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Online Retailing-amazon

Online Retailing

The articles examine the evolving apparel industry with regard to consumer tastes and preferences. In the recent past, customers are increasingly shopping online for their apparel. This has led to sustained growth in Amazon, one of the largest online retailers (Safdar 1). The increasing popularity of Amazon.com as a favorable shopping destination has significantly eroded the traditional apparel retailer’s market share. To overcome the stiff competition, some brick-and-mortar stores such as Gap are considering listing their products on Amazon.com. Although Gap and other apparel stores may increase sales by listing products on Amazon.com, there is a possibility that this may discourage customers from visiting the brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon has continually re-injected profits into the business as capital over the last two decades (Gottfried 1). This has led to significant growth, which is a big threat to the traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The connection between the articles is that they view Amazon.com as a formidable force in the apparel market; one that traditional retailers cannot eliminate nor compete with, but the only solution being to join online retailing.

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Gap should consider selling products on Amazon due to various reasons. Amazon provides retailers with an opportunity to meet and sell to millions of customers worldwide since it is one of the most visited websites (Rankin 1). This is not possible under the traditional brick-and-mortar business. The increased number of customers leads to a rise in revenue. Another reason for considering Amazon is that it provides small retailers with a level opportunity to compete with industry giants. This is because products are sold on the same online platform where each has equal change of being viewed by a customer. Selling on Amazon can lead to reduced advertising expenditure. This is because Amazon conducts promotions and advertisements on behalf of the retailers (Rankin 1). Another benefit is that selling on Amazon is easy due to the site’s credibility and trust. As such, it would be easier for a customer to purchase on Amazon compared to purchasing on Gap’s e-commerce site.

On the other hand, Gap may encounter some drawbacks in selling products via Amazon. The most evident drawback is stiff competition. Gap will not only compete with other retailers, but also Amazon itself (Rankin 1). In most cases, Amazon can take advantage of its ability to monitor sales and engage in the sale of the products having the highest demand, and on own account. Another source of competition is the numerous retailers on the platform. As such, consumers will most likely purchase unique products only. Another drawback is high commissions on every sale made by the retailer. Amazon may charge a commission of between 10 and 15 percent for a single item sold via the online platform. Another drawback concerns the possibility of having fewer customers visiting the traditional business premises (Safdar 1). Every business prefers interacting directly with customers. Lastly, there are concerns that Amazon might misuse customer data (Safdar 1).

Gap may employ certain tactics to drive consumer traffic to its physical stores. One of the tactics is to include links to its website such that customers purchasing Gap products can be able to trace the source of the product. By knowing the source of the products, the customer may be willing to visit the physical stores during subsequent purchase. Another tactic may involve displaying the physical locations of all stores on the Amazon website. This may encourage consumers to shop on the physical locations nearest to them.

 

Works Cited

Gottfried, Miriam. “Amazon’s Cloud Cover Makes It a Bigger Threat. Wall Street Journal, 20     May 2016. Web.

Rankin, Jennifer. “Third-Party Sellers and Amazon – A Double-Edged Sword in E-Commerce.” The Guardian, 23 June 2015,        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/23/amazon-marketplace-third-party-      seller-faustian-pact. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.

Safdar, Khadeeja. “Gap CEO Says He’s Open to Selling on Amazon.” Bloomberg News, 18 May             2016. Web.

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Social Policy on Single-Use Plastics and Microbeads

Social Policy on Single-Use Plastics and Microbeads

Social policy relates to the social arrangements that affect people’s everyday life. Policymaking aims at establishing collective solutions to problems affecting people in their everyday lives. Policymaking is a concerted action, which entails the collaboration of various bodies or authorities. It may involve the local communities and authorities or even the national government. The development of social policies is influenced by various factors such as influence of politics, lobbying by various interest groups such as private organizations, public interests, and among others. In Australia, there has been efforts by various groups to ban single-use plastic bags and the application of microbeads in the production of beauty products. The main contention is that non-biodegradable plastic materials contributes towards environmental pollution, reaching worrying levels. Policymakers have proposed plans to ban the single-use plastic bags in shopping, recommending the adoption of thicker plastic bags and total elimination of microbeads in manufacturing.

Social need identified by evidence based research

There is need for the Australian government to develop legislation relating to single-use plastic bags and microbeads. Numerous studies indicate that the use of plastic bags is harmful not only to the marine environment but also to the terrestrial ecosystem. The current accumulation of plastics in both the marine and terrestrial ecosystems has become an issue of global concern (Xanthos & Walker, 2017; Green, Boots, Blockley, Rocha, & Thompson, 2015). According to Xanthos and Walker (2017), an approximately 5.25 trillion plastic particles are currently floating in the sea. The duo further estimates that in 2010, over 4.8 megatons of plastics ended up in the oceans globally. Further, plastic debris make up about 60 to 80 percent of ocean litter. Plastics and microbeads have lifespans extending to hundreds and even thousands of years. Plastics affect the marine species in several ways. First, plastic debris entangles marine species leading to suffocation, infection, starvation, and other harms. The second way it affects marine life is through ingestion. Turtles often ingest plastics, which affects their health and reproduction (Xanthos & Walker, 2017). Microbeads pose a serious threat to the entire food chain. Since microbeads are small in size, marine organisms ingest them whereby they accumulate in their bodies. The microbeads find their way up the food chain to humans who feed on fish that have ingested the microbeads. Another concern is that plastic bags are an eyesore in the environment. Some end up blocking the drainage system.

Political and Ideological view points

In the recent past, there has been a rise in calls for development of a robust policy framework to control the manufacture and use plastic bags and microbeads. Besides the enactment of appropriate legislation, some manufacturers as well as major supermarket chains in the country have shown their effort to support their ban or regulation of plastics and microbeads. In 2016, major beauty product manufacturers, Woolworths and Coles, announced their plans to phase out the manufacture of products having microbeads (Browne, 2016). The commitment to eliminate the use of microbeads in beauty products comes after the United States passed legislation banning the use of microbeads in beauty products.  The phase out plan by the two companies comes after understanding of the danger posed by microbeads. The tiny plastic particles enter the sewerage system after they are washed off the body. From there, they end up in oceans where they undergo ingestion by marine organisms. A number of multinational companies have also banned the use of microbeads. These include Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Beiersdorf. This shows a commitment by product manufacturers to reduce environmental pollution.

The political climate in Australia is increasingly leaning towards the ban on use of plastic bags and microbeads. Some states have already made elaborate plans to ban the use of plastics. Queensland, for instance, has made a commitment to ban plastics by 2018. A key concern by the state government in its plans to ban the use of plastics is achieving public support. Public support is critical to ensure that the proposed bill will pass into law. Surprisingly, the state government has received immense support from Queenslanders to ban the manufacture of single-use plastic bans in the region. According to Caldwell 2017, the state government received over 26,000 submissions from locals to go ahead with plans to ban the use of plastic bags. In all states, more consumers are increasingly in favour of banning the single-use plastic bags. This overwhelming support is a clear indication that majority of the citizens understand the overarching concerns posed by continued use of plastic bags.

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In the state of Victoria, various environmental groups have presented petitions to parliament in a bid to have a ban on plastics in place. Environmental groups such as Plastic Bag Free Victoria and Greenpeace have been vocal in calling for a ban on single-use plastic bags. Plastic Bag Free Victoria group has received overwhelming support from locals in signing the petition presented to parliament in late 2016 (“Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)”, 2016). This group collected 11,000 signatures from the locals. The Greenpeace environmental group has collected over 10,000 signatures. These environmental groups maintain that plastic bags remained the greatest threat to marine life. They are also an eyesore in the environment since they take long to decompose. According to the Plastic Bag Free Victoria website, an average plastic bag has only about 12 minutes lifespan, yet can remain in the environment for about 1000 years. As such, the disadvantages of plastic bags far outweigh the advantage due to their long lifespan.

The Plastic Bag Free Victoria organization argues that placing a ban on limited-use plastic bags could be the ultimate solution to the plastic problem in the country. The groups calls for introduction of reusable bags, which can last for a relatively longer period and carry more goods. Reusable bags are made from environmentally friendly materials such as cotton, hemp, jute, and among others which have a lesser negative impact on the environment. While Victoria and Queensland are in the early stages of enacting legislation on plastics, some states have already enacted legislation limiting the use of plastic bags. Tasmania and South Australia have successfully enacted laws regulating the use of plastic bags, along with the introduction of reusable bags. In Tasmania, there was a ban on lightweight plastic bags, with a focus on introducing thick reusable plastic bags. However, consumers and retailers still prefer the thicker plastic bags since they are cheaper than the biodegradable shopping bags (Walker, 2014). This means that pollution resulting from the thicker plastic bags is likely to continue. In Southern Australia, single-use plastic bags are still in use due to lack of political will to implement the ban.

Various territories have shown efforts to curb the manufacture and use of plastic bags. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory have already proposed laws to ban plastic bags and use of microbeads in manufacture of beauty products. In 2011, ACT enacted a legislation banning single-use plastic bags. The legislation also encouraged shoppers to carry their own shopping bags. In the period following the ban, there was a significant reduction in the volume of single-use plastics bags ending up in landfills. In ACT, there has been lack of political will to enforce the ban on single-use plastics. This has led to an increase in the use of all types of plastic bags. An attempt by the federal government to ban single-use plastic bags was rejected after states refused to embrace the idea. Peter Garret, a formal environment minister, had proposed a legislation seeking to ban single-use plastic bags in Australia (Herffernan, 2017).

Some factions feel that placing a ban on single-use plastic bans is not a viable solution to the environmental pollution problem. In particular, a switch to biodegradable bags may not solve the landfill problem that the country faces. This is because at landfill sites, biodegradable materials may take long to decay due to lack of oxygen (“ABC”, 2016. Piling of materials in landfills prevents the free circulation of oxygen, slowing the rate of decay. Thus, banning single-use plastic bags might not be the solution to the pollution problem. Although most consumers support the ban on single-use plastic bags, they are yet to embrace the culture of using reusable or biodegradable bags. It is worth noting that in most states with single-use plastic bag ban, consumers still have access to heavy plastic bags since the states allow them. The heavy plastic bags have a relatively shorter durability, which means they still end up in landfills or environment within a shorter period of use.

How politics has informed social policy on the issue

Politics has played a major role in shaping the issue concerning single-use plastic bags and microbeads. In the recent past, the Federal Government has increased efforts encouraging states and territory governments to voluntary commit towards phasing out the single-use plastic bags. In addition, the Federal Governments is encouraging product manufacturers to eliminate the use of microbeads. The Australian Government has shown its commitment to eradicate the single-use plastic bag menace. The government has increasingly called on the state, territorial and Commonwealth to push for bans on single-use plastic bags and microbeads (Hunt, 2016). The environment ministry has issued warnings that failure to voluntarily phase out plastics by 1st July of the current year will lead to action by the Federal Government. The Federal Government has also set aside $60,000 to promote research and development into the key sources of plastic waste.

Indeed, the stance by the Federal Government on banning of single-use plastic bags and microbeads has caught the attention of state governments, with majority enacting legislation to cover the same. The New South Wales Government (NSW) was the first state to enact a law banning the use of microbeads in manufacturing (Hunt, 2016). The NSW government is also sponsoring research into effective methods of dealing with the plastic menace. The state of Queensland is currently developing laws that will see a ban effected on single-use plastic bags and microbeads. According to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) (2017), the government is taking action to ensure that there is reduction in pollution from plastic bags. The proposed solutions include banning single-use plastic bags and implementing a refund scheme targeting beverage containers.

Majority of states and territory governments have enacted laws banning the manufacture and sale of lightweight single-use plastic bags (“EHP,” 2017). This means that heavy plastic bags are still in production. The move is set to increase the reusability of the heavy plastic bags since consumers can use them for more than a single occasion. However, the heavy plastic bags still pose a significant challenge on the environment. The Australian Government is still looking for ways of engaging states and territory governments to eliminate heavier plastic bags. Some states such as Northern Territory and Southern Australia have developed schemes for reducing plastic waste by encouraging recycling. A popular scheme involves establishment of container collection points. These are locations consumers can drop-off used plastic containers for a small refund (“EHP”, 2017). The state of Queensland have made plans to establish a container collection point by 2018.

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In Southern Australia, parliament has upheld the use of single-use plastic bags on numerous occasions. In 2015, for instance, the Legislative Council passed a motion allowing the use of single-use plastic bags in the state. In 2013, Fremantle town council had passed a motion banning the use of plastic bags. However, the Upper House of Parliament overturned the motion. There were also divisions among various political parties, which made it difficult to pass the law. In 2017, the call for a ban on single-use plastic bags seems to be headed in the right course. This is after the ban on plastic bags received overwhelming support from all state councils. The councils voted unanimously in a survey by Western Australia’s Local Government Association. Nonetheless, the state’s environment department maintains that the state government does not have any intention to regulate the sale or manufacture of plastic bags.

Western Australian Labour asserts that a state-wide approach in banning the use of plastic bags might not be a good solution. Instead, it recommends that councils should implement individual bans in various places. Western Australia has 32 councils responding to the survey on banning of single-use plastic bags. Currently, five councils are against a plastic ban by the state. These councils either prefer an alternative route to the problem or do not consider single-use plastic bags as a major environmental issue. The political climate in Western Australia seems to be in favour of the continued use of single-use plastic bags and microbeads. The political antagonism between various councils and other bodies such as parliament have prevented the establishment of a unanimous solution to the problem. The lack of support from key political players such as the State Government through the Department of Environment Regulation clearly indicates the lack of the government’s will to eliminate the use of plastic bags.

Some states have introduced fines to deter retailers from packing products using lightweight plastic bags. In Tasmania, parliament introduced a ban on lightweight plastic bags in 2013. This ban covers plastic bags with a thickness of less than 35 microns (“Environment Protection Agency (EPA),” 2013). The major goal of this ban is to reduce waste and the litter stream emanating from plastics. However, this ban does not cover the use of plastic bags used in the packaging of products such as bread, meat, fruits, and other foodstuffs. Tasmania aims at reducing single-use plastic bags that are often used in carrying goods from the point of sale to homes. These plastic bags have the shortest lifespan and end up as litter stream. Under Tasmania laws, retailers hold the responsibility to ensure that they package goods bought by customers in required plastic bags, failure to which they face fines.  The Environment Protection Authority in Australia is producing commercials to inform consumers and retailers about the plastic ban in order to improve cooperation. The commercials also encourage consumers to carry reusable bags for shopping.

The Australian Standard 4736 of 2006 represents an effort by the Federal government to regulate the use of plastic bags in the region. The aim of the standard is to help various authorities in regulating plastic materials produced or imported into the country. However, this standard does not ban the use of single-use plastic bags, meaning that Australia has largely retained the practice of single-use plastic bags. There is need for a more comprehensive standard that can help in regulating single-use plastic bags and microbeads across all states and various territory. The government has made plans to ban single-use plastics and microbeads in the region by June. It will be interesting to see how the government effects this policy across the entire states and territories.

Conclusion

The continued use of single-use plastic bags and microbeads has become an issue of global concern owing to environmental pollution. Single-use plastic bags accumulate on land whereby they block drainage system or become litter on streets. Some of this waste ends up in oceans, where it forms over 60% of ocean litter. Microbeads used in beauty products are washed into drainage systems where they end up in oceans. Fishes and other marine life ingest microbeads resulting into bioaccumulation. Human beings also ingest microbeads when they consume fish. Various states and territories have enacted laws regulating single-use plastic bags and microbeads. However, there is lack of concerted action to enforce these laws. In addition, majority of these states still allow the production of thick plastic bags. Although consumers can use the bags on more than one occasion, they still end up in landfills and oceans. There is need for the Federal Government to enact a uniform law that applies across the entire region.

 

References

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). (2016, Aug. 17). Plastic bag ban petition delivered to Victorian Parliament. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-17/plastic-          bag-ban-petition-delivered-to-parliament-of-victoria/7751006

Australian Standard. (2006). Biodegradable plastics—Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment. Retrieved from             https://www.saiglobal.com/pdftemp/previews/osh/as/as4000/4700/4736-2006.pdf

Browne, R. (2016, Jan. 8). Coles and Woolworths ban products containing plastic microbeads.     The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/environment/coles-         and-woolworths-ban-products-containing-microbeads-20160107-gm1mwm.html

Caldwell, F. (2017, March 3). Shopping bag ban: Queenslanders send govt ‘clear message’. The   Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/shopping-    bag-ban-queenslanders-send-govt-clear-message-20170302-guozoz.html

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP). (2017). Reducing plastic pollution.   Retrieved from https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/waste/plastic-bags-drink-  containers.html#plastic_bags

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (2013). About Tasmania’s plastic bag ban. Retrieved       from http://epa.tas.gov.au/sustainability/resources-for-the-community/plastic-shopping-  bags

Green, D. S., Boots, B., Blockley, D. J., Rocha, C., & Thompson, R. (2015). Impacts of    discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning. Environmental     Science & Technology, 49(9), 5380.

Herfferman, M. (2017, March 21). Aldi reignites debate over plastic bag ban. The Sydney             Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/aldi-reignites-        debate-over-plastic-bag-ban-20170320-gv1zgs.html

Hunt, G. (2016). Media Release. Retrieved from             http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/hunt/2016/pubs/mr20160229a.pdf

Plastic Bag Free Victoria. (n.d). What is the big deal about plastic bags? Retrieved from             http://www.plasticbagfreevictoria.org/faq/

Walker, T. (2014, June 27). Giving up the plastic bag habit. ABC Northern Tasmania. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/06/27/4034920.htm

Xanthos, D., & Walker, T. R. (2017). International policies to reduce plastic marine pollution      from single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads): A review. Marine Pollution             Bulletin, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.02.048

 

Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia

Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia

Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia

The Problem

In the last decade, a great number of asylum seekers and refugees, cramped in small boats, are increasingly trying to enter Australia. Some of these individuals are escaping the vagaries of war, while others are in search of greener pastures. The Australian government has in turn enacted strict policies and border controls measures meant to deter asylum seekers from entering Australia. Of major concern, reports of major human rights abuses have emerged over the recent past. Human rights violations targeting asylum seekers include torture, police harassment and brutality, arbitrary detention, and deportation to home countries (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013). The policies adopted by the national government have elicited divisions among various factions. While some factions feel that the country should allow asylum seekers into the country, others feel this may be a potential security threat. This report will examine the various policy responses in relation to the issue of asylum seekers in Australia.

View point 1

Asylum Seekers have the Right to Seek Refuge

Asylum seekers are entering Australia in great numbers. A few become refuges due to strict border control measures put by the government and local authorities. All individuals irrespective of their race, ethnicity, religion, or background have the right to seek refuge in another country. All countries across the world have the legal mandate to grant asylum to those who flee their countries due to war or other calamities that might befall them. If an individual feels threatened in his or her own country, they may look for other places to live as long as they follow the outlined legal protocols. No country should deny individuals who flee their country due to war or other reasons the right to seek asylum (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013). It is inhuman for politicians to enact laws barring asylum seekers from entering Australia. The government in conjunction with aid organizations should work to see that asylum seekers enjoy basic human rights, including the right to education.

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It is important for the government to screen asylum seekers in order to ensure that their asylum claim is justified. In the recent past, cases of illegal immigrants have tremendously increased. Some of the illegal immigrants may try to enter the country as asylum seekers. As such, there is need to the government to ensure that it screens all asylum seekers. The government should ensure the deportation of illegal immigrants. On the other hand, registration of those who qualify as genuine asylum seekers should occur in order for them to gain recognition as refugees. The government, aid organizations, and other support groups should ensure that refugees receive welfare support during their stay. Registration as refugees enables asylum seekers to receive aid from the government and other support groups. The government thus should show support to those displaced by war and other calamities.

Policy Response 1

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the rights of individuals to seek asylum from serious human rights violations, persecution, and other forms of harm that may endanger their lives. In addition, international conventions such as the 1952 Refugee Convention enshrine the basic rights of individuals to seek asylum (UNHCR, n.d). Australia having acceded and being part of the international conventions must thus respect the rights of refugees as outlined in the international law. Australia is party to the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees signed into law in 1967, and as an amendment of the 1952 Refugee Convention declarations on rights of asylum seekers (UNHCR, n.d). By being party to these international treaties, the country shows its willingness to enhancing international cooperation with other nations by giving asylum seekers accommodation and support they need. International conventions and treaties bind Australia and until recedes its position, then it must be ready to accept genuine asylum seekers.

Since international laws governing asylum seekers bind Australia, all policies and laws that the country enacts must take into consideration the declarations of the international conventions to which it is party. Countries make their own laws and policies while using the international law as a reference or guide (Law Council of Australia, 2014). There also exist other Conventions that Australia is party, and which provide guidelines on treatment of refugees. For instance, the Convention of the Rights of the Child provides guidelines that form the foundation upon which countries should base their policies concerning children seeking asylum. States bound under this convention must ensure that child refugees receive appropriate care in the country they seek refuge. This is irrespective of whether they have their parents or not. States should also go further and assist such children to find the parents, guardians, or a member of their family for reunification purposes.

Stage in Policy Cycle

A policy cycle acts as a general guide for policy development. The policy cycle model introduces order and coherence in the complex public policy process. The formulation of effective public policies is often a complex process, which requires some degree of simplification. Public policy frameworks enable policymakers to solve issues in a rationalized manner (McClelland & Marston, 2010). The above issue is currently at the consultation stage. Consultation is a key stage in the policy cycle. This involves ensuring that the policy chosen has the necessary support or backing from key areas such as the legislature, executive, and support from interest groups. Consultation enables policymakers to improve the relevance of the policy decisions they make through analysing different perspectives or gaining access to a variety of information about a particular issue (McClelland & Marston, 2010). It is important for policymakers to analyse the opinions of major stakeholders involved in the issue. This ensures that there is a consensus relating to the final decision made on the issue.

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Consultation stage enables policymakers to review the different solutions possible regarding a particular problem. In Australia, the issue of asylum seekers has become a major challenge among policymakers, with one faction calling for allowing refugees to enter the country while the other faction sees refugees as a threat to the stability of the country. Policymakers are currently engaged in consultations in order to ensure identification of viable solutions. Policy participants must establish goals that reflect the values, beliefs, and interests of the various stakeholders involved. Consultation may at times involve expert input. Various agencies may also coordinate in order to come up with a coherent policy that addresses the needs of all stakeholders. The issue of asylum seekers require thorough consultation among all stakeholders in order to develop appropriate policies that will be applicable even in future situations.

View point 2

Asylum Seekers are a Threat to Stability of Australia and should be Treated Harshly

A faction of Australians see asylum seekers a threat to the country’s security and stability. As a result, they advocate for harsh treatment of asylum seekers fleeing persecution or other things in their home country. This group has called for detention or immediate deportation of asylum seekers arriving on boats. A section of politicians has called for enactment of new policies meant to deter asylum seekers from coming to Australia. One of the “soft” policies adopted is delayed registration process. Asylum seekers go through compulsory detention as they await verification for their asylum claim (Parliament of Australia, 2011). The verification process is lengthy, which is often to deter other asylum seekers from moving into the country. Those against asylum seekers advocate for tough or harsh attitude towards them in order to turn away others who may consider coming to Australia. There is also debate on whether it is right to allow refugees to work and gain a permanent status in Australia.

There is a general feeling that asylum seekers are a burden to the country. Some factions feel that asylum seekers will lead to unnecessary financial burden to the country. Others fear that there may be increased social problems such as crime and terror attacks. In a world where terror attacks against innocent people has become commonplace, there is need for states to be cautious about those entering the country. States must consider the possibility of illegal immigrants and terrorists masquerading as asylum seekers in order to gain entry into the country. Another concern about asylum seekers involves the possibility of spreading new diseases in the country (Parliament of Australia, 2011). Some individuals fear that asylum seekers may pose a health risk to the citizens. Lastly, there exists a perception among individuals that refugees may take up jobs meant for citizens, and hence compounding the employment situation in the country.

Policy Response 2

Australia is not an open country

A few policy responses are used when responding to the issue of asylum seekers in the country. Even though Australia is subject to the international laws governing refugees, enactment of new policies has fundamentally changed the way the country deals with asylum seekers. In 1992, the mandatory detention legislation came into law in Australian parliament (McAdam, 2013). This legislation calls for the detention of all foreigners arriving from other countries without valid travel documents. This was in response to an increasing number of Indochinese immigrants arriving into the country through the sea. The 1992 legislation enabled the country to reduce illegal immigration. The legislation also affected the ease in which asylum seekers could gain access to the country. Prior to the legislation, asylum seekers could easily file asylum claim as they awaited confirmation as refugees (McAdam, 2013). During the waiting period, asylum seekers would normally receive temporary status as refugees. Currently, all asylum seekers receive detention for an undefined period.

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Australia has recently introduced new legislation meant to deter further asylum seekers from entering the country. In 2012, the government introduced “third country processing”, following amendments of the 1958 Migration Act (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013). Third country processing involves transferring all asylum seekers who arrive in the country without valid travel documents (such as visa) to another country, without the option for returning. The government selected Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru as the destination for asylum seekers affected by the third country processing legislation. This has further worsened the asylum seekers’ situation in relation to entering Australia. The new legislation reflects the attitudes of most politicians with regard to the recent influx of immigrants. It is clear that majority regard them as a burden to the country, and thus the need to deter them from entering Australia.

Stage in policy cycle

The above issues are currently in the implementation stage of the policy cycle. Once formulation of policies occurs, implementation follows. Implementation is a crucial stage since it ensures that formulated policies become meaningful or influence the lives of the stakeholders (McClelland & Marston, 2010). Policymakers must ensure the planned implementation of outlined policies to avoid falling into traps. For instance, conflicting objectives, inadequate resources, conflicting directives, and communication failures may lead to serious implementation challenges. A key element of the implementation stage is the passing of appropriate legislation or development of appropriate programs to support the proposed changes. In Australia’s case, a number of legislative policies were enacted over the last two decades regarding asylum seekers. In 1992, the mandatory detention law came into law requiring the mandatory detention of all asylum seekers. Implementation of this law significantly reduced the number of asylum seekers opting to seek refuge in Australia.

The implementation stage in public policy cycle requires the establishment of an organization or body that oversees the entire process. The organization must have the legal mandate to conduct implementation (McClelland & Marston, 2010). The Australian parliament has enacted various laws and passed the legal authority to the necessary bodies that are overseeing the implementation of the laws concerning asylum seekers. Currently, the third country processing law is in full effect. All asylum seekers arriving in the country receive automatic transfer to third countries unless the minister for immigration recommends otherwise. This indicates that the enacted policies are already in effect. Authorities are also ensuring that the implementation of policy decisions (mandatory immigrant detention and third country processing) as planned or outlined in the policy documents.

Conclusion

To conclude, the issue of asylum seekers has become a contentious public policy issue in Australia. In the last decade, Australia has increasingly played host to thousands of asylum seekers who arrive in the country clamped in small boats. Majority of the asylum seekers have fled their countries due to war and other calamities. However, a significant proportion of asylum seekers comprise of immigrants seeking jobs or better livelihoods in the country. Concerns are emerging from a faction of politicians and other individuals over the influx of asylum seekers in Australia. The greatest concern is that asylum seekers may lead to high number of social ills such as crime, terrorism, erosion of morals, and other social concerns. Public health concerns are also rise, with fears that asylum seekers may bring contagious disease into the country if they enter the country without through medical tests. On the side of the debate, individuals are concerned over the rights of asylum seekers, arguing that Australia is party to the 1952 Refugee Convention pact, which requires countries to accommodate asylum seekers.

References

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2013). Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights.        Retrieved from    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/snapshot_report   _2013.pdf

Law Council of Australia. (2014). Asylum Seeker Policy. Retrieved from             https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/images/LCA-PDF/a-z-            docs/AsylumSeeker_Policy_web.pdf

McAdam, J. (2013). Australia and asylum seekers. International Journal of Refugee Law, 25(3): 435-448.

McClelland. A. & Marston, G. (2010). A framework for understanding and action. In A.   McClelland & P. Smyth (Eds.) Social policy in Australia: Understanding for Action, 2nd      Edition. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Parliament of Australia. (2011). Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts? Retrieved         from http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bn/sp/asylumfacts.pdf

UNHCR. (n.d). The Refugee Convention, 1951. Retrieved from      http://www.unhcr.org/search?comid=3c07a8642&cid=49aea9390&scid=49aea9398

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Abstract

Impact of Social Inclusion among Persons Living With Disabilities

Social exclusion is one of the greatest challenges that people living with disabilities face. Social exclusion and marginalization of the disabled occurs at various levels of society, including learning institutions. Traditionally, people living with various disabilities attend special institutions meant to cater to their special needs. Over the last decade, there have been a progressive shift in the education policies in favor of inclusive education. In this type of education, persons with disabilities are accommodated in mainstream classrooms, fostering interactions with normal students. Nonetheless, some countries are yet to implement inclusive education in their educational curriculum, preferring to use special schools for the disabled. Special needs education aims at providing a conducive environment to the disabled that is less restrictive. Available literature indicates that inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream education has significant positive benefits compared to special needs education. Nonetheless, inclusion in mainstream education has its own challenges which educators must adequately address. In particular, general education teachers may find it difficult teaching students with disabilities. Such challenges include planning, inadequate resources, and lack of training.

Background

In the recent past, students with disabilities are increasingly being integrated in mainstream classrooms. There is little research indicating the benefits of inclusion in mainstream classes over the special schools for those who have various impairments such as mental challenges, autism spectrum disorder, and other challenges. Additionally, few researchers have dwelled on the possible consequences that may arise out of social inclusion of students with special needs in mainstream classes. Educators have pointed out that there are serious challenges that may occur when students with disabilities are allowed in mainstream classes. There is limited research detailing the challenges that educators may face in the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream education.

Objectives: This research addresses four questions in relation to social inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream classes. The main objectives of this study are as follows: (1) To establish the impacts of social inclusion in mainstream classes among persons living with disabilities; (2) To identify the challenges of integrating learning among the disabled with mainstream education; (3) To establish activities in local communities that can be used to help the disabled improve their social interaction skills and inclusivity in the community; (4) To identify measures that can be used alleviate marginalization of the disabled in the community.

Search Strategy: The search strategy applied involved conducting searches of relevant articles while varying the search keywords. This was meant to increase the chances of obtaining relevant materials to use in the study. The search was also conducted from relevant social work databases. Reference lists from various articles relating to the topic were also utilized as potential sources of information. Books relating to the topic under investigation were also retrieved from the library. All items searched are less than 10 years. This was mainly for the purpose of maintaining relevance in the study.

Related paper: Prof Prac Research Assessments -Annotated Bibliography

Selection Criteria: This research utilizes journals and books relevant to the topic. All the resources used are peer reviewed for quality and accuracy purposes. All journals and books used are less than 10 years so as to enhance their relevance to the topic. The sources used exclude those that specifically look at the visually impaired and the blind. The research method used in the studies were also included as a selection criteria. Studies included primarily employed analytical methods in their investigation.

Data Collection and Analysis: A total of 20 sources were initially considered. These comprised of journal articles, books, and organization-based reports. A total of 11 sources that met the aforementioned criteria were included. The studies included are mainly those that employed analytical methods in their evaluation. The sources included thus comprise of those studies that conducted their investigation of the research problem using an empirical analysis or a meta-analysis of existing studies. Only a few studies that use meta-analytic technique were included in the study.

Main Results: The main results are based on qualitative analysis of the selected sources. Data from the various studies was analysed and conclusion reached based on the robustness of the studies. Poverty among the disabled is closely connected to lack of education opportunities, unequal job opportunities in the market, and challenges in access to health facilities (Trani & Loeb, 2012). The welfare of the disabled can be improved by use of legal bodies. This is through lobbying for equal rights for the disabled in the society (Borg, Bergman, & Ostergren, 2013). There is sufficient evidence indicating that inclusion of disabled students in mainstream classes has significant positive benefits (Ferguson, 2008; Wang, 2009; Lindsay et al., 2013; Dessemontet, Bless, & Morin, 2012; Lerner & Lamb, 2015). Lamport, Graves, & Ward (2012) found sufficient evidence on the positive impacts of students with disabilities engaging in interactive social activities such as playing. Sufficient evidence indicates that the concept of social inclusion and social capital are closely interlinked (Rimmerman, 2013). Poverty and disability are also closely interlinked concepts (Barron & Ncube, 2010; Simplican et al., 2015).

Conclusion and Recommendations: There is overwhelming evidence indicating that social inclusion has significant positive benefits to students with disabilities. Research results indicate that students with disabilities are much better when they receive education through mainstream classes compared to the special education classes. However, inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream classes pose various challenges relating to availability of resources, lack of training among teachers, and planning issues. It is recommended that careful planning and evaluation of available resources to be conducted prior to the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream classes.

References

Barron, T., & Ncube J.M. (2010). Poverty and Disability. London: Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Borg, J., Bergman, A. K., & Ostergren, P. O. (2013). Is ‘legal empowerment of the poor’ relevant to people with disabilities in developing countries? An empirical and normative        review. Global Health Action, 6(10): 1-33.

Dessemontet, R.S., Bless, G. & Morin, D. (2012). Effects of inclusion on the academic     achievement and adaptive behavior of children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of         Intellectual Disability Research, 56 (6), 579–587.

Ferguson, D. L. (2008). International trends in inclusive education: the continuing challenge to    teach each one and everyone. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 23(2): 109-       120. DOI: 10.1080/08856250801946236

Lamport, M. A., Graves, L., & Ward, A. (2012). Special needs students in inclusive classrooms: The impact of social interaction on educational outcomes for learners with emotional and        behavioral disabilities. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1(5): 54-69.

Lerner, R. M., & Lamb, M. E. (2015). Handbook of child psychology and developmental science.             Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Lindsay, S., Proulx, M., Thomson, N., & Scott, H. (2013). Educators’ challenges of including      children with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream classrooms. International Journal    of Disability, Development and Education, 60(4): 3-49.

Rimmerman, A. (2013). Social inclusion of people with disabilities: national and international    perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Simplican, S. C., Leader, G., Kosciulek, J., & Leahy, M. (2015). Defining social inclusion of       people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: an ecological model of social   networks and community participation. Research in Development Disabilities, 38(3): 18-       29.

Trani, J. F., & Loeb, M. (2012). Poverty and disability: A vicious circle? Evidence from   Afghanistan and Zambia. Journal of International Development, 24(4): 19–52.

Wang, H. L. (2009). Should all students with special educational needs (SEN) be included in       mainstream education provision? – A critical analysis. European Journal of Special      Needs Education, 2(4): 231-246.

Part 2

Report of Proposed Research

Inclusion of learners with disabilities in mainstream classes has introduced new challenges in the education sector. The dynamics of this kind of educational setting are not yet understood. With the new trend setting in, a typical class will comprise of students with varied abilities and potentials. For instance, educators will find themselves with learners who have varied behaviors and characteristics such as slow learners, hyperactive learners, those with autism spectrum disorder, mentally challenged learners, gifted learners and other type of learners. The resulting diverse combination of learners will pose tremendous challenges to classroom management. It may be difficult for teachers to cater for individual differences of each learner especially where there are high number of special needs students. Nonetheless, studies indicate that inclusion may be the best for students with disabilities, without considering the challenges it poses to teachers.

There is limited research on the challenges that teachers may face in including learners with disabilities in mainstream classes. Most of the research available focuses on the impacts of inclusion on learners with disabilities, neglecting the impacts inclusion has on teachers. There is need to document impacts of inclusion of learners with disabilities so that policy makers can use this information to make appropriate decisions. Teachers may face multiple challenges in trying to accommodate learners with special needs. These challenges can only be well understood through a detailed research of the problem. There is also limited research on the impacts of inclusion to the overall quality of instruction provided by teachers. The quality of instruction impacts educational outcomes or goals of education. This study will examine the impacts of inclusion on teachers and the quality of instruction provided.

Research Question

Inclusion of learners with disabilities in mainstream classes has brought new and unexpected challenges in the education sector. This paper will examine issues that may impact teachers and the quality of instruction given in typical inclusive classrooms. In particular, the following research questions will be addressed in the paper.

  • What are the main challenges faced by teachers when learners with disabilities are placed in mainstream classes?
  • What impacts does including learners with disabilities have on the learning outcomes and quality of instruction provided?

Methodology

A qualitative study will be used to answer the research questions mentioned above. Interviews will be used to collect information from teachers who have experienced inclusion of disabled learners in their classrooms. The sample will comprise of teachers at elementary levels who have handled integrated classrooms for over a period of one year. A total of 50 participants will be interviewed. Initial contact and request for participation will be made by via telephone calls to selected schools. Those who agree to participate in the interview will give an appropriate time when the research team can meet up with them to conduct the interviews. In-depth interviews will be conducted analyzing the opinions of all participants. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted. Semi-structured interviews give respondents room to share their thoughts concerning the topic (Galletta & Cross, 2013). The following interview questions will be used:

  • Describe the differences in your former and current experiences in teaching learners at mainstream classes.
  • How has the achievement of teaching goals (class performance, syllabus coverage) been affected by inclusion of learners with disabilities?
  • What challenges have you experienced in teaching mainstream classrooms having learners with disabilities?

This study will take the form of an exploratory research. Future studies are expected to provide more details regarding the topic area. Analysis of the interview results will be conducted by the interview team following the completion of all scheduled interviews. The team will identify any emerging themes as given by the respondents. Appropriate models will also be used in the analysis to give robust study results.

Ethical issues

A number of ethical issues may emerge in conducting this study. First, ethical issues relating to confidentiality may emerge. Confidentiality is of great concern in any type of study or research undertaken (Russell, Hogan, & Junker-Kenny, 2013). Respondents should be assured of confidentiality of information they give to the research team. To ensure confidentiality during the interviews, none of the respondents will be named. Instead, pseudo names will be used to hide the respondent’s true identity. Another ethical issue involves permission. Express permission must be sought from all respondents in writing prior to participating in the interviews. Permission will also be obtained from the school administration to use the school grounds as a venue for conducting the interviews. Specific procedures to be observed in conducting the interviews will also be outlined. This will avoid any confusion that may arise while conducting the interviews. There are limited risks that can arise in conducting the interview. In addition, there are more benefits to be derived by educational policy makers from the results of the interview.

Conclusions

This research has a number of implications to policy makers, educational practitioners, researchers, and students. This research will be of greatest benefit to educational policy makers. The research will help in identifying the possible impacts of including learners with disabilities in mainstream classes with regard to teachers’ workload and quality of instruction. In particular, the research will help policy makers in making decisions regarding whether to provide inclusive education to learners with disabilities or to offer special education. The research will be of great importance to other educational practitioners in mainstream education without the disabled since it will provide them with advance knowledge on challenges they may experience in inclusive mainstream classes. This will enable them to be better prepared. Lastly, this research will be important to researchers since it will lay the foundation for future research.

References

Galletta, A., & Cross, W. E. (2013). Mastering the semi-structured interview and beyond: From research design to analysis and publication.

Russell, C., Hogan, L., & Junker-Kenny, M. (2013). Ethics for graduate researchers: A cross-     disciplinary approach. London: Elsevier.

Related paper: Social Exclusion and Marginalization among the Disabled

Prof Prac Research Assessments

Prof Prac Research Assessments-Annotated Bibliography

Prof Prac Research Assessments -Annotated Bibliography

Trani, J. F., & Loeb, M. (2012). Poverty and disability: A vicious circle? Evidence from Afghanistan and Zambia. Journal of International Development, 24(4): 19–52.

The duo analyses the relationship between disability and poverty, specifically trying to establish the robustness of the relationship. The research analyses data collected from household surveys conducted in Zambia and Afghanistan. An exploratory analysis was used to establish the relationship between the two concepts. Logistic regression was also used to determine the relationship between disability and poverty. The interdependency between disability and poverty is evaluated from different angles, and not just from an income perspective. The results indicate that that poverty is closely linked to lack of education opportunities, lower access to health facilities, and substantial unequal opportunities in the job market segment. The research focuses on multiple dimensions of poverty including non-monetary aspects such as well-being of the disabled. The specific aspects considered include life expectancy, health aspects, basic education, shelter, and infant mortality. The duo identifies existing knowledge gaps in previous researches that mainly focused on income as the most important dimension in assessing disability and poverty. This research suffered a limitation in the use of collective asset index as measure of socioeconomic status of individuals. Use of collective asset index as a measure of wealth is considered unreliable since the value of assets does not necessarily relate to a higher socioeconomic status.

Borg, J., Bergman, A. K., & Ostergren, P. O. (2013). Is ‘legal empowerment of the poor’ relevant to people with disabilities in developing countries? An empirical and normative review. Global Health Action, 6(10): 1-33.

This research evaluates the importance of legal empowerment to the disabled in developing countries. The research analyses whether legal bodies created to improve the welfare of the disabled have succeeded in their mandate. Welfare of the disabled is evaluated in terms of business rights, access to justice, property ownership, and labor. The aim of this research was to evaluate the relevance of particular legal bodies in assisting the disabled in low income countries. The research also looks at the relevance of international conventions in addressing the rights of the disabled. An empirical analysis of existing literature was conducted to answer the research questions. Checklist assessment was also conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in empowering the disabled. The empirical analysis of available literature utilized over fourteen relevant articles relating to the subject. The limitation experienced in this research concerns the scope of the databases used in the research. The search terms used could also be a limiting factor in the research. The research concludes that majority of the used by the legal bodies are effective in improving the status of the disabled. This research is of great relevance to my topic since it looks at the effectiveness of some of the ways of improving the welfare of the disabled.

Ferguson, D. L. (2008). International trends in inclusive education: the continuing challenge to teach each one and everyone. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 23(2): 109-120. DOI: 10.1080/08856250801946236

Ferguson (2008) analyses the challenges that arise in trying to provide an inclusive education to students with disabilities. The advancement of modern technology, changes in the political arena, and evolution of the global economy are some of the factors that combine to render irrelevant skills and areas of knowledge currently being taught. The paper aims at analyzing efforts that can be made to ensure that students with special education needs receive inclusive education that reflects the current market demands. A meta-analysis of available literature was conducted to assess the efforts that have the potential to improve inclusivity in the education sector. The research focuses on the United States and Europe, analyzing available literature to establish the factors. This research will be useful since it will help in explaining the research question on social exclusion. The limitation is that the study mainly relies on existing literature and does not perform any empirical analysis to ascertain the relevance and accuracy of the literature. The research concludes that inclusion of disabled students in mainstream classrooms is more beneficial to the students. This research will be effective in analyzing the impacts of social exclusion among the disabled.

Related paper: The Theoretical Concepts of Privilege and Oppression

Wang, H. L. (2009). Should all students with special educational needs (SEN) be included in mainstream education provision? – A critical analysis. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 2(4): 231-246.

This paper looks at the possible consequences and the rationale behind including students with disability in mainstream education. The research adds weight to existing literature on inclusion of disabled in mainstream education. This focus of the paper is similar to the research by Ferguson (2008). The paper aims at establishing whether there is need to adapt inclusion strategies for children with special needs. The paper takes a critical analysis approach in evaluating the various issues relating to disability and inclusion. A literature analysis also helps put some of the issues in perspective. The research looks at issues concerning disability and inclusion from a wide perspective, covering the issue with regard to developed and developing nations. This paper will help in analyzing effective ways of achieving inclusivity targeting disabled children. The accuracy of this study is limited to the results of the literature reviews conducted. The study concurs with Ferguson (2008) that inclusion to mainstream education is important to the disabled. However, the study notes that adequate resources must be set aside for inclusion to succeed.

Lindsay, S., Proulx, M., Thomson, N., & Scott, H. (2013). Educators’ challenges of including children with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream classrooms. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 60(4): 3-49.

The authors examine the challenges faced by educators in trying to accommodate children with autism spectrum disorder in the mainstream classrooms. The authors establish a number of challenges that educators face which include lack of a conducive environment, socio-cultural challenges, and inadequate knowledge among educators. The authors employ a qualitative design strategy in investigating the various challenges faced by educators. A sample of 13 educators was used to conduct the study. These were required to have over three years teaching experience. Twelve of the teachers interviewed had obtained additional special education qualifications. This study helps include the views of various educators involved in special needs education. The research helps in putting educator’s views in the limelight. The limitations of this study relates to the small sample size. As such, the results of the study may not be generalizable to a larger population. The authors conclude that provide support to educators can help eliminate most of the identified challenges. This paper will helps to illuminate some of the measures that can be implemented to achieve social inclusion among the disabled.

Lamport, M. A., Graves, L., & Ward, A. (2012). Special needs students in inclusive classrooms: The impact of social interaction on educational outcomes for learners with emotional and behavioral disabilities. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1(5): 54-69.

This paper evaluates the positive outcomes that can be obtained through encouraging students with behavioral and emotional disabilities to engage in interactive social activities such as playing. The authors outline the drawbacks that students with disabilities may face as a result of inclusion into the mainstream education. This research aims at outlining a suitable model of education for learners with disabilities. By conducting a meta-analysis of recent studies on the subject, the authors are able to establish the various strongpoints on either side of the debate. This research is useful since it comprises of an extensive literature review that explores the challenges as well as benefits of inclusion. The major limitation of this study is that it is based on analysis of existing literature and may be inaccurate to some extent. This research is linked closely to my topic of interest. This is because it attempts to identify the benefits and drawbacks that may be experienced as a result of inclusion. This is a core part of my research question.

Dessemontet, R.S., Bless, G. & Morin, D. (2012). Effects of inclusion on the academic achievement and adaptive behavior of children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56 (6), 579–587.

The authors conducted a study comparing the likely outcomes of children suffering from intellectual disabilities and placed in special schools to those having similar challenges but who had the opportunity to interact and experience mainstream education. The aim of the research was to acquire more knowledge regarding the impacts of inclusive practices among children with intellectual disabilities. The research methodology adapted was a comparative study of 34 children suffering from intellectual disability and a control group made up of 34 children. Observations and comparisons for the two groups were conducted over a period of two school years. This study is useful since it will shed light on the impact of inclusion among children with disabilities. The limitation of this study was the small sample size used. Thus, it may not be possible to generalize the results across a larger population. The study concludes that social inclusion has significant benefits among the intellectually disabled in certain areas. This study is of great importance to my research since it gives experimental results about inclusion in disabled children. The results of the study will greatly impact the direction and results of my research.

Lerner, R. M., & Lamb, M. E. (2015). Handbook of child psychology and developmental science. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The authors of this book investigate issues related to child psychology and developmental science. The book analyses the various interventions available for children suffering from a number of disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and among other form of disabilities. The book explores the concept of discrimination by looking at the negative impacts and possible solutions to the problem. The aim of the book is to provide clarity and authoritative information relating to discrimination and social exclusion. The book uses a variety of methods that guide research. Cross sectional research is widely employed in covering a variety of topics. Cross-sectional designs and including data analysis methods such as R-technique analysis are also used in the research. The book relates theory to practice by linking various developmental theories to actual observations and experimental results. This book will serve as a useful guide on the impacts of discrimination and prejudice among children. The book utilizes mixed approaches in tackling the issues outlined. The limitations of the various approaches used thus impact the conclusions reached. This book will be of great importance since it outlines the theoretical concepts relating to inclusion and discrimination.

Rimmerman, A. (2013). Social inclusion of people with disabilities: national and international perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This books reviews the various aspects related to social inclusion such as social integration, social participation, and social cohesion in relation to children with disabilities. The book also explores the concepts of derivation, poverty and marginalization of persons with disabilities. The aim of the book is to review the historical roots relating to the concept of disability, and to provide a legal perspective of social inclusion. The book also aims to provide readers with strategies for improving social inclusion among people with disabilities. This book is a literature analysis of the concepts of social inclusion, disability, and marginalization. The book also utilizes empirical analysis to review policies and legislative issues relating to the topic. The scope includes an analysis of issues at the domestic as well as global levels. It also includes a historical concept about social inclusion of persons with disabilities. This book contains general explanations relating to disability and social inclusion concepts. The book will thus be useful in analyzing key concepts and terms related to the topic. No limitations were observed on the information presented. The book shows the interrelationships between the concept of social inclusion and social capital, concluding that the two are closely connected.

Barron, T., & Ncube J.M. (2010). Poverty and Disability. London: Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Barron & Ncube (2010) examines the link among disability, health and poverty. The duo assert that the link among the three are more intricate than previously thought. The duo analyses available literature in peer-reviewed journal articles that specifically investigate the link among the three. Their research also identifies existing knowledge gaps and provide future guidance. The aim of this study was to investigate the relatedness among disability, poverty, and health concepts. The study examines available literature on the subject by conducting a search of peer reviewed articles relating to the subject. Since the study is based on the analysis of the available literature, a total of 293 papers were analysed. This research is useful since it will help in identifying the link among disability, poverty, and health. The limitation of this study is based on the fact that it relied mainly on descriptive studies. The study finds weak relationship among the three concepts. This study links with my topic of interest since it shows the nature of interrelatedness among the three concepts.

Simplican, S. C., Leader, G., Kosciulek, J., & Leahy, M. (2015). Defining social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: an ecological model of social networks and community participation. Research in Development Disabilities, 38(3): 18-29.

The authors develop an ecological model that examines social inclusion from a multifaceted dimension. The authors look at the role of community, individuals, socio-political factors, organizational factors, and interpersonal factors in enhancing inclusion among persons with disabilities. The aim of this research is to examine the impact of social inclusion among persons living with a wider spectrum of disability. The authors conduct a review of available literature relating to social inclusion among persons living with disabilities. The authors examine issues related to diversity from a personal angle of view. This research will mainly be useful helping to identify how various elements such as community and individual variables impact interpersonal relationships. The research helps readers understand social inclusion from an ecological model’s perspective. The limitations of this research is its dependence on descriptive studies. The authors note that the ecological model is extremely useful in linking together the various factors that influence social inclusion. This research is useful since it helps in building a working model related to social inclusion.

Related paper:  Social Exclusion and Marginalization among the Disabled

Social Exclusion and Marginalization among the Disabled

Social Exclusion and Marginalization among the Disabled

Social Exclusion and Marginalization among the Disabled

Disabled people have been marginalized in society for centuries. The situation is even worse for disabled children who have to bear with social exclusion from a relatively tender age. The current social structure and attitudes in the society foster an environment that segregates the disabled, driving them further below the poverty line. There is need for implementation of effective strategies that can help eliminate physical, organizational, attitudinal, and social barriers that hinder the physically challenged from achieving active citizenship. Currently, there are two disability discrimination acts that protect the disabled from any forms of discrimination. These include the Disability Discrimination Act enacted in 1995 and the Special Education Needs and Disability (NI) Order that was issued in 2005. Although these laws have been in existence for quite some time, they have not been able to protect the disabled from social exclusion and marginalization.

This research will:

  • Analyze the impacts of social exclusion and marginalization among people with disabilities.

Research questions

The research will address four research questions relating to the issue of social exclusion among the disabled in the society. The following are the specific questions to be addressed:

  • What are the specific measures that can be implemented to alleviate poverty, social exclusion, deprivation, and to generally improve the standard of living among the disabled?
  • What is the connection between disability and poverty in the region as well as in other countries?
  • What are the impacts of social inclusion and other measures that can be given to the disabled to help them adjust to the environment and improve their function?
  • What activities in local communities can be used to help the disabled improve their social interaction skills and inclusivity in the community?

Related paper: The Theoretical Concepts of Privilege and Oppression

This research will examine ways in which the disabled can be economically empowered to escape the poverty trap. This comes after the realization that majority of disabled are generally earn lower incomes and are more likely to remain below the poverty line. Disabled children have relatively limited opportunities with regard to accessing the available local opportunities such as jobs and leisure activities. Disabled children are constantly afraid of bullying by their peers or from other sources which forces them to live in isolation, avoiding public places or engaging in interactive social activities such as sports. There is limited research available on the measures that can be used to help the disabled adjust to the environment. This paper will analyze some of these measures in detail. The paper will also look at ways in which disable children can be assisted to improve their social interaction skills. This includes ways of dealing with negative peers and bullies.

Literature review

Trani & Loeb (2012) investigates the relationship between disability and poverty, specifically trying to establish the robustness of the relationship. The research analyses data collected from household surveys conducted in Zambia and Afghanistan. An exploratory analysis was used to establish the relationship between the two concepts. Logistic regression was also used to determine the relationship between disability and poverty. The interdependency between disability and poverty is evaluated from different angles, and not just from an income perspective. The results indicate that that poverty is closely linked to lack of education opportunities, lower access to health facilities, and substantial unequal opportunities in the job market segment. The research focuses on multiple dimensions of poverty including non-monetary aspects such as well-being of the disabled. The specific aspects considered include life expectancy, health aspects, basic education, shelter, and infant mortality. The duo identifies existing knowledge gaps in previous researches that mainly focused on income as the most important dimension in assessing disability and poverty.

Dessemontet, Bless, & Morin (2012) conducted a study comparing the likely outcomes of children suffering from intellectual disabilities and placed in special schools to those having similar challenges but who had the opportunity to interact and experience mainstream education. The aim of the research was to acquire more knowledge regarding the impacts of inclusive practices among children with intellectual disabilities. The research methodology adapted was a comparative study of 34 children suffering from intellectual disability and a control group made up of 34 children. Barron & Ncube (2010) examines the link among disability, health and poverty. The duo assert that the link among the three are more intricate than previously thought. The duo analyzes available literature in peer-reviewed journal articles that specifically examine the link among the three. Their research also identifies existing knowledge gaps and provide future guidance.

Related paper: Developmental Perspectives on Behavior

Lamport, Graves, & Ward (2012) investigates the positive outcomes that can be obtained through encouraging students with behavioral and emotional disabilities to engage in interactive social activities such as playing. The authors outline the drawbacks that students with disabilities may face as a result of inclusion into the mainstream education. This research aims at outlining a suitable model of education for learners with disabilities. By conducting a meta-analysis of recent studies on the subject, the authors are able to establish the various strongpoints on either side of the debate. This research is useful since it comprises of an extensive literature review that explores the challenges as well as benefits of inclusion.

References

Barron, T., & Ncube J.M. (2010). Poverty and Disability. London: Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Dessemontet, R.S., Bless, G. & Morin, D. (2012). Effects of inclusion on the academic     achievement and adaptive behavior of children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of         Intellectual Disability Research, 56 (6), 579–587.

Lamport, M. A., Graves, L., & Ward, A. (2012). Special needs students in inclusive classrooms: The impact of social interaction on educational outcomes for learners with emotional and        behavioral disabilities. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1(5): 54-69.

Trani, J.-F. and Loeb, M. (2012), Poverty and disability: A vicious circle? Evidence from             Afghanistan and Zambia. Journal of International Development, 24: (5): 19–52.

 

theoretical concepts of privilege and 0ppression

The Theoretical Concepts of Privilege and Oppression

The Theoretical Concepts of Privilege and Oppression

Privilege and oppression are two dominant and opposing forces in the society that we live. Often, I find myself in situations where others judge me based on perceived social or economic status. The modern society in is divided into classes and each of these accorded particular privileges. However, it is not in all circumstances that I have received privilege. Oppression has also shaped a better part of my life. Oppression occurs when a particular group of people acquire and maintain particular advantages over others. In oppression, a group of individuals becomes dominant over another. The group may be defined by unique physical appearances, culture, language, or ethnic background. In this paper, I will critically analyze the theoretical concepts of privilege and oppression.

One of the things I have realized in life is that human beings are to a certain extent egocentric in nature. Thus when things are in their favor they often tend to forget about others or show empathy towards their needs or problems. This is exactly the way oppression is progressed across generations in society. When people receive privileges, they tend to make use of these privileges to maintain and perpetuate an advantage over other groups. The dominant group aims at maintaining the status quo by all means most probably as a result of having some vested interests. For instance, I always feel enthralled to receive privileges and hence willing to take steps to ensure that I continue to receive those privileges even in future.

Privileges of dominant groups significantly contribute to progression of oppression of the subordinate groups in society. One of the ways in which the progression occurs is through the use of social structures by the dominant groups. Since the dominant group controls all major areas of the county, the laws, policies, political systems, and social institutions tend to favor these dominant groups. As such, it is quite difficult for the subordinate groups to emerge from the suppression. Personal oppressions may also have a negative impact on groups of people. This is mostly in the way we tend to judge others which may have a negative impact on them. My attitude towards other people may have a negative or positive impact on them. A negative attitude means that it is difficult to maintain interpersonal relationships with such people. In this case, I will mostly alienate myself from such people which constitutes oppression. When certain groups bear dominant sets of behaviors, values, customs, and knowledge over other groups this may also be termed as oppression.

Related post: Developmental Perspectives on Behavior

Another area where privilege of dominant groups significantly contributed to oppression of subordinate groups is in class struggles which occurred in 19th century America. It is only in the 20th century that women stopped being considered as property of men. Women were denied basic rights such as the right to vote by men who were dominant in the society. Oppression has always been associated with perceived differences between aspects or groups of people. For instance, the perception that white is superior to black, or that women are inferior to men. If I harbor the belief that women are inferior to men, then it means that I will never treat any woman as equal to a man. This contributes to maintaining the oppression of subordinate groups.

A key element in privilege and oppression is the issue of power. In order for an individual or group to oppress another, he/she must yield some form of power, either real or imagined. Power is of essence in this. If for instance I am able to influence other people and make them agree with my points of view especially in making critical decisions, then it may be said that I yield power over them. Such influence or power can enable me to privilege my beliefs or values over those of the individuals. In addition, I may consider the subordinate group’s beliefs and values as wrong and make them feel that I am the one who is right. Privilege and oppression are related in many ways. Depending on the context and particular circumstances, I may at one point be experiencing oppression while at another point, I am reinforcing oppression (Heldke & O’Connor, 2004).

I have received a number of unwarranted advantages during my life that benefit me even up to now. Being the eldest among my siblings, I have received unwarranted advantages from my parents compared to my younger siblings. My parents believe that as the eldest, I have to set a good example to my younger siblings. As such, they have devoted more attention to me in ensuring that I get the right education, moral values, and that I succeed in life. Even at a tender age, my parents would assign me responsibilities such as taking care of my younger siblings. This is despite the fact that I am only a year older than my younger brother. Even today, my parents still believe I should look after and give council to my younger siblings. I have come to realize that I have privilege status back at home. This status is assigned to me because I am the eldest in the family. As Pease (2010) says, oppression is all about assigned membership whereby a particular group is deemed subordinate, regardless of the attributes the group has.

Related post:  Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience on Human Development

As a white, I have received unearned advantages in my entire life, but which I came to realize when I came of age. There are many advantages I receive as a white. First, I can do my shopping without being harassed or suspected of shoplifting. Most people hold the notion that it is the people of color who commit crimes in the country. Thus if I walk into a shopping mall with my friends of color, shop attendants are more likely to keep an eye on my friends rather than me. I have also realized that is easy for me to access credit or pass as financially reliable compared to my friends of color. Another advantage is that I can live in any location or neighborhood and expect the people to be pleasant to me. We live in a society that places privilege on the whites and oppression on the people of color (Croteau et al., 2002). While these advantages I receive may seem trivial, they mean a lot in the real world. For example, the privileges would enable me get a loan while a person of color would be denied the same despite our financial background being the same.

As a male, I have also received unearned advantages compared to my female friends. One of the reasons is because many of the societies, if not all of them, are patriarchal which means they assign more power to the male figure in the society. As a male, I have received privileges that women have literally had to fight for over the years. The most visible is political power which even today rests with males in the society. On most occasions, men are assigned leadership positions in the society since there is a notion that men are the better leaders. From the military to majority of organizations, men are the majority in the top positions. Men also hold religious power in the society. This is to say that if today I was to vie for a position of power, I a better placed in getting to power than my female opponents since the society ascribes power to men. According to Mullaly (2002) the modern culture is defined by male privilege. The institutions, policies, laws, and spaces privilege male interests who are the dominant group in the society.

Another unearned advantage I have received in my life is fair treatment due to my sexual orientation. The society is more welcoming of heterosexual people. However, the transgender and those in same-sex relationships are likely to face discrimination and acts of violence directed towards them due to their sexual orientation. As a heterosexual person, I am sure that my classmates or colleagues will be comfortable with me. Also as heterosexual person, I can talk about the subject without others feeling that I am forcing my sexual orientation on them. Also, I do not fear that if anyone knows about my sexual orientation that there will be any consequences, either psychological, emotional, or physical consequences. These advantages enable me to express myself and feel proud of who I am. This is in contrast to those in same-sex relations who have to live in fear or are forced to hide their sexual orientation in order to avoid being discriminated against.

Related post: Health

There are certain privileges that I gain as a tertiary educated, professional welfare worker. Due to the level of education, I am more likely to be given a promotion compared to other welfare workers who have a lower level of education. Some of the welfare workers have more experience working with diverse communities. However when opportunities emerge concerning management of a particular program, I am mostly assigned the role due to the fact that I have higher academic qualifications. The privileges I receive can deny others the chance to attain higher positions even though they are qualified and have the necessary experience. The privileges also deny others the chance to prove their leadership capabilities (Mullaly & Mullaly, 2010). As aforementioned, power the critical aspect used in oppression. As people rise in positions of power they become capable of oppressing others. This form of oppression is structural in nature since it relates to the way social institutions favor the dominant groups in the society or those groups that yield power.

As a welfare worker, I also receive the privilege of being among the majority and dominant groups in the workforce. The whites make up majority of those in the entire workforce. They also dominate the leadership positions in the workforce. The society perceives the minority ethnic groups as subordinates and inferior in some way (Ferber, 2008). The superior groups are given more responsibilities and are seen as the best suited to lead others. The minority groups rarely get to positions of power. This is more so because of the dominant groups which have vested interests and feel the need to protect these interests. For instance, they feel the need to maintain dominance due to pride or other hidden reasons. The privilege of being in a position of power as a welfare worker contributes to ongoing oppression of others. This is because the very fact of being in that position means that somebody else has been denied the privilege of being there.

As a tertiary educated and professional welfare worker, I have enjoyed other privileges as well. For instance, it is easy for me to put my points across and be heard. I have realized that what when I say something my colleagues take it serious and evaluate it with keen interest. During meetings, my opinions are highly regarded. This is evidenced by the fact that even when I fail to contribute the manager may still enquire about my opinion. This is in contrast to junior level employees whose opinions are not taken as seriously as it should. Such privilege may make the junior workers to feel sidelined and lead to low morale of the workers. It also denies them the opportunity to voice their concerns in the organization. The privilege in this case is assigned to people who have a higher educational status than others.

In conclusion, privilege and oppression are complex in nature and affect us in different ways. In some situations, I may be a victim of oppression while at on other circumstances, I may be the one having privilege or maintaining oppression on subordinates. All individuals are defined by groups which they associate with. These groups reinforce oppression within the subordinate groups in the society. The dominant groups are keen on maintaining their influence over other groups. This is due to vested interests that the groups may harbor.

References

Croteau, J. et al. (2002). A Qualitative study of the interplay between privilege and oppression.    Journal of Multicultural Counselling and Development, 30(4): 239-258.

Ferber, A. L. (2008). The matrix reader: Examining the dynamics of oppression and privilege.     New York, N.Y: McGraw-Hill.

Heldke, L. M., & O’Connor, P. (2004). Oppression, Privilege, and Resistance: Theoretical          Perspectives on Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism. McGraw-Hill.

Mullaly, Bob. (2002). Challenging Oppression: A Critical Social Work Approach. Ontario:          Oxford University Press.

Mullaly, R. P., & Mullaly, R. P. (2010). Challenging oppression and confronting privilege: A      critical social work approach. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press.

Pease, Bob (2010). Undoing Privilege: unearned advantage in a divided world. London: Zed       Books.

developmental perspectives on behavior

Developmental Perspectives on Behavior

Developmental Perspectives on Behavior

Part A

Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model is important in the study of human development over time, and the gene-environment interactions. Bronfenbrenner held the view that the surrounding environment had a profound and pervasive impact on an individual’s development. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model has four distinct dimensions that are an improvement from the earlier ecological systems theory. These dimensions include: process, person, context, and lastly time (Freudenberg, Klitzman, & Saegert, 2009). The process dimension involves the interaction between an organism and the environment, and the energy exchanges that occur between them. The person is the individual who shows distinct characteristics. The context in which events occur and time are also crucial in the model.

Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model also highlights the importance of various levels of the environment which he referred to as systems namely microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. The microsystem represents the direct environment that individuals come into contact with on daily basis (In Cicchetti & In Cohen, 2006). This includes the family, school, friends, neighbors and others who are in close contact. The mesosystem refers to the interrelations that exist between two or more microsystems, for example, peer groups, homes and schools.

Related paper: Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience on Human Development

The exosystem refers to the interactions between microsystems for which the individuals are not part of but which has certain implications upon their lives (Munhall & Fitzsimons, 2001). For instance, the impact of work environment on parents may in one way or another affect children who are not directly linked to the work environment. The macrosystem represents the culture in which all other systems occur for instance the social class, economic climate, subcultures, and others. The chronosystem is the last level. In this level, changes such as biological changes that occur due to aging may lead to a change in emotional relationships in children

Part B

Research question addressed by the authors

Rushton (2004) examined the impact of genetic and environmental factors on pro-social attitudes in individuals. In order to get accurate results, twin studies were conducted. Only a few studies had earlier tried to examine the impact of genetic factors on pro-social attitudes in individuals. The study would thus help shed light in the area. A few studies conducted on the subject indicated that genes were partly responsible to particular behaviors in individuals such as acts of violence, self-report altruism, empathy, aggression, and nurturance. The studies also reveal that environmental factors have a profound impact on pro-social behaviors of individuals. By examining monozygotic and dizygotic twins, the study addresses the question on how genetic and environmental factors influence pro-social behaviors among individuals.

Name the dependent variables. How do the authors measure the behavior/attitude/preference under investigation?

The dependent variables in the study are genetic factors and the environmental factors that are thought to have an impact on pro-social attitudes. The behavior/attitude under investigation are measured by close observation of monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Monozygotic twins have similar genes while dizygotic twins share 50% of their genes. By examining pairs of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, the author was able to develop a fair estimate of the variance resulting from genetic factors. A standardized social responsibility questionnaire bearing 22 items was used to obtained information from the respondents over a period of time. The questions prompted participants to agree on a scale of 1 to 5, with both positively keyed and negatively keyed items. Participants completed the questionnaires at their own discretion and mailed them back to the researchers. Data from participants was then analyzed based on age, sex, and the nature of twins. Attitudes and behaviors were thus measured based on self-reporting of participants.

Specific factors that were important predictions of the behavior

The author outlines certain factors as predictors of behavior. There was significant correlation among items in the social responsibility questionnaire indicating the items were evaluating the same construct. The study found that twin correlations were significantly higher among the 174 monozygotic pairs of twins. The observed correlation coefficient for this group was (r = 0.45). Twin correlations among dizygotic twins was slightly lower with a correlation coefficient of 0.32. This was among the 148 dizygotic pairs of twins who completed the study. This indicates that there is a high correlation of behaviors/attitudes among monozygotic twins. The differences were however greater in men with a correlation coefficient of 0.50 and 0.21 (monozygotic & dizygotic respectively) than in women who recorded a correlation coefficient of o.44 and 0.34 (monozygotic & dizygotic respectively). The difference between monozygotic and dizygotic correlations indicated that women are 26% likely to inherit behaviors while men are 58% likely to inherit behaviors.

The results were further analyzed to establish the impacts of additive genetic effects, common environment, and non-shared or unique environment. Phenotypic variances for the three factors were analyzed. The results indicated that genetic effects contributed by 42%, common environment by up to 23%, and non-shared environment by 35%.

Where would these influential factors fit in Bronfenbrenner’s model?

The genetic effects, common environment, and non-shared environmental factors can be fit into Bronfenbrenner’s model. The microsystem is the environment that individuals come into contact with on a daily basis. For instance the family members, neighbors, school, and others who are in close contact. Among young individuals, the microsystem primarily consists of the immediate family. The microsystem becomes complex as children advance in age. Twins who share the same environment may thus be categorized in the microsystem. The genetic factors can also be classified under the microsystem.  Factors in the non-shared environment can be categorized in the macrosystem. The macrosystem is the culture in which other systems can be found. The macrosystem comprises of the economic climate, culture, subculture, and the social class of an individual. The macrosystem may impact twins in different ways. For instance, the social class and culture in which the twins are brought up may lead to significant differences in their behavior (In Cicchetti & In Cohen, 2006).

How might this behavior be influenced by other levels of the model?

The second level of the model, the mesosystems may also influence behavior. This level represents interactions between two or more microsystems, for instance, different families, peer groups, and schools. According to Bronfenbrenner, a child’s development is based on the type of links that exist between the ecosystems. When the links are strong and positive, children develop positive relationships within the microsystems (In Cicchetti & In Cohen, 2006). For example, a strong link between school and parents can help instill positive behavior in learners.

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The exosystem level refers to interactions between microsystems for which individuals are not part of but may have particular implications on their lives. An example of this is the work environment. The parents’ work environment may indirectly influence the behavior of an individual. If parents work in a stressful environment, they may transfer the stress to their children at home affecting their emotional relationships. This may affect the children’s behavior in the long-run. Other factors in the exosystem include social support systems, health care systems, and educational systems. The last level in the model is chronosystem. In this level, changes such as biological changes that occur due to aging may lead to a change in emotional relationships among individuals. Although twins may bear similar behaviors during childhood, these behaviors may change as a result of personal choices and context.

References

Freudenberg, N., Klitzman, S., & Saegert, S. (2009). Urban health and society: Interdisciplinary             approaches to research and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

In Cicchetti, D., & In Cohen, D. J. (2006). Developmental Psychopathology: Volume One.           Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Munhall, P. L., & Fitzsimons, V. M. (2001). The emergence of family into the 21st century.          Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Rushton, J.P. (2004). Genetic and environmental contributions to pro-social attitudes: A twin       study of social responsibility. Proceedings from the Royal Society of London, 271, 2583-    2585.

 

Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience on Human Development

Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience on Human Development

Assessment Task: Developmental Perspectives on Behaviour

Impact of Adverse Childhood Experience on Human Development

Required Article

The enduring effects of abuse and related Adverse Experiences in Childhood

The research question

The study seeks to understand the impacts that abuse and related adverse experiences have on children. Also, the article addresses the impact that maltreatment has on the emotional well –being and the health of the children. The study focuses on the disturbances likelihood in a given behavior or function such as sleep disturbances and anxiety. Also, the study examines the number of comorbidities

Theoretical perspectives

The study draws from epidemiology and neurobiology evidence that state that stress in the early life such as abuse can lead to a brain dysfunction that has adverse impacts on quality and health of an individual. Even more, studies have shown that stress in an early life can result in long-term changes in brain system and circuits, (Slopen et al. 2013).

Importantly, the study draws on various studies that have shown that childhood stressors like domestic violence and abuse can lead to suicide attempts, substance abuse and depressive disorders in a child, (Shonkoff, et al.2012) According to, to Smith 1997, development and stress have a vital interaction; glucocorticoid in infants is usually not developed and, therefore, cannot respond to stress. Plotsky and Meaney 1993, further affirms that stressors in early life lead to a long term glucocorticoid increase response to stress.

Related paper: Health

            Data collection methods

In collecting data, the researchers made use of questionnaires whereby the participants were required to fill their health histories and behaviors. The questionnaire was used to obtain ACE information which included domestic violence and abuse. In analyzing the data, researchers opted to use statistical analysis. Linear aggression was used in estimating the comorbid outcome number by ACE score.

For the effectiveness of the study, the researchers could have also used interviews in collecting data. The use of interviews would have given detailed information as well as allow the researchers to observe the participants reactions when giving out information. Interviews allow the researcher to get detailed information as opposed to the use of questionnaires.

The key impacts of adverse childhood experiences on neurobiological development

Adverse Childhood Experiences leads to reduced amygdala and hippocampus. Also, the ACE results in deficits in verbal declarative memory in women who were sexually assaulted during g childhood. Besides, an increase in ACE leads to an increase in the child impaired memory, (Garner et.al. 2012). The study findings reveal that hallucinations tend to increase as the ACE increases. Usually, the symptoms are related to hippocampal alterations and function in prefrontal cortical

How impaired neurobiological development from a range of adverse childhood experiences increases the risk of physical and psychological problems across the lifespan

The ACE can have adverse effects on the physical health of a child which include hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and obesity .stress acting via the glucocorticoids impact on the receptor of glucocorticoid on adipocytes of intra-abdominal results to increase in intra-abdominal fat which has its own mortality risk. Early stressors lead to locus coeruleus increased activity which increases the non-epinephrine release in the brain, (Anda.et al. 2006).

Therefore, substances such as alcohol and heroin decrease the locus coeruleus firing leading to psychological and physical problems in a child. Further, early stressors result in changes that are long term in peptides that regulate social attachment and pair bond, (Balistreri, 2015). Hence, the adverse experiences at an early age disrupt the ability to form attachments that are long term in adulthood which leads to psychological problems. Additionally, victims of early abuse tend to have multiple psychiatric disorders (Larkin, Felitti & Anda 2014). These disorders such as depression and substance abuse have a common etiology varying degree which is genetically modulated, (Fox et al 2015). Also, ACE can lead to trauma due to the imposed stress derived from witnessing domestic violence or been abused.

Article 2

The impact of adverse childhood experiences on an urban pediatric population

The research question

The article seeks to investigate adverse childhood experiences impacts in youths living in a low-income community. Also, the study focuses on the prevalence of categories of ACE that were endorsed in physical and psychological outcomes.

Theoretical perspectives

The research draws from studies that reveal that young people have a high risk of been affected by ACE as opposed to adults due to the impacts that community violence has on their developing systems that lead to traumatic experience.

Even more, exposure to community violence leads to posttraumatic stress such as flashbacks and nightmares in a high number of youths. Such symptoms impact emotional development, academic performance and behavior among the young people, (Flonagan et al. 2015).

Moreover, the consequences of physiological stress do not only affect mental health but also correlate with medical conditions that are non-psychological,(Burke, 2011). According to, to Huntington et.al. (1993) learning difficulties are associated with the development of anxiety, depression and bullying.

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Data collection methods

As a method of collecting data, the researcher used a retrospective medical chart to review pediatric patients in Bayview Child Health Center. The documentation of the chart was done by one or more pediatricians to minimize errors. Also, the study used statistical analysis in analyzing data. As opposed to use of questionnaires for data collection used in Anda et.al, use of retrospective charts can be more efficient and accurate compared to questionnaire; as the participants would be more willing to disclose their problems to the health workers as opposed to researchers. However, use of medical chart to collect data is prone to errors when reviewing the charts.

Comparison

The study findings support the Anda et al findings that adverse childhood experience leads to negative physical and psychological outcomes among pediatric population. Further, the study confirms that ACE can lead to obesity, depression and anxiety which may affect the child health.

Contrast

As opposed to Anda et al study this study findings indicate that the number of participants exposed to one or more ACEs was higher than the number in Anda et al study. Even more, the study findings reveal that there was an increase in learning problems among children with at least four ACEs compared to children who did not have ACEs.in addition, the research concludes that there was an increase in adverse childhood experiences in urban communities that had high case of violence.

Article 3

The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in the lives of Juvenile Offenders

Research question

The article research question is on the impacts of adverse childhood experiences in the juvenile offenders’ lives. The study examines the prevalence of ACEs in juvenile offenders found in Florida.

Theoretical perspectives

The research draws on the findings of Dube et al, 2001 which indicate that there’s a high prevalence of ACEs in particular populations. ACE has had negative consequences such as chronic diseases and chromosome damage (Danese 2014). Moreover, the study draws on studies that have shown that ACEs scores are linked to risky sexual behaviors. Importantly the study draws from (Felitti et al 1998) study that affirms that there is a high possibility of ACEs leading to adverse effects in adulthood for as child who has experienced four ACEs as compared to those who have no ACE exposure.

Data collection methods

The study used secondary data analysis to collect data; the researchers conducted a secondary analysis of PACT assessments undertaken in Florida. Therefore, the study did not involve any primary data. Compared to Anda et al., use of questionnaires in collecting data, the use of secondary data for the study is easier and faster. However, reliance on secondary data may lead to bias due to missing information as opposed to the use of questionnaires where the researcher can get detailed information.

            Comparison

The research affirms the Anda et al. study that ACE can lead to trauma among children who are abused. The research findings indicate that adverse childhood experience increases the chances of been involved in juvenile as well as high chances of re-offense, (Baglivio, 2014).  Contrast

In contrast with Anda et al. research, the study reveals that females are more exposed to  ACE as compared to males especially the Ace composite score and sexual abuse.

How Adverse Childhood Experience can increase mental health issues

The adverse childhood experiences can result to mental health problems in adulthood. The Anda et al. article shows that a child that is exposed to domestic violence may inhibit the mental development of a child which is likely to lead to mental health problems,(Anda et al. 2006).

On the other hand, Burke et al. article point out due to the early life exposure to abuse in a child, a child is likely to experience depression at an early stage of life which may lead to trauma; increasing the risk of mental health problem in later development stages,(Burke,2011).

Further, the Baglivio et al. article reveal that adverse childhood experiences lead to trauma in juvenile offenders, due to the trauma the child tends to develop mental health problems increasing the chances of repeating the offense,(Baglivio,2014).

To conclude, the three articles demonstrate that adverse childhood experience has negative impacts on child psychological and physical problems. Additionally, the articles show that an adverse childhood experience has the potential to increase mental health issues at a later development stage.

References

Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Bremner, J. D., Walker, J. D., Whitfield, C. H., Perry, B. D., … & Giles, W. H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 256(3), 174-186.

Baglivio, M. T., Epps, N., Swartz, K., Huq, M. S., Sheer, A., & Hardt, N. S. (2014). The prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) in the lives of juvenile offenders. Journal of Juvenile Justice, 3(2), 1.

Balistreri, K. S. (2015). Adverse Childhood Experiences, the Medical Home, and Child Well-Being. Maternal and child health journal, 19(11), 2492-2500.

Burke, N. J., Hellman, J. L., Scott, B. G., Weems, C. F., & Carrion, V. G. (2011). The impact of adverse childhood experiences on an urban pediatric population. Child abuse & neglect, 35(6), 408-413.

Danese, A., & Tan, M. (2014). Childhood maltreatment and obesity: systematic review and meta-analysis. Molecular psychiatry, 19(5), 544-554.

Flanagan, J. C., Baker, N. L., McRae-Clark, A. L., Brady, K. T., & Moran-Santa Maria, M. M. (2015). Effects of adverse childhood experiences on the association between intranasal oxytocin and social stress reactivity among individuals with cocaine dependence. Psychiatry research, 229(1), 94-100.

Fox, B. H., Perez, N., Cass, E., Baglivio, M. T., & Epps, N. (2015). Trauma changes everything: Examining the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and serious, violent and chronic juvenile offenders. Child abuse & neglect, 46, 163-173.

Garner, A. S., Shonkoff, J. P., Siegel, B. S., Dobbins, M. I., Earls, M. F., McGuinn, L., … & Wood, D. L. (2012). Early childhood adversity, toxic stress, and the role of the pediatrician: translating developmental science into lifelong health. Pediatrics, 129(1), e224-e231.

Larkin, H., Felitti, V. J., & Anda, R. F. (2014). Social work and adverse childhood experiences research: Implications for practice and health policy. Social work in public health, 29(1), 1-16.

Shonkoff, J. P., Garner, A. S., Siegel, B. S., Dobbins, M. I., Earls, M. F., McGuinn, L., … & Wood, D. L. (2012). The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232-e246.

Slopen, N., Kubzansky, L. D., McLaughlin, K. A., & Koenen, K. C. (2013). Childhood adversity and inflammatory processes in youth: a prospective study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(2), 188-200.

health in point of view of diverse community groups

Discussion of Health in point of view of diverse community groups

Question

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization, 1948

Discuss the above statement giving consideration to the various points of view of diverse community groups.

Health

Most individuals associate health with the physical well-being of the body. The physical health is directly related to the body, which most people associate to be the definition of health. However, mental health is another aspect of health which is often ignored by majority in the definition of health. Another term closely related to health is physical well-being. The physical well-being of an individual refers to adopting all the lifestyle components related to health. Physical health can be divided into chemical and structural health. There are different definitions of health. The World Health Organization (1948) defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (p. 2). This paper will dwell deeper into the aforementioned definition of health from the standpoint of diverse communities.

In the U.S., the World Health Organization’s definition of health is the commonly accepted definition. Nonetheless, WHO’s definition of health have received criticism from a number of quarters. As such, there are a number of definitions of health currently. This definition of health includes the concept of wellbeing. Wellbeing involves the perceptions of individuals concerning their lives. Wellbeing is a much broader term that encompasses a number of aspects in an individual’s life. Other definitions of health are also available. Bircher (2005) defines health as “a dynamic state of well-being characterized by a physical and mental potential, which satisfies the demands of life commensurate with age, culture, and personal responsibility” (p. 355). Bircher’s (2005) definition of health has become generally accepted as a contemporary definition of health. This definition comes amid rising criticism of WHO’s definition of health due to several inherent shortcomings.

The World Health Organization’s definition of health is often criticized due the use of the word “complete”, which may not be possible in a number of cases. It may not be possible for an individual to be in a complete state, yet the individual may still be healthy. For instance, considering a person who has lost a limb through amputation, such a person may not be complete in the sense of physical well-being. Though still, such as person may be considered healthy if he/she is not in any form of pain and has recovered from the amputation. In addition, WHO’s definition does not into account the changing health needs of individuals especially with respect to their age. Bricher’s (2005) definition of health takes into account the changes in health needs of individuals as they advance in age. Thus even aged persons who can be capable of satisfying their various personal demands can be termed as healthy, irrespective of whether they are considerably weaker than when they were younger.

 

The World Health Organization’s definition of health has been considered rational over time due to its focus on more than one aspect of health. For instance, the definition focuses on the physical, mental and social aspects of health. The criticism leveled against this definition is only in the use of the word “complete” as it may not be possible to achieve such a state. It is not possible to have perfect heath as WHO’s definition suggests. It is also important to consider the health of the mind as well as that of the body. According to WHO’s definition, lack of disease does not necessarily mean that a person is healthy. This is because there are other factors other than diseases or illnesses that can cause individuals to be regarded as unhealthy. This has led to formulation of other health definitions which eliminate the weakness in the WHO’s definition of health.

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The U.S. lays emphasis on the three aspects of health outlined by WHO’s definition; that is the physical, social and mental health of individuals. The physical aspect of health pertains to the normal functioning of the body system. There are a number of factors considered in determining physical well-being. These factors include fitness, Body Mass Index, and the working of the various organs (Goodacre, Collins, & Slattery, 2013). In order to maintain sound physical fitness, individuals must exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet. The social aspect pertains to the ability of an individual to interact well with others in the community. Human beings are social in nature and hence must learn how to interact with others. Interacting well with other individuals enhances good social health. The mental aspect refers to the ability to make sound decisions and is able to cope with challenging situations in life. Mentally sound individuals should also be able to make positive contribution to the community (Goodacre, Collins, & Slattery, 2013).

The Chinese concept of health introduces a different perspective to the definition and meaning of health which is rather different from that of the western world. The Chinese practice of medicine also differs significantly compared to that of the western world. Chinese medicine emphasizes on harmony or balance between the various energy systems in the body as the key to being healthy. Disharmony in the energy system is thought to cause diseases or illnesses. Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes on the concept of Qi, Yi and yang to describe health. Qi refers to the body’s vital energy, while yi and yang represent the forces that sustain existence and all opposite elements. As mentioned earlier, Qi is a form of energy and is universal. Since Qi is a form of energy, it contains all the characteristics of energy. According to Chinese medicine, a happy and healthy individual is the one who maintains harmony in all aspects of Qi. Qi is always in a constant state of transformation within the body. Just like energy, it cannot be created and neither destroyed. However, it can be transformed from one aspect to another (Kohn, 2011).

 

Yin and yang are also important aspects of Qi in the traditional Chinese medicine. These represent opposite ways in which Qi can manifest itself. Yin and yang are thus opposites in that if yin is manifested as dark, then yang is manifested as ligh. If yin tends to be material, then yang is immaterial. The relationship between the two is that each aspect contains some element of the other, but in different variations. For instance anything that is immaterial must also have some material substance within it. Yin and yang are always in a state of balance, meaning they regularly adjust to maintain balance within the body. When Qi is in a state of balance (the elements of yin and yang balance as expected), the individual achieves happiness and a state of well-being. Too much or less of any aspect can lead to pain or suffering. Harmony of the aspects thus determines the status of health of an individual (Seaward, 2011).

In Chinese medicine, bacteria and viruses are not the only causes of disease; rather, a state of disharmony among the various elements (yin and yang) which disrupt Qi can lead to diseases or ill-health among individuals. To the Chinese, health is unrestricted or free flow of subtle energy through the body. This energy (Qi) flows in the body through specific channels or gates. When the energy gates are blocked or in some way congested, a state of disharmony arises in the state of energy balance within the body. Such a disturbance results to pain or suffering. Chinese medicine acknowledges the fact that disease-causing organisms are present everywhere. When the body has harmonious and unrestricted energy flow, it is able to develop resistance to the disease-causing microorganisms. However, if the energy channels become blocked, resistance to the pathogens is reduced, causing disease or illness. This is why in Chinese medicine treatment often involves methods such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and other methods aimed at maintaining harmony among the various aspects (Seaward, 2011).

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Other diverse community groups such as the indigenous Australians have different perspectives and definition of health. The Aboriginals greatly emphasize on community welfare in defining health. The indigenous Australia’s definition of health also includes a spiritual aspect of wellbeing. According to (Berman, A. et al., 2014), the Indigenous Australians define health as not just pertaining to the physical wellbeing but also pertaining to the spiritual, social, cultural, and emotional wellness of the entire community.  The Medical Research Council of Australia in conjunction with Aboriginal Health has accepted the aforementioned definition of health. The council integrates the community’s values, principles, and beliefs matters concerning health. Although the health services are delivered to individuals, the overall goal is to improve the lives of individuals with respect to the entire community. The health of particular individuals is assessed in terms of the community in its entirety.

In the Aboriginal concept of health, individuals are able to achieve full productivity by leading healthy lives, enabling them to be useful members of the community. If majority of the individuals within the community are healthy, then the entire community becomes productive. This is because each individual contributes to the well-being of the whole community (Talbot & Verinder, 2009). There are a number of distinct features in the Aboriginal community’s understanding of health. First, the Aboriginals emphasize on community control whereby each community is expected to solve any emerging health issues. The community is in charge of the decision making processes in matters concerning health. Second, the community’s understanding of health takes a wholistic approach. This, as earlier mentioned involves taking health issues afflicting individuals as matters concerning the entire community. Third, there is the element of cultural respect whereby the specific cultural believes, values and norms of the society have been integrated in understanding of health.

The Australian definition of health brings to light the interplay of multiple aspects that are involved in defining an individual’s health; cultural factors, personal factors, social factors, interpersonal factors, environmental factors, and spiritual factors, all of which determine the health of individuals (Talbot & Verinder, 2009). The aboriginal community’s health definition reveals the multiple ways in which the health of individuals can be improved through community programs, government programs and through formulation of appropriate policies. The government and health policy makers can be able to formulate better health guidelines when they are provided with data derived from the local population. Through a keen analysis of the local community, the government has been able to identify a number of key concerns within the health sector. For instance, the role of education in improving the health of the community, importance of social support networks, physical environment, importance of culture and kinship, and among other concerns (Talbot & Verinder, 2009). Improving on these would help in promoting the health of Individuals.

Health is multi-dimensional in nature, and that is why there exists varied definitions and understanding in different communities. India’s definition of health is also slightly similar from other communities. According to cite, the heath of an individual can be assessed in terms of four major aspects: mental, social, physical and the spiritual aspect. These aspects describe the health or wellbeing of individuals. Health can also be defined in other ways for instance, the ability of individuals to abide by the outlined societal norms and values. Health is thus a complex issue, as evident from the multiple definitions and understanding of the concept in diverse communities. An individual may be in perfect physical condition, and yet be in a bad mental status. On the other hand, an individual can be disabled yet be of sound mind. Health is thus a complex issue.

India’s concept of health is different from that of the western world in that it emphasizes more on the mind, body, and spirit (Micozzi & McCown, 2013). Health and healing are thus determined by the spirit and body’s energy. India’s concept of health also emphasizes more on spiritual consciousness as an important determinant of the healing process. India’s practice of health is similar to China’s practice in that in both cases, there is a fundamental belief that the body’s energy system is responsible for maintaining the well-being in individuals. Any state of disharmony is expected to result to disease or illness. India’s healing traditions relied heavily on practices such as meditation, yoga, and other movement activities which were meant to restore the normal functioning of an individual’s nervous system. The healing traditions normally revolve around the mind, body, and spirit (Micozzi & McCown, 2013). India’s health practices focused on prevention strategies as well as curative strategies to help reduce suffering.

In conclusion, health encompasses three basic aspects: the physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Majority of diverse community groups understand health in terms of the three aforementioned elements. Nonetheless, some of the diverse community groups may include additional aspects in the definition and understanding of wealth. Certain community groups include spiritual wellbeing as part of their understanding of health while others believe in community wellbeing as part of the definition of health. Generally, health can be defined in different ways based on the diverse community groups and their understanding of various issues that affect human beings. In line with this, diverse community groups have distinct ways of treating various ailments occasioned by the different understanding and definition of health. For instance the Asian community holds a strong belief about disharmony of the various body elements as the main cause of disease or illness. Thus communities have different understanding and definition of health.

 

References

Berman, A. et al., (2014). Kozier & Erb’s Fundamentals of Nursing Australian Edition. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Bircher, J. (2005). Towards a dynamic definition of health and disease. Med. Health Care Philos,            8(3): 335-41.

Goodacre, S., Collins, C., & Slattery, C. (2013). Cambridge VCE Health and Human        Development Units 1 and 2 Pack. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kohn, L. (2011). Health Maintenance in Ancient China. International Journal of Medical             Science, 8, 26 -42.

Micozzi, M. S., & McCown, D. (2013). Vital healing: Energy, mind and spirit in traditional        medicines of India, Tibet and the Middle East – Middle Asia. London: Singing Dragon.

Seaward, B. L. (2011). Health and wellness: Journal workbook. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and          Bartlett Learning.

Talbot, L., & Verinder, G. (2009). Promoting health: A primary health care approach. Sydney,   N.S.W: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

World Health Organization. (2006). Constitution of the World Health Organization – Basic          Documents, Forty-fifth edition, Supplement.