ResearchPad - human-capital https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Vulnerability profiles and prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adolescent girls and young women in Ethiopia: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14613 Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15–24 years have among the highest risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) across sub-Saharan Africa. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify intersecting social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI acquisition among AGYW in Ethiopia.MethodsAGYW were recruited from venues using time-location sampling, completing an interviewer-administered behavioral survey and biological testing for HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia. LCA was used to identify distinct groups, defined by social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI risk, among AGYW. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) compared differences in HIV/STI prevalence by group.ResultsA total of 1,501 AGYW were enrolled across Addis Ababa (March–May 2018) and Gambella (June–July 2019). We identified three patterns of vulnerability defined by schooling status, migration history, food insecurity, orphan status, social support, and employment. We labeled these groups as “highly vulnerable” (representing ~21% of the population), “stable, out-of-school, migrated” (~42%), and “stable, in-school, never migrated” (~37%). STI prevalence was nearly two-fold higher among AGYW in the “highly vulnerable” group compared to AGYW in the “stable, in-school, never migrated” group (PR 1.93; 95% CI 1.33, 2.80).ConclusionsCharacterizing patterns of vulnerability among AGYW that reflect higher-level social and structural factors can help facilitate early identification of AGYW at the highest risk of HIV/STI acquisition, thus differentiating groups of AGYW who may most benefit from targeted HIV prevention interventions during adolescence and early adulthood. ]]> <![CDATA[Patient costs incurred by people living with HIV/AIDS prior to ART initiation in primary healthcare facilities in Gauteng, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2632d5eed0c484289528

Purpose

To quantify costs to patients of accessing HIV care prior to ART initiation.

Materials and methods

Using a cross-sectional study design, costs incurred by HIV-positive patients prior to ART initiation were estimated at urban primary healthcare facilities in South Africa. Costs included direct costs, indirect (productivity) costs, carer and coping costs (value of assets sold and money borrowed). The percentage of individual income spent on healthcare was calculated and compared by patient income tertiles and CD4 count strata.

Results

289 patients (69% female, mean age 37 (SD: 10) years, median CD4 317 (IQR: 138–494) cells/mm3) were interviewed. The total mean monthly cost of pre-ART care was US$15.71. Indirect costs accounted for $2.59 (16.49%) of this when time was valued using the patient’s reported income. The mean monthly patient costs were $31.61, $12.78, $12.65 and $11.93 for those with a CD4 count <100, 101–350, 351–500 and >500 cells/mm3 respectively. The percentage of individual income spent on healthcare was 7.25% for those with a CD4 count <100 cells/mm3 and 4.05% for those with a CD4 count >500 cells/mm3.

Conclusions

Despite the provision of charge-free services at public clinics, care prior to ART initiation can be costly, particularly for the poor and unemployed. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that highlights the need to consider policies to reduce the economic barriers to HIV service access, particularly for low income or unwell patient groups, such as improving access to disability grants.

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<![CDATA[Gender differences in self-view and desired salaries: A study on online recruitment website users in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7e3d5eed0c484386b87

One explanation for the gender pay differences in labor markets is that women propose lower desired salaries. By using an actual job seeking resume database and applying text mining techniques, we are able to observe both the extent of gender differences in desired salaries and job-related self-view. We find gender differences in global self-view favoring females, and in some domain-specific self-view favoring males. Previous findings of disadvantaged groups having levels of self-view at least as high as those of advantaged groups lend credibility to our findings. Moreover, we argue that the differences in global self-view favoring females may be related to the theories of “belief flipping”, since women in our sample of online-recruitment markets are distinct from the general population, with on average 15.2 years of education and 8.99 years of work experience, due to self-selection. In addition, we find that women do propose lower desired salary than men, after controlling for various factors such as human capital, marital status, industries. We further investigate the role of self-view and find it contributes to explain desired salaries, with modest mediator effect but little moderator effect on gender differences in desired salaries.

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<![CDATA[Deriving the priority weights from probabilistic linguistic preference relation with unknown probabilities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c181398d5eed0c4847754e9

Generally, the probabilistic linguistic term set (PLTS) provides more accurate descriptive properties than the hesitant fuzzy linguistic term set does. The probabilistic linguistic preference relation (PLPR), which is applied to deal with complex decision-making problems, can be constructed for PLTSs. However, it is difficult for decision makers to provide the probabilities of occurrence for PLPR. To deal with this problem, we propose a definition of expected consistency for PLPR and establish a probability computing model to derive probabilities of occurrence in PLPR with priority weights for alternatives. A consistency-improving iterative algorithm is presented to examine whether or not the PLPR is at an acceptable consistency. Moreover, the consistency-improving iterative algorithm should obtain the satisfaction consistency level for the unacceptable consistency PLPR. Finally, a real-world employment-city selection is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method of deriving priority weights from PLPR.

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<![CDATA[An attitude network analysis of post-national citizenship identities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed74ad5eed0c484f13e68

How are evaluative reactions pertaining post-national citizenship identities interrelated and what are the potential mechanisms how post-national identities evolve? Previous efforts to operationalize and measure post-national citizenship identities leave it open how people’s stances on different issues are related and suffer from a variety of theoretical and methodological shortcomings regarding the nature of political attitudes and ideologies. A recently proposed approach conceptualizes ideologies as networks of causally connected evaluative reactions to individual issues. Individual evaluative reactions form the nodes in a network model, and these nodes can influence each other via linked edges, thereby giving rise to a dynamic thoughts system of networked political and identity-related views. To examine this system at large, we apply network analysis to data from the European Values Study. Specifically, we investigate 33 evaluative reactions regarding national and supra-national identity, diversity, global empathy, global environmentalism, immigration, and supra-national politics. The results reveal a strongly connected network of citizenship identity-related attitudes. A community analysis reveals larger clusters of strongly related evaluative reactions, which are connected via bridges and hub nodes. Centrality analysis identifies evaluative reactions that are strategically positioned in the network, and network simulations indicate that persuasion attempts targeted at such nodes have greater potential to influence the larger citizenship identity than changes of more peripheral attitude nodes. We lastly show that socio-demographic characteristics are not only associated with the overall level of post-national citizenship, but also with the network structure, suggesting that these structural differences can affect the network function as people develop national or post-national citizenship identities, or respond to external events. These results provide new insights into the structure of post-national identities and the mechanism how post-national identities might evolve. We end with a discussion of future opportunities to study networked attitudes in the context of civic and citizenship education.

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<![CDATA[From welcome culture to welcome limits? Uncovering preference changes over time for sheltering refugees in Germany]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6d94b5463d7e2f79286cbe

Europe recently experienced a large influx of refugees, spurring much public debate about the admission and integration of refugees and migrants into society. Previous research based on cross-sectional data found that European citizens generally favour asylum seekers with high employability, severe vulnerabilities, and Christians over Muslims. These preferences and attitudes were found to be homogeneous across countries and socio-demographic groups. Here, we do not study the general acceptance of asylum seekers, but the acceptance of refugee and migrant homes in citizens’ vicinity and how it changes over time. Based on a repeated stated choice experiment on preferences for refugee and migrant homes, we show that the initially promoted “welcome culture” towards refugees in Germany was not reflected in the views of a majority of a sample of German citizens who rather disapproved refugee homes in their vicinity. Their preferences have not changed between November 2015, the peak of “welcome culture,” and November 2016, after political debates, media reporting and public discourse had shifted towards limiting admission of immigrants. A minority of one fifth of the sample population, who were initially rather approving of refugee and migrant homes being established in their vicinity, were more likely to change their preferences towards a rather disapproving position in 2016. Experience of contact with refugees and migrants, higher education, and general pro-immigration attitudes explain acceptance of refugee and migrant homes as well as preference stability over time. Country of origin and religion of refugees and migrants are considered less important than decent housing conditions and whether refugee and migrants arrive as families or single persons. In this respect our results highlight the importance of humanitarian aspects of sheltering and integration of refugees and other migrants into society.

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<![CDATA[‘That’s how we help each other’: Community savings groups, economic empowerment and HIV risk among female sex workers in Iringa, Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a192d463d7e428027f891

Female sex workers (FSW) are a socially and economically marginalized population heavily affected by HIV. Community empowerment approaches focus on FSW taking collective action to address structural barriers to their health and have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing HIV risk. This study examines the potential for community savings groups (locally called michezo) among FSW in Iringa, Tanzania to reduce HIV risk and promote economic and community empowerment. We conducted 27 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 15 FSW over time and 4 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 35 FSW participating in michezo, and 10 key informant interviews (KIIs) with group collectors. Content analysis was used to identify salient themes around participants’ sex work and financial realities; the role of savings groups in their lives and work; and experiences with social cohesion associated with group participation. Michezo were described as providing a safety net for times of financial need, allowing FSW to create greater financial security for themselves and their families. Participation in the groups was also reported to facilitate both individual agency, resulting in members' ability to negotiate condom use and be selective about clients, and a sense of collective identity and solidarity. Participants described group challenges including high mobility and low income of FSW making it difficult for women to fulfill their financial obligations to the group. As a result, participants reported preferences for joining michezo whose members were perceived as more stable (e.g. older, married, from more established venues). Group collectors and members were eager to have michezo formally registered and become recognized by the broader community. Findings indicate that savings groups promote individual agency to reduce sexual risk behaviors and foster community empowerment among FSW. The groups hold potential as an empowerment strategy to enable sex workers to address structural sources of HIV vulnerability and help them achieve socioeconomic inclusion.

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<![CDATA[The mediating effect of self-esteem on the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being in immigrants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49cad2463d7e33e4eac062

The aim of the study is to analyze the mediating effect of self-esteem on the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being in South American immigrants in Chile. An analytical, cross sectional, non-experimental design was used. We evaluated 853 Peruvians and Colombians living in the northern cities of Arica, Antofagasta, and Santiago de Chile, the capital located in the center of the country. The instruments used were the Ryff Psychological Well-being Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Perceived Discrimination Scale by Basabe, Paez, Aierdi and Jiménez-Aristizabal. We used the estimation method (RWLS) and polychoric correlation matrices, to estimate the effect size and overall fit of the direct effect models of discrimination and self-esteem on psychological well-being, and indirect and total effects of discrimination mediated by self-esteem. While both populations reported similar levels of perceived discrimination, it was found that the means in psychological well-being and self-esteem of the Colombian population were significantly higher than that of the Peruvian population. Regarding self-esteem, the results provided evidence for the possible mediating effect on the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being. This research aims to contribute to the development of interventions seeking to strengthen self-esteem in order to circumvent possible negative consequences of perceived discrimination, as a consequent, improving immigrants´ personal resources to successfully cope with the diverse demands of their new context.

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<![CDATA[Measuring Nepotism through Shared Last Names: Are We Really Moving from Opinions to Facts?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db12ab0ee8fa60bcc65f

Nepotistic practices are detrimental for academia. An analysis of shared last names among academics was recently proposed to measure the diffusion of nepotism, the results of which have had a huge resonance. This method was thus proposed to orient the decisions of policy makers concerning cuts and funding. Because of the social relevance of this issue, the validity of this method must be assessed. Thus, we compared results from an analysis of Italian and United Kingdom academic last names, and of Italian last and given names. The results strongly suggest that the analysis of shared last names is not a measure of nepotism, as it is largely affected by social capital, professional networking and demographic effects, whose contribution is difficult to assess. Thus, the analysis of shared last names is not useful for guiding research policy.

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<![CDATA[Are Functional and Activity Limitations Becoming More Prevalent among 55 to 69-Year-Olds in the United States?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db18ab0ee8fa60bcd990

Objectives

This study examines changes in functional and activity limitations 1998–2012 for individuals 55–69.

Methods

Logistic models are used to estimate trends in limitations in vision, hearing, physical and cognitive functioning, IADLs, and ADLs. Additional models assess the extent to which trends are associated with and differ by education, smoking, and BMI.

Results

Changes in prevalence of limitations in vision, hearing, cognitive functioning, and ADLs are not statistically significant. Limitations in physical functioning declined by 0.37% per year. IADL limitations increased by 1.33% per year, but most of the increase occurred between 2008 and 2010/2012, and are associated with economic hardship during the Great Recession. Increases in education are especially beneficially associated with trends in limitations, but reductions in smoking also appear to be advantageous for some outcomes. Increases in BMI are associated with trends in physical functioning, IADL, and ADL limitation.

Discussion

For Americans 55–69, functional and activity limitations were largely unchanged 1998–2012. Our results suggest that if educational attainment had not increased, most functional and activity limitations potentially could have worsened substantially. Future change in educational attainment is not expected to be so positive. Continued monitoring of trends in activity limitations might well include greater focus on the explanatory roles of environmental factors, including economic circumstances.

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<![CDATA[Striking a Balance: Socioeconomic Development and Conservation in Grassland through Community-Based Zoning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da58ab0ee8fa60b8f660

The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

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<![CDATA[Towards Universal Health Coverage: An Evaluation of Rwanda Mutuelles in Its First Eight Years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da48ab0ee8fa60b8c2db

Background

Mutuelles is a community-based health insurance program, established since 1999 by the Government of Rwanda as a key component of the national health strategy on providing universal health care. The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of Mutuelles on achieving universal coverage of medical services and financial risk protection in its first eight years of implementation.

Methods and Findings

We conducted a quantitative impact evaluation of Mutuelles between 2000 and 2008 using nationally-representative surveys. At the national and provincial levels, we traced the evolution of Mutuelles coverage and its impact on child and maternal care coverage from 2000 to 2008, as well as household catastrophic health payments from 2000 to 2006. At the individual level, we investigated the impact of Mutuelles' coverage on enrollees' medical care utilization using logistic regression. We focused on three target populations: the general population, under-five children, and women with delivery. At the household level, we used logistic regression to study the relationship between Mutuelles coverage and the probability of incurring catastrophic health spending. The main limitation was that due to insufficient data, we are not able to study the impact of Mutuelles on health outcomes, such as child and maternal mortalities, directly.

The findings show that Mutuelles improved medical care utilization and protected households from catastrophic health spending. Among Mutuelles enrollees, those in the poorest expenditure quintile had a significantly lower rate of utilization and higher rate of catastrophic health spending. The findings are robust to various estimation methods and datasets.

Conclusions

Rwanda's experience suggests that community-based health insurance schemes can be effective tools for achieving universal health coverage even in the poorest settings. We suggest a future study on how eliminating Mutuelles copayments for the poorest will improve their healthcare utilization, lower their catastrophic health spending, and affect the finances of health care providers.

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<![CDATA[Is Working Risky or Protective for Married Adolescent Girls in Urban Slums in Kenya? Understanding the Association between Working Status, Savings and Intimate-Partner Violence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db19ab0ee8fa60bcdc04

Introduction

Previous studies have shown that women’s empowerment, though beneficial in many aspects, can also increase the risk of intimate-partner violence (IPV). This study seeks to examine the association between work and experience of physical violence among married adolescents, and to understand the impact of access to independent financial resources on this risk. Authors draw on the asset-building framework and the ecological model.

Methods

The data is from a baseline survey of girls aged 15–19 residing in urban slums in four cities and towns in Kenya (Nairobi, Thika, Nakuru and Kisumu). The analytic sample is 452 married girls. Logistic regression is used to examine associations between working status, savings and experience of IPV in the previous six months, controlling for other factors. This is complemented by content analysis of in-depth interviews with 32 adolescent girls and 16 young men.

Results

Compared to girls who did not work, working with no regular savings was significantly associated with greater odds (OR = 1.96, p<0.01) of experiencing IPV. There was no difference between girls who did not work and those who worked but had regular savings. Qualitative findings indicate savings decrease girls’ dependency on men and allow them to leave abusive partners.

Discussion

Findings imply that in these communities with patriarchal gender norms and high levels of poverty, female employment and financial conflicts can be triggers of violence in marriages. On the other hand, girls’ management of and access to independent financial resources through savings can potentially help to reduce this risk.

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<![CDATA[Allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma are associated with differences in school performance among Korean adolescents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc2e8

Several studies have reported negative relations between allergic diseases and school performance but have not simultaneously considered various allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis, and only examined a limited number of participants. The present study investigated the associations of allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis with school performance in a large, representative Korean adolescent population. A total of 299,695 7th through 12th grade students participated in the Korea Youth Risk Behaviour Web-based Survey (KYRBWS) from 2009 to 2013. The subjects’ history of allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis and number of school absences due to these diseases in the previous 12 months were examined and compared. School performance was classified into 5 levels. The relations between allergic disorders and school performance were analyzed using multiple logistic regressions with complex sampling and adjusted for the subjects’ durations of sleep, days of physical activity, body mass indexes (BMIs), regions of residence, economic levels, parents’ education levels, stress levels, smoking status, and alcohol use. A subgroup analysis of the economic groups was performed. Allergic rhinitis was positively correlated with better school performance in a dose-dependent manner (adjusted odds ratios, AOR, [95% confidence interval, CI] = 1.50 [1.43–1.56 > 1.33 [1.28–1.38] > 1.17 [1.13–1.22] > 1.09 [1.05–1.14] for grades A > B > C > D; P < 0.001). Asthma was negatively correlated with better school performance (AOR [95% CI] = 0.74 [0.66–0.83], 0.87 [0.79–0.96], 0.83 [0.75–0.91], 0.93 [0.85–1.02] for performance A, B, C, and D, respectively; P < 0.001). Atopic dermatitis was not significantly correlated with school performance. The subgroup analysis of the students’ economic levels revealed associations between allergic diseases and school performance. Compared to other allergic disorders, the asthma group had more school absences due to their symptoms (P < 0.001). School performance was positively correlated with allergic rhinitis and negatively correlated with asthma in Korean adolescents, even after adjusting for other variables. The asthma group had an increased number of school absence days, which presumably contributes to these students’ poor school performance.

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<![CDATA[Identifying the effects of education on the ability to cope with a disability among individuals with disabilities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc925

The literature on disability has suggested that an educated individual with a disability is more likely to better cope with her/his disability than those without education. However, few published studies explore whether the relationship between education and ability to cope with a disability is anything more than an association. Using data on disability and accommodation from a large Danish survey from 2012–13 and exploiting a major Danish schooling reform as a natural experiment, we identified a potential causal effect of education on both economic (holding a job) as well as social (cultural activities, visiting clubs/associations, etc.) dimensions of coping among individuals with a disability, controlling for background factors, functioning, and disability characteristics. We found that endogeneity bias was only present in the case of economic participation and more educated individuals with a disability indeed had higher levels of both economic and social coping. To some extent, having more knowledge of public support systems and higher motivation explained the better coping among the group of individuals with disabilities who were educated. Our results indicated, however, that a large part of the effect of education on the ability to cope with a disability among individuals with disabilities was suggestive of a causal relationship.

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<![CDATA[The Global Pattern of Urbanization and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Three Decades]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad9ab0ee8fa60bb9265

The relationship between urbanization and economic growth has been perplexing. In this paper, we identify the pattern of global change and the correlation of urbanization and economic growth, using cross-sectional, panel estimation and geographic information systems (GIS) methods. The analysis has been carried out on a global geographical scale, while the timescale of the study spans the last 30 years. The data shows that urbanization levels have changed substantially during these three decades. Empirical findings from cross-sectional data and panel data support the general notion of close links between urbanization levels and GDP per capita. However, we also present significant evidence that there is no correlation between urbanization speed and economic growth rate at the global level. Hence, we conclude that a given country cannot obtain the expected economic benefits from accelerated urbanization, especially if it takes the form of government-led urbanization. In addition, only when all facets are taken into consideration can we fully assess the urbanization process.

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<![CDATA[Constraints to Implementing the Essential Health Package in Malawi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1c28

Increasingly seen as a useful tool of health policy, Essential or Minimal Health Packages direct resources to interventions that aim to address the local burden of disease and be cost-effective. Less attention has been paid to the delivery mechanisms for such interventions. This study aimed to assess the degree to which the Essential Health Package (EHP) in Malawi was available to its population and what health system constraints impeded its full implementation. The first phase of this study comprised a survey of all facilities in three districts including interviews with all managers and clinical staff. In the second and third phase, results were discussed with District Health Management Teams and national level stakeholders, respectively, including representatives of the Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores, donors and NGOs. The EHP in Malawi is focussing on the local burden of disease; however, key constraints to its successful implementation included a widespread shortage of staff due to vacancies but also caused by frequent trainings and meetings (only 48% of expected man days of clinical staff were available; training and meetings represented 57% of all absences in health centres). Despite the training, the percentage of health workers aware of vital diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to EHP conditions was weak. Another major constraint was shortages of vital drugs at all levels of facilities (e.g. Cotrimoxazole was sufficiently available to treat the average number of patients in only 27% of health centres). Although a few health workers noted some improvement in infrastructure and working conditions, they still considered them to be widely inadequate. In Malawi, as in similar resource poor countries, greater attention needs to be given to the health system constraints to delivering health care. Removal of these constraints should receive priority over the considerable focus on the development and implementation of essential packages of interventions.

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<![CDATA[Improved Learning in U.S. History and Decision Competence with Decision-Focused Curriculum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db14ab0ee8fa60bccdb7

Decision making is rarely taught in high school, even though improved decision skills could benefit young people facing life-shaping decisions. While decision competence has been shown to correlate with better life outcomes, few interventions designed to improve decision skills have been evaluated with rigorous quantitative measures. A randomized study showed that integrating decision making into U.S. history instruction improved students’ history knowledge and decision-making competence, compared to traditional history instruction. Thus, integrating decision training enhanced academic performance and improved an important, general life skill associated with improved life outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Food Insecurity and Children’s Mental Health: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0cab0ee8fa60bca696

Food insecurity (which can be defined as inadequate access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets individuals’ dietary needs) is concurrently associated with children’s psychological difficulties. However, the predictive role of food insecurity with regard to specific types of children’s mental health symptoms has not previously been studied. We used data from the Longitudinal Study of Child Development in Québec, LSCDQ, a representative birth cohort study of children born in the Québec region, in Canada, in 1997–1998 (n = 2120). Family food insecurity was ascertained when children were 1½ and 4½ years old. Children’s mental health symptoms were assessed longitudinally using validated measures of behaviour at ages 4½, 5, 6 and 8 years. Symptom trajectory groups were estimated to identify children with persistently high levels of depression/anxiety (21.0%), aggression (26.2%), and hyperactivity/inattention (6.0%). The prevalence of food insecurity in the study was 5.9%. In sex-adjusted analyses, children from food-insecure families were disproportionately likely to experience persistent symptoms of depression/anxiety (OR: 1.79, 95% CI 1.15–2.79) and hyperactivity/inattention (OR: 3.06, 95% CI 1.68–5.55). After controlling for immigrant status, family structure, maternal age at child’s birth, family income, maternal and paternal education, prenatal tobacco exposure, maternal and paternal depression and negative parenting, only persistent hyperactivity/inattention remained associated with food insecurity (fully adjusted OR: 2.65, 95% CI 1.16–6.06). Family food insecurity predicts high levels of children’s mental health symptoms, particularly hyperactivity/inattention. Addressing food insecurity and associated problems in families could help reduce the burden of mental health problems in children and reduce social inequalities in development.

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<![CDATA[Lost Letter Measure of Variation in Altruistic Behaviour in 20 Neighbourhoods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac511

Altruistic behaviour varies across human populations and this variation is likely to be partly explained by variation in the ecological context of the populations. We hypothesise that area level socio-economic characteristics will determine the levels of altruism found in individuals living in an area and we use a lost letter experiment to measure altruism across 20 neighbourhoods with a wide range of income deprivation scores in London, UK. The results show a strong negative effect of neighbourhood income deprivation on altruistic behaviour, with letters dropped in the poorest neighbourhoods having 91% lower odds of being returned than letters dropped in the wealthiest neighbourhoods. We suggest that measures of altruism are strongly context dependant.

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