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Soc. Sci., Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2015) , Pages 909-1339

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Open AccessEditorial
Understanding and Supporting “Families with Complex Needs”: An Editorial
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1335-1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041335 - 15 Dec 2015
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Family forms are many and varied, reflecting a myriad of understandings and influencing factors. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Intersectoral Mobilization in Child Development: An Outcome Assessment of the Survey of the School Readiness of Montreal Children
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1316-1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041316 - 08 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
In 2006, the department of public health in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, conducted the Survey of the School Readiness of Montreal Children. After unveiling the results in February 2008, it launched an appeal for intersectoral mobilization. This article documents the chain of events [...] Read more.
In 2006, the department of public health in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, conducted the Survey of the School Readiness of Montreal Children. After unveiling the results in February 2008, it launched an appeal for intersectoral mobilization. This article documents the chain of events in the collective decision-making process that fostered ownership of the survey results and involvement in action. It also documents the impacts of those findings on intersectoral action and the organization of early childhood services four years later. The results show that the survey served as a catalyst for intersectoral action as reflected in the increased size and strength of the actor network and the formalization of the highly-anticipated collaboration between school and early childhood networks. Actors have made abundant use of survey results in planning and justifying the continuation of projects or implementation of new ones. A notable outcome, in all territories, has been the development of both transition-to-kindergarten tools and literacy activities. The portrait drawn by the research raises significant issues for public planning while serving as a reminder of the importance of intersectoral mobilization in providing support for multiple trajectories of child preschool development. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessing Energy Security Using Indicator-Based Analysis: The Case of ASEAN Member Countries
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1269-1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041269 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Using indicator-based assessment, this study examines the energy security of nine Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries to see how it has evolved over the past 12 years and identifies a country-specific energy security context for each country. The assessment uses [...] Read more.
Using indicator-based assessment, this study examines the energy security of nine Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries to see how it has evolved over the past 12 years and identifies a country-specific energy security context for each country. The assessment uses 42 energy security indicators, which can be separated into five components: overall energy balance, socio-economic aspect, domestic energy resources, overseas energy demands and resources, and diversification of energy supply. The findings show different energy security situations among ASEAN member nations that are a result of national energy contexts, specifically uneven economic and energy infrastructure developments. The context, at a national level, affects the connotation of energy security and the interpretation of the indicators, which reflects different primary issues of concern regarding energy security. At the international level, due to the diversity, the interconnection of intra-regional energy markets could contribute to energy self-reliance of the region. Adversely, the difference could hinder the prospect of cooperation due to the lack of consensus on shared value. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Objective Structures and Symbolic Violence in the Immigrant Family and School Relationships: Study of Two Cases in Chile
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1243-1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041243 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
The historical trend of migration processes in Chile faces a challenge given the incremental growth of immigration during recent years. This study focuses on the relationship between family and school, distinguishing within it the particular relationship between immigrant families and school agents. The [...] Read more.
The historical trend of migration processes in Chile faces a challenge given the incremental growth of immigration during recent years. This study focuses on the relationship between family and school, distinguishing within it the particular relationship between immigrant families and school agents. The qualitative approach applied here enabled a focus on the effect of the cultural diversity that immigration produces, including the configuration of conflicts between immigrant families and the school institution. The main issues discussed in this article concern the approach and the nature of interaction between schools and immigrant families. This approach is articulated with the observed emergence of symbolic violence. The characterization of the conflict of expectations among immigrant families and schools is also described, suggesting the need to rethink the practices associated with an inclusive education that allows the integration of immigrant families. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Internalized Stigma and Psychological Well-Being in Gay Men and Lesbians in Italy and Belgium
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1229-1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041229 - 01 Dec 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2204
Abstract
Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the levels of internalized homophobia, anxiety, depression and social support, among two groups of gay men and lesbian individuals living in two European countries (N = 194: 86 Italian and 108 Belgian), where legislations grant different civil rights to lesbian and gay individuals (LG). The main goal of this research has been to verify the possible differences between the two groups. Results showed some significant differences in terms of observed levels of internalized homophobia, which was higher in the Belgian gay men’s group compared to the Italian one. Furthermore, path analysis emphasized the role of social support as a potential factor of mediation between internalized homophobia and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
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Open AccessArticle
Languaging the Borders of Europe
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1207-1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041207 - 30 Nov 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Emerging from a discomfort with the blind spots encountered within and across theorizations of language and space in the field of human geography, in this article, we argue for “making space” for conceptualizations that speak from and through the everyday territories of migrants [...] Read more.
Emerging from a discomfort with the blind spots encountered within and across theorizations of language and space in the field of human geography, in this article, we argue for “making space” for conceptualizations that speak from and through the everyday territories of migrants in Europe today. Inspired by a range of writers thinking postcolonially and multi/trans-lingually, the authors draw on their own embodied migrant experience to argue for re-envisioning Europe’s borders through multiple languaging practices. “Languaging”, in this view, takes linguistic practices in a migrant context as an inherently prosthetic activity, whereby any dominant, national host language is inevitably subject to the subterranean rumblings of all the languages a migrant brings with her on her global journeys. Conceived as being saturated with prosthetic “absence(s)”, migrant languaging practices rework cultural geography’s bounded, inward-looking, and security-fixated understanding of the language/territory nexus, the better to open a vital space for re-envisioning language’s everyday territories as sites for translational solidarity and becoming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-Border Movements and Subjectivities in a Globalized World)
Open AccessArticle
Facing the Gender Gap in Aging: Italian Women’s Pension in the European Context
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1185-1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041185 - 30 Nov 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1747
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the phenomenon of increasing gender inequalities that happen at old age regarding women’s pension. Moving from recent life-course theories and studies, this study analyzes the reasons behind gender-biased pension levels and how [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the phenomenon of increasing gender inequalities that happen at old age regarding women’s pension. Moving from recent life-course theories and studies, this study analyzes the reasons behind gender-biased pension levels and how their cumulative effects result in (continuous) significant gender gaps. The article presents a European overview of pension gender gap, focusing on family and work-life issues in Italy. This is one of the first critical reviews of the small but growing literature and national data concerning the effect of gender inequalities related to pension gaps in Italy. In the past, research on the balance of welfare provision between State, family, and market has ignored gender, while more recent studies have barely explored how gender roles, changing over time, interact with the shifts in pension policies. Considering the effects of work-life balance policies since the 2000 Lisbon agenda process and its development, the study especially focuses on the Italian case within the European context. The article examines how the choices in work-life balance policies vary between different national contexts and welfare regimes, by highlighting the Italian case. In this country, welfare and social policy regimes remain very unbalanced, showing a lack of awareness of family and women’s needs, as in many Southern countries, and Italy is not able to give appropriate answers to these problems and to the question of the growing gender gap. This article finally shows the poignancy of structural and cultural reasons for gender differentiated pension levels in Italy, within the European context, according to patterns of employment, marital, and maternal status between earlier and later generations of women. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Gender on Stress Factors: An Exploratory Study among University Students
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1177-1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041177 - 30 Nov 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2981
Abstract
This study examined the relationship between gender and reactions to stress among university students. University students were surveyed on how they typically responded when under perceived stress. There were significant differences between males and females concerning their reactions to stress. Overall, more females [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between gender and reactions to stress among university students. University students were surveyed on how they typically responded when under perceived stress. There were significant differences between males and females concerning their reactions to stress. Overall, more females experienced higher levels of depression, frustration, and anxiety than their male counterparts when reacting to stress. Males also tended to have other psychological reactions different from those listed on the survey. In addition, while the stress reaction of anger was barely statistically insignificant, more females expressed anger than males as a reaction to stress. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Who Benefits from Public Healthcare Subsidies in Egypt?
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1162-1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041162 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2838
Abstract
Direct subsidization of healthcare services has been widely used in many countries to improve health outcomes. It is commonly believed that the poor are the main beneficiaries from these subsidies. We test this hypothesis in Egypt by empirically analyzing the distribution of public [...] Read more.
Direct subsidization of healthcare services has been widely used in many countries to improve health outcomes. It is commonly believed that the poor are the main beneficiaries from these subsidies. We test this hypothesis in Egypt by empirically analyzing the distribution of public healthcare subsidies using data from Egypt Demographic and Health Survey and Egypt National Health Accounts. To determine the distribution of public health care subsidies, we conducted a Benefit Incidence Analysis. As a robustness check, both concentration and Kakwani indices for outpatient, inpatient, and total healthcare were also calculated. Results show some degree of inequality in the benefits from public healthcare services, which varied by the type of healthcare provided. In particular, subsidies associated with University hospitals are pro-rich and have inequality increasing effect, while subsidies associated with outpatient and inpatient care provided by the Ministry of Health and Population have not been pro-poor but have inequality reducing effect (weakly progressive). Results were robust to the different analytical methods. While it is widely perceived that the poor benefit the most from health subsidies, the findings of this study refute this hypothesis in the case of Egypt. Poverty reduction measures and healthcare reforms in Egypt should not only focus on expanding the coverage of healthcare benefits, but also on improving the equity of its distribution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Finnish Mothers’ Assessments of the Harmfulness of Childcare at Home on Occupational Careers: A Comparison of Twelve European Countries
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1140-1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041140 - 25 Nov 2015
Viewed by 1407
Abstract
It is generally believed that long periods of childcare at home deteriorate mothers’ occupational careers. This study examined mothers’ experiences regarding negative career consequences of full-time care of children at home, and of part-time work due to childcare. The focus was on Finland, [...] Read more.
It is generally believed that long periods of childcare at home deteriorate mothers’ occupational careers. This study examined mothers’ experiences regarding negative career consequences of full-time care of children at home, and of part-time work due to childcare. The focus was on Finland, a country that provides all mothers a financially compensated, longer-term childcare leave linked with unrestricted access to day care services. Experiences of Finnish mothers were compared with experiences of mothers in 11 other European countries. The data were based on European Social Survey (ESS) round 2, conducted in 2004 and 2005. In all of the studied countries, the majority of mothers assessed that taking care of children at home had not harmed their occupational careers. There was, however, a clear cross-country variation. Perceived career consequences for both types of care at home were least common in Finland. In most of the investigated countries, longer times spent with children at home increased the probability to perceive negative career consequences. In Finland, the difference was relatively small. Thus, as long as the focus is on mothers’ perceptions, the longer-term childcare leave does not seem to markedly deteriorate Finnish mothers’ careers. Full article
Open AccessReview
Who Wants to Live Forever? Living, Dying and Grieving in Our Digital Society
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1127-1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041127 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5538
Abstract
Almost ubiquitous hardware technology, such as smart phones, ensures that social networking sites are part of users’ everyday norms and routines. However, some are now using these new communication technologies to deal with the issues of death, dying and grief. With the hope [...] Read more.
Almost ubiquitous hardware technology, such as smart phones, ensures that social networking sites are part of users’ everyday norms and routines. However, some are now using these new communication technologies to deal with the issues of death, dying and grief. With the hope of being able to create digital memories to leave behind for future generations, the opportunity to “live on” and become digitally immortal is seen as empowering to some: but what about those left behind? Through a review of the current literature exploring how social media are being used as a new space to grieve and mourn, this paper contributes to the literature by arguing for the need for clarity in the lexicon being used by thanatologists and other disciplines. Furthermore, it introduces the term “digital zombie” to describe the dead who remain “alive” in our digital society. The paper concludes by joining the call for further research into the nascent phenomena being generated by human-computer interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond the Negativity of Death: Towards a New Necropolitics)
Open AccessArticle
Dead Spaces, Living Architecture and the Functionality of Death in Post-Conflict Settings
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1118-1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041118 - 20 Nov 2015
Viewed by 1836
Abstract
Death has the ability to influence an architectural site in such a way that it defines its identity. Bullet holes, political graffiti, and scarred buildings are evidence of past events that have involved death and continue to do so. However, recognizing death through [...] Read more.
Death has the ability to influence an architectural site in such a way that it defines its identity. Bullet holes, political graffiti, and scarred buildings are evidence of past events that have involved death and continue to do so. However, recognizing death through these sites allows post-conflict nations a chance to construct a narrative that was once hidden away. These sites allow death to function in a positive manner—if amnesia-driven urban development projects do not erase them first, that is. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond the Negativity of Death: Towards a New Necropolitics)
Open AccessConcept Paper
The “Double-Edge Sword” of Human Empathy: A Unifying Neurobehavioral Theory of Compassion Stress Injury
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1087-1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041087 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2495
Abstract
An integrative neurobehavioral model for “compassion stress injury” is offered to explain the “double-edge sword” of empathy and inherent vulnerability of helping professionals and care-givers. One of the most strikingly robust, yet largely invisible scientific findings to emerge over the past decade is [...] Read more.
An integrative neurobehavioral model for “compassion stress injury” is offered to explain the “double-edge sword” of empathy and inherent vulnerability of helping professionals and care-givers. One of the most strikingly robust, yet largely invisible scientific findings to emerge over the past decade is identifying the neurophysiological mechanisms enabling human beings to understand and feel what another is feeling. The compelling convergence of evidence from multi-disciplinary lines of primary research and studies of paired-deficits has revealed that the phenomenon of human beings witnessing the pain and suffering of others is clearly associated with activation of neural structures used during first-hand experience. Moreover, it is now evident that a large part of the neural activation shared between self- and other-related experiences occurs automatically, outside the observer’s conscious awareness or control. However, it is also well established that full blown human empathic capacity and altruistic behavior is regulated by neural pathways responsible for flexible consciously controlled actions of the observer. We review the history, prevalence, and etiological models of “compassion stress injury” such as burnout, secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, and empathic distress fatigue, along with implications of the neurobehavioral approach in future research. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Suffering Has No Race or Nation: The Psychological Impact of the Refugee Crisis in Hungary and the Occurrence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1079-1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041079 - 12 Nov 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
The “European migrant crisis” is one of the greatest social, political, and cultural challenges since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people exposed to multiple psychological traumas are trying to find shelter in Europe. It would be indispensable to gain more information [...] Read more.
The “European migrant crisis” is one of the greatest social, political, and cultural challenges since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people exposed to multiple psychological traumas are trying to find shelter in Europe. It would be indispensable to gain more information about the mental health of these individuals. The aim of the present study was to explore the occurrence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among refugees arriving in Hungary. Participants received the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire-Revised (HTQ), which was validated against the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview 6.0 (MINI). We interviewed 450 asylum seekers (332 male, 43% from Syria). There were 189 men (57%) and 85 women (72%) who received the diagnosis of PTSD. Altogether, 274 asylum seekers (61%) met PTSD criteria. Individuals from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq plus other countries displayed similar PTSD rates. The extremely high occurrence of PTSD in asylum seekers suffering from the global crisis calls for immediate attention and efforts to implement integrated solutions in Europe. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Reliability and Validity of the Multidimensional Locus of Control IPC Scale in a Sample of 3668 Greek Educators
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1067-1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041067 - 09 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
The Multidimensional Locus of Control IPC Scale (IPC LOC Scale) is an instrument for assessing the locus of control on adults. The aim of the present study is to translate the IPC LOC Scale and evaluate its reliability and validity in a sample [...] Read more.
The Multidimensional Locus of Control IPC Scale (IPC LOC Scale) is an instrument for assessing the locus of control on adults. The aim of the present study is to translate the IPC LOC Scale and evaluate its reliability and validity in a sample of Greek teachers. Data were collected from a nationwide sample of 3668 educators of all levels and specialties. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to determine the internal consistency reliability. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted in order to test the construct validity of the questionnaire. Validity was further examined by investigating the correlation of the IPC LOC Scale with the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) and its association with several demographic and work-related data. Internal consistency reliability was satisfactory with a Cronbach’s alpha above 0.70 for all LOC dimensions. CFA confirmed that the items composing the three subscales of the IPC LOC Scale measure the same construct. Also, the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI) and the goodness of fit index (GFI) values were 0.053, 0.951, and 0.937, respectively for the three-factor model, further confirming the manufacturer’s theory for the three latent variables, Internality, Powerful Others, and Chance. Intercorrelations and correlation coefficients between the IPC LOC Scale and the RSES were significant, while age and sex differences were also found. The Greek version of the IPC LOC Scale was found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and could be used to evaluate the locus of control in Greek teachers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Cross-Level Exploratory Analysis of “Neighborhood Effects” on Urban Behavior: An Evolutionary Perspective
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1046-1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041046 - 04 Nov 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
It is now generally accepted that spatially-based neighborhood or contextual attributes influence individual behaviors. However, studies of contextual effects often operationalize “neighborhoods” as static, single-level administrative units that are chosen for data availability rather than theoretical reasons. This practice has led to new [...] Read more.
It is now generally accepted that spatially-based neighborhood or contextual attributes influence individual behaviors. However, studies of contextual effects often operationalize “neighborhoods” as static, single-level administrative units that are chosen for data availability rather than theoretical reasons. This practice has led to new calls for sound conceptual models that guide data collection efforts and statistical analyses related to these phenomena. While many such models are in use or being proposed in the social sciences, this article argues that research in the field of evolutionary studies offers alternative and interesting ways of investigating neighborhood effects. Accordingly, the article pursues two objectives. First, it makes connections between neighborhood effects research in the social sciences and relevant literature in evolutionary game theory and evolutionary urban geography. Second, these interdisciplinary interactions guide the development of a cross-level conceptual model of neighborhood effects on urban social behavior. The conceptual model is then translated into an empirical model that tests whether and how property maintenance behavior in a selected U.S. study area changes as a function of neighborhood context. The findings reveal that neighborhood effects operate at multiple, interacting spatial levels in the study area, which suggests that conventional single-level administrative boundaries are not equipped to capture these effects. While they are proffered as exploratory, the results nonetheless imply that insights from evolutionary research can add depth and theoretical grounding to contextual effects studies in the social sciences. Full article
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Open AccessReview
An Appreciative View of the Brighter Side of Terror Management Processes
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1020-1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041020 - 30 Oct 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Physical death is an inevitable part of life. From the perspective of terror management theory (TMT), people’s efforts to manage the awareness of death can sometimes have harmful social consequences. However, those negative consequences are merely one side of the existential coin. In [...] Read more.
Physical death is an inevitable part of life. From the perspective of terror management theory (TMT), people’s efforts to manage the awareness of death can sometimes have harmful social consequences. However, those negative consequences are merely one side of the existential coin. In considering the other side of the coin, the present article highlights the more beneficial trajectories of the terror management process. For example, the awareness of mortality can motivate people to prioritize their physical health; uphold prosocial values; build loving relationships and peaceful, charitable communities; and foster open-mindedness. Further, the article explores the possible balance between defense and growth motivations, including the motivations toward integrative self-expansion, creativity, and well-being. And finally, we tentatively consider the potential positive impacts of direct confrontations with mortality on terror management processes. In sum, the present analysis suggests that although death awareness can sometimes produce some harmful outcomes, at least under certain conditions it can also motivate attitudes and behaviors that have positive personal and social consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond the Negativity of Death: Towards a New Necropolitics)
Open AccessArticle
Cross-National Investigation of Health Indicators among Sexual Minorities in Norway and the United States
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 1006-1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041006 - 28 Oct 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
A cross-national study of young adult sexual minorities was conducted in order to explore the associations between sexual orientation and measures of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Two nationally representative data sets were explored from the United States (N = 14,335) and [...] Read more.
A cross-national study of young adult sexual minorities was conducted in order to explore the associations between sexual orientation and measures of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Two nationally representative data sets were explored from the United States (N = 14,335) and Norway (N = 2423). Results indicated that sexual minorities experienced multiple health disparities (depression, suicidality, and substance use) compared to their heterosexual counterparts. We found similar patterns of depression, suicidality, and substance use for sexual minorities in both the United States and Norway. The highest odds of substance use were among heterosexual-identified Norwegian youth who reported same-sex sexual activity, and the highest odds of suicidality were found for bisexual young adults in Norway. These findings have implications for how we consider culture and social policy as barriers and/or opportunities for sexual minorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
Influencing Factors for Developing Managerial Behaviours That Encourage a Work-Family Culture in the University Context
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 987-1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040987 - 15 Oct 2015
Viewed by 1763
Abstract
This article develops and tests a theoretical model to find out which factors influence the behaviour of supervisors in terms of promoting a work-family culture. This model explains to what extent the factors studied are relevant to encourage deans to promote this type [...] Read more.
This article develops and tests a theoretical model to find out which factors influence the behaviour of supervisors in terms of promoting a work-family culture. This model explains to what extent the factors studied are relevant to encourage deans to promote this type of culture at Spanish universities. The hypotheses were tested using linear regression analysis. Data were obtained through a questionnaire to deans. The results yield five key factors: (1) the personal work-family conflict of managers; (2) the transformational leadership style of managers; (3) the identification with subordinates in need of work-family cares; (4) the perceived institutional support; and (5) the perceived support from other supervisors in the centre. The findings have practical implications for human resources management (HRM) practices. Human resources management practices such as (a) providing deans and other supervisors with training about the importance of work-family programs; (b) promoting deans’ training in order to develop transformational leadership skills; or (c) increasing institutional support can be useful when implementing a work-family culture in Spanish universities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Benefits to Young Rail Enthusiasts of Participating in Extracurricular Academic Activities
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 967-986; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040967 - 05 Oct 2015
Viewed by 2158
Abstract
The paper examines a number of positive academic outcomes achieved by university students who, as young rail enthusiasts representing over 10 European institutions, took part in extracurricular rail-related academic activities. Analyses presented in the paper are based on the evaluation of the responses [...] Read more.
The paper examines a number of positive academic outcomes achieved by university students who, as young rail enthusiasts representing over 10 European institutions, took part in extracurricular rail-related academic activities. Analyses presented in the paper are based on the evaluation of the responses to the questionnaire distributed amongst participants of three consecutive editions of an intensive program in rail and logistics which took place in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Also, quotes from follow-up one-to-one interviews with participants are used to support the results presented. The sample for each year varies in terms of numbers, nationalities, academic backgrounds, and male:female ratio. Academic benefits are specifically looked into, which includes teaching and learning activities throughout the three weeks of the program. The analysis of results revealed that young rail enthusiasts who participated in the program benefited from lectures delivered in Week 1, especially those focused on multimodal transport and rail infrastructure in 2013, which received positive mean ratings of 4.45 and 4.53, respectively, on a five-point Likert scale. Moreover, academic benefits were strongly supported by non-technical skills improvements in areas such as English language and communication, both reaching the mean ratings of 4.35 or above in 2014. A number of recommendations for improvements of next editions of similar rail-related programs as well as areas for future research are identified in the paper Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership, Learning and History in the Rail Industry)
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Open AccessReview
Population Aging: An Emerging Research Agenda for Sustainable Development
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 940-966; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040940 - 05 Oct 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2882
Abstract
In recent years, population aging has been recognized as an emerging challenge in many parts of the world. Earlier studies discussed its impacts on the sustainability of social security systems and national economic growth; however, they tended to focus on the issues at [...] Read more.
In recent years, population aging has been recognized as an emerging challenge in many parts of the world. Earlier studies discussed its impacts on the sustainability of social security systems and national economic growth; however, they tended to focus on the issues at the national level and were limited to developed countries. With the knowledge that population aging will be a predominant trend in both developed and developing countries, this paper aims to: (i) describe the global population aging trend and its regional demography; (ii) provide a structural review of population aging challenges at the national, communal and individual levels; and (iii) elaborate future research topics on population aging with a particular emphasis on developing countries. Several indicators suggest rapid population aging in the coming decades, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The structural review presents the diverse challenges that affect both young and older population groups. Finally, the need for linking population aging with the sustainable development concept and the possible rural decline caused by rapid urbanization are suggested as future research topics. Further studies to establish a body of knowledge on population aging in developing countries are required to place population aging on the agenda of future sustainable development discussions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trials and Triumph: Lesbian and Gay Young Adults Raised in a Rural Context
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 925-939; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040925 - 25 Sep 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2434
Abstract
The rural context at times is characterized by heteronormativity and conservatism. For individuals who identify as a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer), the rural context may pose particular challenges to the development of a healthy, coherent sense of self. Seven [...] Read more.
The rural context at times is characterized by heteronormativity and conservatism. For individuals who identify as a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer), the rural context may pose particular challenges to the development of a healthy, coherent sense of self. Seven young adults (18–24) who identified as gay or lesbian participated in in-depth interviews regarding their experiences coming out in a rural Appalachian context. Findings suggest sexual minority individuals experience both trials and triumphs coming out in the rural context. Two overarching themes and six subthemes are discussed with implications for supporting sexual minority youth in the rural context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LGBTQ Lives in Context: The Role of Place)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Student Service Members/Veterans Social Support and Campus Climate in the Context of Recovery
Soc. Sci. 2015, 4(4), 909-924; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4040909 - 24 Sep 2015
Viewed by 1967
Abstract
Now that the financial needs of post 9/11 student service members/veterans have begun to be addressed, the attention has shifted to disabilities and recovery strategies of student service members/veterans. Therefore, in a cross sectional design, this study electronically surveyed 189 enrolled student service [...] Read more.
Now that the financial needs of post 9/11 student service members/veterans have begun to be addressed, the attention has shifted to disabilities and recovery strategies of student service members/veterans. Therefore, in a cross sectional design, this study electronically surveyed 189 enrolled student service members/veterans attending a large urban state university about their experiences of returning to school. Specifically, this study described the students’ rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse, perceived stress, adaptive and non-adaptive coping strategies, social support, participation in campus activities, and perceived campus climate. Moreover, correlates of recovery were examined. Although the majority of the returning students were doing well, 36.1% reported a high level of stress, 15.1% reported a high level of anger, 17.3% reported active symptoms of PTSD, and 27.1% screened positive for alcohol problems. Social networks were found to be the most salient factor in recovery. The study’s limitations are discussed and specific support strategies are presented that can be employed by disability services, counseling services and college administrators. Full article
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