Monitor on Psychology - September 2011 - (Page 14)

brief In Snapshots of some of the latest peer-reviewed research within psychology and related fields. at least one twin was diagnosed with autism. The team analyzed the autism incidence rate among the other twins in the pairs for both the identical twins, who are nearly genetically identical to their siblings, and the fraternal twins, who share about half their genes. Among all of the pairs, both twins grew up in the same environment. All told, about 55 percent of autism cases in the study could be explained by growing up in the same environment and 37 percent could be attributed to genetics — a much higher ratio of environment to genetics than has been previously reported. (In press in Archives of General Psychiatry, archgenpsychiatry.2011.76) n As few as two one-on-one talks about marijuana’s health effects could help kids reduce their potsmoking, according to researchers at the University of Washington and Virginia Tech. About one-third of American high school students report smoking marijuana somewhat regularly. Many would like to quit or reduce their smoking but don’t know how, the researchers say. Researchers set up informational meetings for high school students who wanted to learn more about the health effects of smoking marijuana. Volunteers either heard two educational talks about the effects of cannabis or took part in two motivational sessions where the student and counselor discuss the student’s own motivations for smoking or wanting to quit. Students who engaged in the motivational sessions used about 20 percent less of the drug in the following two months. Those who heard the Freedom and autonomy are found to be among the biggest predictors of well-being. n Feeling free and independent increases people’s sense of well-being more than wealth does, suggests a metaanalysis by researchers at Wellington in New Zealand. They looked at studies that asked participants about their health, wealth and happiness. All together, the 638 studies covered 420,599 people in 63 countries. The researchers found that individualism, personal freedom and autonomy were the biggest predictors of well-being. While money helps satisfy basic needs, the drive to do as one chooses appeared to be the 14 most important factor in determining overall well-being. However, too much individualism separates families and causes anxiety, reducing well-being, the study found. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 101, No. 1, http:// n Environmental factors might contribute more to autism spectrum disorders than genetic factors do, according to new research. In the study, researchers looked at 192 pairs of fraternal and identical twins in which Monitor on psychology • septeMber 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - September 2011

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Supreme Court hears psychologists on prison and video game cases
Antipsychotics are overprescribed in nursing homes
New MCAT likely to recognize the mind-body connection
A $2 million boost for military and families
In Brief
On Your Behalf
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Speaking of Education
An uncertain future for American workers
Advocating for psychotherapy
Seared in our memories
Helping kids cope in an uncertain world
APA and Nickelodeon team up
Muslims in America, post 9/11
Bin Laden’s death
‘They expect us to be there’
Answering the call of public policy
Candidates answer final questions
APA News
Division Spotlight
New leaders
Disaster relief training
Honoring teaching excellence

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011