Neurons are composed of a soma that contains the nucleus of the cell; a dendrite that collects information from other cells and sends the information to the soma; and a long segmented fiber buy 250 mg eulexin fast delivery androgen hormone medicine, known as the axon order 250mg eulexin fast delivery prostate cancer 70 year old, which transmits information away from the cell body toward other neurons and to the muscles and glands buy eulexin 250 mg amex man health4me. An electrical charge moves through the neuron itself order eulexin 250mg with visa man health care, and chemicals are used to transmit information between neurons. Within the neuron, the electrical charge occurs in the form of an action potential. Neurotransmitters travel across the synaptic space between the terminal button of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons, where they bind to the dendrites in the neighboring neurons. More than 100 chemical substances produced in the body have been identified as neurotransmitters, and these substances have a wide and profound effect on emotion, cognition, and behavior. Drugs that we may ingest may either mimic (agonists) or block (antagonists) the operations of neurotransmitters. The brains of all animals are layered, and generally quite similar in overall form. It controls the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses. Above the brain stem are other parts of the old brain involved in the processing of behavior and emotions, including the thalamus, the cerebellum, and the limbic system. The cerebral cortex contains about 20 billion nerve cells and 300 trillion synaptic connections, and it’s supported by billions more glial cells that surround and link to the neurons. The frontal lobe is primarily responsible for thinking, planning, memory, and judgment. The occipital lobe processes visual information, and the temporal lobe is responsible for hearing and language. The cortex also includes the motor cortex, the somatosensory cortex, the visual cortex, the auditory cortex, and the association areas. The brain can develop new neurons, a process known as neurogenesis, as well as new routes for neural communications (neuroplasticity). Sensory (afferent) neurons carry information from the sensory receptors, whereas motor (efferent) neurons transmit information to the muscles and glands. Glands in the endocrine system include the pituitary gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, and the male and female sex glands. The male sex hormone testosterone and the female sex Attributed to Charles Stangor Saylor. Many roads in the area were closed for security reasons, and police presence was high. As a prank, eight members of the Australian television satire The Chaser’s War on Everything assembled a false motorcade made up of two black four-wheel-drive vehicles, a black sedan, two motorcycles, body guards, and chauffeurs (see the video below). Group member Chas Licciardello was in one of the cars disguised as Osama bin Laden. The motorcade drove through Sydney‘s central business district and entered the security zone of the meeting. The motorcade was waved on by police, through two checkpoints, until the Chaser group decided it had taken the gag far enough and stopped outside the InterContinental Hotel where former President Bush was staying. Only at this time did the police belatedly check the identity of the group members, finally arresting them. Afterward, the group testified that it had made little effort to disguise its attempt as anything more than a prank. The group‘s only realistic attempt to fool police was its Canadian-flag marked vehicles. The ability to detect and interpret the events that are occurring around us allows us to respond to  these stimuli appropriately (Gibson & Pick, 2000). In most cases the system is successful, but as you can see from the above example, it is not perfect. In this chapter we will discuss the strengths and limitations of these capacities, focusing on both sensation—awareness resulting from the stimulation of a sense organ, and perception—the organization and interpretation of sensations. Sensation and perception work seamlessly together to allow us to experience the world through our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, but also to combine what we are currently learning from the environment with what we already know about it to make judgments and to choose appropriate behaviors. The study of sensation and perception is exceedingly important for our everyday lives because the knowledge generated by psychologists is used in so many ways to help so many people. Psychologists work closely with mechanical and electrical engineers, with experts in defense and military contractors, and with clinical, health, and sports psychologists to help them apply this knowledge to their everyday practices. The research is used to help us understand and better prepare people to cope with such diverse events as driving cars, flying planes, creating robots,  and managing pain (Fajen & Warren, 2003). We will begin the chapter with a focus on the six senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, and monitoring the body’s positions (proprioception). We will see that sensation is sometimes relatively direct, in the sense that the wide variety of stimuli around us inform and guide our behaviors quickly and accurately, but nevertheless is always the result of at least some interpretation. We do not directly experience stimuli, but rather we experience those stimuli as they are created by our senses. Each sense accomplishes the basic process of transduction—the conversion of stimuli detected by receptor cells to electrical impulses that are then transported to the brain—in different, but related, ways. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29(2), 343–362. Explain the difference between sensation and perception and describe how psychologists measure sensory and difference thresholds. Humans possess powerful sensory capacities that allow us to sense the kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that surround us. Our tongues react to the molecules of the foods we eat, and our noses detect scents in the air. The human perceptual system is wired for accuracy, and people are exceedingly good at making use of the wide variety of information  available to them (Stoffregen & Bardy, 2001). The human eye can detect the equivalent of a single candle flame burning 30 miles away and can distinguish among more than 300,000 different colors. The human ear can detect sounds as low as 20 hertz (vibrations per second) and as high as 20,000 hertz, and it can hear the tick of a clock about 20 feet away in a quiet room. We can taste a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in 2 gallons of water, and we are able to smell one Attributed to Charles Stangor Saylor. We can feel the wing of a bee on our cheek  dropped from 1 centimeter above (Galanter, 1962). Link To get an idea of the range of sounds that the human ear can sense, try testing your hearing here: http://test-my-hearing. Dogs, bats, whales, and some rodents all have much better hearing than we do, and many animals have a far richer sense of smell. Cats have an extremely sensitive and sophisticated sense of touch, and they are able to navigate in complete darkness using their whiskers. The fact that different organisms have different sensations is part of their evolutionary adaptation. Each species is adapted to sensing the things that are most important to them, while being blissfully unaware of the things that don’t matter. Measuring Sensation Psychophysics is the branch of psychology that studies the effects of physical stimuli on sensory perceptions and mental states. The field of psychophysics was founded by the German psychologist Gustav Fechner (1801–1887), who was the first to study the relationship between the strength of a stimulus and a person’s ability to detect the stimulus. The measurement techniques developed by Fechner and his colleagues are designed in part to help determine the limits of human sensation. The absolute threshold of a sensation is defined as the intensity of a stimulus that allows an organism to just barely detect it. In a typical psychophysics experiment, an individual is presented with a series of trials in which a signal is sometimes presented and sometimes not, or in which two stimuli are presented that are Attributed to Charles Stangor Saylor.
It is therefore diﬃcult to distinguish between actual initiation and maintenance of smoking behaviour order eulexin 250 mg overnight delivery prostate urination. Smoking in children Doll and Peto (1981) reported that people whose smoking is initiated in childhood have an increased chance of lung cancer compared with those who start smoking later on in life purchase eulexin 250mg without prescription oncology prostate cancer. This is particularly signiﬁcant as most adult smokers start the habit in childhood and very few people start smoking regularly after the age of 19 or 20 (Charlton 1992) purchase 250mg eulexin overnight delivery mens health hair loss. Lader and Matheson (1991) reviewed the data from national surveys between 1982 and 1990 and indicated that smoking behaviour in 11- to 15-year-old school boys – including those boys who have just tried a cigarette – had fallen from 55 per cent to 44 per cent and that smoking in school girls of a comparable age had fallen from 51 per cent to 42 per cent purchase 250 mg eulexin overnight delivery prostate cancer juicing recipes. Although this showed a decrease, it was less than the decrease shown in adult smoking, and the data showed that in 1990 nearly a half of the school children had at least tried one cigarette. In fact, many children try their ﬁrst cigarette whilst at primary school (Murray et al. Psychological predictors of smoking initiation In an attempt to understand smoking initiation and maintenance, researchers have searched for the psychological and social processes that may promote smoking behaviour. Models of health behaviour such as the health belief model, the protection motivation theory, the theory of reasoned action and the health action process approach (see Chapter 2) have been used to examine the cognitive factors that contribute to smoking initiation (e. Additional cognitions that predict smoking behaviour include associating smoking with fun and pleasure, smoking as a means of calming nerves and smoking as being sociable and building conﬁdence, all of which have been reported by young smokers (Charlton 1984; Charlton and Blair 1989; see also Chapter 11 for a discussion of smoking and stress reduction). Social predictors of smoking initiation and maintenance Much research focuses on the individual and takes the individual out of their social context. Individual cognitions may predict smoking behaviour but they are a product of the individual’s socialization. Interactions within the individual’s social world help to create and develop a child’s beliefs and behaviour. The main factor that predicts smoking is parental smoking, with reports that children are twice as likely to smoke if their parents smoke (Lader and Matheson 1991). In addition, parents’ attitudes to smoking also inﬂuence their oﬀsprings’ behaviour. For example, if a child perceives the parents as being strongly against smoking, he or she is up to seven times less likely to be a smoker (Murray et al. The results showed that individuals who are identiﬁed by themselves and others as being problem-prone, doing poorly at school, rarely involved in school sports, high in risk-taking behaviour such as alcohol and drug use, and with low self-esteem were more likely to have smoked (Mosbach and Leventhal 1988; Sussman et al. On the other hand, research has also found that high rates of smoking can also be found in children who are seen as leaders of academic and social activities, have high self-esteem and are regarded as popular by their peers (Mosbach and Leventhal 1988). Another factor that inﬂuences whether children smoke is the attitude of their school to smoking behaviour. A Cancer Research Campaign study (1991) found that smoking prevalence was lower in schools that had a ‘no smoking’ policy, particularly if this policy included staﬀ as well as students. In summary, social factors such as the behaviour and beliefs of parents, peers and schools inﬂuence the beliefs and behaviours of children. Using an entirely diﬀerent methodology, Graham used interviews with low income women with pre-school children to explore the contextual factors which may maintain smoking behaviour. She argued that although smoking is seen by researchers as unhealthy and something to be prevented, the women in her study regarded smoking as central to their attempts to ‘reconcile health keeping and housekeeping when their reserves of emotional and physical energy may be seriously depleted’ (Graham 1987: 55). She stated that smoking works to promote these women’s sense of well-being and to help them cope with caring. She reports that smoking can be seen as ‘the only activity they do, just for themselves’. Smoking is therefore a product not only of beliefs but also an individual’s social world. Alcohol initiation and maintenance Most people try alcohol at some time in their lives. The most common reasons for never drinking alcohol were religion and not liking it. Therefore, rather than examining predictors of drinking ‘ever’ or ‘occasionally’, this section examines what factors predict developing a problem with drinking. Psychological predictors of alcohol initiation and maintenance The tension-reduction hypothesis (Cappell and Greeley 1987) suggests that individuals may develop a drink problem because alcohol reduces tension and anxiety. However, it has been suggested that it is not the actual eﬀects of alcohol use that promote drinking but the expected eﬀects (George and Marlatt 1983). Therefore, because a small amount of alcohol may have positive eﬀects people assume that these positive eﬀects will continue with increased use. This perspective is in line with the social learning model of addictive behaviours and emphasizes the role of reinforcement and cognitions. Social predictors of alcohol initiation and maintenance Many of the social factors that relate to smoking behaviour are also predictive of alcohol consumption. According to a disease model of addictions it could be argued that this reﬂects the genetic predisposition to develop an addictive behaviour. However, parental drinking may be inﬂuential through ‘social hereditary factors’, with children being exposed to drinking behaviour and learning this behaviour from their parents (Orford and Velleman 1991). In addition, peer group alcohol use and abuse also predicts drinking behaviour as does being someone who is sensation seeking, with a tendency to be aggressive and having a history of getting into trouble with authority. Johnston and White (2003) used the theory of planned behaviour (see Chapter 2) to predict binge drinking in students. However, given the social nature of binge drinking they focused on the role of norms. Using a longitudinal design, 289 undergraduate students completed a questionnaire concerning their beliefs with follow-up collected about reported binge drinking. The results showed an important role for norms particularly if the norms were of a behaviourally relevant reference group that the student reported a strong identiﬁcation with. Cessation of an addictive behaviour can be examined in terms of the processes involved in cessation and the interventions designed to motivate individuals to quit their behaviour. The process of cessation Traditionally, smoking cessation was viewed as a dichotomy: an individual either smoked or did not. This perspective was in line with a biomedical model of addictions and emphasized the ‘all or nothing nature’ of smoking behaviour. However, early attempts at promoting total abstinence were relatively unsuccessful and research now often emphasizes cessation as a process. In particular, Prochaska and DiClemente (1984; see Chapter 2) adapted their stages of change model to examine cessation of addictive behaviours. They argued that cessation involves a shift across ﬁve basic stages: 1 precontemplation: deﬁned as not seriously considering quitting; 2 contemplation: having some thoughts about quitting; 3 preparation: seriously considering quitting; 4 action: initial behaviour change; 5 maintenance: maintaining behaviour change for a period of time. Prochaska and DiClemente maintain that individuals do not progress through these stages in a straightforward and linear fashion but may switch backwards and forwards (e. They call this ‘the revolving door’ schema and emphasize the dynamic nature of cessa- tion. This model of change has been tested to provide evidence for the diﬀerent stages for smokers and outpatient alcoholics (DiClemente and Prochaska 1982; 1985; DiClemente and Hughes 1990), and for the relationship between stage of change for smoking cessa- tion and self-eﬃcacy (DiClemente 1986). The authors categorized smokers into either precontemplators or contemplators and examined their smoking behaviour at follow-up. They further classiﬁed the contemplators into either contemplators (those who were smoking, seriously considering quitting within the next six months, but not within the next 30 days) or those in the preparation stage (those who were seriously considering quitting smoking within the next 30 days). The results showed that those in the prepara- tion stage of change were more likely to have made a quit attempt at both one and six months, that they had made more quit attempts, and were more likely to be not smoking at the follow-ups. Research has also used the health beliefs and structured models outlined in Chapter 2 to examine the predictors of both intentions to stop smoking and successful smoking cessation. For example, individual cognitions such as perceptions of susceptibility, past cessation attempts and perceived behavioural control have been shown to relate to reductions in smoking behaviour (Giannetti et al.
It introduced a role for psychology and described a multidimensional process rather than a simple linear one order eulexin 250 mg amex prostate cancer 01. First order 250mg eulexin fast delivery androgen hormone in pregnancy, although there is plenty of evidence illustrating the mechanisms to increase and decrease pain perception purchase 250 mg eulexin free shipping prostate cancer 411, no one has yet actually located the gate itself cheap 250 mg eulexin mastercard mens health bodyweight workout. This integration of physiological and psychological factors can explain individual variability and phantom limb pain to an extent, but, because the model still assumes some organic basis it is still based around a simple stimulus response process. The model suggests that physical processes are inﬂuenced by the psychological processes, but that these two sets of processes are distinct. The components of this model are: physio- logical processes, subjective-aﬀective-cognitive processes and behavioural processes. Physiological processes involve factors such as tissue damage, the release of endorphins and changes in heart rate. The subjective-aﬀective-cognitive and behavioural processes are illustrated in Figure 12. As described by theories of associative learning, an individual may associate a particular environment with the experience of pain. For example, if an individual associates the dentist with pain due to past experience, the pain perception may be enhanced when attending the dentist due to this expectation. In addition, because of the association between these two factors, the individual may experience increased anxiety when attending the dentist, which may also increase pain. Jamner and Tursky (1987) examined the eﬀect of presenting migraine suﬀerers with words associated with pain. They found that this presentation increased both anxiety and pain perception and con- cluded that the words caused a change in mood, which caused a change in the subject’s perception of pain. Operant conditioning Research suggests that there is also a role for operant conditioning in pain perception. The role of affect Anxiety Some research has explored how patients worry about their pain. The results showed that the patients reported both pain related and non-pain related worry and that these two forms of worry were qualitatively diﬀerent. In particular, worry about chronic pain was seen as more diﬃcult to dismiss, more distracting, more attention grabbing, more intrusive, more distressing and less pleasant than non pain related worry. Fordyce and Steger (1979) examined the relationship between anxiety and acute and chronic pain. They reported that anxiety has a diﬀerent relationship to these two types of pain. In terms of acute pain, pain increases anxiety, the successful treatment for the pain then decreases the pain which subsequently decreases the anxiety. Therefore, because of the relative ease with which acute pain can be treated, anxiety relates to this pain perception in terms of a cycle of pain reduction. Because treatment has very little eﬀect on chronic pain, this increases anxiety, which can further increase pain. Therefore, in terms of the relationship between anxiety and chronic pain, there is a cycle of pain increase. In a recent experimental study participants took part in the cold pressor test which involves placing the hand and arm in icy water as a means to induce pain. Their trait anxiety was assessed and some were actively distracted from thinking about their pain (James and Hardardottir 2002). The results showed that both distraction and low anxiety reduced the pain experience. Fear Many patients with an experience of pain can have extensive fear of increased pain or of the pain reoccurring which can result in them avoiding a whole range of activities that they perceive to be high risk. For example, patients can avoid moving in particular ways and exerting themselves to any extent. However, these patients often don’t describe their experiences in terms of fear but rather in terms of what they can and cannot do. Therefore, they don’t report being frightened of making the pain worse by lifting a heavy object, but they state that they can no longer lift heavy objects. Fear of pain and fear avoidance beliefs have been shown to be linked with the pain experience in terms triggering pain in the ﬁrst place. The participants were then followed up after one year and the occurrence of a pain episode and their physical functioning was assessed. The results showed that 19 per cent of the sample reported an episode of back pain at follow-up and that those with higher baseline scores of fear avoidance were twice as likely to report back pain and had a 1. Some research also suggests that fear may also be involved in exacerbating existing pain and turning acute pain into chronic pain. They argued that pain functions by demanding attention which results in a lowered ability to focus on other activities. Their results indicated that pain related fear increased this attentional interference suggesting that fear about pain increased the amount of attention demanded by the pain. They con- cluded that pain related fear can create a hyper-vigilance towards pain which could contribute to the progression from acute to chronic pain. These conclusions were further supported by a comprehensive review of the recent research. This indicates that treat- ment which exposes patients to the very situations that they are afraid of, such as going out and being in crowds, can reduce fear avoidance beliefs and modify their pain experience (Vlaeyen and Linton 2000). The role of cognition Catastrophizing Patients with pain, particularly chronic pain, in line with many other patients often show catastrophizing. Catastrophizing has been linked to both the onset of pain and the development of longer-term pain problems (Sullivan et al. The results showed some small associ- ations between this and the onset of back pain by follow-up. Their new measure consisted of three subscales reﬂecting the dimensions of catastro- phizing, namely rumination, magniﬁcation and helplessness. They then used this meas- ure to explore the relationship between catastrophizing and pain intensity in a clinical sample of 43 boys and girls aged between 8 and 16. The results indicated that catastro- phizing independently predicted both pain intensity and disability regardless of age and gender. The authors argued that catastrophizing functions by facilitating the escape from pain and by communicating distress to others. Meaning Although at ﬁrst glance any pain would seem to be only negative in its meaning, research indicates that pain can have a range of meanings to diﬀerent people. For example, the pain experienced during childbirth although painful, has a very clear cause and consequence. If the same kind of pain were to happen outside of childbirth then it would have a totally diﬀerent meaning and would probably be experienced in a very diﬀerent way. Beecher (1956), in his study of soldiers’ and civilians’ requests for medication, was one of the ﬁrst people to examine this and asked the question: ‘What does pain mean to the individual? This has also been described in terms of secondary gains whereby the pain may have a positive reward for the individual. Self-efﬁcacy Some research has emphasized the role of self-eﬃcacy in pain perception and reduction. In addition, the concept of pain locus of control has been developed to emphasize the role of individual cognitions in pain perception (Manning and Wright 1983; Dolce 1987; Litt 1988). For example, in the experimental study described above, James and Hardardottir (2002) illustrated this association using the cold pressor task.
These patients may be unable to relax or contract mus- While this condition occurs equally in both males and fe- cles at will generic 250 mg eulexin mastercard prostate cancer walk, and biofeedback can make them aware of males and in every ethnic and racial groups cheap eulexin 250 mg without a prescription prostate cancer 4k score, it is more small generic 250mg eulexin overnight delivery man health4me, otherwise imperceptible changes in the desired di- common among well-educated order 250mg eulexin with mastercard prostate cancer 2014, middle- and upper-in- rection and allow them to repeat and eventually increase come persons. However, In addition to its alleviation of physical complaints, some people go through four or more mood swings a neuromuscular biofeedback has been an effective tool in month, while others may only experience a mood swing the treatment of chronic anxiety, even when it has resist- every five years. Even for patients the one that is most likely to have biological origins, who have been able to achieve relaxation through other specifically an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry. Ge- means, such as meditation or progressive relaxation, netic factors play an important role in the disease. In one biofeedback can be a valuable supplementary technique study, one-fourth of the children who had one manic-de- that offers special advantages, such as allowing a thera- pressive parent became manic-depressive themselves, pist to track closely the points at which a patient tenses and three-fourths of those with two manic-depressive up and try to learn what thoughts are associated with the parents developed the disorder. Biofeedback-induced relaxation of forehead disorder being shared by identical twins is also excep- muscles has also been effective in treating asthma. It is character- ported instances in which lithium was not as effective ized by feelings of sadness, apathy, and loss of energy. Other possible symptoms include sleep disturbances; significant changes in appetite or weight; languid move- Many great artists, writers, musicians, and other ments; feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; people prominent in both creative and other fields have lack of concentration; and preoccupation with death or suffered from bipolar disorder, including composers suicide. When they shift to a manic state, people with Robert Schumann and Gustav Mahler, painter Vincent bipolar disorder become elated and overly talkative, van Gogh, writers Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, and speaking loudly and rapidly and abruptly switching from actresses Patty Duke and Kristy McNichol. Plunging into many work, social, or reports that 38 percent of all Pulitzer Prize-winning academic activities at once, they are in constant motion poets have had the symptoms of bipolar disorder. They also demonstrate grandiosity— an exaggerated sense of their own powers, which leads Further Reading them to believe they can do things beyond the power of Duke, Patty. People in a manic phase typically become irritable or angry when others try to tone down their ideas or behavior, or when Birth order they have difficulty carrying out all the activities they A chronological sequence of the birth of children have begun. Mania creates enormous turmoil in the lives of its Research has correlated birth order with such as- victims, many of whom turn to drugs or alcohol as a way pects of life as temperament and behavior. For example, of coping with the anxiety generated by their condi- first-born children, when compared to their siblings, tend tion—61 percent of persons with bipolar disorder have to score slightly higher on intelligence tests and to attain substance abuse or dependency problems. Some psycholo- percent of those who fail to receive adequate treatment gists believe that birth order is a significant factor in the for bipolar disorder commit suicide. As part dividuals commonly suffer from it for as long as seven to of his view that patients need to be understood in the con- ten years without being diagnosed or treated. Lithium, a child’s position in the family is associated with certain which stabilizes the brain chemicals involved in mood problems that are responded to in similar ways by other swings, is used to treat both the mania and depression of children in the same birth position. This drug, which is taken by millions of was not the numerical birth position itself that mattered people throughout the world, halts symptoms of mania in but rather the situation that tended to accompany that po- 70 percent of those who take it, usually working within sition, and the child’s reaction to it. Antipsy- first-born children, when compared to their siblings, tend chotic drugs or benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) may ini- to have a greater chance of developing feelings of inferi- tially be needed to treat cases of full-blown mania until ority as their focal position in the family structure is al- lithium can take effect. Later-born children, on the their blood levels, as well as kidney and thyroid func- other hand, tend to have stronger social skills, having had tions, monitored regularly, as there is a relatively narrow to deal with siblings throughout their lives, as opposed to gap between toxic and therapeutic levels of the drug. Later-borns, having had to compromise more after manic-depressive symptoms subside. All chil- child feel better by cuddling him or giving him special at- dren become jealous of the love and attention that sib- tention, including a small present to offset the gifts re- lings receive from parents and other adults. The older child’s self-esteem can be baby is brought home, older children feel betrayed by bolstered by involving him in the care of newborn in their parents and become angry, directing their anger first modest ways, such as helping out when the baby is being toward the parents and later toward the intruder who is diapered or dressed, or helping push the carriage. Jealousy, resentment, and compe- older child should be made to feel proud of the attain- tition are most intense between siblings spaced less than ments and responsibilities that go along with his more three years apart. Although a certain amount of sibling ri- advanced age—things the new baby can’t do yet because valry is unavoidable, there are measures that parents can he is too young. Another way to make older children feel take to reduce its severity and its potential effects on their loved and appreciated is to set aside some “quality time” children. It is also important for parents to avoid overtly comparing An older child should be prepared for a new addition their children to each other, and every effort should be to the family by having the situation explained and being made to avoid favoritism. The child’s regu- In general, the most stressful aspect of sibling rivalry lar routine should be disturbed as little as possible; it is is fighting. If there is to not to take sides but rather to insist that the children work be a new babysitter or other caretaker unknown to the out disagreements themselves, calling for a temporary child, it is helpful for them to meet at least once in ad- “time out” for feelings to cool down, if necessary. If sibling visits are allowed, the child should be form of parental involvement in squabbling by siblings taken to visit the mother and new baby in the hospital. Over-in- Once the new baby is home, it is normal for an older sistence that siblings share can also be harmful: to retain child to feel hurt and resentful at seeing the attention lav- a sense of individuality, children need some boundaries ished on the newcomer by parents, other relatives, and fam- from their siblings in terms of possessions, territory, and ily friends. Furthermore, it is especially difficult for very the experience to cause disturbances in eating or sleeping. Some children regress developmentally, temporarily losing Parents should take time to praise cooperation and such attainments as weaning, bowel and bladder control, or sharing between siblings as a means of positive reinforce- clear speech, in an attempt to regain lost parental attention ment. The fact that siblings quarrel with each other does by becoming babies again themselves. The security of family often makes children feel the arrival of a younger sibling. When friends or relatives free to express feelings and impulses they are unable to visit to see the new baby, parents can make the older in other settings. It has also been posited that birth order influences one’s Separate studies have found high academic achievement choice of a marriage partner. The “duplication hypothe- levels among first-borns in both urban ghettoes in the sis” advanced by Walter Toman (1976) states that people United States and at British universities. First-born chil- seek to duplicate their sibling relationships in marriage, a dren are generally responsible, assertive, and task-orient- duplication that includes birth order. They are more frequently mentioned in Who’s Who publica- More specific research on the effects of birth order tions than individuals in any other birth position and are has generally focused on five ordinal birth positions: overrepresented among members of Congress and U. Studies have consistently linked first-born dents are especially vulnerable to stress and tend to seek children and academic achievement. Adler found that there were more born National Merit Scholarship winners was found to first-borns than later-borns among problem children. While most psychoana- ly high level of success in team sports, and both they and lytical psychologists assign a moderate degree of impor- last-borns have been found to be better adjusted emotional- tance to the birth trauma in terms of its effects, some be- ly if from large families. Studies have also found middle lieve that the birth trauma is the prototypical basis of all children to be sensitive to injustice and likely to have aes- later anxiety neuroses. Generally trusting, accepting, and other- rience presents obvious difficulties in the precise deter- centered, they tend to maintain relationships successfully. The term birth trauma may also mean any physical in- The last-born child, never dethroned as the “baby” of jury to an infant that occurs during birth. As a group, last-borns are most successful Further Reading socially and have the highest self-esteem levels of all the Hotchner, Tracy. New York: Avon, 1990 first-borns or only children to join a fraternity or sorority. The Illustrated Book of Pregnancy and Like youngest children, only children are never displaced as Childbirth. With only adult models to emu- late within the family, only children are achievement-orient- ed and most likely to attain academic success and attend college. However, studies show that only children have the most problems with close relationships and the lowest need Birth for affiliation. In humans, the process of delivering a child from the uterus, usually by passage through the birth Sibling rivalry frequently erupts in households with canal at the end of pregnancy, normally after a ges- two or more children, competing for the time, attention tation period of about 267 days; also called parturi- and affection of parents. First borns may resent re- Childbearing is often viewed as the transition to sponsibility placed upon them for their siblings.
By M. Asam. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.