The phenomenon of acculturation stress is described with particular reference to the subsequent development of the transitional role conflict. The adolescent and young adult male Eskimo is especially susceptible to the anxiety generated by the process of acculturation and it is the interaction of this external stress with the bio-psychosocial characteristics of the individual within his ecological group, that may lead to an increased incidence of mental disorder. The clinical picture that develops will depend on the complex interaction of this psychosocial stressor and the level of ego development and its accompanying defence and coping strategies. We see how the development of manifest psychopathology in two young Inuit males was intimately associated with the stresses of acculturation acting upon personalities characterized by a low self-esteem and negative self-image, feelings of emasculation and a state of anomie. Coping and defensive strategies exhibited both similarities (drugs, alcohol, withdrawal, actin out) and differences (psychosis versus dissociation). The value of modified supportive therapy with continuity of care aimed at increasing self-esteem through sublimation, identification, reduction of dependency and encouragement of growth and autonomy is described, as are measures aimed at primary prevention.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2319.
During the last decade a number of studies have been dedicated to the relationship between social support and ill health. In this study the relationship between risk indicators for social disintegration in defined geographical areas and the utilization of a hospital somatic Emergency Department (ED) by the inhabitants of these areas was analyzed. Six socio-demographic variables were used as risk indicators for social disintegration. To measure illness behaviour a register of 57,481 ED visits, made by 34,915 individuals, to the General Adult ED at St Göran's Hospital was utilized. The proportions of immigrants, of adult unemployed and of persons moving into the areas were significantly related to the illness behaviour of seeking care at the ED. The results also showed a significant correlation between the sum of the six risk indicators and use of ED services for three of the four studied subgroups.
We determined whether social fragmentation, which is linked to the concept of anomie (or normlessness), was associated with a decreased likelihood of willingness to walk for exercise.
Data were collected from mothers and fathers of 630 families participating in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth Cohort, an ongoing longitudinal study investigating the natural history of obesity and insulin resistance in children. Social fragmentation was defined as the breakdown of social bonds between individuals and their communities. We used log-binomial multiple regression models to estimate the association between social fragmentation and walking for exercise.
Higher social fragmentation was associated with a decreased likelihood of walking for exercise among women but not men. Compared with women living in neighborhoods with the lowest social fragmentation scores (first quartile), those living in neighborhoods in the second (relative risk [RR]?= 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]?= 0.78, 1.05), third (RR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.70, 1.00), and fourth (RR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.65, 0.99) quartiles were less likely to walk for exercise (P =?.02).
Social fragmentation is associated with reduced walking among women. Increasing neighborhood stability may increase walking behavior, especially among women.
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Whereas previous research on the disruptive effects of epidemic disease have focused on the ways in which epidemics affect social structure and function, this study focuses on the biological impact of social disruption. The hypothesis is that social disruption resulting from the occurrence of epidemic disease increases the biological impact of the epidemic, as assessed by disease incidence. This hypothesis is explored in terms of a "level of response" model, borrowed from Slobodkin and Rapoport (Q. Rev. Biol. 49:181-200, 1974). The Human Area Relations File (HRAF) provides ethnographic reports of social responses to epidemics. The most frequently reported response in the HRAF is flight or migration away from the locus of the epidemic, followed in frequency by extraordinary preventive and/or therapeutic measures and scapegoating. The model proposes a continuum of responses beginning with responses that are already part of the indigenous response to disease and proceeding through disruptive processes, including flight and rejection of authority systems. Social disruption increases the biological impact of epidemics by robbing the social group of important participants, dismantling public health programs, or producing general economic hardship. The model proposes a scheme for identification of situations under which particular social group responses are "biologically appropriate."
In some studies, shyness and anxiety have protected at-risk boys from developing delinquency. In others, shyness and withdrawal have increased risk. We argue that this is because behavioral inhibition, which is the protective factor, has been confounded with social withdrawal and other constructs. Our study addresses 3 major questions: (1) is behavioral inhibition, as distinguished from social withdrawal, a protective factor in the development of delinquency; (2) does the protective effect depend on whether disruptiveness is also present; and (3) does inhibition increase the risk of later depressive symptoms even if it protects against delinquency?
The subjects were boys from low socioeconomic status areas of Montreal, Quebec. Age 10- to 12-year predictors were peer-rated inhibition, withdrawal, and disruptiveness; age 13- to 15-year outcomes were self-rated depressive symptoms and delinquency. Eight age 10- to 12-year behavioral profiles were compared with 4 age 13- to 15-year outcome profiles.
Inhibition seemed to protect disruptive and nondisruptive boys against delinquency. Disruptive boys who were noninhibited were more likely than chance to become delinquent; disruptive boys who were inhibited were not. Inhibition did not increase the risk for depression among disruptive boys. Among nondisruptive boys, only nondisruptive-inhibited boys were significantly less likely than chance to become delinquent. However, withdrawal was not protective. Disruptive-withdrawn boys were at the greatest risk for delinquency or delinquency with depressive symptoms.
Inhibition and social withdrawal, although behaviorally similar, present different risks for later outcomes and, therefore, should be differentiated conceptually and empirically.
Comment In: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;54(9):785-99294368
The current study examines the contextual effects of community structural characteristics, as well as the mediating role of key social mechanisms, on youth suicidal behavior in Iceland. We argue that the contextual influence of community structural instability on youth suicidal behavior should be mediated by weak attachment to social norms and values (anomie), and contact with suicidal others (suggestion-imitation). The data comes from a national survey of 14-16 years old adolescents. Valid questionnaires were obtained from 7018 students (response rate about 87%). The findings show that the community level of residential mobility has a positive, contextual effect on adolescent suicidal behavior. The findings also indicate that the contextual effect of residential mobility is mediated by both anomie and suggestion-imitation. The findings offer the possibility to identify communities that carry a substantial risk for adolescent suicide as well as the mechanisms that mediate the influence of community structural characteristics on adolescent risk behavior.
French-Canadian adolescent boys (n = 272) and girls (n = 286) participated in a study of the relationship between anomie and selected personal variables. Results of a multivariate regression analysis indicate that adolescents who suffered from anomie tended to be younger boys and girls with low self-esteem who believed that they were subject to chance or fate and who had experienced a number of recent negative life events.
The current paper seeks to systematize the discussion on the causes of the changes in Eastern European countries' suicide mortality during the last 15 years by analyzing the changes in relation to some common causes: alcohol consumption, economic changes, "general pathogenic social stress", political changes, and social disorganization. It is found that the developments in suicide have been very different in different countries, and that the same causes cannot apply to all of them. However, the relation between suicide mortality and social processes is obvious. A model consisting of the hypothetical general stress (as indicated by mortality/life expectancy), democratization, alcohol consumption, and social disorganization (with a period-dependent effect) predicted the percentual changes in the suicide rates in 16 out of the 28 Eastern Bloc countries in 1984-89 and 1989-94 fairly accurately, while it failed to do this for Albania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the Caucasian and Central Asian newly independent states. Most interesting were the strong roles played by changes in life expectancy, the causes of which are discussed, and the fact that economic change seemed to lack explanatory power in multiple analyses. The data are subject to many potential sources of error, the small number of units and the large multicollinearity between the independent variables may distort the results. Nevertheless, the results indicate that the changes in Eastern European suicide mortality, both decreases and increases, may be explained with the same set of variables. However, more than one factor is needed, and the multicollinearity will continue to pose problems.