Thursday, June 02, 2011
Divorce 'permanently harms learning and affects their ability to make friends'
Children struggle with maths and making friends when their parents divorce, a study has found. They often fall behind classmates whose parents stay married, suffering from anxiety, loneliness and feeling sad – and may never catch up academically.
Contrary to some previous research, children through primary school did not show any negative effects before the parents decided to split, the U.S. study found. But as soon as the divorce process started, the children suffered a range of problems that persisted, a report in the American Sociological Review said.
The five-year study compared emotional and academic development of children of divorce with those whose parents stayed together, by following 3,585 children from around the age of four.
‘Children of divorce experience setbacks in maths test scores and show problems with interpersonal skills and internalising behaviour,’ lead researcher Hyun Sik Kim, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said. ‘They are more prone to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness.’ This stabilised after the divorce, he said, ‘but the children remain behind their peers from intact families’. ‘My original prediction was that children of divorce would experience negative impacts even before formal divorce processes began. But the study finds this is not the case.’
Possible causes for the setbacks include stress the children experience as result of seeing their parents blaming each other for the divorce or arguing about custody. An unstable living situation in which children are shuttled between parents can also disrupt social networks, he said.
Other problems include economic hardship due to a sudden drop in family income or a parent suffering depression as a result of the divorce.
The study adds to a wealth of data showing children suffer badly from parental break-up. British research showed children of broken families are five times more likely to suffer damaging mental troubles than those whose parents stay together.
'Handcuffed by policy': SF Fire crews watch man die
City policy changed after budget cuts cited as reason rescuers couldn't act
Fire crews and police could only watch after a man waded into San Francisco Bay, stood up to his neck and waited. They wanted to do something, but a policy tied to earlier budget cuts strictly forbade them from trying to save the 50-year-old, officials said.
A witness finally pulled the apparently suicidal man's lifeless body from the 54-degree water.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the man, later identified as Raymond Zack, spent nearly an hour in the water before he drowned.
First responders and about 75 people watched the incident on Monday from a beach in Alameda, a city of about 75,000 people across from San Francisco.Witnesses included Amy Gahran, a reporter who photographed the scene from the beach for Oakland Local.
Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike D'Orazi said that due to 2009 budget cuts his crews did not have the training or cold-water gear to go into the water. "The incident yesterday was deeply regrettable," he said Tuesday. "But I can also see it from our firefighters' perspective. They're standing there wanting to do something, but they are handcuffed by policy at that point."
But Tuesday night, after hearing from angry residents at a City Council meeting, the city promised to spend up to $40,000 to certify 16 firefighters in land-based water rescues, KGO-TV reported.
"This just strikes me as not just a problem with funding, but a problem with the culture of what's going on in our city, that no one would take the time and help this drowning man," KGO quoted resident Adam Gillitt as saying.
A witness, Perry Smith, said Zack was visible from the shore of Crown Memorial State Beach and was looking at people. "We expected to see at some point that there would be a concern for him," another witness, Gary Barlow, told KGO.
Witness Sharon Brunetti told the Mercury News that Zack's stepmother stopped her on the beach and asked her to call 911, saying he was threatening to take his own life.
Zack "gradually inched out farther and farther" from the shore but occasionally glanced back over his shoulder at the beach, Brunetti said. "The next thing he was floating face down," the Mercury News quoted her as saying.
The Coast Guard was called to the scene, but the water was too shallow for its boat. A Coast Guard helicopter arrived more than an hour later because it had been on another call and had to refuel. As for police, they didn't have the gear for the cold water and couldn't risk being pulled under.
"Certainly this was tragic, but police officers are tasked with ensuring public safety, including the safety of personnel who are sent to try to resolve these kinds of situations," Alameda police Lt. Sean Lynch said.
"He was engaged in a deliberate act of taking his own life," Lynch told the Mercury News. "We did not know whether he was violent, whether drugs were involved. It's not a situation of a typical rescue."
There are no lifeguards at the beach, said Isa Polt-Jones, a spokeswoman with the East Bay Regional Park District. Signs at the park advise swimmers to enter the water at their own risk.
MUSLIM YOUTHS KILLED BEAUTY CONTESTANT CLAIMING DEATH WAS JUSTIFIED UNDER ISLAM
And when they come for the feminists, their daughters and their sisters -- we will respond in kind. Their silence on the oppression, brutality and subjugation of women in Islam makes them as guilty as the murderers. Their silence is their sanction
A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under 'Sharia law' after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine. Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home.
Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest. Her battered body was buried in a forest and was found a week after she disappeared.
Katya Koren, 19, lived in the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Her battered body was found buried in woodland
Police have opened a murder probe and are investigating claims that three Muslim youths killed her claiming her death was justified under Islam.
One of the three - named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev - is under arrest and told police she had 'violated the laws of Sharia'. Gaziev said he had no regrets about her death because she had violated the laws of Islam.
Australia: Sydney peace prize discredits itself even further
In A move likely to spark another annual round of healthy controversy, the veteran American linguist, social scientist and human rights campaigner Noam Chomsky was named 2011 winner of the Sydney Peace Prize last night.
Professor Chomsky said he was honoured by the award, whose previous recipients include the South African cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Palestinian activist Hanan Ashwari and the Australian journalist John Pilger.
In recent weeks the 82-year-old has been one of America's most-hated men, subjected to "obscenities, intellectual hysteria and death threats" over remarks following the shooting of Osama bin Laden.
The al-Qaeda leader's crimes, he wrote, were vastly exceeded by those of the former president George Bush. "We might ask how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at his compound, assassinated him and dumped his body in the Atlantic."
Professor Chomsky said the ill-considered American operation had pushed the world to the brink of war, possibly even nuclear war. "The commandos who violated Pakistani sovereignty were given orders to fight their way out if necessary. They risked coming into confrontation with the Pakistani army.
"In a society barely hanging together, the military is very stable, very professional. They are dedicated to the defence of Pakistan, which is probably the fastest-growing nuclear power in the world. If confronted it will fight."
Professor Chomsky restated his opposition to war in Afghanistan, where two Australian soldiers died this week. "Americans and Britons, too, are dying … in fact, to make the world more [not less] dangerous for the United States and Britain. And I'd say for the rest of the world."
The announcement of the prize-winner was made by the NSW governor, Marie Bashir. The citation praised his unfailing courage, critical analysis of power and promotion of human rights.
Stuart Rees, the director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said, "Chomsky is one of the West's most influential intellectuals in the cause of peace, the most significant challenger of unjust power."
Professor Chomsky, who receives a $50,000 prize and a hand-made glass trophy, will fly to Australia in November to deliver the City of Sydney Peace Prize lecture and attend a gala dinner at Sydney University.
He has visited Australia before, 15 years ago, when he delivered lectures about East Timor refugees at the invitation of the leader, Jose Ramos Horta. This time, he says he hopes to spend more time, catching up with friends, meeting fellow activists, enjoying Sydney's enviable lifestyle.
Meanwhile, he said, peace remained a distant prospect in a world torn apart with wars unnoticed, such as that in the eastern Congo, and wars unwinnable, such as that in Afghanistan.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.