Helpful Hints on Living in Difficult Times

Preventing Suicide

ignacioMaking a con­nec­tion with one per­son, even a ther­a­pist, can keep you alive,” says Gil Zals­man a psy­chi­atric researcher at Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty. What can pre­vent sui­cide for those of us at risk? Stud­ies, found that clin­i­cians were able to reduce self-harm for patients with a his­to­ry of self-harm by mak­ing phone calls to them. Anoth­er study dis­cov­ered that when patients are released from the hos­pi­tal and are then sent a post­card remind­ing them of a hot­line num­ber to call, their sui­cide attempts are decreased sui­cide by 50%.

Children’s Standards for Judging Morals

A preschool child judges teach­ers’ and care­tak­ers’ good behav­ior by the out­come but also by the adult’s intent. A study by Yale Uni­ver­si­ty psy­chol­o­gists Star­mans and Bloom (2015) found that 3 – 8 year olds pre­dict­ed bet­ter out­come from char­ac­ters who act­ed moral­ly and deci­sive­ly. They did not eval­u­ate favor­ably those who had to over­come immoral desires to do the wrong thing. Young chil­dren favored a per­son who enact­ed an immoral deed with a clear con­science over one who had men­tal­ly strug­gled before com­mit­ting a good deed. Thus, chil­dren appear to val­ue inner har­mo­ny between action and con­science. Adults nor­mal­ly cred­it some­one who over­comes temp­ta­tion to act wrong, as stronger moral fiber than some­one who was not tempt­ed at all.

Between 4 and 5 year old chil­dren, research found that the old­er pre-school­ers expect­ed an aggres­sor to show remorse after break­ing anoth­er child’s toy. “Five-year-olds very clear­ly pre­fer a trans­gres­sor who shows remorse; they think that that per­son has done the right thing, and they think that the non-remorse­ful trans­gres­sor is mean­er and has not done the right thing,” says researcher Amr­isha Vaish.

Resources: Works Cit­ed
Bloom, Paul and Star­mans, Christi­na (2015). Adults Val­ue Over­com­ing Temp­ta­tion, Kids Val­ue Moral Puri­ty. Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence.
Kel­ly, Jane; (2016) When Do Chil­dren Show Moral­i­ty? UVA Today.
Schwartz-Lif­shitz, Maya; Zals­man, Gil; Gin­er, Lucas; Oquen­do, Maria A. (2012). Can We Real­ly Pre­vent Sui­cide?
Yip, Paul S F; Caine, Eric; Yousuf, Saman; Chang, Shu-Sen; Wu, Kevin Chien-Chang; Chen, Ying-Yeh. (2012). Sui­cide 3: Means Restric­tion for Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion. The Lancet.

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