Applying Psychological Science, Benefiting Society

Finding Meaning in Life and in Death: A Call to Culturally Competent Action

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December 15, 2017 • Aging

Many dying patients express the need for meaning—in life and in death. In palliative care, our primary goal is to facilitate comfort and maximize quality of life. We often employ interventions that emphasize the importance of meaning-making. Unfortunately, these interventions seem to be overly individualistic and westernized, overlooking important aspects of intersectionality and cultural variations.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice »

Jury Bias: Can You Argue the Facts When Race Enters the Mix?

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Research tells us that facts not “relevant” to a given case impact jurors’ decisions – these are called extralegal factors and range from personal characteristics like race or gender to how a juror sees others. Scientific data show, for example, Blacks are treated the worst in criminal and civil cases. Studies also show jurors’ biases about race may have something to do with their decisions –that is, their verdict. Yet, researchers don’t quite agree…

Health Disparities »

What Does Our Past Tell Us About Our Future? The Essential Role of Psychologists in Fighting HIV

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Since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, psychologists have been essential in the response to HIV. They offered mental health support for people living with, or at risk for, HIV—as well as for their families and communities, and those who provide HIV medical care and social services. Psychologists developed programs to educate people about HIV and motivate behavior change to reduce risk.

Aging »

Finding Meaning in Life and in Death: A Call to Culturally Competent Action

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Many dying patients express the need for meaning—in life and in death. In palliative care, our primary goal is to facilitate comfort and maximize quality of life. We often employ interventions that emphasize the importance of meaning-making. Unfortunately, these interventions seem to be overly individualistic and westernized, overlooking important aspects of intersectionality and cultural variations.

Culture, Ethnicity and Race »

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Racial and Ethnic Socialization (RES) Beyond the Curriculum

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All parents have probably noticed that raising a child is not only the parent’s job. You are constantly getting input from other family members, friends and teachers. Children spend more than half their day in school so it is safe to say that the school system, and those who work in it, play a huge role in your child’s life. That means that answering tough questions on topics like race and ethnicity is a challenge that teachers will have to face.

Poverty and Socioeconomic Status »

CROSS-POST: 4 Strategies for Success for the Low-Income Grad Student

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This is a cross-post from our fellow APA blog, gradPSYCH blog, and is targeted toward graduate students from low-income backgrounds who may struggle with a sense of belonging at their institutions. Please share this post with the graduate students in your life.

Violence »

How to Listen When Someone You Know Discloses Sexual Harassment or Assault

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Every day now in the news, we learn of various actions taken by those facing allegations of sexual assault and harassment. One set of actions has to do with their reported sexual harassment and/or assaults. Another set of actions has to do with how they respond when accused. Both types of action are crucially important. A good response can at least do some good (sincere apologies can be healing). But a bad response not only exacerbates the harm of the first injury, it also inflicts new injury, and does so in ways that are usually public and ongoing (well past the media moving on).

Disability Issues »

What Can We Do to Prevent the Abuse of Children with Disabilities?

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In February 2016, Ethan Okula, a 10 year-old child in foster care for three years, died from a bowel obstruction after numerous adults neglected to drive him to the hospital emergency room or call 911. In many ways, this tragedy is no surprise; Ethan embodied many known risk factors for child neglect and abuse as described by columnist Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 18, 2016.

Women and Girls »

How Can We Help Survivors of Domestic Violence Struggling with Homelessness?

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It is an unfortunate reality that many women and children who are able to escape their abuser end up homeless. A recent survey found that 17 percent of cities cited domestic violence as the primary cause of family homelessness (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2014). This prevalent issue is something that many people do not realize is happening.

Public Policy »

“All Politics is Local”: 5 Simple Tips for Becoming a Better Advocate

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Interest in our political process has dramatically increased across the U.S. since the last election. People want accountability from their elected representatives and are ready to engage on complex issues such as health care coverage, immigration, and tax reform. The demand for grassroots advocacy training has grown along with this increased engagement. Here are some tips to help you get started.

LGBT Issues »

How Black Boys Turn Blue: The Effects of Masculine Ideology on Same-Gender Loving Men

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They say, “Black boys turn blue in the moonlight”. In the Oscar winning movie Moonlight, the story follows character Chiron as he develops into a man. What’s interesting about Chiron’s story is that it mirrors that of countless other African American men. Chiron is simply not allowed to “be” – he’s bullied for being “Little,” beaten because of his demeanor, and denied the opportunity to safely and freely explore his sexuality. It is indeed under this distress that Black boys turn blue.

AIDS »

Latinxs: Take Action to Stop HIV

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October 15th is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, and this year’s theme is “We’ll Defeat AIDS con Ganas!” But why is it important to talk about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the Latino community? Latinxs are disproportionally affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—the virus that causes AIDS. Our community represents 17% of the total U.S. population, but accounts for 21% of all new HIV infections and 21% of people living with HIV. In addition, research shows that Latinxs are more likely to receive late diagnosis and HIV care compared to other races and ethnicities.

Contact

American Psychological Association
Public Interest Directorate
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Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: (202) 336-6056
Email: publicinterest@apa.org