? Rethinking cognitive distortions; 37 pp
The notion of ‘cognitive distortion’ has become enshrined in the offender treatment literature over the last 20 years, yet the concept still suffers from a lack of de?nitional clarity.
Treatment programmes for offenders often aim to eliminate excuse-making as a primary aim, and decision-makers place great weight on the degree to which an offender “takes responsibility” for his or her offending.
Yet, the relationship between these after-the-fact explanations and future crime is not at all clear. Indeed, the designation of post hoc excuses as criminogenic may itself be an example of fallacious thinking.
Maniglio, Roberto; The impact of child sexual abuse on health; Clinical Psychology Review; 2009(29), 647 - 657
This paper addresses the best available scientific evidence on the topic, by providing a systernatic review of the several reviews that have investigated the literature on the effects of child sexual abuse.
There is evidence that survivors of childhood sexual abuse are signi?cantly at risk of a wide range of medical, psychological, behavioral, and sexual disorders. Relationships are small to medium in magnitudes and moderated by sample source and size. Child sexual abuse should be considered as a general, nonspecific risk factor for psychopathology.
Maruna, Shadd, & Mann Ruth E.; A fundamental attribution error? Rethinking cognitive distortions; Legal and Criminological Psychology; 11, 155-177
The notion of ‘cognitive distortion’ has become enshrined in the offender treatment literature over the last 20 years, yet the concept still suffers from a lack of de?nitional clarity. In particular, the umbrella term is often used to refer to offence-supportive attitudes, cognitive processing during an offence sequence, as well as post-hoc neutralisations or excuses for offending. Of these very different processes, the last one might be the most popular and problematic. Treatment programmes for offenders often aim to eliminate excuse-making as a primary aim, and decision-makers place great weight on the degree to which an offender “takes responsibility” for his or her offending. Yet, the relationship between these after-the-fact explanations and future crime is not at all clear. Indeed, the designation of post hoc excuses as criminogenic may itself be an example of fallacious thinking. After all, outside of the criminal context, post hoc excuse-making is widely viewed as normal, healthy, and socially rewarded behaviour. We argue that the open exploration of contextual risk factors leading to offending can help in the identi?cation of criminogenic factors as well as strengthen the therapeutic experience. Rather than insist that offenders take “responsibility” for the past, we suggest that efforts should focus on helping them take responsibility for the future, shifting the therapeutic focus from post hoc excuses to offence-supportive attitudes and underlying cognitive schemas that are empirically linked to re-offending.
Witt, Philip H.; [Review of] Seto, M. C., Pedophilia and sexual offending against children; Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology; 2009(1), R1-3
Roseman, Christopher P., Yeager Clancy, Cromly Aaron, & Korcuska James S.; Sexual behavior intervention program: an innovative level of care in male sex offender treatment. (PRACTICE)(Report); Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Oct 01 2008
The literature does not provide practical, targeted alternatives to prosecution and incarceration for sexual offenders deemed at low risk for recidivism. The Sexual Behavior Intervention Program (SBIP) is an innovative level of care in male sex offender treatment that offers communities an option for treating sexual misconduct. SBIP is a focused, psychoeducational program rooted in the restorative justice model, one that attempts to meet the needs of both individuals and the community.
Udell, Wadiya, Sandfort Theo, Reitz Ellen, Bos Henny, & Dekovic Maja; The relationship between early sexual debut and psychosocial outcomes: A longitudinal study of Dutch adolescents; Archives of Sexual Behavior
In a longitudinal dataset of 470 Dutch adolescents, the current study examined the ways in which early sexual initiation was related to subsequent attachment, self-perception, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems. For male adolescents, analyses revealed general attachment to mother and externalizing problems at Wave 1 to predict to early transition at Wave 2. However, there was no differential change in these psychosocial factors over time for early initiators of sexual intercourse and their non-initiating peers. For female adolescents, the model including psychosocial factors at Wave 1 did not predict to sexual initiation at Wave 2. However, univariate repeated measures analyses revealed early initiators to have signi?cantly larger increases in self-concept and externalizing problems than their non-initiating female peers. While the difference between female early initiators and non-initiators were statistically signi?cant, the mean levels of problem behaviors were very low. The ?ndings suggest that, contrary to previous research, early sexual initiation does not seem to be clustered with problem behaviors for this sample of Dutch adolescents. [A]