Medication vs. Psychotherapy: Which Is Better?

The most common mental health disorder in the United States is Major Depressive Disorder. Both psychotherapy, also known as counseling, and medication can be used to help treat those who suffer from depression. It has been debated over time as to whether psychotherapy or medication is better for treating depression. According to Psychology Today, most people choose drugs over therapy (Whitbourne, 2015, para. 2).

Whitbourne, an author who supports psychotherapy over drugs, states, “Antidepressants and antianxiety medications are among the leading prescription drugs not only in the US but around the world” (Whitbourne, 2015, para. 2). One of the main reasons Whitbourne chooses psychotherapy over medication is that medications can have many side effects. In fact, most of the world advertises and pays for medication as far as research and advocation go. Very rarely do you turn on the tv and see adds for therapy sessions. Instead, we constantly see adds for medications with many side effects included. The article also mentions, “the vast majority of people seeking treatment for depression and anxiety disorders prefer pharmacological to psychological interventions by a ratio of 3 to 1” (Whitbourne, 2015, para. 6). Whitbourne also believes that therapy may have a higher effective rate than drugs will.

In another article that supports therapy intervention over drug use, it is mentioned that therapy is just as effective, if not more effective than drugs when preventing relapses in cases of chronic depression (Walton, 2016, para. 11). Sometimes medication is needed, but medication and therapy go much better hand in hand rather than medicine alone. Insurance companies are starting to support therapy more as well by covering both medicine and therapy as medical treatment (Walton, 2016, para. 12).

With the new movement of psychotherapy becoming prevalent in the treatment of depression, it is hard to find sources that support drug use over therapy. Although this is true, some people still see the benefits of medicine alone. Medication and therapy are similar in the context that there are many trials and errors. For example, one medication may not solve symptoms for a particular client. Certain types of therapy may also not work for clients. Despite this, different types of medication may be easier to obtain rather than different forms of therapy. Not only is this due to general accessibility, but it is also due to insurance coverage and costs as well. Medication is typically much cheaper than psychotherapy (Ambrose, 2013, para. 1). Another article also states, “medication works best when you make healthy lifestyle changes as well” (“Depression treatment,” n.d., para. 3). So although some websites state the benefits of medications, it is very rare to find websites that accept medication over psychotherapy. It is almost always recommended to work with the two together.

All sources gathered for information can be seen as reliable. Nearly all information used was gathered from articles and research. Each author was attributed with fair credentials, and their work was clearly reviewed. All information provided was valuable and provided equal amounts of support. For example, articles that supported the use of therapy were written by authors with Ph. D’s, and were associated with professional psychology associations. Although not every author had Ph. D’s that supported medication over therapy, each work was still reviewed and fairly publicised.

Overall, as someone who has been diagnosed with depression, I can say that medication works well for me. The antidepressant I am on has not always been the same. It was indeed a trial and error to find the right type of medication for me. Even still, this year I had to switch over to another medication again because despite raising the dosage of my previous medication, its effectiveness was waning because I had been on it for so long. I had to completely switch medications, but after doing this, my symptoms improved once more. Let me make it clear that depression does not completely go away once a medication enters the system. Sometimes I still have bad days. I have never continuously gone to psychotherapy. Like I said, therapy and medication are similar in the fact that everything is trial and error. I have seen many therapists over the years, none of which I have cliqued with. Each experience has been different; For one therapy session, I was happily having a conversation with the therapist, but with another, I was so worked up that once my mom left the room I curled up into the fetal position and bawled for 20 minutes straight, never once saying a word to the therapist. I wish I knew why an event like this occurred. The fact is that depression and anxiety strike when you least expect it. I still get sad, even when I am on medication. Most of my days are good, but when I am stressed or overwhelmed, my disorders attack. Medication works well to hold off the symptoms, but I really would like to try seeing a therapist to see if my breakdowns cease or at least calm down. My goal is to be able to keep them under control. Although I am only on medication, I would recommend using both medication and therapy in hand, as this is ultimately where I would like to be. Everyone, however, is different; What works for you may not work for someone else. Finding a balance and learning to cope with depression is an essential lifelong process. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders, let them know that they are not alone in the fight. There are many resources out there to help you, so use them wisely.

Would you choose medication or psychotherapy for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, Core Techs?

-B

Cornered

Cornered – Photography; 2016 Portfolio

References

Ambrose, C. (2013, July 16). The cost of therapy vs. the cost of medication.

Psychotherapy.net. Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapy.net/blog/title/talk-is-

cheap.-really.

Depression treatment. (n.d.). HelpGuide.org. Retrieved from

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-treatment.htm

Walton, A. G. (2016, May 6). A few things that therapy may do better than medication,

according to science. Forbes. Retrieved from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/05/06/a-few-things-that-therapy-may-

do-better-than-medication-according-to-science/#7458cc7e4243

Whitbourne, S. (2015, July 21). Psychotherapy vs. medications: The verdict is

in. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-

age/201507/psychotherapy-

vs-medications-the-verdict-is-in

Spotlight Blog 3

Society has become so enamored by reality television and the plights of complete strangers that even the most tragic situations become entertainment. This seems to be the reason that the infamous show Hoarding: Buried Alive has become a household name. Many don’t understand that the individuals that exhibit these extreme hoarding abilities are really suffering from mental illness. Rather, their illness is trivialized and they are labeled as lazy. Anna Almendrala from the Huffington Post agrees and with the help of Randy Frost from the British Psychological Society, sheds light on the potential detrimental effects such shows can have. Frost points out that the only portion of these people’s lives that are seen, is bits and pieces of an hour when their homes are emptied. There is no attention drawn to the therapy services that are needed in such situations like these, or that simply cleaning the house does not solve the problem. Instead, their struggles with mental illness are put on display without attention being drawn to the actual solutions to the underlying problems. Debbie Stanley, a licensed and certified professional organizer with a specialty in chronic disorganization, states that the show is more of an exploitation of the individuals than anything else. She highlights the fact that the cases that are chosen for the show augment the amount of squalor and only show the dysfunctional habits of the otherwise functioning people. It also stigmatizes and ostracizes those that are afflicted with hoarding, making them seem like outsiders that are messy and unable to control their lives.

However, there can be some foreseeable benefit for a television show like Hoarding: Buried Alive. As hoarding-cleaning.com points out, hygiene is sometimes risked for the sake of hoarding. In one particular instance, there was a situation where the one bathroom in the home was no longer functional, ultimately resulting in the family of 3 having to bathe outdoors. The benefits of the show were within the ability for the family to regain a more or less normal hygiene routine. An article written by Aina Hunter from CBS News highlights the warning signs for hoarding behaviors, thus drawing attention to the realness of the mental illness behind the show. Dr. Julie Pike explains how the diagnosis of OCD plays a role in the behaviors seen on the show. She states that it is easiest explained as an “addictive process” that wreaks havoc on home life. At the conclusion of the article and the warning signs, resources for assistance and support for those that may be affected by hoarding.

From my perspective, I see the reality television portrayal of hoarding to be detrimental to all those involved. Mental illness is already a stigmatized topic in today’s society and the exploitation of those who actually are affected by mental illness creates a situation where judgment and misinformation to flourish. The sources in which the show was viewed as a detriment highlighted the fact that the actual therapies that can help individuals that hoard is completely left out. This fact was pointed out by researchers from the British Psychological Society and experts in the field of organization. The show itself preys on the misfortune of the mentally ill and makes it glamorous for the general public. Those that say the show is beneficial only really say so for the awareness airtime and the quality of life piece. While the overhauls cannot solve the problem, they can potentially reduce health hazards and safety concerns within the home that otherwise would have continued to be an issue. Though doctors and news outlets preach the positives of the show, they neglect to touch upon the fact of the psychological and social effects of the show. It seems that the negatives outweigh the positives. At the end of the day, the show does not leave the viewer with an increased understanding of how mental illness plays a role in the behaviors that are displayed, but rather they are left with a portrait of individuals that are “lazy” with “no self-control”. There is little to no empathy for the situation, which leads to judgment and more stigma.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/buried-alive-tlc-uncovers-secret-life-of-hoarders/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety-disorders/experts-does-tv-accurately-portray-hoarding.aspx

https://www.hoarding-cleaning.com/review-hoarding-buried-alive/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/17/hoarding-reality-shows_n_7605804.html

 

Spotlight Blog #3

Peer Pressure

Athletes: https://www.positiveperformancetraining.com/blog/female-athletes-and-peer-pressure

Adults: http://mentalhealthcenter.org/how-to-deal-with-peer-pressure-as-an-adult/

Teens: http://www.yourlifecounts.org/blog/20-ways-avoid-peer-pressure

 

The first website that I chose provided ways to resist peer pressure for athletes. This website had effective ways of resisting peer pressure as they worked on building confidence, which I think is the key. Step three, four, and five did this especially as they encouraged the reader to find support for the people around them and building inner confidence which will discourage self-doubt and in turn conformity. Step two had the right idea of stepping back and asking questions, but I think instead of “What will I be most proud of in ten years?” the person should be asking themselves things like “What’s the worst that will happen if I don’t do the same thing as this group of people?” or “Will I regret not trusting my gut?” Overall, this site had some good ideas about how to effectively resist peer pressure.

 

The second website that I chose’s audience was adults, which had a mix of both effective and ineffective ways of resisting peer pressure. The first two tips work on confidence, which as I mentioned before, is very important. Staying true to yourself and not listening to other people with decrease conformity. The third tip may also be helpful because having a wide range of friends will break up the majority so that you can see a range or opinions and actions. The only way that this might not work is if it’s in the context of the last tip. Finding a group that are similar to you isn’t avoiding peer pressure, but instead is instead seeking a majority that you’re comfortable conforming to. This may also make it hard to go against them on something if you already agree on most things. Another tip that may not be affective is learning from your mistakes. Peer pressure can be seen in a number of different ways both big and small, which can make it hard to learn from past experience if that pressure comes about in a different part of your life or in a different form. This site had mostly good tips, but not all of them would be helpful.

 

The last website that I chose provided tips for teens. This site had a several ways of resisting, which overall were pretty good. They encouraged the reader to question the majority and the people pressuring them which discourages conformity, understanding the effect the situation or environment can have on decision making, and it also gave tips that required confidence in oneself, which are great ways of not giving in to peer pressure. The eight tip would be especially effective because as we know from the Soloman and Ash experiment having a partner helps with resistance. Some of this advice is better that others, but as a whole, the tips would be effective.

 

 

Spotlight Blog #3

For my final spotlight post, I decided to choose option 2, which discusses the recent controversy of reality television shows like Hoarders, My Strange Addiction, True Life, etc. and if they are exploiting those who suffer from these types of illnesses, or it is actually beneficial.

Over the years, there has been a significant increase in entertainment shows focusing on  television shows that showcase mental illnesses for some-sort of amusement for those who watch. Most television shows that do this, do not accurately portray what having a mental illness is truly like and put them down for their actions. Those who are diagnosed with a mental illness are very mistreated by the media, and deserve better treatment in general. In my opinion, I feel that it is very unethical to project these people’s lives as if it is an entertainment act for the world to see. Those who suffer from a mental illness have lost a lot, dealt with an immense amount of pain, and are just trying to live their life normally. Television shows like Hoarders or My Strange Addiction are not benefiting people with mental illnesses, I believe that it is only a temporary solution to their mental illness, and once the camera’s stop rolling and the psychologists stop visiting – it all comes back again. I have watched numerous episodes of these types of shows and have watched the amount of distress and misery they encounter, yet the shows apparently aim to “help” improve the hoarder’s living atmosphere, relationships, and overall health.

For my first approach at this issue, I decided to look at the side that viewed it in a helpful way, the first article that I found was an article that was written in 2014 by a website that  discusses ways to improve your everyday health and then specific disorders like anxiety, depression, mood disorders, etc. The website had started off with an introduction similar to mine, just stating that their has been recent attention given to the particular show, and does it accurately portray what actually having the mental illness is like. They asked this question to 3 people, all who are licensed psychologists, RN’s, and hold a management position. Both the second and third interviewers claim that the show does accurately represent what the illness is like. They both claimed that a major pro to these shows is that the more popular it becomes, the more awareness about the mental illness is dispersed into the world for everyone to see. People who watch the show that are affected by it, can know that there is help out there and that they are not alone.

I felt that this website was pretty credible because it was a website specifically for the treatment of mental health disorders & everyday health. All three of the interviewers had background with hoarding and are familiar with the field. Especially the two who felt that the show could be positive in some ways, one was an RN and the other was a professional organizer. Since they are familiar with this type of mental illness along with other common knowledge about general good health, I am willing to trust this source.

For my second article, I discovered an article written on a website called “Psychology Today”, which was written by Seth Myers. The article was titled “Mental Illness On Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?” Mainly, the article discusses how it is a good thing when a show can accurately display what a mental illness is doing to a person and their relationships. It is also good for mental illness to be televised because people who also suffer will see it and can relate to it, they can reach out to them or get help for themselves, seeing this can inspire them to get help for themselves or make new connections. Another way that it Is beneficial is that people usually use TV or other social media in general to show/share their dark thoughts and by what they watch or write about can be a cry for help and if the right person see’s it, they can take action to get that person the help they need. Myers claims that overall it is a beneficial thing to have television shows and social media portray mental illness for one main reason of kick-starting them to realize what is happening, get into professional care or treatment and get it done now.

I thought that this website seemed very credible and trustworthy. Not only did it have a lot of information to read about, but it also had a lot of examples of different TV shows and good examples of why it Is beneficial. This article was also written by a licensed psychologist who specializes in the Department of Mental Health so, he is very familiar and has a high amount of knowledge within all mental illnesses.

For my third article, I switched views and now am looking at the side that believes it is not beneficial to display mental illness for entertainment. An article I found, written by a reporter for the Huffington Post, stated that after her research with the topic; shows like Hoarders should be shut down. She begins with a description of a specific episode where a married couple for 31 years, the wife has a serious hoarding disorder and admits that, but claims that she “just doesn’t feel like clearing it all out.” The author of the article claims that by portraying people like this couple, it shows the bad side and creates the stigma about mental illness, and is not really raising awareness for the disorder, but more so putting it to shame. She then goes on to discuss a recent report that was conducted by The British Psychological Society, their overall claim was that television shows and social media should stop using mental health disorders to shock and entertain  the public, it is something serious and should not be taken in a joking or light manner in any way. The first researcher of the study, Randy Frost, mainly said that people who show up to someones house and start to force and push this person to let them throw out their possessions is a way to clean the house and satisfy the viewers, but in reality, only works for so long. It doesn’t stop that person from feeling the compulsions to hoard. In order to help a person not feel attached to every possession they encounter, they need to receive long-term cognitive behavioral therapy first. Without this, the house is just going to pile up again in a matter of months. According to American Psychological Association, it is hard to pin point a specific number of many individuals are affected by hoarding everyday, but research in the past has suggested that 2-5% of the population has dealt with it to some degree. Since the disorder can sometimes be so detrimental to an individual or families lifestyle, it should not be broadcasted for everyone to see. It Is also very likely that a person who suffers from hoarding also is affected by multiple other mental health disorders like, PTSD, anxiety, depression, ADHD, or possibly on the autism spectrum disorder.

I felt that this article was very credible because the author used a lot of outside resources to bring an immense amount of information into her own article. All the research she did to write this, was all provided by experts in the hoarding field. Psychologists, authors of people who wrote books on this illness. In my opinion, these sources were all very credible, which made it easier to believe that her viewpoint was correct.

For my fourth and final article, I found an article titled “Hoarding: Why Forced Clean outs are Unsuccessful”, written by Erin Doland. He started discussing how on Memorial Day, A&E (known for the broadcasting channel for the show Hoarders) had run a day-long marathon on their first season of the show, Hoarders. Once the re-run season was finished, they released a new episode called “Where are they now?” that showed 5 people for the original season one year later, 4 out of the 5 people had returned to their old habit of hoarding. He discussed that he could not even fully watch the episode because it was just a reminder of how the show is aimed to entertain the public, rather than actually attempt to help those who are in desperate need. He believes that the show dehumanized the participants and does not display how they truly do attempt to help them. Donland said that after reading the book titled,” Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things” by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee, hoarding specialist, they have known that the forced clean out of that person’s home is considered a trauma for them. When a random clean-up crew come and touch, move, throughout these possessions for this individual it becomes a traumatic experience and results in panic attacks and depression. Frost and Steketee stated that they knew several cases of which many hoarders who have committed suicide after a forced clean out. Doland ended his article with a brief statement saying that he does think it brings attention to the disorder, but not in a positive way, they do not approach these people in a compassionate or truly helpful way, which then leads to larger problems and most likely another cluttered house in the future.

At first, I thought this was going to be a skeptical source, but after reading through it I found very credible information, especially because most of the information was coming from a very well-known book that was written by two hoarding experts, so they have great amount of knowledge on this subject.

After doing the research on the pro’s and con’s of these shows, I feel that it has strengthened my hate for these types of series. I found that it was much easier to find articles that discussed why it is not beneficial to keep these shows on air rather than why we should. This made me believe even more that these shows are not ethical in any way, and should not be aired on television or posted on social media. I believe that there is a universal agreement that it is beneficial for a small amount of time but, in the end it does not give a permanent solution nor does it cure the addiction for that person. These types of shows do also bring awareness to the disorders, and can potentially serve as an outlet to receive help, but I feel as if it is not in the correct manner. Individuals who suffer from mental illness’ like hoarding and other addictions need more than just a push to make a change. They need family support, long-term therapy, and a will to do it for themselves and on their own. When random people barge into their home and start touching and throwing out their belongings is not an adequate way to help anyone, if anything it is going to pro-long the situation.

 

 

 

 

Positive Articles:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety-disorders/experts-does-tv-accurately-portray-hoarding.aspx

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-is-2020/201504/mental-illness-reality-tv-helpful-or-harmful

 

Negative articles:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/17/hoarding-reality-shows_n_7605804.html

https://unclutterer.com/2010/06/03/hoarding-why-forced-cleanouts-are-unsuccessful/

 

 

Spotlight Blog #3

Peer pressure is a big part of today’s society. Everyone goes through peer pressure at one time or another, even if they do not realize it. It is very easy to fall into the pattern of “everyone else is doing it”. It is challenging to be able to resist peer pressure, but there are ways to be able to conquer it.

For parents, hearing that their children have fallen to peer pressure is very challenging. An article on Love and Logic.com talks about some ways for parents to help their children resist peer pressure. The tips the author gives to parents are to teach children what the consequences are when bad decisions are made and to let the child use the parent as an excuse when confronted with something they do not want to do. I know from personal experience that these tips are helpful with children. As they get older and enter teenage years the child does not want to listen to the parents so it may not be as effective then. In the article, they also say that the parent should be more positive when discussing the child’s friends. Being positive is better because being negative can make the child feel separated from the family and can drive them away.

For college students, peer pressure is a big part of your four years at college or university. An article written by the University of California Santa Cruz Counseling and Psychological Services discusses tips for college students to handle peer pressure. Some of the tips that they give are to spend time with people who do not force you to do anything you do not want to, using an excuse or try to delay giving yourself time to think about your decision. As a college student myself, I feel that these tips are useful. The tip about spending time with people who respect your decisions is very important because the student will then not feel pressured to share their opinion. It also will not cause pressure in the friend group, allowing you to focus on your studies and spending time with your friends doing healthy activities.

Humans deal with peer pressure all the time, even as adults. Peer pressure in adulthood is more indirect, but it is still present. An article from MentalHealthCenter.com talks about peer pressure in adulthood and ways to persevere through it. In this article, it talks less about direct ways of saying no but rather talks about being true to yourself and being more thoughtful about how you want to live your life. This is important as an adult because having good self-esteem and morals will help you have a successful life with fewer failures and mistakes. This article also states that a person should find friends that support them and do not force them to do anything they are against. They also suggest having a diverse friend group, which may or may not be successful depending on the personality of the people. If all the friends in the friend group are okay with everyone believing something different then it would be okay. There can be tension in a diverse friend group that has some members that believe they are superior.

Peer pressure is in all of our daily lives. Dealing with peer pressure appropriately as a child, a college student, and even as an adult can increase your happiness in life and your health as a whole.

 

Sources:

 

https://www.loveandlogic.com/articles-advice/helping-kids-resist-peer-pressure

 

https://caps.ucsc.edu/counseling/aod/peer-pressure.html

 

http://mentalhealthcenter.org/how-to-deal-with-peer-pressure-as-an-adult/

Spotlight Blog 3

Option 1 – Use the tag “Social”

People are often told to resist peer pressure and think for themselves, but as we’ve learned, this is more easily said than done. Too often, especially for teens, this advice is not followed with concrete recommendation about ways to resist pressure from others. I want you to identify three websites that provide methods for resisting peer pressure and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.

 

Peer pressure is defined as “influence from members of one’s peer group.”  This is not always a school setting, but more likely than not that is the setting someone would think of when addressing peer pressure.  Peer pressure can occur in any setting and in any situation.  Some other places include work, sports teams, and friend groups outside of school.

In college, there always seems to be this constant pressure to go out and party on the weekends, but not everyone wants to do so, and that is okay.  College peer pressure is different than when you’re in high school because you do not have the reassurance of your parents that you’re making the right decisions all the time.  Part of becoming an adult is being able to handle the peer pressure a little bit better on your own and showing that you are able to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/dealing-peer-pressure-college/

Teens already seem to targeted when it comes to peer pressure, but by adding in another element of being on a sports team that could increase or decrease tremendously.  This website encourages teen athletes to have a balanced life (not just involved in that sport but also involved in music or art), using relaxation techniques, and there are also tips for parents to stay calm and not help make it worse for the student.  I think these tips are helpful, because as a student-athlete in middle school and high school, I found it much easier to stay away from peer pressure by having multiple outlets of expressing myself.

https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-help-a-teen-athlete-deal-with-sports-pressure-4057989

This next website points out that peer pressure in the workplace should help you improve your knowledge, not push you to do something you do not want to do.  Things like making comments about a co-worker who is chronically late or replying to a chain email sent by a co-worker simply because everyone else is can be problems that people want to involve you in, but you may not want to.  With being an adult, you should just have to say, “I’d rather not get involved” and leave it at that, but sometimes people will try to egg you on.  Speaking to a colleague or supervisor could help alleviate the situation, or just simply ignoring it.

https://mjcoppola.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/how-do-i-deal-with-peer-pressure-from-co-workers-by-matthew-coppola/

Spotlight Blog #3

Every person deals with peer pressure at some point in their life. There will always be those friends that try to get you to participate in activities that you may not want to do. Whether the person is a teenager, child or an adult, they can expect to deal with some form of peer pressure. Conformity is what plays a large role in peer pressure since it is the desire that causes people to give into peer pressure. Some types of peer pressure can be motivating for the person and others can lead to very dangerous activities. There are many different ways to avoid peer pressure, and the methods vary across age groups. Teenagers, children, and college students can all combat this  peer pressure.

Peer Pressure with Teens

https://www.teenzeen.org/teens-and-peer-pressure.html

In an article by TeenZeen, it describes peer pressure for teens, especially in relation to drugs and alcohol. It discusses peer pressure and the consequences that it can have. For example, giving into peer pressure could lead to drug and alcohol addiction in the future. They explained reasons that teens might give into peer pressure, such as not wanting to hurt a friend, fearing rejection and not wanting to be teased. They gave several ways to avoid the peer pressure. They included saying no assertively and firmly, staying away from those dangerous situations, speak clearly, walk away, stand up for other friends, and finding new friends. I feel that some of these methods will definitely work such as finding new friends and staying away from those situations. Some might have to be used together if those pressuring the others do not listen, such as saying no firmly and then walking away if the friends ignore your assertive answer. It depends on how determined the friends are to pressure you into doing the activity. I feel that these methods would work overall.

Peer Pressure with Kids

http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/peer-pressure.html

In an article by Kids Health, it described ways that kids can deal with peer pressure. For kids, the types of peer pressure can be a bit different. For example, the pressuring could be to skip class, lie to your parents and try cigarettes. The reasons for falling for peer pressure can be the same, such as wanting to fit in, or being curious about the activities that they are pressured to do. The article tells kids to say no, but to also find friends with similar interests to stand up against those are trying to pressure you. It also talks about walking away and finding new friends, like the other article did. The article also inspires to use peer pressure positively to do things such as ending bullying. It points out that peer pressure is not always bad, so they know that they can use it for good rather than only bad. I think these methods will work better with children because they are less resistant to standing their ground about the negative activity.

Peer Pressure with College Students

http://www.mycollegepal.com/blog/how-avoid-peer-pressure-college

A college blog by a Stanford professor talks about five ways to deal with peer pressure in college. The first way was to choose your friends wisely, meaning that you should choose friends that will support and raise you up and give you confidence, along with having similar interests in mind. The second way is not depending on one friend group, and that having one could increase your pressure to fit in with those people. The third way is to seek advice from others when you are peer pressured, preferably an older adult, your parent, or a counselor. The fourth way is to engage in activities that will give you more self confidence, such as trying out for a new sport or starting a new hobby. The fifth and final way is to accept that you may be lonely sometimes, and that occasional loneliness is better than getting in trouble or developing bad habits. I think this is good advice for students to follow without giving the usual “just say no” sort of response to peer pressure. It addresses that the conformity does exist and that it is not necessarily a bad thing to have, but that it needs to be controlled, and that you need to stay and independent person still.

Spotlight Post #3 – Year Long Education

Growing up, my school year always started in September and went until mid-June. Our summer vacation lasted mid-June to August for a total of around two-and-a-half months off school. We typically went Monday through Friday with occasional breaks and Christmas and Spring Break. It was not until my pen pal from Indiana told me about her year long school system that I was introduced to an alternative schooling method. Schools around the country vary in the education systems. Tne long-running debate about better education for children is between year-round schooling versus the traditional nine month period.

PRO

Maine Taste Force’s report on year-round education describes the details of the system and its benefits for Maine’s students. Year-round schooling, despite its name, still has the same average 180 school days as a typical system. School occurs during all twelve months of the year with a cycle of around three months of education and one month of vacation. They can, in addition, have a multiple schedule system. Teachers and students are broken into different groups with each group’s education and vacation periods staggered a month following the previous group. One group is on break while the rest are in session.

Maine promotes year-round schooling as it can increase education potential. Other school reports have discovered positive implements of year-round education. Oxnard California year-round schools saw an increase in reading, writing and mathematics scores. A Virginia high school had an increase in state testing scores. Second it has increased attendance. Due to the an increase in vacations, students are less prone to call in sick days. Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado saw drop out rates decrease from five percent to two percent. It is believed that missing a smaller period is more beneficial versus a period in the traditional system. Third, it increases information retention. Students lose the information they have learned over the course of nine months during summer vacation in a traditional run school, and teachers have to review previous information for a significant period during the beginning of the school year. In year-round school, with only a month’s break, more time can be spent teaching new material thus increasing learning. Last, breaks give opportunities for students and families alike. Extra classes as a prerequisite classes, additional classes, or make up work can be scheduled.

Alberta, Canada is home to more than 20 schools that have year-round schedules. The Globe and Mail shared to the public Peel District School Board’s four-year study that followed students at Roberta Bondar Public School, a year-round school, with control traditional school. Results revealed similar results to the points Maine Task Force listed: greater retention and increased time on new material. Summer activities including camps, a counterpoint that people use against year-round schedules because of conflicts, are mainly affordable only by the higher socioeconomic classes. For parents who have difficulty finding activities or supervision for their children due to work, year-round schools offer easier options. Even the students support this alternative method. Thirteen year old Amandeep Pabla states that it eliminates spending time in front of a screen, eating junk food, and forgetting past year’s lessons. Sacha Malhi, a nine years-old enjoys having multiple breaks during the year versus one lengthy break.

CON

Boyd F. Jensen, a former Utah State Board of Education member, shares his opinion in favor of traditional schooling. Six elementary schools in Salt Lake City Utah (in 2011) were running on the year-round schooling system. There was no academic advantage for those in year-round as only half of the students met Utah government’s Adequate Yearly Progress in comparison to the 80% of traditional students. Funding the school year around is also is more costly. Some of the $128,000 increase goes towards air conditioning the schools in August. Jensen advices putting money towards group tutoring, a method that has been study supported. Paul von Hippel’s study shows that the alternative schooling had no effect on the student’s education. Teachers spent the same amount of time reviewing information at the start of the academic year regardless of method. Summer break gives time for students to work, attend tutoring, practice other skills, and spend time with family. These aspects are just as important. The applause for teaching goes to the teachers, parents, and students, not the calendar.

Matthew Lynch advocates for year-round schooling; however, in his article, he brings to light three concerns people have against it. He seconds the expensive aspect of year round schooling especially during the summer hours where air-condition is continually run. Bills tend to increase four to eight percent. Especially with multi-track schooling, this adds an additional three months of billing. Yearly additions to bills may be a financial struggle or an reason to increase tuition. The second point is the diminished time spent outside. Break during summer allows time for children to spend time outside, and this time away creates a healthier growth. The last argument is the scheduling conflicts in year-round schooling. The community is concerned about the ability to find childcare during the more frequent breaks and conflicts with camps that run multiple weeks or the majority of the summer time.

Conclusion

After reading about multiple aspects of year round education, I can see both sides of the argument. The main argument for year-round schooling is the claim that it will reduce education loss during the break. I personally think that either way, there is going to be learning loss between breaks. Students are taught to quickly memorize information, reproduce it on tests, and repeat with new information. The previous information are disregarded. With less memory pathways the information is lost eventually. Much of the information from my world cultures class senior year of high school is lost. The focus is geared towards grades for college, and if students do not enjoy the subject they may not have the desire to remember it. To pick a side, I currently lean towards traditional schooling, but I am not disregarding year-round schooling benefits. I have enjoyed spending my three months of vacation with family, friends, and at camps. Though I cannot disagree with the fact that many kids are now spending time indoors with technology.  I do think that year-round can help with memory.

I think a solution to this dilemma is a mixture of both traditional and year-round. Boyd Jensen’s mention of how it’s not the calendar that teaches children, got me thinking.  After almost completing my first year of college, having the small breaks between learning (a month vacation between fall and spring semester and several four through seven day breaks) helped with my mental health and motivation. I think expanding the school year frame slightly to maybe just two months of vacation and then put more breaks to divide the semester would be helpful. In addition, adding summer work due the following year could help with retention. I remember always having a summer work packet for my math classes to help with retention. I think memory loss can be reduced if we look into other methods not just a calendar change.

References

Jensen, B.F. (2011, January 30). Year-round schools don’t work, so districts should abandon the idea. Desert News. Retrieved from https://www.deseretnews.com

Lynch M. (2016, October 27). 3 reasons not to adopt year-round schooling. Retrieved from The Advocate website: http://www.theedadvocate.org/3-reasons-not-to-adopt-year-round-schooling/

Maine Task Force. (January 1994). Rethinking the school calendar. A report of maine’s task force on year around education. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED380905.pdf

Stechyson N. (2010, August 6). Students in year-round schools do better, study shows. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com

Spotlight Post 3

When thinking of peer pressure, many people probably imagine a teenager being pressured to have a sip of alcohol or hit of a cigarette. However, the prevalence of peer pressure is expanding beyond just adolescents. Peer pressure is still existing as kids become adults. Also, it is now effecting multiple daily live activities, not just the use of drugs at a party. Three separate websites discussed peer pressure in situations some people usually would not think of: at the workplace, between siblings, and in during sexual activities. In addition, each website discussed possible ways to avoid peer pressure in these particular situations.

Handling Peer Pressure in the Workplace

http://truthaboutperwickstrom.com/4-ways-to-handle-peer-pressure-in-the-workplace/

Peer pressure between coworkers can range anywhere from asking someone to go out for a beer after work, to asking a coworker to cover a shift. Due to peer pressure, a work environment can become very hostile and unhealthy. Individuals may feel uncomfortable or targeted by those they work with, and the website recommends that this is when a manager should step in and use the following tips to create a more healthy work environment:

  1. Learn to step in at the right time. In a work place, there is going to be conflict because it is nearly impossible for everyone to get along. Most of the time, employees can work out their issues themselves and it should not need to include the managers of the work place. Although, it is important to know when things are getting out of hand and coworkers feel pressured to come to work. This is when a moderator should step in and give potential consequences.
  2. Don’t be afraid of differing opinions. Typically, it is important for coworkers to work together as a group and share the same viewpoints; however, it is also healthy to have diverse opinions. Having multiple levels of creativity is great because it can make a business unique and generate a plethora of new ideas.
  3. Team building exercises. Building a strong group mind can help decrease the pressures of a workplace. It is important to make sure coworkers are comfortable around one another and not intimidated by anyone. This can also help individuals learn each others strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they respond to a variety of situations. Group building exercises such as yoga, adventure courses, escape rooms, and outside activities are great for building a stronger team and can add some fun to work!

Personally, I believe that these tips would be very helpful to a business and would be successful at lowering the rate of pressure in a workplace. As we discussed in class, people have preexisting stereotypes and sometimes they are even unaware of them. In a workplace, it is very important that certain people are not prejudice towards any other workers or clients/ customers. These methods to abolish peer pressure provide ways in which individuals can develop positive relationships and avoid unneeded stress at work. In addition, if there is a situation that has gotten out of hand I think it is important for a company to know what to do and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Sibling Peer Pressure

https://www.boldsky.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids/2015/how-to-avoid-peer-pressure-between-siblings-059217.html

Peer pressure has traveled from school to home, and now siblings are often pressuring one another by threatening to “tell mom” or pick on one another when one does not get their way. This can make children act in a certain way out of pressure and fear of consequences from their sibling or parent. This article provided tips for parents that have noticed signs of peer pressure between their children. The article provided tips parents can do in order to lessen peer pressure between their children:

  1. Be proud. As children are developing, it is important that they know their parents are proud of what they are doing and that they love them. Some children may act out irrationally towards their sibling because they want their parents attention, or because they think it will make a parent like them more over their sibling. This can be avoided by reminding your kid that you are proud of their accomplishments and growth.
  2. Don’t compare. Comparing one sibling to another can often make one believe they are inferior to their brother or sister. This can pressure children into turning to other things to make them feel better or make them act irrationally towards their parents out of spite. A way to avoid pressure between siblings is by treating them equally in all situations and not giving to connotation that one is better than the other.
  3. Encourage. Children are going to make mistakes, however it is important that they are encouraged to try again instead of being discouraged by their parent or sibling. Encourage children to be honest about situations where peer pressure might be occurring and make sure they understand the consequences of their actions.

I think that this website provides good tips on ways to handle peer pressure between siblings and that it would be successful if used by parents. As we discussed in class, siblings are very unique because they have a similar upbringing and share genetics. Often times, siblings can confide in one another for support or advice because of the huge similarities between their lives. Because of this, it can often cause either a very positive or a very negative relationship. The way parents raise and treat their children has a huge impact on their actions and relationships with siblings. Sibling peer pressure is very likely to happen, but it can be controlled and avoided by the use of these tips.

Teens Resisting Sexual Peer Pressure

http://www.supportwithinreach.org/wp-content/uploads/ResistingSexualPressureBrochure.pdf

It is widely known that for teens, peer pressure is very prevalent and can impact the ways they act. Although, it seems that sexual peer pressure between teens is discussed less than peer pressure about drugs or alcohol; however, sexual peer pressure is still very common. Many children are taught abstinence and to just say no, but it may be hard for teens to realize warning signs and know what to do when encountered with a pressured sexual situation. This article provided tips that teenagers can follow to avoid being pressured into sex to further ensure they are comfortable and happy with their relationships.

  1. Know limits ahead of time. It can come as a surprise when sexual advancements happen out of the blue. In any situation, it is important to think about what you want ahead of time and rehearse what you would want to say if it ever was to come up.
  2. Go on group dates first. Group dates are very helpful to get to know a person of interest. It allows teens to hangout but not have the nervousness or pressure of being alone with someone. Hanging out in a group allows individuals to get comfortable with each other and discover what someone might like and not like.
  3. Be open with parents. Parents are a very good judgement and can usually see aspects of people that teens may not catch. Additionally, having parents around may make it impossible for sexual advancements to take place, which will protect a teen from feeling pressured into things.
  4. Do not feel obligated because of a relationship. Everyone has their own opinions and pace that they would like to take in a relationship. The article mentions that a relationship does not just mean sex and that it is not a deciding factor if someone truly wants to be with someone.

I think that this advice is helpful, although it is very common for teens to want sexual advancements but feel pressured by their parents not to have sex. According to Freud’s psychosexual stages, there is a time (usually puberty) when individuals become attracted to the opposite sex and it is very normal to want to have sex. It depends on an individuals readiness, influences, and upbringing to decided if they want to have sex or not. These tips are very helpful in particular for those who do not want to have sex but have trouble saying no. It is likely that these tips would be successful because they help an individual to avoid peer pressure by avoiding any sexual situations and having a back up plan.

 

Spotlight Blog 3

Peer pressure is something that children, teens, and adults deal with in various settings. Many people are often told to resist peer pressure and to stand up for themselves, but more often then not people fall into the pressure. Teens especially face peer pressure in their daily lives, so it is important they know the options they have to resist it. People can  conform to the peer pressure by adjusting their behavior or thinking to conclude with the group standard. They also can be influenced resulting from their desires to be approved or avoid disapproval from others (normative social influence). Another form of peer pressure is informational social influence where the influence results from one’s willingness to accept others opinions about reality. People seek acceptance from others and peer pressure is an easy way to please others so they accept you as their friend or into their group. All of these following articles either follow the influences or conformity stated above, just in different type of settings.

The first article I found was directed towards parents and how they can help their children resist peer pressure. Some points made were to not have the parents overreact, getting to know their child’s friends, and to model saying “no”. I think that these strategies would be successful. I think that kids, teenagers especially, are going to not want to bring things up to their parents if they overreact. Both a child and parent want to be able to have a conversation with each other without getting worked up or blaming anyone. Also having parents know who their child’s friends are what type of crowd they run in helps build a trusting relationship. Helping your child understand good and bad qualities of friends will open their eyes to true friendship. If a child has a friend who is pressuring them to do something dangerous, they should try to distance themselves so they do not get involved in anything hurtful or even illegal. Modeling saying “no” is probably the most important. By giving tips and advice to your child/teenager, they will remember what to say in certain situations and how to avoid conflict. You are giving your child the right ways to say no to avoid doing something they know will have bad consequences.

The next article was focused towards the child/teen themselves. This article gives more of the responsibility and independence to the child instead of the parents. It gives 20 ways to avoid peer pressure. It gives the classic tip of saying no, but it also gives ways to stand up for yourself, ways to leave the scene, or ways to avoid the situation in general. It gave the tip of asking “101 questions” and gave the example of if someone asks you to smoke, ask them why they smoke, how long they have smoked, etc. I think that this is an interesting approach and have never thought of it before but I think that this strategy would work. When people ask you tons and tons of questions right after each other, people tend to get annoyed easily and forget why they asked the person in the first place. I think that this is a smart avoidance method and not many people think of it. Another tip this article gives is to use the buddy system. By having a friend who shares the same values, you both can back each other up. Also if one is tempted by peer pressure, the other friend can help them realize they shouldn’t do it. Friends that care for you and do not pressure you to do things you are comfortable with are the ones that you should surround yourself with so you are less tempted by peer pressure.

The last article was directed towards athletes and the negative peer pressure that they face. Athletes have many people that interact with them on and off the field, like their teammates, coaches, parents, and the other teams they face. Being an athlete can have many demands that come with it. They are expected to not only perform on the field with practices and games, but also in their classroom settings getting good grades and GPA’s. Also, especially in college, being an athlete means you are more known on the campus and tend to have a more significant social life, being pressured with drugs and alcohol. Teammates especially can have tendencies to peer pressure others, a typical example of this is hazing freshmen to do things for the team because they think they have no other options when in reality they have a choice to say no. Athletes also have many decisions and choices to make, like studying, going to work out or run, getting an extra practice in, or going to hang out with the team, all of which that can easily be influenced negatively because of peer pressure of the team or coaches. Coaches have a powerful and influential role in the lives of athletes, but if the coach abuses their position, then that is where negative peer pressure can fall upon the athlete.

 

Articles:

Parents: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/6-tips-resisting-peer-pressure/

Children/Teens: http://www.yourlifecounts.org/blog/20-ways-avoid-peer-pressure

Athletes: http://www.livingfithealthyandhappy.com/2010/03/negative-peer-pressure-among-teen-athletes.html