Spotlight Post #2

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my second spotlight post, I chose prompt #2 about stress management. As a college student, as well as an athlete, stress is something I struggle with and I feel that it is important to find ways to manage your stress levels in order to achieve peak performance and to maintain your sanity. I will be discussing ways that different audiences can cope with stressful situations based off of three articles I found.

My first audience is college students. Dear college students, you NEED to sleep. Most college students are so overwhelmed with the amount of school work they have and how little time they have to do it, so they stay up all night working on assignments and sleep a few hours each night during the week and then try to catch up on sleep on the weekends. That is a very unhealthy lifestyle to live all week long every week for an entire school year. As we learned in class, catching up on sleep is simply that-catching up. By the time you’re finally caught up, it’s Monday and you have to start the cycle all over again. You sendup essentially inducing “jet lag” when doing this. Nobody is able to do their best work when they are constantly sleep deprived. Sleep more during the night so that you can feel refreshed when taking on school responsibilities. Another tip is to practice some relaxation techniques when you feel overwhelmed. Whether it be mediation, slowly taking deep breaths and counting to ten, playing with a stress ball, anything that can take your mind off of things and calm you down is beneficial to your overall mental health. Lastly, talk to somebody. Ranting to your roommate or friends or calling your parents and just talk about your problems can be a very good outlet for frustration and make a world of difference. Honestly, talking things through with people can help you figure things out for yourself and how you can take on all of your stress, and if not, most likely your parents or friends can help you come up with a solution or game plan to get through your struggles.

My next audience is athletes. First of all, keeping a positive attitude is key. Sometimes you can be so stressed out from practicing every single day and worrying about winning all the time, but staying positive puts you a completely different head space- and a healthy one! If you have a bad performance or you feel you didn’t do as well as you know you could have, don’t let it discourage you, let it drive you to do better next time. Not only will it be a learning experience, but it will also alleviate so much stress. Another tip is to have time to yourself to have fun. Sports can be very demanding and you can often times feel like your whole life revolves around the sport you play. When you do have free time, use it. Not only will it be a way to get your mind off of your stress, but you can do things that are still keeping you active which may slightly benefit your performance your sport anyway. You can go on a run, lift weights, go hiking, do yoga, or play some video games. Whatever helps you to destress and enjoy yourself will help you in the long run. Lastly, have a strong support system. Your friends, family, trainers, and especially your coach all want to see you succeed as much as possible. They can help you find ways to deal with your stressors, as well as encourage you to push through the hard times. They can also help you remain positive and change your perspective. Surrounding yourself with people who only have your well-being in mind is essential when in stressful situations.

Lastly, I would like to address the parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be the most stressful phase of children growing up that parents have to go through. It can be a very difficult time for teenagers, but parents are just as stressed out as their children, so I would like to give advice for parents that can help their teens and, in turn, alleviate some of their own stress as well. For starters, help your child learn that some things are outside their control. Learning not to stress about the little things will help them worry less and have a clearer mind. Teens deal with a lot of drama, so teach them to stay out of it and show them that the drama is pointless, a waste of time, and won’t matter in the long run. Secondly, limit your teen’s social media use. Kids are constantly glued to their phones, but social media has the potential to completely ruin their self confidence. Nowadays it’s all about editing and posting the most perfect pictures, getting the most likes on a post, having the most followers, and constantly beating themselves down when they don’t achieve those things as well as comparing themselves to others. This can be very detrimental to their mental health and can cause a lot of stress in the household when the parents have to deal with their child going through that. Lastly, come up with some stress relieving distractions for your child. Whether it be hanging out with friends, going on a drive (if they have their license), playing basketball outside, playing an instrument, drawing, shopping, getting ice cream, anything that can be fun and get their mind off of the stress can be so beneficial for your teen.

The three articles I found wrote about these tips more in depth and provided many more ideas to cope with stress. I feel that these tips are very helpful for people dealing with high levels of stress and feel they can’t find any solutions. I definitely plan on keeping some of these tips in mind following my return to college this semester, and hopefully they can help other people too!


Spotlight Blog #2

--Original published at Kirsten's Kreations

For this post, I chose to do option one on memory.

10 Study Methods for College-Bound Teens:

This article is an interesting read. As a college student myself, I found myself agreeing to a lot of the tips it the article provides. This article included ten tips; ask for help, study outside of class, use your peers, get organized, sleep, eliminate distractions, maintain health, track habits, stop procrastinating, and work on soft skills. All of these tips are highly important to follow. For the sleep and health, if someone isn’t maintain a good sleep schedule or isn’t in good health it can make the brain seem foggy and hard to focus because the body is going into a chemical imbalance and is trying to correct itself. During this time your brain is more focused on healing yourself rather than being able to store the information you are learning making it more difficult to remember later. Asking questions and using your peers is a good way to understand what you don’t know. When we are learning new things our brain goes through a process of encoding. If we learn something that seems confusing and we don’t ask questions, instead of encoding and storing the correct information for later use our mind will process the wrong information. If questions are asked to a teacher or a peer gives a better explanation, then we can correct the information being encoded before it is too late. Getting organized, not procrastinating, and eliminating distractions are important because they can help with recall, retrieval, and storage. Being organized with a planner is a good way to help keep track of what needs to be done because college has a lot of assignments and a planner is a good way to help someone recall what those assignments are and for what class. Stopping procrastination and eliminating distractions is extremely helpful because procrastination can hinder your brains ability to store the information. The longer you wait to study the less likely you will have time to process what you just learn causing problems to recall that information. Distractions can also affect the storage and recall in the same way because they just create their own form of procrastination by tearing your mind away from your current situation.

Top 10 High School Study Tips

The ten tips are: be engaged, stay up to date with homework, organize, have a routine, have objectives, have a study station, stay away from electronics if possible, manage stress, take advantage of technology. In all honesty, I feel this is a better article for college students than for high school students but it can work for high school students too. Being engaged and staying up is great because if you aren’t then your mind can learn the wrong information and not properly encode it. Plus, if you are confused it can be easier to ask the teacher questions. Being organized and having a routine is very important for any student. A routine and being organized is important because your mind can use chunking to encode the information you are learning rather than taking time out of your day and disrupting your memory process by having to recall what you need to do for the day. Staying away from electronics and taking advantage of technology seems to be redundant, but if you put your phone on silent and use your laptop to take notes or research the topics being learned then your brain will have less of a distraction making it easier to encode the new information for later.

10 Good Study Habits to Help Your Child Succeed in the New School Year

These ten study habits for parents to help their children are: get organized, know the expectations, develop a study plan, think positively, create a study group, practice active listening, review test-taking strategies, read actively, and look into the future. It is great for parents to help their children out because the more stress a student as then the harder can get for their brain to focus on processing the information and storing it because it is more focused on trying to come up with ways on how to fix the other situations. Developing a study plan is great because the student and the parent can come up with different ways that it makes it easier for the student to learn the new information. Getting organized and knowing the expectations are good to help keep the student on track of what they need to do rather than forcing them to remember it all themselves and delaying the process of them encoding and storing the new information. Practice active listening, review test-taking strategies, and read actively are all good because it falls under the testing effect. The testing effect is being able to retrieve information in different forms rather than memorizing it by rereading.

Spotlight Blog 2

--Original published at KatieMillerPSY105

We have covered, in lecture, the best ways to study in order to retain information to do well on tests, homework, other school work, etcetera. I wanted to take a look at what some articles are claiming to be the best studying methods and see how closely it matches with what we had learned. I found three different articles from sources that discussed methods for college students, middle school to high school students, and even parents.

The first article I did research on is called “How to Study: Studying Tips for College Students” by Column Five Media. This article describes some distractions students may face when they are taking notes. Even though a computer made it easier to take notes, this article found that there were many distractions such as “25% playing games, 43% surfed internet, 68% used instant messaging, and 81% checked emails” (paragraph 3). The article also showed some of the ways they thought college students should be studying. They say to set goals for your study time in order to avoid cramming (paragraph 4). We learned that distributed practice is better for memory so that you can have the information in your long-term memory instead of not being able to recall what you crammed in before the exam. Some other techniques they showed were reading notes, rewriting them, review highlighted information, using flashcards, and make up examples (paragraph 4). The highlighted information and flashcards would be considered organized materials, which we know from lecture, will be effortful encoding. Also, making up examples is similar to elaboration where we can make up our own examples to make it more relevant to us. Instead of just reading over class notes, one techinique would be to organize the written notes into questions by making headers. Overall, I thought that this article provided some realistic advice with some things that were similar to what we learned in our lecture.

The next article I found is one that gave advice for the high school age students called “Top 10 Study Skills for High School Students” on the Campus Explorer website. This article gave ten different pieces of advice for ways to study. These tips include manage time wisely, organize, and make study groups. We covered all of these methods in our lecture for studying and how they can improve our memory. Some other pieces of advice were to ask questions, study outside, sleep, and hone those writing skills. The tip to studying outside would be to actually try to study in an environment similar to where you will be taking the exam. This will help because you could give you retrieval clues if you are stuck. The other tips they gave could be useful, but were not as important as what some of the others were. This article can show the difference in advice for studying between college aged students and high school aged students.

The final article I found is “Ten ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School” found on the KidsHealth website. This article was similar to the high school article since both gave ten tips for studying; however, this article gave ten tips on how to help prepare your children for school. One tip that I found to be very helpful was teach organizational skills. This is a great tip because the parents could help their kids learn ways to encode information they need. This will help them in the long run if they can develop this organization skill early on. Some other tips included teach study skills, getting involved, and sending them to school ready to learn. It is important for parents to help their kids develop study skills while they are young because this could cause them to improve their long-term memory. I believe some “better” advice to give to parents for studying would be making sure they are spreading out their time for studying and coming up with ways for their kids to better understand the material they are learning. These two pieces of advice gives kids the best methods for effortful encoding. This article had some good and helpful tips for parents with their younger children, but there are some other things that parents could be doing to help their children learn the best ways to study.

All in all, these articles gave some good tips for all ages. Other than a few areas that suggested techniques that may not be as effective as the methods we learned in class, it was fairly close to some of the things we learned in our lectures.


Spotlight Post 2

--Original published at Loretta Gabrielle

For the second spotlight blog, I picked the second option revolving around stress. Stress management is something I struggle with, as discussed in the blog posts. After learning about stress I evaluated three online resources for stress management. As suggested I am looking at three different target audiences of college students, athletes, and parents.

College Student

Stress itself is when the body reacts to a new change and pressure. In the first article, discussed tips and reasoning for stress in college and how to survive it. Acute stress is the reaction of possible challenges. An example can be, receiving a grade back from a class, a test, or traveling somewhere new. Most of these episodes do not last long and can be both negative and positive. Most college students face episodic acute stress which is acute stress more often. Normally college students face these challenges often in school as there are several different tasks to overcome with classes, living away from home, additional responsibility, and the financial deficit loans bring. Something many students struggle with is test anxiety and stress. The tips which the article provided were studying efficiently and effectively, use practice tests, study to learn not to pass, tricks such as a stress ball or ways to calm and center you, eating well which can include reducing coffee as it may contribute to anxiety and stress, rest, realizing tension through exercising, and being punctual the day of the test. Other additional tips the article provided on reducing stress for college students was thinking positive which can be used as positive affirmations. In other words, rather than saying ‘I can’t do this’ you change it to ‘I can do this’ which can bring a positive outcome. Similarly to this meditation and relaxation strategies benefit in reducing stress. Using the resources many colleges provide such as tutoring and talking to someone which can be a friend or school counselor. Lastly, being able to have an outlet from your stress whether that is a club, sport, or staying inside and relaxing, whatever creates less stress will benefit a college student as a whole.


The second article I found related to stress parents face and the buildup tension. The article described this as their body using fight or flight mode which we learned in class. The article discussed constant tension which is also referred to as chronic tension. A way to minimize this is through practicing relaxation rather being in constant tension form fight or flight. The article discussed progressive relaxation through one’s whole body and working on releasing the tension through physical activity. A way which the article described was yoga and relaxing one’s muscles through untensing each body part.  Another suggestion was using deep breathing as it the article suggests it causes more energy to be produced throughout the body. This can also be seen as another form of meditation. Taking a mental vacation can help by thinking of a relaxing place from a memory such as a beach, the sun, baked cookies, and anything to take you away from the moment which is causing stress. The article later suggested hobbies as a way to relax and provide relief.


The article regarding athletes and stress management provided what the difference between an athlete with a large stress load and one without. An athlete with a lot of stress will constantly get injured, lack a competitive edge, and have trouble sleeping. Although most of the information when talking about stress relates to the negative impact, with athletes it could also have a positive outlook. Say an athlete was in a critical part of the game and they have three people from the other team coming at them, evidently causing stress. Rather than shutting down and freezing, the stress and adrenaline boost from the release of the stress hormone in our body, can work in using our fight-or-flight response. In any case, this can happen regardless of being an athlete or not. To use the stress one is enduring and fighting through the challenge. The negative impact from athletes enduring stress, is the continuation after the game ends. For managing stress when training is using breaks rather than training harder. When it revolves stress around preforming, using good scores and success in playing will increase the athletes confidence until the stress resides. With the emotional stress components which can become ignored with athletes, it is important to recognize whether the training is helpful or harmful. If the component of the sport are causing more pain than taking away it is negatively impacting the person. Exercise is an important way to reduce stress but too much can have a negative effect. Lastly, addressing proper eating and sleeping schedules will help manage the stress level in an athlete.

All three articles addressed the negative impacts of stress learned in class along with similarly healthy ways to improve overall stress levels for college students, parents, and athletes.


Memory (Spotlight Blog)

--Original published at Tiffany'sCollegeBlog

For this spotlight blog, we had the option of choosing from a memory prompt, stress prompt, and  a drug prompt. I chose to do the memory prompt because I think that looking at different study skills could help me use them during school or any other place that I need help studying. 

Memory is retaining learned information or past events, or taking what we learned and being able to use it in the future. There are three processes that are involved with memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Encoding is putting information into a form the brain can understand and store. Encoding has many more aspects to it like failure and the different types of encoding. Storage is the process of storing memories in the brain and retrieval is receiving stored memories. Each of these processes can have failure if you didn’t learn something properly or if you didn’t have strong associations. Encoding failure means that you never really learned it in the first place and never got information into a form that the brain could understand. Storage failure is a biological disorder or some type of damage to the brain and retrieval failures have to have with the associations not being strong enough. Encoding allows transfer from working memory to long term memory. Working memory is what you are actively thinking about. You can typically hold 5-9 pieces of information and then we forget or it goes to long term memory. The best way to keep things in working memory is through rehearsal and repetition. There are multiple types of encoding like automatic and effortful. There is also phonological, visual, and semantic. With automatic encoding that means that you automatically remember something with no effort put towards it. Studying is done with effortful encoding where you have to work to memorize something. Phonological, visual, and semantic are more useful when it comes to studying I feel because some people are a visual learning, some are better at just listening, and for some it depends on what exactly you’re learning. When it comes to remembering your memory, you mentally search your brain for it and then if it’s located, it’s brought back to working memory. With retrieving memory, often you would look for retrieval cues or words and other stimuli that trigger the memory. Another thing you could look for is context effects. Typically, we tend to remember things better where we have first learned them, which is why in class, most students sit in the same seat so they can recall what they learned. 

Effortful encoding is what we use mostly for studying. We have to work to memorize what is being taught to us. There are many ways to use effortful encoding and that is through organization, distributed practice, meaning, and elaboration. With organization, we remember things better if it’s organized while we learn the information, which is why a lot of teachers recommend the Cornell method of note taking. The Cornell method has notes but then a column for questions and organizing material by headings. It’s better to write notes the way they make sense to you and then review them later that day or the next day. Distributed practice has to do with not cramming things. Taking a lot of information in at once can confuse your memory and not all you to have connections. Studying a little bit of material over a long period of time is better and it’s easier to focus on newer material while just having to go back and refresh the old. You also can switch learning materials with other subjects. It gives you a break from one subject to focus on another. Meaning and elaboration kind of go hand in hand with each other. We remember better when we understand what we memorize and we elaborate more on the meaning and make the information personally relevant. 

The first article I found has to do with studying skills for college students. It lists seven tips and how to go about doing those seven tips. Good habits when studying can make or break your GPA and doing these tips can help with how you study. The tips include: good notes= good grades, stay organized, unplug and reconnect, don’t cram, don’t over-study, find your zone, and take a break. Taking good notes isn’t something that everyone is good at but it is a good way to get the key points from a lecture and a textbook. Writing too many things can be strenuous and time consuming. Staying organized by having a planner or a calendar is a really good way to keep your commitments in order. Organizing your class materials is important as well. It’s easier to memorize if notes are in order and if they stand out with color or different fonts. Not having your phone can also be helpful because then you aren’t distracted and can focus in more with what you need to get done. Not cramming and over-studying is also a good way to keep sane and make sure that your study habits are the best they can be. Time management is a very good essential to make sure that you can get through what you need to. Everyone has their perfect place to study and it might not be the right one at first but it will be if you try many places out. Lastly, taking a break can be beneficial to you and it can help you continue to be energized through studying. I think that all of these are good study tips to stay off with if you are going into college. They explain where to study, to not cram (which is something a lot of people do), ways to stay organized and to always take a break and relax. I don’t think this article includes anything having to do with bad advice but having more to say the notes and organization would have been good to see. College students often get distracted by many things and once that happens sometimes they can’t get back on track.

The second article I found was focused more on studying for high schoolers. There are many study tips that high schoolers don’t necessarily follow because they just think about lunch or leaving school and hanging with their friends. The article includes ten tips to help high schoolers with studying and being prepared for school. The tips include: be engaged, take notes, and listen, keep up to date with your homework, have an organizational system in place, have a routine, have daily and weekly objectives in place, don’t procrastinate, have an ideal study station, unplug, log off, mute, and power down, manage high school stress, and lastly, take advantage of technology available. Being engaged in class can help you focus more on what you need to do to get a good grade. Taking notes, asking questions, and engaging in discussions can help with these. This article discusses using the Cornell method of note taking, which for some it can help and others it can just be confusing and make taking notes even worse. Keeping up to date with homework can help you with studying as well. Using a planner can keep you on top of things that are due and help you plan what to do each night if you have a big assignment. Have an organizational system can help tremendously. It helps things stay in order and you don’t lose anything. My personal organizational system is color coordination. I have a purple folder and a purple spiral, sticky notes, notecards etc. Having a routine can keep you in line and make sure that you keep to it or you will be unorganized. This one I feel is super important because all throughout high school people don’t want to do work. They would rather go to the football games and hang with tier friends but getting your work done or even starting it can go a long way. This one is also important. Studying in a loud place isn’t going to help you memorize anything and having a disorganized spot can make you stressed and not focused especially if you just have to clean and straighten it all the time. You want it to be comfortable but not too comfortable so studying in bed probably isn’t the best. I think this article was helpful and didn’t have any bad advice, but I do think some of the tips are more important than others. All these tips were explained in depth and makes it easier to go along through high school. Even if it doesn’t have to necessarily do with studying right away, it’s still helpful because all these things lead to studying well. All of these tips play a key role in effectively studying and focusing on what you have to do. 

For studying skills, there are also many ways to help you memorize something so that you don’t have to go back and relearn. Repetition is the best way to memorize something. Just re-reading your notes isn’t sufficient enough but you can create questions with your notes and also rewrite them. Studying in situations that are similar to the exam are good as well, doing 15 minutes of one class and then 15 minutes of another class. Flashcards are also a very effective way on studying, only if you use them correctly. Going through note cards both ways can help with definitions and vocabulary. Shuffling them and going through the ones you don’t really know are also a really good way to frequently practice the ones you don’t know. I don’t prefer this study method but sometimes studying in groups can be effective as well. It works when there is plan to get done and it’s in action. When studying with a group, you should know the material first and not learn it with everyone but get everyone to help you understand things you don’t know. 

The last article I found was advice for parents who have studying teens in high school or college. This article has a few tips for parents to help their children succeed. Some tips that it has for parents who have teens that need to study are: to learn effective study strategies, create weekly and daily plans and build rewards for a task that is accomplished. To help reduce a child’s stress and improve their grades, having a calendar that keeps track of assignments is beneficial, having a weekly planner to show a study plan and keep time of how much time is spent on one assignment and a checklist that shows what needs to be done that day and in what order they should be done can help. Along with those tips, location can be distracting if it’s not quiet or comfy, not having materials that you need can distract you because then you have to stop and look for the thing you need, and rewards. I think that this doesn’t necessarily have to be a snack or something but it could also be computer or phone time. This last tip is interesting because I’ve never thought about it. Keeping a worry pad so that teens who are distracted by their thoughts can write them down and worry about them later. I think that this is a good article and it doesn’t point out any bad advice. I think that this is a good start to getting a child on track with studying but there are more articles that may have a better sense of what to do and when. I also think that this article is very similar to the ones about college and high school students and it doesn’t say anything else that it very eye catching of a parent. 

Spotlight Post 2

--Original published at CatherinesCollegeBlog

I chose the second option about stress for this post. I found three websites that provide stress management tips to various groups of people, including college students, athletes, and parents. The article from Verywell Mind, a website providing information from mental health professionals, is targeted to college students and first suggests to become more organized. When college students transition from having regular discipline from their parents to being the own sources of their discipline, these new responsibilities of keeping track of their own schedules and living spaces can add stress. If they apply a problem-focused coping strategy to the situation, perhaps by creating a more organized schedule of when assignments are due and a more organized living space that allows for better concentration, this stress may fade. Regular exercise is another suggestion, even when it is incorporated in small ways. Living on campus makes it easy for college students to walk or bike to class, and there are many opportunities to participate in fitness classes with other students. Consistent exercise will relieve the stress of college life by releasing endorphins, helping students feel physically and psychologically better. College students need to be careful about using self-indulgence as a coping strategy. Again, without parents right there to enforce healthy habits of eating clean and getting enough rest, students may fall into a pattern of eating unhealthy foods and staying up late because these are more fun and rebellious things to do. Although indulging in fast food and ice cream every night is more enjoyable and relieves stress for a moment, this habit can harm overall health and lead to more stress later on. A final tip involves social support systems offered to college students. Most schools have resources such as counseling services or support groups where students go to release their stress and seek advice on how to cope in other ways. It is also important to join clubs and branch out to meet new people who potentially will help relieve stress. Self-disclosure can be effective if the people are good listeners who are willing to offer help. These can develop into great friendships and apply to other coping strategies, like exercising regularly with the new friends these students make.

Another article I chose from provides tips tailored to athletes who are trying to cope with stress. This website publishes articles for the public each day with new ways to develop a healthier lifestyle, in terms of physical and mental health improvements. The first suggestion is to apply a cognitive response to stress that restructures how to approach a similar conflict again. This method emphasizes emotion-focused coping, as the athletes are told to document the stressful situation and identify the feelings they experienced that contributed to any stressful thoughts. By writing this information out, athletes can identify which feelings and thoughts are causing stress and aim coping efforts specifically at times when they begin to experience those same feelings. Another tip is for athletes to actually picture themselves achieving their goal, whether it is scoring the winning goal in a soccer game or crossing the finish line first in an 800 meter race. This method relies on imagery to create as real of an experience as possible. Athletes should try incorporating as many senses as they can when picturing this moment of success, including sights, sounds, smells, textures, and motion. If the visualization is done effectively, it can create a sense of ease for athletes as they can finally see themselves achieving their goals without worrying about stress. The realistic nature of visualization makes these goals seem more attainable and less daunting, which will relieve the pressure and stress of actually getting there. The last recommendation for athletes is to cope with stress using guided relaxation. This method has been found to reduce the levels of cortisol in the human body, which is a hormone released in response to stress. Guided recordings relieve stress physically and psychologically, as they focus on controlled breathing and muscle relaxation to calm the body and mind when athletic pressures become too stressful.

The final article I chose from Huffington Post is specific to parents and the best ways for them to manage their stress. Being a parent is tough because kids will always scrutinize every little thing their parents do. When children see their parents handling stress in destructive ways, it makes it seem acceptable for children to react in the same manner. This article first mentions how parents need to avoid using the physical release of lashing out too often. It is true that releasing emotions is healing, whether the release is psychological by screaming at the top of your lungs or physical by punching a pillow; however, these reactions can get out of control quickly and lead to others being put in harm’s way. A better way for parents to handle stress and anger is to not take things too personally and remember to just breathe. When kids disobey their parents, the parents may feel incapable of the responsibility they have to raise them. Parents must remember that kids are supposed to go against what their parents believe sometimes, as it is part of learning and growing up. This incorporates the mindfulness-based stress reduction strategy, which emphasizes staying in the present with nonjudgemental awareness. Just as we are taught to not judge others, parents have to avoid judging themselves too harshly. As the article suggests, it is better to aim for imperfection and eliminate both external and internal pressures as much as possible. Parents are constantly told by others how they should be acting and raising their kids, whether it is their own parents telling them, their children telling them, or other parents who think they know better. Imperfection allows for mistakes and lessons learned without excessive pressure or stress. The article also advises that parents focus on one task at a time, especially if it is causing any stress. Immediately aiming constructive efforts at the problem will help identify the stressor in the future, and parents will not get overwhelmed if they deal with these one at a time. Parents should still be able to “play” too, as the article mentions. These small self-indulgences of dancing or going to see a movie are critical to maintaining a happy, balanced, low-stress life. Exercise and sleep are important for parents just as they are for everyone else dealing with stress. It can be especially difficult for new parents to find enough time to exercise regularly and get enough sleep, as they deal with the life change of having a baby. They have to stay positive and remember that this stage in their lives of sleep deprivation and limited personal time is not a chronic negative situation, and that they will eventually be able to devote more time to themselves again.

Spotlight 2

--Original published at Kealey's PSY105 Blog

Many websites claim that they have the best study tips. Ranging from middle school to grad school, students are always looking for helpful information to assist them in performing better on their next test. A lot of study tips may be common knowledge, but there are many myths about studying that students believe to work. Distinguishing between effective study habits and superstitions are essential to a student looking for help.

1.       Secondary Schooling – Campus Explorer

This site highlights its top 10 study habits for high school students. Number 1 is all about managing time. It is true that managing your time is important, and the most important aspect to this is working in short amounts of time frequently into your routine rather than cramming the night before a test. The website then suggests organizing. Every student is different, and the appearance of your binder isn’t something to worry about, but the way in which you write your notes is. Rewriting notes and drawing concept maps can prove especially helpful. The one tip I disagree with is studying outside. While I do not think this is necessarily detrimental, the website claims it will help you do better on tests, which just isn’t true. Creating an environment more like the one that the test will be administered in is the most beneficial space to study in because it improves retrieval in working memory.

2.       Parents – Child Development Institute

The tips for kids and teenagers aimed at parents on the Child Development Institute’s website has useful information backed by research. The tips are mainly about creating at atmosphere free of distractions with areas and times specifically designated to studying. Maintaining an environment like this is best when it comes to taking the actual test because the mind is used to retrieving the information needed in a setting like this. The website also encourages parents to teach their children to think past what is asked for them on homework assignments. This is about the idea of elaboration. The further a student thinks about the material and makes meaningful connections, the easier it will be for them use this information on tests. My only problem with this website is that I think it asks the parents to be too involved. While this may be appropriate for little kids, high schoolers should most definitely learn to study independently. After all, when it comes time to take an exam or go college, their parents cannot be there with them.

3.       College –

This site gives many helpful tips to new college students navigating the trials of an immense load of coursework. To me, the most useful study skill is distributed practice. Interweaving material, changing the order every day, and always making time to study is the best way to prepare for exams. These methods improve memory and are a beneficial routine to adjust to. Distributed practice of studying for shorter periods a day rather than spending an all-nighter preparing for an exam is much more effective. One of the top tips on this website is to form study groups. Study groups have to potential to be beneficial, but only if everyone is on the same page and prepares individually as well. Otherwise, they can be a distraction and waste of time.

Spotlight Post – 1

--Original published at Kealey's PSY105 Blog

Divorce in America has been increasing over the past decades. About 50% of children will experience 18th birthday, and almost half will witness subsequent divorces in the future (Parker). Research on the effects of divorce on children was popularized in the 1980s and 1990s. The conclusions were mainly one-sided arguments that children of divorce experience more short-term and long-term negative effects than children whose parents remained married. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically divorce was found to have consequences on children, supporting the argument that what’s “best for the kids” is for parents to stay married, even if that means battling with an estranged relationship.

In many religions, divorce is looked down on and a thought of as a disappointment to God. Many religious publications use research done by sociologists such as Paul Amato to support their claims, citing that “divorce leads to ‘disruptions in the parent-child relationship, continuing discord between former spouses, loss of emotional support, economic hardship, and an increase in the number of negative life events,’”. This idea of weakened relationships between parent and child includes instability and a lack of trust. In the long-term, daughters of divorce are thought to become needy and insecure in future relationships while sons of divorce turn out to be overly dominant and less intimate. Further, these children are predicted to be more sexually promiscuous and less successful in romance than children whose parents remained married. It is believed that children of divorce are more likely to experience divorce with their own partners later in life and afflict their children with the negative effects of divorce as well (Fagan and Churchill).

In addition to weakened personal relationships, children of divorce have shown patterns in academic and behavioral conflicts early on. Studies have found that children of divorce skip class more often than children with intact families. Divorce has psychosocial consequences that make children more likely to become antisocial, misbehave, use drugs, and participate in criminal activity as adults (Fagan and Churchill). Children of divorced parents are twice as likely to drop out of high school (Parker). Consequently, they are also less likely to enroll in college than children with married parents (Fagan and Churchill).

Much of the research from 1980s and 1990s arguing against divorce is clearly overexaggerated. This motivated other psychologists and sociologists to present new evidence showing divorce does not have as great an effect on children than previously thought. What they found was that conflict, not the event of divorce, is what has the greatest effect on children. Therefore, if divorce ends or lessens the amount of conflict between parents it is within the best interest of the children to separate. Research shows that children of divorce with depression and other disorders showed symptoms predivorce. While children of divorce are often thought to have more trouble in future relationships, this is not true. It is accurate to say that children’s future relationships are affected by their relationships with their parents and it is possible for children to have secure and happy relationships with them, even if the parents are divorced (O’Connell Corcoran).

A longitudinal study done at Montclair State University supported this claim that conflict creates strife in children’s lives, not divorce. Children who grew up in high conflict families saw fewer negative effects if their parents got a divorce. The study also found a pattern of a short-term crisis period during the adjustment. This supports the idea that children do experience negative consequences during a divorce. However, the one to two year crisis period showed less long-term negative effects than children with parents remaining in high conflict marriages for years. In addition to these findings, the study showed that parents’ happiness did not affect the happiness of the children’s adult relationships. Just because children’s parents were happily married did not necessarily mean the children grew up to have happy partnerships themselves and vice versa (Rettner).

I support the opinion that it is conflict between parents, not divorce, that affects children negatively. Divorce, of course, is a product of unhappiness within a marriage and indicates that conflict has been present between the two partners. However, it is much more beneficial for the child if the parents separate than stay together in a hostile relationship. Children of divorce are likely to experience hardship, especially during the adjustment period of divorce, because the stability that they had known within their home changes. However, children become resilient, and if they still have the support and security that they experienced with their parents predivorce, they should not be negatively afflicted in the long run. Divorce is so prevalent, it is almost impossible not to have relatives or close friends who have been children of divorce themselves. My experience with people that have divorced parents shows no difference in their growth and relationships than people with married parents. The out of date belief that it is better to stick together even though parents are in an unhealthy relationship is simply not true. This idea was based on generations of ideals of what the perfect family should b, according to religious customs and societal pressures. Today, the focus should be on what is best for everyone, because everybody deserves a chance to create happy, healthy relationships.


Fagan, Patrick F., and Aaron Churchill. The Effects of Divorce on Children. Marriage & Religion

Institute, 11 Jan. 2012,


O’Connell Corcoran, Kathleen. “Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce.”, June 1997,


Parker, Wayne. “Statistics About Divorce and the Impact It Can Have on Children.” Verywell

Family, Verywellfamily, 5 Apr. 2018,



Rettner, Rachael. “Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids.” LiveScience, Purch, 30 June 2010,


Spotlight Post #1

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my fist spotlight post, I decided to choose the prompt about the effects divorce has on children. The divorce rate in the U.S. continues to increase, and it has become an ongoing debate about whether divorce harms or helps children. I found four articles that do a good job at helping better understand the effects of each side of the argument.

The first article I read is called, “When, and Why, Divorce Hurts Kids,” by Harry Benson. It provided reasons why divorce can negatively impact children. Finances are a huge factor in divorce negatively affecting children. Typically, the total income between the parents is not enough to cover all of the expenses of two separate households as well as providing for sometimes multiple children. When parents go from living comfortably to struggling financially, the instability can be hard on the kids. Also, divorce usually leaves the kids asking many questions or coming to different conclusions. They constantly ask themselves if it was their fault their parents’ marriage failed or why they didn’t try harder to make it work. The children can develop many insecurities from these thoughts. Divorce can also put a negative connotation on relationships for them. They begin to expect relationships and marriages to not work out and that it’s normal. And lastly, a lot of the times parents think it is most beneficial for the wellbeing of their children to not only coparent, but to remain friends after the divorce. But in reality, that can just become confusing for the children if they see their parents getting along just fine, but they still can’t be together. I found this source to be trustworthy because the author, Harry Benson, is the Communications Director of the Marriage Foundation located in the United Kingdom. The site his article was published on is called Institute for Family Studies, whose goal is to do research in order to educate families and strengthen marriages, and in turn prevent children from being scarred by growing up in broken families.

Another article I found discussing how damaging divorce can be for children is called, “How Divorce Affects Children”written by Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.  One obvious and common reason why divorce is harmful for children is that it can result in the loss of a parent. Far too often do fathers leave the mother and children to fend for themselves and the children don’t see their dad for years, if ever again. Co-parenting isn’t always an assumed method of easing the children into their transition to a much different life. Going along with this, parents tend to run into many conflicts following a divorce. This includes not getting along, financial conflicts, custody, and other legal conflicts. Divorces aren’t always pretty, and that can prolong the transition, making it harder and emotionally draining for the children to deal with. Behavioral and psychological issues tend to increase for children following their parents’ divorce. They develop an inclination to act out, anger problems, become less compliant, develop anxiety, depression, and their performance at school can take a turn for the worst. Also, in some cases, one of the parents becomes depressed themselves after the split, and the children feel compelled to take care of their parent instead of it being the other way around, which can be exhausting for the kids and strip them of their childhood. I found this article to be reliable because Dr. Emery is a clinical psychologist, a divorce mediator, and a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. He has written over 150 scientific publications and several books about parent, marriage, and divorce, has conducted tons of research on these topics, and has lectured all over the world.

But sometimes divorce serves as the light at the tunnel for the children. The next article I found, titled “Is Divorce Always Bad for the Kids?,” written by Salynn Boyles, discusses how divorce can be beneficial to the children. Living in a dysfunctional family where there is constant fighting, arguing, and tension between two unhappy parents can be very stressful and cause high levels of anxiety for the children. The removal of a parent can be a relief. The article says that children living in a stressful environment between two unhappy parents are more likely to act out and become bullies, lie, cheat, and become antisocial, but that, “there was a significant decline in these behaviors following divorce.” This means that in some cases divorce isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. Rather than being harmful for the children they are able to come out better prior to the event and actually can show positive behavioral changes. I found this article to be credible because it was on WebMD. Their staff is made up of certified health professionals, experts, editorial professionals, and contributors with a specialty license to guarantee that people can find the health and medical information, resources and services they need. It is a proven credible source because not only do they seek out and hire highly qualified professionals to provide accurate information for users, but they also maintain upkeep on their staff’s licensures to ensure all of the information on their site is without a doubt up-to-date and accurate.

The last article I read was called “Why Divorce is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids,” written by Brette Sember, which discusses the negative impacts divorce has on children. There are many lessons to be learned for the children that can possibly benefit their lives in the future. For example, while they will have to transition to the change of having two homes, each home will be argument free. This will help the children develop some individuality and their happiness won’t have to depend on their parents’ happiness and “allows kids to just be kids.” Kids can also learn from watching their parents going through a divorce how important it is to be able to compromise. By observing their parents co-parenting and working through their issues, it can show them how working together to get through tough times is much more effective than fighting. And lastly, the children can be shown how important it is to put their happiness first. Living to please others and putting others before themselves can prove to be very harmful, so watching their parents choose their happiness first for once will be very beneficial. This post was written on Huffington Post which I feel is a reliable source because it provides non biased information by obtaining news stories and facts from a variety of sources all of which are checked for their credibility to ensure that they are remaining credible as well.

After reading each article, while I think there are some benefits in certain situations, I have come to the conclusion that divorce mainly damages children developmentally, behaviorally, and psychologically. Additionally, it can really negatively effect their views on marriage and lower their expectations of their own relationships one day.




Spotlight 1

--Original published at Loretta Gabrielle

For my first spotlight article I picked option one regarding development with divorced families and children. When I began my research I didn’t believe that divorce impacted a child as it would be better for everyone in the household to be out of a toxic relationship which would just demonstrate an unhealthy relationship to the child. Based off the data findings, I found two sources that argued the harm of divorce and two that disagreed that the children suffer no serious consequences.

“Impact of family structure on the health of children: effects of divorce”

The first two arguments I looked at regarded the danger of divorce and the development of children. The belief of this stems from the idea of maintaining a healthy home setting with stability in comparison to those with divorced parents. The first article supporting this argued that children are better off with parents together and promotes grown in areas of development and learning. With knowing this the article described how as a society should encourage families to stay together. For this article it looked at a study of divorce rates and how they have steadily increased along with co-parenting outside of the same home. The article stated the risks associated with divorcing which had to do with developmental milestones and having an unstable support system. The article continued to discuss the ramifications which can continue into adulthood from the negative impacts and abruptness which was caused during childhood. The child essentially is suffering a loss through each milestone in their life along with the financial strain put on each of the households. This article explained the issues and gave statistics about the increase of divorce rates but it failed in looking at the statistical impact on children in divorced families.

“The temporal effects of divorces and separations on children’s academic achievement and problem behavior”

This study attempted to look at IV models but found limitations as it was difficult to view the pre and post impact of children in families before and after divorce. What I found interesting was the point it made on not being the divorce itself but the issues surrounding the divorce prior to it. The study focused of the disruption of divorce and having a norm of living with both parents to later separating and living with them each inconsistently. The disruption is later to see negative impact of social, physical, academic, behavioral, and mental health issues. This study measured out the impacts of the children which I found more beneficial in understand the scope of the issue in comparison to the last article.

These two articles are regarding that children can come through a divorce without serious consequences opposed to the first two stating the issues around divorce and development.

“Children’s reactions to parental separation and divorce”

The article demonstrates the negative component and stress children face before the divorce occurs. In the research it describes the conflicts between parents, what the child needs, what the parents need, and separation. The research found in this article capitalizes on the issues surrounding divorce prior to it and during the beginning of being newly divorced. This period both the parents and the child are adjusting to this situation until the new living and family dynamic is settled and structured. There are several tools parents are able to use in order to make the transition easier to continue positive development for the child. The majority of divorced children suffer little to no impacts of their parents separating during their developmental stages.

“Enhancing positive outcome for children of divorce”

From this article on psychology today I found that the majority of issues which have been discussed regarding divorce are short-term. Although this is true, in some cases it can have negative long-term impacts. The article described an intervention done called “The New Beginnings Program” and was studied fifteen years after the intervention of parenting skills for divorced families and it had improved stress, anxiety, and childhood development. It was found that 240 families went through this and it helped to improve coping for families who experienced divorce. Providing structure and a supportive parent helps continue development and prevent any long-term impacts.

I think a large part of having to do with the increase of divorce rates is the increase of women’s rights. Women and men aren’t shammed for leaving abusive relationships. It has become less of a public embarrassment and ends a bad relationship by not only showing children what a healthy relationship can be but also recognizing the marriage as failing and being an adult enough to put the child first and co-parent effectively. A large factor of the overall problem is seen before the divorce actually occurs. Suppose the goal was to minimize divorce rates, if you do that you still create the stress which is causing the development problems. Divorcing in an unhealthy relationship benefits the child in development more than the pre-disruption divorce brings for a short time.