September 26, 2010


 1. "Healthy Enabling and the Good Enough Relationship" discusses a couple of scenarios in relationships, how we 'enable' or 'rescue' or 'dis-empower' the other person as parents or partners:

"... Healthy enabling would consist of openly acknowledging that fact, and working together to develop transparent strategies for correcting the situation that do not disempower or control the person, allowing them to work it out on their own, while simultaneously lending passive support. 
"The unhealthy enabling found in 'good' relationships, on the other hand, is not about allowing, but about rescuing. It is an active response to negative circumstances that fosters the conditions for those circumstances to recur.
"If your 22-year-old son gets tagged with his second DUI [Driving Under the Influence, the American legal term for drunken driving], do you hire a lawyer to get him off the hook by using his (alleged) post-Iraq PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] as a foil, or do you let him confront the natural and logical consequences of his actions and walk through the process of his accepting responsibility for those actions with him? Unhealthy enabling would suggest the first option, while healthy enabling would suggest the second."

2. In "Parenting style influences teen drinking patterns, researchers say", the Los Angeles Times reported that a survey by researchers at Brigham Young University, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, showed links between drinking habits of adolescents and their relationship with their parents. An excerpt:

"... They found the kids least prone to heavy drinking who had parents who scored high on accountability (knowing where their kids were and with whom) and warmth. Having so-called "indulgent" parents, who were low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of the teen participating in heavy drinking. The study also found that "strict" parents — high on accountability and low on warmth — more than doubled their teen's risk of heavy drinking. These results were apparent even when researchers controlled for other influences, such as peer pressure, religious and economic background."

3. A research paper by Dr. Zainab Fotowwat Zadeh and Sonia Mairaj Malik of Pakistan's Bahria University showed how specific elements of drawings of children reveal emotions and that it can be a medium to regulate emotion. "Expression of Aggressive Tendencies in the Drawings of Children and Youth Who Survived the Northern Pakistan Earthquake" was published in the European Journal of Psychology. The study focused on the presence of aggressive tendencies in the drawings of children who survived the quake from Sahara Children Academy (Mallot Tehsil) and Surbuland at District Bagh. An excerpt:

"The results displayed in Table 1 and 2 indicate the presence of aggressive tendencies among these children with straight lines as the most frequently occurring indicator among both genders. The presence of aggressive indicators in these drawings thus verifies the association of reactive aggression indicators in the drawings of children with the history of trauma. The impact of environment and natural disasters is clearly seen among these children as their drawings revealed their anger. Emotional indicators, long arms, and powerful hands as well as teeth occurred significantly more often in the drawings of the aggressive children than in the drawings of the shy children.
"...on the basis of the findings of the present study it can be safely concluded that drawing is a powerful tool to measure aggressive tendencies in youth who have difficulty expressing their feelings in words, or who may have problems expressing themselves either due to language barriers or due to any other inhibitions related to cultural norms for both the genders."

4. The findings of a research paper by Shahe S. Kazarian from the American University of Beirut, Lamia Moghnie from the University of Michigan, and Rod A. Martin from the University of Western Ontario, were consistent with the view that parental warmth and rejection might contribute to the development of particular styles of humour, which in turn may contribute to later happiness and well-being. An excerpt from "Perceived Parental Warmth and Rejection in Childhood as Predictors of Humour Styles and Subjective Happiness":

"Taken together, these studies suggest that positive and negative humour styles may play an important role in the link between the individual’s core self-concept, developing in the context of early parenting experiences, and later well-being. Individuals who experience warm and accepting parenting and develop more positive self-standards and adaptive self-schemas may consequently develop more beneficial and less detrimental humour styles, which in turn may further enhance social relationships, increasing self-esteem and general well-being.

"In contrast, early experiences of more rejecting parenting and development of more self-critical and maladaptive core schemas may lead to development of more detrimental and less adaptive humour styles, which in turn result in less positive relationships, increased depression, and lower happiness, self-esteem, and well-being. Overall, then, these findings contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that humour styles may be one pathway by which early parenting experiences and self-concept development may influence later well-being."

5. A research paper by Kim R. Edwards and Prof. Rod A. Martin from the University of Western Ontario shows there is a distinction between ability to create humour and using humour in every situations and that there is a greater link between the latter than the former to psychological well-being. An excerpt from "Humour Creation Ability and Mental Health: Are Funny People More Psychologically Healthy?":

"The results indicated that neither the CCT nor the FSHCT was significantly correlated with any of the psychological health measures, suggesting that the ability to create humour (either in response to frustrating situations or in cartoon captions) is not associated with well-being. A possible explanation for this finding is that individuals who have the ability to create humour do not necessarily use this ability in their daily lives in health-enhancing ways (such as in times of stress, interpersonal tension, etc.). It is also possible that humour creation ability may be correlated with other well-being variables that were not explored in the present study.

"... The second major objective of this study was to explore the relationships between humour styles and humour creation ability. We expected that individuals with higher scores on each of the humour styles would be better able to create humour which other people find funny. In support of this prediction, humor creation ability, assessed by the FSHCT, was significantly and positively correlated with all four humour styles. This finding provides further validation for the HSQ, indicating that individuals with high scores on each of the four humour styles tend to be skilled at creating humour, regardless of whether they use their humour in beneficial or deleterious ways....

"... Moreover, this finding provides additional support for the notion that humour creation ability, by itself, is not necessarily advantageous for mental health. Some persons have the ability to be very funny but use their humour in detrimental (e.g., aggressive or self-defeating) rather than beneficial ways (e.g., affiliative or self-enhancing). Consequently, the manner in which individuals use humour in their daily lives is more important to mental health than how funny they are able to be.

"... In summary, the present findings provide additional evidence that the way humour is used is more important for well-being than is the ability to be funny. These findings have important implications for humour-based interventions. For example, our results suggest that such interventions should place less emphasis on training clients in the ability to generate humour, and more emphasis on examining the ways they use it in their daily lives, increasing their use of beneficial humour styles and decreasing their use of detrimental styles. In turn, experimental investigations of such humour-based interventions would be useful for determining the direction of causality in the associations between humour styles and psychological well-being."
  • Compiled by Jeeno P. Jacob, Programme Anchor — Dream Mentoring Programme | Dream A Dream

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