Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Integrated Management

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Integrated Management

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder remains one of the leading stress-related disorders and psychological issues in society today. An understanding on to the treatment of and the management of the disorder for those with and prone to the problem is necessary. A lot of research, and shown in the literature review below, has explored the specific areas of interest and the common strategies used by psychologists, medical doctors and other professionals in the treatment of and management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It, however, remains a challenge to find and implement an integrated approach towards Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment and management. It is the labor of this research review to bring together articles and ideas from empirical reports and researches on managing and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with an aim to create an integrated approach towards the management and treatment of the disorder.

The research recognizes the diversity of possible remedies towards Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and seeks to bring together four out of the many possible approaches for a program that offers effective remedies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It recognizes that effective management and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will require a practising psychologist to look beyond the symptoms he or she can see and consider the external inputs to the individual.

As a conceptual framework, therefore, effective management of and treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is equal to successful identification of the external factors affecting, influencing and worsening Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder plus the internal factors affecting, influencing and worsening the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the individual. This proposition includes several faces about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. First, the disorder is a non-hereditary one and the person suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the course of their life.

This is triggered by traumatic experiences such as rape, domestic violence, war and other terrible occurrences such as terrorism and molestation. These are all external factors which often are out of control of the person will. They infiltrate the person’s peaceful course of life from outside and are often unpredictable. They can be summed up as external pressures that lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Secondly, the disorder, once it takes its seat in the person’s life, causes several psychological and psychosocial changes in the individual that alter the general behavior of the person and especially, their perception of various stimuli.

The person starts to associate different stimuli with the trauma-related events that they witnessed a long time ago and therefore subjects the individual to a troubled life. lastly, the person being addressed and who is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patient lives in a society of human beings who, from time to time, interact with the patient at different levels. Such interactions will cause various reactions by the society or the individual.

This research will identify the third class of elements part to a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patient effective intervention program as the secondary factors. The level or ability of such a society in handling depression and especially, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, will determine at a large scale, the trajectory of the individual towards or away from recovery. This is because society will be the support state of the patient.

Addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In developing the program and with a view to a multifaceted approach to managing and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, this review adopts the framework: effective treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder = addressing external factors + internal factors + external secondary factors. To effectively address the factors, the treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will acknowledge the need to include four domains of parties and knowledge necessary for a holistic person, where holistic means addressing all the issues party to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and necessary for sustained relief and recovery from the disorder.

As such, the research identifies four main domains of psychology that are important for integration in the treatment of and management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The domains include the psychological practitioners on the clinical, cognitive, social and rehabilitative. The four are chosen based on their contributions towards a holistic personal focus by psychological practitioners on the clinical, cognitive, social and rehabilitative treatment and management programs, which may take place at the hospital and the home.

There is a seamless connection between the four domains highlighted above and which will be used in the literature review. First, the patient needs drugs that are used to alleviate the deconstructive thoughts and flashbacks and often, the false sense of danger of alarm with patients with psychological practitioners on the clinical, cognitive, social and rehabilitative. The program would include a clear and accurate clinical identification of the problem through careful consultation with a doctor, more so, a psychologist or a clinician.

This is usually the first step in attending to a patient of any kind as long as they can respond to the consultant’s investigation unbiased. Upon the identification of the problem, there is a need for pharmaceuticals to identify the right drugs, if there are any, to counter the traumatic ideation and experiences or memories of the patients, toning down the symptoms of the disorder. Above that, medical science should establish science-based, theoretical and clinical knowledge perspective in relieving, preventing and understanding human psychological ill-health. on the other hand, there is the need to manage the social circles of the patents in such a way that the circles promote, rather than worsening, the recovery process of the patients. The social domain calls for the acts of those around the victim to be controlled so as to produce pro-healing efforts for the victim.

Social psychology studies how people’s acts affect those of others, in our case, the wellbeing of people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Upon understanding the clinical and social inputs necessary for the whole recovery of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patient, the effective program should consider understanding and attending to primary diseases or states of well-being that promote Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. An example is spinal and brain injury.

Such patients are more likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than any other healthy person. The connection between the chronic diseases and the disorder will be studied carefully with a view to a better management strategy for such patients. A proactive means to curbing the possibility of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder arising from or among such parents will be reviewed with a view to using rehabilitative psychology as a domain and input to managing the disorder. To yield the best results and for an effective therapy for persons with the disorder, cognitive psychology will be applied.

This psychology includes, among other things, managing the cognitive behavior, including perception, of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patient. It has been shown to be one of the most effective means to treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy works very well, most effectively, when combined with injunction interventions such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Ultimately, the four domains will rely on each other for the successful treatment of and management of the disorder.

While these domains have been used before, the integration of the four for a single program aimed at effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder has not been recorded. It is the burden of this review to show the critical need to have the disorder approached from different angles, hence the development of this literature review pending deeper research thereafter.

This literature was chosen on basis of their primacy and direct address to the various domains as well as their verifiability, coming from an authentic and official library. In so doing, the literature review hypothesizes that only an integrated approach to managing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder would fully address the growing prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in America.

Discussion

Post-traumatic stress disorder is as a result of the interacting external and internal factors that are related to or associated with the first instance of the traumatic experience and sustain or repress subsequent manifestations of trauma. Specifically, it is a psychological disorder regulated by factors which the person can control and others that he can’t control. Therapy ought to, therefore, recognize the different angles and interventions necessary for Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for holistic treatment.

Experts consider a holistic approach to health and wellness as the optimal approach, given the side effects and resultant disorders and symptoms of ill-health or anti-social behavior that can result from psycho-social disorders. To them, treating the identified disease without paying attention to the external and internal climate encouraging the disease or disorder would only offer short-term reprieve but leaving nothing for the long-term. Without the holistic approach to ill-health, therefore, treatment would be ineffective in psycho-social disorder (Auxier, Farley & Seifert, 2011).

Clinical Psychology Domain

The first step for an already exposed population ought to be an investigative approach to identify those with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and those who do not. Cognitive approaches can be used and this may include a simulation of the suspected event that is feared to have caused post-traumatic stress disorder as well as clinical trials or measures. Clinical psychology, as the term denotes, interests itself with the science-based theoretical and clinical evidence approaches to relieving human suffering from diseases.

In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder and in psychology, it includes the active interrogative, investigative and documentation process to identifying people with or without post-traumatic stress disorder. It seeks to understand ill-health from an evidence point of view. Integrated health management calls for thorough investigations to identify a problem before working on a solution, the reason why clinical psychology comes next to none of the four interventions and domains of psychology in this integrated literature review.

In a study carried out by Ferry, F., Bunting, B., Murphy, S., O’Neill, S., Stein, D., and Koenen, K. in 2014, the authors reported that many issues of violence precipitated post-traumatic stress disorder in Northern Ireland, a zone potential of violence and civil threats. They noted that the population sample of 4340 subjects revealed possibilities of post-traumatic stress disorder upon children and adult exposure to the death of a close friend or a loved person such as children, parents or a sibling, partner violence or threat to a partner or close friend can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

These are common occurrences in our societies with people getting assaulted with freehand, crude weapons or guns in every corner. The church shootings, school shootings and street racialized shootings, as well as domestic gun violence in America, expose our children and loved ones to health stressors akin to the situation in Northern Ireland. The implication of their study is that such people as having witnessed assault or violence by a close friend or a loved one need to be screened for, on a going basis, post-traumatic stress disorder among other disorders.

Those found with the slightest of symptoms for post-traumatic stress disorder should be attended to with counselling and where necessary, with cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing programs among other interventions.

While programs for therapy and interventions among people with post-traumatic stress disorder would be an effective proactive means to reducing and eliminating post-traumatic stress disorder in the population, there are several internal factors that hinder the quick recovery from the disorder. Seligowski, A. V., Miron, L. R., and Orcutt, H. K. (2015) identify self-compassion as a positive factor in reducing trauma and traumatic manifestations for persons with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those with high levels of self-compassion and self-pity are more likely to recover and cooperate than those who have reduced self-compassion. This discovery means that cognitive behavioral therapy should include enhancing the individual self-awareness of their condition and their self-compassion, which, predictably, should enhance their means to recovery. The results indicate a need to further research on the other personal emotional factors that could contribute to faster recovery.

However, clinically critical empirical results from two researches show that drug abuse and substance abuse, as well as psychological inflexibility, are two factors that lead to prolonged post-traumatic stress disorder and irresponsiveness in treatment. The first study indicates that psychological flexibility is a positive factor in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder while inflexibility is a negative contributor. Those who are willing to flex their opinions and views concerning themselves and concerning the encounters they went through are more likely to recover than are those who are inflexible.

Again, high inflexibility is a predictor for increased post-traumatic stress disorder manifestation (Meyers et al, 2018). Clinicians and psychologists ought to understand this and similar factors that make recover from post-traumatic stress disorder difficult among patients and develop programs that seek to increase the psychological flexibility of patients and persons likely to be or already exposed to post-traumatic stress disorder. On the other hand, Reisman (2016) associates’ drug and substance use with post-traumatic stress disorder, noting that in a study including US war veterans, the majority of them were drug abusers.

Drug abuse, he notes further, can lead to a worsening state of post-traumatic stress disorder, given that the drugs can lead to further depression and impaired judgment, which can, in turn, lead to suicidal ideation. Among the drugs most commonly abused by war veterans are alcohol and cocaine as well as cigarette, all of which have side effects and withdrawal effects as well as cause ill-health in large contents. Still, drug abuse can hinder cooperation between a therapist and the patient and the intervention program should understand the drug history of the patient as well as their current drug abuse status.

Effective intervention, therefore, would start by preventing drug abuse among persons exposed to traumatic war experiences as these are precipitates for further and worsening post-traumatic stress disorder.

As a breakthrough in post-traumatic stress disorder management and treatment, there are drugs that have been found to work best in addressing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and which ought to be used as the initial strategy for treating the disorder. In pharmacotherapy addressing post-traumatic stress disorder, drugs that act directly on the serotonergic systems are effective when used for a long period.

They actively suppress the trauma thoughts and flashbacks that cause the symptoms for the disorder and thus intervene for a change in the post-traumatic stress disorder experience of the person. The drugs include but are not limited to monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (Sauer & Bhugra, 2001).  The former includes the drugs used to inhibit monoamine oxidase A or B or both, abbreviated as MAO-A and MAO-B. the two monoamine inhibitors work against depression by functioning as strong anti-depressants and throwing the depressed out of panic and social phobia. As the person becomes less panicked and more sociable, the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are mitigated.

Likewise, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are active and powerful antidepressants, functioning by increasing the extracellular amounts of neurotransmitter serotonin through reduced reabsorption or reuptake into the presynaptic cell. This lowers depression, thus, countering the depressive effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. This calls for, however, a patient and intelligent examination of the progress and a combination with conservative therapy strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing as the length of time for the drug administration is not a direct predictor or factor for the speed of or level of recovery.

Therapy, therefore, should concentrate on eliminating the psycho-social instabilities through a combination of pharmacological and psychological therapies such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and cognitive behavioral therapy (Gutermann, Schwartzkopff & Steil, 2017).

Social Psychology Domain

Social psychology engages itself with the manner or processes and reasons why one person’s acts influence or affect the other. In this domain and in line with Post-traumatic stress disorder, there are several social environment factors that would hinder the full recovery of the Post-traumatic stress disorder patient, even when effective drugs have been provided and complete therapy or recovery has been foreseen. first, physicians and counsellors must understand that in order to design a therapy program for a person suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder and whose impact event that led to the disorder was due to an encounter they went through, the intensity of the disorder is as often directly proportional to the period of time or intensity of exposure they had with the traumatic event.

Chou et al (2011) studied a group of 1966 children who had post-traumatic stress disorder arising from physical abuse by their relatives or a close friend at home. The authors noted that the longer the children, all of whom were from grades 4 to 8, expressed symptomatic PTDS relative to their period of exposure. They had severe peri-traumatic subjective reactions as compared to those exposed for a short time.

This is because during the time of exposure, the traumatic events continue to register in the persons conscious and subconscious mind and their somatic cells end up relating every repeating event of trauma to the former, and subsequently to the first encounter, growing a bolder association of the stimuli and the results of their experience. This implies that a patient who experienced traumatic events for a whole decade should be given more attention, subject to their resilience and response to therapy, that one who has just had a day’s experience.

The social approach is important because while the research indicates a direct relationship between the time of exposure of the patient to the traumatic event, research also finds that intimate partner abuse can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder with a sample of 128 African-American women population, the authors noticed that the strategies the women would choose would determine whether or not they will end up in post-traumatic stress disorder and if yes, to what extent.

The authors noted that both psychological non-physical and physical abuse leads to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, they noted that non-physical psycho-social abuse was more prevalent as compared to the physical abuse (Mills, Hill & Johnson, 2018). What this means is that for a woman living with an abusive woman or a man living with an abusive woman as a husband and wife, there are chances that either party, the aggrieved one, will suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. Given the home setting and husband-wife relationships and the time the two spend together, there will always be prolonged exposure to the trauma-causing abusive events to the abused party.

A wife may spend a prolonged life with an abusive husband and vice versa without opting out of the relationship. Gain, the one party can take advantage of the intimate relationship to advance their ill-aimed mistreatment or violence towards their spouses in an America where husband-wife wrangles and tensions are always a probability. This consists of Runyon, Deblinger & Steer (2014) who noted in their research that parental abuse would lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. In their case, if one parent is caring and comforting while the other one is abusive or neglecting, such a mismatch wouldn’t cancel the probability for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If the one causes the children to go through hellish experiences while the other, probably the mother, creates an encouraging and positive environment for the growing children, they will experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder still. The pampering of one parent cannot, therefore, reverse the damages caused by the other. In their review, the authors noted that the effects brought about by the abusive parent were independent with the love shown by another, meaning that the parent will inflict the son or daughter with trauma-causing experiences that cannot be compensated through love and care from another parent.

As such, proactive prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder includes the training for parents to actively provide the right environment for their children and for relatives of adults suffering the disorder to eliminate cases of inhumane treatment by other family members in order to provide an environment that discourages the development and persistence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Also, Oravecz et al note in their study that post-traumatic stress disorder is not a preserve for persons working in war-torn areas or terror zones, accident occasions and other fatal experiences. They argue and research the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among persons working in Slovene medical emergency units.

The authors realize that post-traumatic stress disorder is common among staff working in ICU and other critical incidence areas in the hospitals, results which can be generalized across the medical profession and the hospital environment all over the world. It is needful, in the spirit of a proactive preventive approach towards post-traumatic stress disorder, to cover such staff as are working in areas that expose them to traumatizing conditions of disease and human sufferings which cause flashbacks among clinical and medical officers. These include all people dealing with broken or missing human limbs out of accidents and other emergencies referred to hospitals and being attended by medical and support staff. One such a program for self-care and organized human resource care ought to be continuous counselling and retraining to cope with and withstand the many cases of critical illnesses and cases of accidents witnessed by the medical officers.

In their studies, Zulueta (2007 and Evans et al (2009) conclude that indeed, persons exposed to September 11, 2001, World Trade Center disaster and persons witnessing mass violence had similar outcomes; they both suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. Zulueta notes that mass violence leads to mass detachment and separation between children and their parents as well as relatives and subject the witnesses to inhumane conditions which trigger trauma symptoms.

Such witnesses may need immediate attention, a subject that delves to the preventive program of post-traumatic stress disorder intervention methods. On the other hand, 842 people who had been involved in the world trade Centre attack showed that those who had any forms of disability were more prone to post-traumatic stress disorder compared to those who didn’t. The two studies outline the need for witnesses of mass violence or terror attacks should be attended to proactively with counselling sessions and especially, those who have any forms of disability, as they are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than those who are whole and healthy.

The September 11, 2001 World Trade Center report reveals that these categories of individuals are more likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder because of their limitations in movement as well as their inability to flee from the scene which subjects them to more horrible conditions of susceptibility as compared to their fellow workers, friends or family members without disabilities.

Rehabilitative Psychology Domain

Understanding the social demographics prone to the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder is as important as is the understanding of cases where the disorder is likely to develop among people undergoing medical care or critical treatment. Rehabilitative psychology deals with the psychological processes among people undergoing medical treatment.

These are being rehabilitated or treatment for serious injuries such as cancer, spinal injury, brain injury among other excruciating diseases. People with such illnesses are likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder due to the memories and/or nightmares they experience. Their therapists ought to understand the challenges they face, the manifestations they have which are symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder and how to address them before they advance to a more serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The likelihood that a worker who witnessed fatalities at the place of work will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is high in the US as well as any other place in the world. In the United Steelworkers research, about 26 percent reported Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms while another 21 percent reported subthreshold Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms (Blake et al, 2014). Blake also notes that such people may benefit if a program for counselling and continuous screening was availed for them and they would be in less danger of developing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Blake and company used a representative population sample of 89 individuals. It is not in industries and factories where accidents are likely to occur where workers are exposed to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. In a separate study by Abeyasinghe and other researchers in 2012, the authors find that people who had been in the military and had lost either one or more limbs or body parts or had suffered a spinal injury in the course of their work developed a post-traumatic stress disorder. Such statistics show how often employees in the military are likely to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, given the many chances of amputations and accidents leading to spinal injury among the men in uniforms.

During their rehabilitation programs, they are prone to flashbacks of the events leading to their injuries and loss of their limbs or the amputation, thus, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. This is akin to the experiences of industrial workers witnessing or being affected by industrial accidents, as studied by Blake et al (2014). Similarly, Wisco et al (2014) carried out a study that involved people who had served in the Afghanistan war as US veterans. In the study, the authors sought to establish the relationship between their experiences and traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation.

Suicidal ideation is a subset of post-traumatic stress disorder but a symptom of other psychological and psychiatric disorders. They found that among the veteran’s study which accounted for 824 males and 825 females, there was an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. These findings point to the devastating results of traumatic experiences by war veterans and their younger ones, those already in the battlefields through the army and other counter-terrorism programs. They also indicate the need for more proactive programs to attend to survivors of war, not just in the battlefield marshal’s category, but also among volunteers and good Samaritans who risk their lives to save perishing souls in war areas.

Bahraini et al (2013) studied a population of people living with and undergoing treatment for traumatic brain injury with an intention to establish the relationship between those undergoing rehabilitation for brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors realized that all the secondary data used, with 16 different and diverse sources screened, pointed to the increased development of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among such patients.

Specifically, suicidal ideation was marked as prevalent ideation among patients undergoing treatment for brain injury caused by traumatic injury. Such populations require active and proactive screening for post-traumatic stress disorder, given the high chances of the development. In the same manner, people suffering from spinal cord injury were all found to have increased chances of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (Otis, Marchand & Courtois, 2012). In a similar but separate study, Caspi and a group of researchers noted that the memory of the traumatic event is associated with increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

While people suffering from critical brain and spinal injury are likely to have flashbacks of what happened, their memory of such events would lead to higher chances and prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder during and after their rehabilitation. The study of 120 subjects showed that those who remember the events will suffer post-traumatic stress disorder while those who don’t remember them will not (Caspi et al, 2005).

These findings, combined with the study on persons who got amputated on either or all limbs, reveals the importance of proactive intervention by counselors to persons or groups of persons undergoing brain, spinal or amputation surgery and treatment. The treatment part is important but is inadequate if the environmental factors in terms of memories will not be addressed. This calls for programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing which help to rebuild the narratives or memories of the events to friendlier versions.

Cognitive Psychology

Having identified the factors leading to, precipitating and contributing to persistence of traumatic flashbacks and other post-traumatic stress disorder manifestations or symptoms, an effective program ought to consider the cognitive behavior and possible approaches to reframing or refashioning the cognitive processes of the patients and people likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to their exposure to diverse situations.

Such factors include how a person views himself once they have post-traumatic stress disorder and the value, they attach to themselves. Keshet, H., Foa, E. B., & Gilboa-Schechtman, E. (2018) shows through empirical research that indeed, women who are victims of traumatization suffer from a negative self-image. Management of post-traumatic stress disorder, therefore, should focus on reversing the negative self-perception of women and reconstructing positivity through the cognitive behavioral therapy ascertained as an effective intervention for long-term recovery. Also, women who are repeatedly teased suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a situation that is common among most societies where wife battering and demeaning is still active and where women suffer direct and indirect teasing from fellow women or workers.

Such an understanding should help cognitive therapists to manage post-traumatic stress disorder among such clients by counselling for teasing and similar exposures. Kishimoto, Goto and Hashimoto (2014), however, notes that such negative effects can be reversed using drugs such as gabapentin and lamotrigine. The drugs help to mitigate painful experiences as well as unpleasant experiences resulting pressure from teasers and other manipulative experiences from peers and men who tease women, as shown by Kishimoto, Goto and Hashimoto.

Prolonged exposure therapy has been recommended as an effective pro-cognitive strategy to address post-traumatic stress disorder among the worst-hit and mild patients, posing as one of the means through which psychologist can address post-traumatic stress disorder (Kumpula et al, 2017). Again, the method can be combined with other effective programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy for effectiveness and efficiency, noting that drugs help to mitigate for the short-term while cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and prolonged exposure normalizes the experiences, reduces the phobia and intervenes for a post-traumatic stress disorder.

In another research, Ogle, Siegler, Beckham and Rubin (2017) find that neuroticism increases post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity by amplifying the emotionality, rehearsal, and centrality of trauma memories. Neurotic persons, that is, people with high scores in the personality trait measures using the big five personality traits, are more prone to post-traumatic stress disorder as the status makes one more easily depressed and subject to anxiety and depression.

The cognitive behavioral therapy, as such, ought to focus on taming neuroticism for such individuals, meaning that the psychologists need to understand the person’s character profile. This, according to Reid (2005), should include active mediation and intervention for the memory reprocessing and reconstruction of the actual experiences through flashbacks. Also, active mediation for insomnia and nightmares, which brings back the old experiences as if they were fresh (Reid, 2005), ought to be addressed to improve both sleep quality and the speed of recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder (Krakow et al, 2001).

Critique

The literature used in this review is an integration of various approaches to research on managing post-traumatic stress disorder using the four domains, that is, clinical, rehabilitative, social and cognitive psychology. The four areas are pre-selected domains, based on the need to approach therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder as a psychological problem that includes various external and internal factors either repressing or enhancing the disorder.

The data from the four domains and the literature reviewed contains results from empirical and scholarly studies by authors using sample studies, giving the results credibility and reliability as an ideal resource portfolio for post-traumatic stress disorder research. the literature fully represents the four domains in terms of both active and proactive interventions as well as internal and external factors affecting the recovery and extent of post-traumatic stress disorder. The use of empirical data and studies enhances generalizability, given that they derive their conclusions from representative samples of subjects using experimental and explorative studies.

They derive their authority from the experimental, explorative and empirical nature, relating real-life experiences of war veterans and women subjected to teasing, domestic violence, children subjected to traumatic experiences such as war and accidents among other experiences, and clinical research in drugs and other therapies for a post-traumatic stress disorder. The studies, nevertheless, do not reveal an outright or evidence-based integration and this is why the literature review aims to explain the need for integrated management of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Integrated Management
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Integrated Management

The pieces of evidence raised from the literature matches the claims made in the introduction that post-traumatic stress disorder needs an integrated approach towards management and therapy since it is a multi-factor disorder. The APA ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct require express permission from the subject’s party to human-subject studies and these have been followed in the majority of the literature above which required human involvement as subjects. The standards were almost uniform across the literature with individuals participating in all the studies doing so upon personal consents from a person with the capacity to give consent, that is, free from any perceptual bias.

Synthesis – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The research review explains, in much detail, the integration of diverse means of treating and managing post-traumatic stress disorder. Chou, Su, Wu and Chen (2011) notes that among other things, the time exposure affects the recovery process while the drug use period doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the treatment. This is necessary for therapists given that the post-traumatic stress disorder problem calls for both pharmacological and conservative methods of therapy. In this case, an integrative approach would call for both drug and non-drug-based therapy programs personalized for the specific cases, given that different groups of individuals have different internal and external factors affecting their ability to recover and the recovery process.

Also, understanding the internal and external environmental inputs should come first in mediating for a post-traumatic stress disorder. This calls for the need to investigate further how the four domains can be effectively applied to fasten and sustain therapy. In the literature, again, cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movements desensitization and reprocessing have been noted as critical approaches towards the treatment and management of post-traumatic stress disorder with a careful drug administration to suppress depression and ignite sociability.

Notably, the literature reveals that understanding the precipitates to post-traumatic stress disorder, the factors that enhance post-traumatic stress disorder, the conditions that suppress post-traumatic stress disorder, the drugs that inhibit the disorder symptoms and the means to intervention for the disorder are all to be jointly addressed for a sustainable therapy for a post-traumatic stress disorder. I propose that a systematic management program ought to include the clinical, empirical and environmental understanding of the individual cases. This ought to include both the stressors the individual is currently facing, the events that triggered the traumatic manifestation and the symptoms party to the specific case, including the drugs most effective in the inhibitory process, in order for a holistic intervention and optimal results to be realized.

The psychologist, again, should seek to understand the social factors, the cognitive factors and therapy options, the clinical evidence and the rehabilitation experiences and voids for people with post-traumatic stress disorder in order to effectively handle the client from an empirical or informed point of view. Finally, effective post-traumatic stress disorder prevention, treatment and management ought to include different players which include pharmacologists, psychologists, and clinicians.

Conclusion

As the literature above has revealed, post-traumatic stress disorder continues to be one of the most challenging mental issues in the world today. While the problem has attracted much research and inquiry into effective combinations of conservative methods and drug-based therapy programs, there is no clear research as to how cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing can be combined with drugs to ensure faster and more effective therapy.

Still, there is a need for a deeper understanding of the interacting factors leading to prolonged or sustained post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among people who have experienced war, industrial accidents, violence and child abuse among other issues of mental torture or trauma. In so doing, the social psychologist needs to participate in developing a good and supportive external environment for the patient to recover.

This may include counselling the caretakers of the patient to avoid such events and stimuli as will remind the person of their traumatic experiences and cognitive behavioral therapy secondary care activities that include physical exercise and social activities. The cognitive psychologist will need to reframe the individual’s self-perception or help the victim to normalize their traumatic experiences through exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy techniques, all of which aim at healing the patient from the short and long term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as the clinicians to effectively identify post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in patients and evidence-based interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder clients.

Such an approach, that is, an integrated approach to post-traumatic stress disorder management using multifaceted psychological approaches, as explained by the research from the four domains of rehabilitative, clinical, social and cognitive psychology, would make post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and management more effective and efficient. It would also make psychologists more effective and knowledgeable, alleviating the health concerns arising from post-traumatic stress disorder-prone populations such as the survivors of war and military strikes as well as the victims of Karen and Burma among other like-stricken areas.

There are however questions to be answered going forward. First, what combinations of the conservative techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and exposure therapy work best and why? The answer to this question would grant psychologist an informed database to rely on for empirical evidence in conservative non-drug-based therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.

Secondly, what would be the best approach for equipping psychologists with the knowledge necessary to implement the four domains in developing a single integrated program for post-traumatic stress disorder therapy? This answer ought to lead the research to the development of a knowledge approach, one in which the psychologist is supposed to understand various modules concerned with the post-traumatic stress disorder integrated management and therapy in order to understand the pharmacological, social and cognitive strategies for an optimal interventional program.

Lastly, the question as to the cost implications of an integrated approach to post-traumatic stress disorder management and treatment arises, seeing that the more knowledgeable the psychologist ought to be, the higher an asset he or she becomes and the more expensive he is likely to become. Also, the more attention is given to individual clients, the more expensive it is likely to be. These are some of the questions that need to be answered alongside the proposition for an integrated approach to post-traumatic stress disorder management.

References

Abeyasinghe, N. L., de Zoysa, P., Bandara, K. M. K. C., Bartholameuz, N. A., & Bandara, J. M. U. J. (2012). The prevalence of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among soldiers with amputation of a limb or spinal injury: A report from a rehabilitation centre in Sri Lanka. Psychology, health & medicine, 17(3), 376-381.

Auxier, A., Farley, T., & Seifert, K. (2011). Establishing an integrated care practice in a community health center. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42(5), 391.

Bahraini, N. H., Simpson, G. K., Brenner, L. A., Hoffberg, A. S., & Schneider, A. L. (2013). Suicidal ideation and behaviours after traumatic brain injury: a systematic review. Brain Impairment, 14(1), 92-112.

Blake, R. A., Lating, J. M., Sherman, M. F., & Kirkhart, M. W. (2014). Probable PTSD and impairment in witnesses of work-related fatalities. Journal of loss and trauma, 19(2), 189-195.

Caspi, Y., Gil, S., Ben-Ari, I. Z., Koren, D., Aaron-Peretz, J., & Klein, E. (2005). Memory of the traumatic event is associated with increased risk for PTSD: A retrospective study of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 10(4), 319-335.

Chou, C. Y., Su, Y. J., Wu, H. M., & Chen, S. H. (2011). Child physical abuse and the related PTSD in Taiwan: The role of Chinese cultural background and victims’ subjective reactions. Child abuse & neglect, 35(1), 58-68.

de Zulueta, C. F. (2007). Mass violence and mental health: Attachment and trauma. International Review of Psychiatry, 19(3), 221-233.

Evans, S., Patt, I., Giosan, C., Spielman, L., & Difede, J. (2009). Disability and posttraumatic stress disorder in disaster relief workers responding to September 11, 2001 World Trade Center disaster. Journal of clinical psychology, 65(7), 684-694.

Ferry, F., Bunting, B., Murphy, S., O’Neill, S., Stein, D., & Koenen, K. (2014). Traumatic events and their relative PTSD burden in Northern Ireland: a consideration of the impact of the ‘Troubles’. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(3), 435-446.

Gutermann, J., Schwartzkopff, L., & Steil, R. (2017). Meta-analysis of the long-term treatment effects of psychological interventions in youth with PTSD symptoms. Clinical child and family psychology review, 20(4), 422-434.

Keshet, H., Foa, E. B., & Gilboa-Schechtman, E. (2018). Women’s self-perceptions in the aftermath of trauma: The role of trauma-centrality and trauma-type. Psychological trauma: theory, research, practice and policy.

Kishimoto, A., Goto, Y., & Hashimoto, K. (2014). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in a female patient following repeated teasing: treatment with gabapentin and lamotrigine and the possible role of sensitization. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 12(3), 240.

Krakow, B., Johnston, L., Melendrez, D., Hollifield, M., Warner, T. D., Chavez-Kennedy, D., & Herlan, M. J. (2001). An open-label trial of evidence-based cognitive behavior therapy for nightmares and insomnia in crime victims with PTSD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(12), 2043-2047.,

Kumpula, M. J., Pentel, K. Z., Foa, E. B., LeBlanc, N. J., Bui, E., McSweeney, L. B., … & Rauch, S. A. (2017). Temporal sequencing of change in posttraumatic cognitions and PTSD symptom reduction during prolonged exposure therapy. Behavior therapy, 48(2), 156-165.

Meyer, E. C., La, H. B., DeBeer, B. B., Kimbrel, N. A., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2018). Psychological inflexibility predicts PTSD symptom severity in war veterans after accounting for established PTSD risk factors and personality. Psychological trauma: theory, research, practice and policy.

Mills, C. P., Hill, H. M., & Johnson, J. A. (2018). Mediated effects of coping on mental health outcomes of African American women exposed to physical and psychological abuse. Violence against women, 24(2), 186-206.

Ogle, C. M., Siegler, I. C., Beckham, J. C., & Rubin, D. C. (2017). Neuroticism increases PTSD symptom severity by amplifying the emotionality, rehearsal, and centrality of trauma memories. Journal of personality, 85(5), 702-715.

Oravecz, R., Penko, J., Suklan, J., & Krivec, J. (2018). Prevalence Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Coping Strategies Among Slovene Medical Emergency Professionals. Sigurnost, 60(2).

Otis, C., Marchand, A., & Courtois, F. (2012). Risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder in persons with spinal cord injury. Topics in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, 18(3), 253-263.

Reid, M. D. (2005). Memory as initial experiencing of the past. Philosophical Psychology, 18(6), 671-698.

Reisman, M. (2016). PTSD treatment for veterans: What’s working, what’s new, and what’s next. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41(10), 623.

Runyon, M. K., Deblinger, E., & Steer, R. A. (2014). PTSD symptom cluster profiles of youth who have experienced sexual or physical abuse. Child abuse & neglect, 38(1), 84-90.

Sauer, J., & Bhugra, D. (2001). Drug treatments in post-traumatic stress disorder. International Review of Psychiatry, 13(3), 189-193.

Seligowski, A. V., Miron, L. R., & Orcutt, H. K. (2015). Relations among self-compassion, PTSD symptoms, and psychological health in a trauma-exposed sample. Mindfulness, 6(5), 1033-1041.

Wisco, B. E., Marx, B. P., Holowka, D. W., Vasterling, J. J., Han, S. C., Chen, M. S., … & Keane, T. M. (2014). Traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and current suicidal ideation among Iraq and Afghanistan US veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27(2), 244-248.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Relevant Links

Psychology Dissertation Topics

Cognitive Psychology Research Project

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Dissertation Proposal Writing

Dissertation Proposal

A dissertation proposal is a document that presents a plan for a dissertation to reviewers for evaluation. It is actually a road map showing clearly the location from where a journey begins; the method of getting there and the destination to be reached at. The purpose of the dissertation proposal is to:

  • Present the problem to be researched and its importance.
  • Give an idea to instructor about how you will proceed in your dissertation.
  • Suggest the data necessary for solving the problem and how the data will be gathered, analysed, and interpreted.

A proposal is also known as a work plan, prospectus, outline, statement of intent, or draft plan. It tells us:

  • What will be done?
  • Why it will be done?
  • How it will be done?
  • Where it will be done?
  • For whom it will be done?
  • What is the benefit of doing it?

Dissertation Proposal Format

Title Page

It should include:

  • The topic
  • Name & ID of the student
  • Name of the university
  • University logo
  • Date of Submission
  • Table of Contents: List the important headings and sub headings in the dissertation proposal with page numbers.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Introduction/Background: Introduce the specific problem you wish to investigate. Describe briefly the background i.e., the impact and implication of the topic/issue on the environment (the specific set up in which you are studying the issue). It should be well elaborated. It is advised to include current facts and figures in background. You should also explain it in context with the work already done on the topic. It should provide all the necessary initial information so that the reader can better understand the situation under study.

Objectives: State the objectives/goals of the research, keeping in mind the following points:

  • These should state the purpose of the dissertation
  • These must be based on logical facts and figures
  • These must be achievable within specified timeframe and parameters
  • These objectives should be presented such that these should facilitate the reader to locate various important points in the research work
  • The specified objectives should be clearly phrased in operational terms specifying exactly what you are going to do, where and for what purpose?
  • At the end of the study, objectives must be assessed to see if they have been met/achieved or not

Significance: It lays down the importance or potential benefits of your dissertation. It specifies how your study will improve, modify or broaden presented facts in the field under exploration. Make a note that such improvements/ modifications may have significant implications also. When you are taking into account the importance of your study, pose yourself the following questions:

  • What will be the outcomes of this research study?
  • Will the results of this research contribute to the solution or development of anything related to it?
  • What will be improved or changed as a result of the proposed research?
  • How will results of the study be implemented and what innovations will come out?

Problem Statement/Research Question: It describes the main issue or area to be investigated. The problem is usually represented by the research questions. Research questions are very crucial because research is about finding out what may not be known. Poorly formulated problem/question will lead to pitiable research that’s why researcher must know the question he/she would like to find answer for. The following aspects are important while formulating a problem statement/research question:

 A problem statement/research question should be researchable, clear, logical, specific, precise and brief yet comprehensive statement, fully describing the issue under study.

The research problem should be grammatically correct and completely convey the main idea to be investigated.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

A literature review is citation/quotation of a comprehensive review of the published work from secondary sources (journals, research papers, etc) of data in the areas of specific interest to the researcher according to the problem/issue of research. The purpose of literature review is to ensure that:

  • Important variables that are likely to influence the problem situation are not left out of the study
  • A clear idea emerges as to which variables would be the most important to consider.
  • The problem statement can be made with precision and accuracy.

Note: It is important to cite at least 30 findings of researchers in the literature review.

Chapter 3: Conceptual/Theoretical Framework – Dissertation Proposal

Conceptual/Theoretical Framework can be best narrated with the help of sophisticated diagrams mentioning the independent and dependent variables and their causal affects and final outcomes. The main headings in the theoretical framework are:

  • Inventory of variables
  • Schematic diagram
  • Direction of relationship
  • Explanation of established relationship among variables
  • Inventory of propositions in a sequential order
  • Hypotheses (Formal statement that presents the expected relationship between an independent and dependent variable)

Hypotheses are the tentative statements that should either be acknowledged or rejected by means of research. Hypotheses give structure and direction to the research. Therefore, care should be taken not to oversimplify and generalize the formulation of hypothesis. It is not necessary that the research should consist of only one hypothesis. The type of problem area

investigated and the extent which encircles the research field are the factors which determine the number of hypotheses to be included in the study. It is formulated when the researcher is totally aware of the theoretical and empirical background to the problem. There are two types of hypotheses “Null” and “Alternate”. Generally, the null hypothesis is used if theory/literature does not propose a hypothesized connection between the variables under study; the alternative is generally reserved for situations in which theory/research recommends a connection or directional interplay.

Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation Proposal

Chapter 4: Research Methodology

The methodology section should portray how each specific objective will be achieved, with enough details to permit an autonomous evaluation of the proposal. The technical procedures for carrying out the dissertation must be explained in a manner appropriate for the reader. This section should include:

Research Design: Is the study exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory? Why does this particular design suit to the study?

Data Collection Sources: Describe all the sources that will be used for data collection.

  • Primary sources
  • Secondary sources

Data Collection Methods:

How will the primary data be collected i.e. survey(s), experiment(s), observation(s) etc.? Is it possible to use multiple methods? If yes provide justification.

Sample Design:

  • What is the target population?
  • What sampling frame will be used?
  • What type of sampling technique will be used?

Data Collection Tools/Instruments:

Which tools will be used for data collection (i.e., Questionnaire, Structured Interviews, Observations, etc) according to the need of the dissertation?

  • Why a particular tool is selected?
  • Is it possible to use multiple tools? If yes provide justification.
  • Fieldwork/Data Collection:
  • How will the data be collected?
  • How will the quality control be assured during data collection?
  • How will the answers about practical issues be answered? For example, if you are going to carry out survey, then think about where and for how long this survey will be carried out? Will organizations (specify names) provide you access (physical, time, documents, etc) to what you need for your research?
  • Data Processing & Analysis: (Methods you will use to extract and process the information you will gather)
  • How will the analysis be carried out?
  • Scoring scheme/scale and the statistical methods that will be applied for the analysis of data should be described.
  • Which software package (MS Excel, SPSS, etc.) will be used for data entry and analysis?

Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of source materials on a particular subject. In a formal report, it includes books and other library materials which have been consulted in preparation of the project. As part of the reference matter, it follows the appendices.

Relevant Links – Dissertation Proposal

Dissertation Research Proposal For University Students

Dissertation Examples – Sample Dissertations

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Real Estate Meltdown Project

Real Estate Meltdown

Real estate meltdown, otherwise referred to as the ‘housing bubble’ refers to a period where housing prices decline across the United States further leading to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. These lead to fears that the country was headed back to a depression similar to the Great Depression of 1945. There has been a lot of explanations as to what lead to the housing meltdown, but the real question is, could it be possible that the crisis could have been avoided? My aim purpose in this paper is to bring into discussion why the disaster should have been averted and if we are at risk of facing it again.

To arrive at my goals, first, we would have to look at what were the causes of the housing meltdown in the period 2006- 2008. With the crush of the housing market, economist and financial pundits came up with many explanations as to what lead to the bubble some of which the extent of their impact yet to be determined. It is therefore important to realize that a single factor did not cause the decline in the housing market but a number of them together.

Decline In Mortgage Interest Rates

 In economics, we learn that when the rate of savings is low, interests tend to go high. However, that was not the case during the housing bubble. Mortgage rates were little despite saving rates being low mainly because of saving getting into the US economy from outside countries like China and Japan. According to Bernanke (2009), the net savings from outside the country increased from an estimate of 1.5% of GDP IN 1995 to 6% as of 2006.

With the aim of making better returns from investment at lower risk, investors moved from US government securities to mortgage-backed securities that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issued. They receive sponsorship from the government, and investors expected that in case of unforeseen circumstances the government would bail the two out. Hence they were low risk.

In addition to a real estate meltdown, mortgage-backed securities received better ratings issued by one of the best rating agencies like Standard & Poor. With the housing prices rising, low mortgage interest rates had a hand in the housing bubble by enabling more house buyers to afford to pay their monthly dues. According to Robert Schultz, increase in the speculation house prices is what made the prices to go up steadily. Speculators did purchase housing at a lower cost to sell when prices go up. With regards to the 2001 period of recession, the Federal government lowered interest rates to keep the economy going. Hence the second cause of housing meltdown.

Reduction In Short-Term Rates of Interest

From 2002 to 2004 the government lowered interest rates with the aim of making a recovery from the earlier recession of 2001. It affected the housing bubble because with the constant rise in the housing prices while household income is remaining steady, homeowners were not able to afford a payment of their mortgage loans at current rates and therefore resorted to adjustable mortgage rates which were preferable at the moment. However, when the rates began to rise, this proved to be unmanageable for homeowners.

The other way was because of leveraging, that is where loans borrowers used their borrowed money to invest. It, therefore, encouraged mortgage lending and thus increasing house prices. When the housing bubble hit, the high level of leverage that was present in the economy worsened the decline in the cost of housing.

Lack Of Strict Rules on Issuing of Mortgage Loans

During the period after the recession, the government of President Bill Clinton did not impose strict rules to financial institutions on the issuance of mortgage loans with the aim of increasing the number of homeownerships. With a reduction in the mortgage fees increased competition among mortgage loan issuing firms and therefore they had to relax their standards to obtain their market share. By the fact that there were securities issued on mortgage loans prompted this.

An increase in subprime mortgages which refers to mortgages issued to persons that were likely to default demonstrates this. Although these kinds of mortgages charged higher rates due to the risk, the all practice was not worth it.

Real Estate Meltdown Project
Real Estate Meltdown Project

Absurd Speculation

The fact that everyone believed that prices of housing would go up did contribute to the bubble. According to Robert Shiller (2005) in his book ‘irrational exuberance’ which refers to high levels of speculative fever had indeed added to the housing bubble. From house buyers, mortgage lenders, rating agencies to even the government, none of them ever imagined that the prices of housing would ever go down.

Why The Housing Bubble Could Have Been Avoided – Real Estate Meltdown

From my analysis on the factors that lead to the housing, all the above factors did contribute to the bubble, but the main factor being the pointless speculation that the housing prices would continue going being on the rise and there was no reason to suggest otherwise. That is why, according to Robert Shiller (2005) irrational exuberance in any price bubble is difficult to notice, very hard to prevent and neither is it of value to avoid.

However, this could have been avoided if only the players who took part in the excessive speculation of prices of housing could have thought otherwise. The belief by credit rating agencies and foreign investors that prices of house in the US would go up was the primary factor that encouraged mortgage interest rates to remain so low. This notion also leads to a rise in the level of leverage experienced in the economy. The reason being low-interest rates encouraged borrowing for investment on housing with prospects of making good returns upon prices increasing.

I also think that the government regulatory agency should have regulated the constant rise in prices of housing. It could have lowered the speculation and hence chances of leverages being experienced in the economy being minimal. A control of Investment banks and mortgage issuing agencies was necessary. There is supposed to be a set of rules to be followed. Without rules there are chances of thing running out of control.

I also believe that then the government did not receive a better monetary policy to adopt. With the constant rise in prices of housing, it was not in the best interest of the federal government to lower bank rates to increase the number of house owners. The pricing of housing is similar to any other item, the law of supply and demand applies.

The Possibility of Another Bubble Leading to Real Estate Meltdown

There has been a lot of speculation in the media that we are about to experience another housing bubble just a decade after the last occurrence that leads to a financial crisis in the economy. Currently, the average cost of purchasing a house is quite high compared to ordinary income. It is one of the aspects that we need to watch out. Mortgage lenders on the other side are much strict, and real estate investors have hard time to make sells with housing staying as long as three months without being sold. There is a belief that prices of housing are going to return to normalcy the moment investors having high desires of making good returns leave the market. It is only a speculation, but with the current state of house prices I cannot rule out the possibility of another bubble.

Conclusion

Real estate is indeed a venture that is quite rewarding, but this may change as we have seen from our discussion on the events of house prices bubbles. However, I believe that prevention was needed long before it occurred by required government policies through regulating the prices of housing. Indeed it is necessary not to leave any stone un-turned since we cannot rule out the chances of another bubble. We can learn from its experience and be ready to prevent its re-occurrence.

Works Cited

Holt, Jeff. A summary of the primary causes of the housing bubble and the resulting credit crisis: A non-technical paper. The Journal of Business Inquiry 8.1 (2009): 120-129.

Schwartz, Herman M. Subprime nation: American power, global capital, and the housing bubble. Cornell University Press, 2009.

CQ Press Research, ‘Mortgage Crisis and Real Estate Meltdown ’ (Nov 2007); 926-927

Gramlich, Edward M., and Robert D. Reischauer, Subprime Mortgages: America’s Latest Boom and Bust, Urban In-stitute Press, 2007.

Cheng, I. A., Sahil Raina, and Wei Xiong. “Wall Street and the Housing Bubble: Bad Incentives, Bad Models, or Bad Luck?” University of Michigan mimeo, April (2012).

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Computer Science Ethics Project

Computer Science Ethics

Title: Computer Science Ethics. As time progresses and moves forward the human race is always maintained in the mindset and zone of development. Humans are always seeking to reach higher grounds in every field unleashing a new dawn on the planet with the future realm. Technology is one of the main things that progress frequently with new fields being introduced day by day which helps the planet understand a lot of different things about our universe together with easing our daily work and routine. Ever since the introduction of the machinery to our planet humans have been fond with the fact that some physical object can carry out the same work intended for us without having to worry one bit about the outcome or what is happening in the process.

Times kept progressing and the reality has changed to the virtual world where humans focused on creating means to envision the unknown and to achieve your work in a virtual world called the internet which is now the most commonly used technology in the world. However, one of the main tools that helps in making all of this possible is the computer science and software engineering fields as a whole.

These two professions or fields are the essence and core of the machinery and the virtual world even though they are staged on what they call “the backend” of the whole project. A computer scientist is the person who developed lines of code, in a certain coding language, that when put together can form a functional asset.

This asset can be a software, a program, a website or even something as big as the internet. It should be stated that the most wanted jobs on earth through the past 5 years and the next 10 years is going to revolve around computer scientist and software engineers as this is current century we live in and this is the leading technology for humans at the moment leading for more need of computer science ethics. The programmer holds the power to shape the software as intended together with collecting personal information from the users and can easily track the tasks being conducted by the users as well. This gives them a huge room and deal over owning a software, service or even a website as they hold many priceless data.

There might be millions of software engineers out there in the world with high paying jobs and capabilities that can rule this world. However, with great power comes great responsibility as there are many different setbacks and hard situations that such people face while carrying out their job which might change their whole life. This is due to the fact that such jobs have the opportunity to collect any type of personal data needed from the users of the particular product they are developing.

Computer Science Ethics and the British Computer Society (BSC)

As a simple example, Facebook has a database that saves your e-mail, phone number, interests, likes, photos and almost everything you are interested in. Imagine what would happen if fakebook gives this information about you to a certain person; it kills all the privacy you should have as a person. This leads us to the most controversial topic related to software engineering which is the different ethical issues that circulates the profession as a whole. These kinds of ethical issues can be met and faced in various different forms which are hard to keep track off and should be respected at all times to protect the information of users and other stakeholders.

The main basic mean that helps a programmer in maintaining healthy ethics in this job would be the British Computer Society code of conduct (BCS) which is a book that holds the basic rules and ethics of being a programmer together with the dos and don’ts that should be carried on. Furthermore, it states what would be the consequences of breaching the code of conduct in full details helping the programmer understand the importance of the ethics.

This code of conduct has four main points that forms the ethics that should be followed together with somehow detailed information of each point. The first main point stated in the BCS is to respect and have regards towards the public interest of the society. This would mean to respect certain points like public health, privacy, rights of third parties and to never discriminate between people while conducting the work.

The second point to look out for in the BCS is to focus on the professional competence and integrity. This point holds within it the guidelines on which you should accept a task or not, based on your skills and knowledge. Furthermore, it speaks out to the professional work frame that you should always have like delivering work on time and always accepting criticism no matter what. This point might be common between any code of conduct in the world regardless of the profession. The third point included in the BCS revolves around the responsibility that the programmer has towards the authorities. This point is important as it assess the fact that programmers should not get involved in tasks that might affect any authority out there and should respect the laws in that certain place.

Furthermore, it speaks out generally on respecting the authority that you are working for prohibiting you from sharing the information to a different authority or causing a conflict between authorities. Last but not least, the BCS tackle the point of the programmer’s responsibility to the profession itself. This would mean to be effective and efficient at all times and try to show good case practices to other people in order to promote and encourage outsiders to join the software engineering society.

This BCS should be kept in mind at all times by any programmer no matter how big or small the task is without any exceptions as following the guidelines stated above is the key to a healthy and ethical work journey. On the other hand, not compelling with the states guidelines of the BCS would led to severe legal issues and might probably stop you from being able to work again in this field.

This code of conduct forms the general frame of situations that might be faced during the conduction of your profession together with a general idea on how to take decision regarding accepting jobs. However, it does not include every single event you might face in your life as a programmer which forms a problem for software engineers especially in this modern era due to the different small loopholes that exist in this field. This has led many different programmers to be confused regarding their decision making and the extent to which they can carry on their job. Other reasons why programmers break the code of conduct would be different incentives that might be introduced by the client, which is usually the case with money.

Yet, let’s move forward and discuss the different and most common situations out there which modern programmers face regarding maintaining their ethics. To begin with, the first main faced problem by programmers, as stated before is the fact that they have log files. These log files are records of literally every single step taken by the users of the certain software which can act as a tracker to the users. These files are important to help the programmer debug the system if it faced any type of problem.

However, having these files would mean that the programmer can see exactly what is being done by the users, thus it kills any privacy the user has the right to have.An example of a business that deals with log files in a smart way is Snapchat. Snapchat deletes log files the second it has been dealt with by the intended user, which from a programmer’s point of view is a very weak system. Yet, the users have loved and respected the idea of the privacy and the system that forgets easily.

This might not seem as a big deal when you look at the smaller picture, but you need to understand that these types of personal information in the wrong hands might affect the users in many different ways negatively. Imagine the insurance company gained more information about the smoking situation of a certain client, they will be sure to increase the rates in no time.

The second ethical issue faced by programmers worldwide is the fact that all the different clients out there are always looking to suck up money out of the pockets and wallets of users as a whole. This forces some programmers to change their business model from a service to an ATM machine that only allows depositing the money.

There is generally no free service on the internet, but actually the non-free service is already ready but it is being promoted for free in order to attract the highest number of users and then slowly charging fees for the same service that was free a week ago.In order to prevent any problems from happening, programmers should include a tiny timeline which shows when will the charges be set on this product in order to absorb any shock that will affect the people. This dilemma generally evolves to a bigger problem which is the fact that most business out there do not earn enough money from their online services if they keep it for free.

This may lead to a model being conducted by the firm that allows the sharing of the user’s information in order to make more money from interested partners. This is a dilemma due to the fact that the programmer should achieve their job by fulfilling the needs of the client while still maintaining the right privacy for the users and not breaching the code of conduct. This forces the any software engineer to focus on what is asked of him and to ensure that such situations are communicated clearly to the users beforehand in order to rationalize the problem.

Computer Science Ethics Project
Computer Science Ethics Project

Moving on the third point and a very important point to keep in mind while programming, is the concept of protection and the different layers of security that should be available and included over the user’s data. There is no doubt that involving protection is a must over the programmer to be able to protect the data of the users of the certain software.

However, the problem arises when the programmer keeps asking himself if this is enough protection or should there be more layers to protect the user and their work. If a programmer does not provide the right protection for the users of his program then he is definitely violating the BCS and is not showing right work ethics. However, the point at which enough protection is subtle is relative and different from one person to the other and from one task to the other. This forms the problem as in moments a programmer can claim that he has done enough to protect the users rights yet a user can claim that they need more privacy.

Furthermore, the problem in adding more security layers is weak and slow performance that will be obtained from the service. Hence, a solution like double-encryption for example, might not be the best idea out there even if it is suitable for the users themselves. To make matters worse, any mistake or problem in the final algorithm will stop the whole system and can only be undone by restarting the whole algorithm and system.

Adding to much security to a service, limits the programmer from adding tons of features that would take the product to the next level thus some programmers might not care about security as much as they would care about adding more modern features to their users.

Moving on to the next ethical issue faced by programmers which is the decision on whether to fix bugs in the algorithm or not. You might ask yourself “why wouldn’t the programmer fix the bugs in their own system?” Well, you need to understand that most bugs are too hard to understand and analyze and even harder to be solved as it needs efforts to go through the whole algorithm and deep thinking on the method of solving.

This fact causes tons of different bugs worldwide left unhanded by the engineers as it is not of a great concern. However, is it ethical to not solve all bugs that arise and leave a few problems met by the user as is? This is where the programmers get stuck and have different point of views. Yet, with all the contradicting point of views, the scenario most of the times turns out with no action taken because there is no definitive action to actually take. You, as a programmer, are obliged by the BCS to always do your best and solve any problem that arises according to the professional ethics law.

However, it is not always the case nor is it always solvable by humans, which is what programmers consider as an exceptional case. The dilemma keeps growing on the fact that the size of the problem is only relative to the software engineer himself and may differ from one person to the other, showing no clear guidelines on when to leave bugs as is and when to start taking a step to solve the problems.

Another different ethical problem would be the range of algorithm expansion. This is quite similar to the past two points, where having more lines of code increases the chances for facing more problems and aiding individuals to misuse the algorithm in many different way. It is truly not the responsibility of the programmer at all if other people misuse his software or algorithm by any mean however, he should at least do his part in providing the right algorithm with the best efficiency.

A tiny example would be the laptop’s camera which has an LED associated with turning on the camera as an indication. However, if you surf through the algorithm of this system, you might find a loophole to help you decouple the LED from the camera allowing you or anyone else to hack the device and spy on the target. The challenge here would be for the programmer to anticipate the different problems that might be met through their software and try to find an alternative to coding which can solve the problem. The solution here was the oldest type of camera which was the shutter camera which had a physical gate blocking the lenses which can only be removed by the user of the laptop.

The last two main problems worth mentioning that every programmer can relate too easily is the data requests dilemma and the forces by the nature of the internet. Concerning data requests, it is always relative on to which extent should the programmer defend the customers. For most website and service that works by collecting data (during the sign up process) there comes a time where your company will be asked to provide or sell this data to the government or any other interested party. Here rises a huge conflict between compiling with what is asked from a legal entity and preserving the privacy of your users.

The problem is the fact that it is almost impossible to go toe to toe with the legal entities or the governmental authorities as the process will take too much effort and probably all of your funds. Usually companies that go through this situation tend to leave the firm or just comply as it is always hard to do anything else. The second point for concern is the method of interacting with the nature of the internet as this modern invention is full of hassles. Simply, as an international law student would be aware, each and every country has its own set of laws. Laws might be almost similar but only between countries of the same level.

Trying to develop a software or a service might mean that the initial privacy and ethical standards that a programmer would provide would be enough to suite only the needs of the users of the local country concerned. However, when this product expands, the programmer is stuck, not knowing whether to set terms relevant to this country or the other one. Furthermore, there might be a lot of collisions between what is needed from one government and what is not essential for the other. Thus, it is impossible to have a software or algorithm that can fit all the different standards and it’s always a hassle to find the right guidelines which will help you benefit as much people as possible.

These were just a few of the many different situations, problems, hassles and loopholes that are likely to be face and common between all software engineers and programmers worldwide. With this being said, it is important to find the right way to answer and assess such problems as there should be a solution taken to solve for all this.

It is important to consider and keep in mind the ethics of work and code of conduct at all times while trying to perform the job and while taking decisions in order to at least tone decrease the margin for any issues that might arise. The best practices out there is to always understand who are the audience for this certain product on the long run, hence trying to always set your algorithms initially to fit all standards. Furthermore, a good programmer should always have a clear look towards the future of the product and the development that might arise.

This is because development of a product is usually the factor that starts the breakdown of certain rules and ethics. It is important for the programmer to always include in the contract biding between them and their client, firm clauses that stops any future amendments to change important security features. The main point behind the ethics and the code of conduct is to mainly preserver the privacy of the users together with the credibility and integrity of the software engineer. The best advice out there to any programmer is to always be open and honest to the users and clients. Being open with all the problems and the different under staged deals that are being communicated by other firms or governmental entities. Having the people observe what is happening is a key that will have all your users aid you and stand beside or just accept the terms as they know how you are bounded.

Regardless of the presence of a solution or not, it is a must over all software engineers to respect and follow the BCS code of conduct at all times as the oath they swore is of important honor. However, speculations by time has been surrounding the code of conduct due to outdated clauses that it holds and a lot of people has suggested a few changes to the code of conduct which will help more specific ideas be tackled rather than just a general vague concept. Different conferences have been held every once in a while in order to discuss these ideas and quite few minor changes has been accompanied as a conclusion and this is something we are much more looking forward to. The best part is that the process of amendment takes place in certain overseas conferences that holds hundreds of worldwide software engineers. This would mean, that your voice as a programmer will be heard and what you have been put through can actually be prevented from happening again.

As a conclusion, there are a lot of different problems and hard-ons that a software engineer might face though out their professional career despite the amazing perks that this career might provide. As stated earlier, with great power comes great responsibility and it is important for all employees out there to show respect towards the responsibility put upon them. The setbacks can range from personal decision-making situations where the programmer has to choose whether to put more effort in a certain task or not, while other situations might be forced by external factors whether it’s the client, other buyers or the government itself.

Such external factors are harder to deal with, however there should be great precautions taken by the engineer even before the problem arise which can at least give them a starting push when in face of trouble. There should be no exception at all times to break the code of conduct no matter what the case is and this is what is being taught to all graduated programmers as it is the essence of a successful work life.-

References

Botting, R. J. (2005). Teaching and learning ethics in computer science. Proceedings of the 36th SIGCSE technical symposium on Computer science education – SIGCSE 05.

Kizza, J. M. (2016). Computer Science Ethics and Ethical Analysis. Ethics in Computing Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science, 17-38.

Miller, K. (1988). Integrating Computer Science Ethics into the Computer Science Curriculum. Computer Science Education, 1(1), 37-52.

1981 British computer society conference. (1981). Computers in Industry, 2(4), 311-312.

British Computer Society. (n.d.). International Year Book and Statesmen Whos Who.

Alpert, S. A. (1996). Doctoral essays in computer ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 2(2), 225-247.

The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. (2004). Computer Science Ethics Handbook, Second Edition CD-ROM.

Sillars, M. (2002). The British Computer Society industry structure model. IEE Seminar Technical Competence Frameworks – seeing through the fog.

Bynum, T. W. (2000). Special section on computer ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics, 6(2), 205-206.

Quinn, M. J. (2006). On teaching computer ethics within a computer science department. Science and Engineering Ethics, 12(2), 335-343.

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Reliability and Validity Academic Research

Reliability and Validity

Inter-rater reliability

Reliability and Validity in Research – This is a statistical concept in the field of research whereby a particular phenomenon is being evaluated or rated by various raters. It is, therefore, the extent or degree to which there is an agreement in the rating scores amongst the multiple raters, which brings about homogeneity and unanimity amongst these raters. To measure inter-rater reliability, it entails taking the total number of ratings in a particular judgment conducted, as well as the counting the accumulative ratings are done in the rating exercise. The total number of agreements is then divided by the total number of ratings and converted into a percentage to give the inter-rater reliability. McHugh (2012) provides a good example of how inter-rater reliability is calculated by reviewing the various methods that have been stipulated by scholars previously.

Test-retest reliability

This is also another reliability aspect. Test-retest reliability is the extent or degree to which results obtained from a particular test (which is similar) and consistent over time. In test-retest reliability, a similar test is administered to the same people in two or more instances and then the results are evaluated. To measure the test-retest reliability, there are two primary formulas applied. The first formula, which is better applied in instances where two tests were conducted in the Pearson Correlation formula that tests how well two sets of data correlate.

The other method is intraclass correlation formula that is applicable where more than two tests were administered. These formulas help calculate the test-retest coefficients that range between 0 and 1. In his article on validity and reliability in social science research, Drost (2011) provides the various reliability and validity aspects and gives detailed examples of the test-retest reliability measurement.

Face validity

Face validity, which is also referred to as the logical validity, entails the extent or degree to which an evaluation or investigation intuitively seems to quantify or measure the variable or rather the theory that it is objectively meant to measure. This, therefore, means that face validity is when a specific evaluation or assessment tool does what it is meant to do to provide results. To measure face validity, one can engage in the assessment of the concepts or ideas to be measured against the theoretical and practical applications.

Predictive validity

This is the measure of how accurate or effective a given value from a research study is and can be used in the future or rather to predict future patterns in the field studied. In their research on the predictive validity of public examinations (Obioma & Salau, 2007) use the predictive validity aspect to predict how the performance of students in public examinations will affect their future academic performances in the university and college level.

Concurrent reliability and validity

This entails the degree to which current test results relate to results from a previous test. For instance, if in the measurement of an individual’s IQ test are taken at two varied intervals, concurrent validity is measured through comparing on how closely similar are these results from the two tests. A good example of research that has employed the use of concurrent validity is the research done by (Tamanini et al., 2004) on the Portuguese king’s health test performed on women after stress. The researchers indicate how this test is applied and measured by using it as their primary test in their research.

Addressing the issues of reliability and validity

On most qualitative researchers, the nature of the data is more important to the researcher than the other descriptive elements of the research. This, however, does not rule out the need for conciseness in the descriptive sections. Reliability in research entails the concerns the stability, consistency of the data as well as homogeneous repeatability of the results if several tests are done (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber 2014). On the other hand, validity entails the accuracy and integrity of the data or results collected from the various tests that a researcher performs. Various researchers address these issues of validity and reliability in different ways, based on the purpose and the kind of research they carry out.

The authors, Obioma & Salau, (2007), go down to research on the effects of public examinations on the future academic performance of students. The focus here, therefore, is more on the data validation to ensure that their conclusions, as well as the outcomes of the results, have the required accuracy and integrity to validate their arguments. The two authors and researchers have applied the aspects of predictive and concurrent validity in their research. In regards to the use of predictive validity, this is where their research question is based on.

Reliability and Validity Research
Reliability and Validity in Research

They have made sure that the data or the arguments that they bring forth as substantially valid and convincing to attain the objective of predicting the future academic performances of the children who undertake the public examinations that are governed by the various bodies in the country. They have however not applied any reliability aspects in their research. At least not anyone that can be easily identified.

In the book by Drost, he has touched on both aspects; validity and reliability. In this book, he has not presented it in a research form but rather brought it out to the readers in the form of a review of both aspects of research, but on the dimension of social sciences. For instance, she has covered the various instances of both validity and reliability, by providing real-life examples and the various methods that can be used to measure the respective instances of both aspects. She approaches the concepts of validity and reliability from a general perspective whereby she accounts for the reasons as to why researchers, especially in education and social sciences, should adopt a culture of ensuring validity and reliability in their results. He explains the various instances of reliability and provides formulas and tools that can be effectively applied to measure these instances. She also provides the various elements that can impact the level of validity and reliability of data or results in research.

In conclusion, the concepts of validity and reliability are important in research. The researcher from various fields should adopt a culture of achieving these concepts in the results they obtain during their research. As Drost argues it, strong support for the validity and the reliability of research not only makes the research highly validated or otherwise believed in but also limits the possible critiques that the research may face. It fills the gaps that may be identifiable in the research. A researcher should be able to understand the various instances of both reliability and validity as well as know when it is appropriate to apply what instance in the research.

References

McHugh, M. L. (2012). Interrater reliability: the kappa statistic. Biochemia Medica, 22(3), 276-282.

Drost, E. A. (2011). Validity and reliability of social science research. Education Research and perspectives, 38(1), 105.

Obioma, G., & Salau, M. (2007). The predictive validity of public examinations: A case study of Nigeria. Nigerian Educational Research & Development Council (NERDC) Abuja.

Tamanini, J. T., Dambros, M., D’ancona, C. A., Palma, P. C., Botega, N. J., Rios, L. A., & Netto Jr, N. R. (2004). Concurrent validity, internal consistency and responsiveness of the Portuguese version of the King’s Health Questionnaire (KHQ) in women after stress urinary incontinence surgery. International Braz j Urol, 30(6), 479-486.

LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2014). Reliability and validity. G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber. Nursing research. Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice, 289-309.

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