Publications by authors named "S Hella Harkness"

59 Publications

Information vs. inspiration: Evaluating the effectiveness of mental illness stigma-reduction messages.

Soc Sci Res 2021 May 31;96:102543. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Sociology, University of Iowa, USA.

Numerous countries, communities, and organizations have conducted campaigns aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness. Using an online experiment, we evaluate the relative effectiveness of three types of campaign messages (information about the biological origins of an illness, information about the psycho-social origins of an illness, and inspirational information about the competence of those with an illness) for reducing the perceived stigma (how I think others feel) and personal stigma (how I personally feel) tied to two illnesses (depression and schizophrenia). Drawing on expectation states theories (EST), affect control theories (ACT), and past research, we expected all three messages to reduce both types of stigma, with their relative effectiveness following this order: competence > psycho-social > biology. We find that the messages are more effective at reducing personal stigma than perceived stigma and that the competence message reduces both types of stigma more effectively than the other messages. More specifically, we find that (1) none of the messages reduce the perceived stigma of depression, (2) only the competence message consistently reduces the perceived stigma of schizophrenia, (3) only the competence message reduces personal stigma toward individuals with depression, and (4) all three messages reduce personal stigma toward individuals with schizophrenia and do so equally well. The findings provide support for propositions in EST and ACT and suggest that stigma-reduction campaigns that focus on the competence and capabilities of individuals with a mental illness will be more effective than those that focus on information about the origins of mental illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2021.102543DOI Listing
May 2021

Research on parental burnout across cultures: Steps toward global understanding.

New Dir Child Adolesc Dev 2020 Nov 22;2020(174):185-192. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Human Development and Family Science, and Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

In this commentary we first examine psychometric issues in the ambitious enterprise of cross-cultural application of the Parental Burnout Assessment (PBA). The present reports span a wide range of cultural places. Overall, the PBA presents good face validity and a strong replication of factor structure; future multi-group confirmatory factor analysis will enable quantitative comparisons not currently possible. Content validity is not fully addressed in these reports, so nuanced differences in the nature of parental burnout remain an interesting possibility. Variation the PBA's correlations with other measures, such as education and household type, suggests cultural mediation in the causes and dynamics of parental burnout. In the second part of our commentary, we address more directly whether parental burnout is influenced by the sociocultural context in which it is manifest. We propose that future research will benefit from more precise description of the particular cultural community involved, including the settings, customs, and ethnotheories of parenting. Gaining a global understanding of parental burnout, in other words, rests on building firmer and more differentiated pictures at the local level. The papers in this volume nevertheless present an important step forward in what promises to be an exciting journey of discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cad.20389DOI Listing
November 2020

TikTok vampire fangs.

Authors:
S Harkness

Br Dent J 2020 11;229(10):638

By email, Belfast, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-2417-6DOI Listing
November 2020

Culture and human development: Where did it go? And where is it going?

New Dir Child Adolesc Dev 2020 Sep;2020(173):101-119

Professor of Human Development and Pediatrics, Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Health, and Human Development, 348 Mansfield Rd., Unit 2058, Storrs, CT, 06269-2058, USA.

Culture and human development blossomed as a research enterprise in the last quarter of the 20th century; the energy and innovation of that enterprise are less evident now. Where did it go, and where is it going? In this essay, we examine the shifting fields of cross-cultural psychology, psychological anthropology, cultural psychology, indigenous psychology, and the surge of research on Individualism/Collectivism. Offering both academic and personal perspectives, we reflect on the importance of "culture" as a construct, and the value of focusing on individual development in that context. The way forward now, we suggest, is international and intercultural collaboration of scientists. The challenge for training new researchers from diverse backgrounds, however, is to equip them with the knowledge and insights gained from cross-cultural psychology, psychological anthropology, and their own cultures, rather than simply making the next generation of scholars into new representatives of Western theories of development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cad.20378DOI Listing
September 2020

Culture and the perceived organization of newborn behavior: A comparative study in Kenya and the United States.

New Dir Child Adolesc Dev 2020 Jul 23;2020(172):11-24. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.

The behavior of newborns is ambiguous. Cultural models-representations shared by members of a community-provide new parents and others with a cognitive and motivational structure to understand them. This study asks members of several cultural groups (total n = 100) to judge the "similarity" of behavioral items in the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). Data were obtained from NBAS experts, mothers, and undergraduates in Massachusetts, and mothers and high-school students in rural Kenya. Multidimensional scaling of their judgments reveals that NBAS experts were especially attentive to a dimension of State Control-exactly as the scale emphasizes. Kenyan mothers focused on a dimension of motor responsiveness-in accord with their concern and practices regarding motor development, and the Massachusetts mothers organized their judgments around cognitive competence-abilities emphasized in contemporary discussions of early development. The US students appear to be more similar to US mothers than did the Kenya students to the Kenyan mothers. Each adult group's representation reflects their cultural values and goals, and helps them understand the newborn child in local terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cad.20366DOI Listing
July 2020