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Sunday, November 23, 2014

#FF Weekend Review 11/23/14: Psychology, Art, Quotes & More

Thought for the Day: The weekend seems to have disappeared, but here's my weekend review from Flipboard. Enjoy!

Check out #FF Weekend Review 11/23/14 Psychology, Art GIFs & More by Barbara Bogdanow Lavi

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday's Confession: Why I Have Not Posted for a While: Results From Children and Violence Survey

Thought for the Day: This is probably the hardest post I have ever written for this blog. Although my clinical practice has been busy, that's not the reason. I have also had a number of out of office appointments that have reduced the time I have for writing, but that's not why I have not been able to complete it. I could blame my inability to complete this post on missing daylight savings time. I do feel like more than an hour has been stolen from my day, but that would not explain my procrastinating on this post either. I must confess that I have been obsessing about how to write it for some time, because I am embarrassed that my attempt to tackle an important topic in a new way, simply did not go as planned. I have been taught that psychological research needs to be reported fully, even when it does not go as planned. Hopefully, it will shed some light on the topic, despite the fact that it is less than stellar research.
      When I posted a question several weeks ago in a mini qualitative research project and it generated close to 100 responses (and counting), I was excited and pleased with the idea of involving readers of my blog in this way. Encouraged by the previous project, I decided to try a survey to start a conversation on another topic, Children and Violence. I tried to keep the survey short and anonymous. I asked only for an age range, gender and whether the respondents were from the USA or other nations, followed by six brief questions. The 1st question asked whether the respondents believed there was a rise in violence among children. They could reply yes, no or other with room to explain their opinion. On the other questions, people chose a 5 point range of responses from strongly agree to strongly disagree with 3 levels in between. There was also one open ended question at the end of the survey which asked if they had other thoughts about variables that contribute to their perception of children and violence today.

     As the responses trickled in, I began to worry. I decided to post the survey on Quora, a format I had recently discovered where people converse on a wide variety of topics. I quickly discovered that posting a survey is not allowed on Quora. Therefore, I posted the questions one at a time on Quora to see what conversations it would generate. Although people began to respond, the questions, out of context, without the option to rate their feelings about the questions, ignited some strong understandable criticism of bias. When I explained why the questions were presented this way, people understood and posted their opinions. 

     Although Our Parenting Spot  an amazing parenting forum shared the survey on their site and tweeted it, frequently, only 22 people filled out the survey. Eight more people posted comments on Quora. Although this is far from a large enough sample to produce statistically significant results, it raised some interesting clinical questions. Hopefully these questions can help begin to understand the complexity of researching this complex topic. I believe it sheds some light so that parents, educators and concerned citizens can begin to find ways to discuss and address these issues.

     Why did so few people respond to this survey? I don’t know for sure, but here are a few guesses. Perhaps it was not well executed. Some people may have felt it was biased and therefore did not respond. Although that may have played a part, I do not think that is the reason people did not respond. Another possibility is that people do not want to take the time to fill out surveys, even if it may take just a few minutes to complete. Many people may feel inundated with requests for responses on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The earlier post which generated far more responses was based on a one or two word response to one simple question, making it easy to respond. Are we becoming conditioned to only spend a second or two by pushing a "like" button or just writing a word or two? 

     It could be that by not defining the term violence or clarifying how the results would be used, people glanced at it and did not want to fill it out. Perhaps if I had called it, Childhood and Aggression, people would have been more willing to participate. Although I did state that the results would be used to search for solutions and to open a conversation on the topic, it may not have been clear enough to get people to participate.

     Another possible explanation may be that people don’t want to think about children and violence at all. As parents and grandparents, we see our role as guardians of children. Looking into whether there is a rise in violence among children is uncomfortable for parents and educators alike. If there is a rise, have we failed in our role as protectors of children? Did people simply not want to feel the discomfort of even thinking about the topic and looked no further?

     Similarly, we may not want to see children as anything but innocent. Are we putting blinders on to how violence in the world is impacting on our children? Even though the sample was very small, the results may help answer some of these questions. I will divide the results into three parts. Today, I am sharing starting the results from the survey. In subsequent posts, next week, I will share Quora conversations and finally some thoughts and ideas that we can take away from this project. Here are the survey results...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

#FF 11/7/14 Weekend Review: Architecture, Psychology, Quotes, GIF's, Music and Comics

Click Here to view the Magazine
Thought for the Day: Here's the weekend magazine. Click to see the cool GIF of waves and water in motion, that is on the cover. There are articles on: Architecture, Psychology, why we listen to Sad #Music, An example from #ABBA, some great #Quotes and as always an assortment of fun comics & GIFs. The survey on Children and Violence is also posted in the magazine. I hope you will take a few minutes to share your thoughts. Thanks & have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday's Psychology Trivia: T or F: Children Raised By Single Moms Are Emotionally Damaged for Life

Thought for the Day: I have extended the survey on Children and Violence for another week till midnight, EST, 11/12/14. Please take a few minutes and complete this confidential survey. Your answers will help find creative solutions and better understanding of the issues.

It's time for Thursday's Psychology Trivia. I chose to update a post from about a year ago and hope you find it interesting.
True or False: Children Raised By Single Moms Tend To Be Emotionally Handicapped For Life 
    What do you think? Are children raised by two parents healthier emotionally than children raised by single moms. Are children handicapped for life by growing up with just one parent? Do they tend to have drug and alcohol problems, lower grades and more behavioral and mental health issues than children raised in two parent homes. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday's Tribute: Simon's Fund's Phyllis Sudman, Honored as a L' Oreal Woman of Worth

Thought for the Day: I've extended the survey for one more week and added it at the end of this post. I hope you will complete it if you have not yet done so. Thanks.
     Yesterday I heard from Darren Sudman about an honor bestowed on his wife Phyllis and Simon's Fund, one of the non-profit organizations featured in my book. I decided to share his letter with you. I hope you will help the which they founded in memory of their son, Simon. They have tirelessly spent the years turning their personal tragedy into a life saver for other families by saving lives one heart at a time.

Here's Darren's email and the video that is on L' Oreal's Site:

It's not every day that I get to share incredible news. Today, L'Oreal Paris announced that Phyllis Sudman, my wife, is a Woman of Worth.  I am so proud of her.

Every year, L'Oreal Paris selects 10 women from around the country as their Women of Worth Honorees.  Over 4,300 women were considered.  Phyllis was chosen.  As a finalist, Phyllis will attend a star-studded gala in New York and receive an award.  L'Oreal Paris will promote her and the work that she has done with Simon's Fund.  Simon's Fund will receive a check for $10,000.

It's been about ten years since Simon died. Phyllis has inspired me every day since. She has managed her own heart condition (discovered after Simon's death), while creating an organization to prevent other families from losing their own child to sudden cardiac arrest. I know that she is uncomfortable by the attention, but happy that this issue is getting national attention.

You can see her story, as told by L'Oreal, here.

L'Oreal wants to make this really interesting.  They are going to donate an additional $25,000 to the honoree (for her charity) that gets the most votes between November 3 - 21.  

Can you spare a few minutes of your time over the next three weeks to help me honor Phyllis and her lifesaving work?

Would you consider any of the following
  • vote every 24 hours for Phyllis at
  • post a link to Phyllis' story on your facebook page
  • post a link to Phyllis' story on your Twitter page (use hashtag #womanofworth)
  • find friends and/or companies to do an email blast
  • use a thumbnail images for your social media profile pic (attached)
This link will take you directly to her page:

I know I am asking a lot. These voting things can be really annoying, especially when they last 19 days.  However, this is a huge honor and I want the world to know how special Phyllis is for what she has overcome, and what's she's accomplished.  

Thanks for considering my request.  Thanks for allowing me to invade your inbox on a Monday.  Thanks for supporting Simon's Fund over these past nine years.


Darren Sudman
Executive Director, Co-Founder & Simon's Dad

Recognized by TODAY ShowCNNNPRPeoplePhiladelphia Inquirer and USA Today.

Proud team member of  

      Before you leave to support Phyllis and Simon's Fund, please take a moment to complete this brief confidential survey on SurveyMonkey to address another important issue: Violence and Children. Even if you post your e-mail, it will not be connected to your specific responses. I will not share e-mails either. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. I will collect responses for another week till November 11, 2014 and begin sharing results about a week later. Thanks in advance for your help.

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