Anxiety disorders continue to affect millions of people around the world annually.
In America, an estimated 41 million adults are affected making them live in fear and uncertainty (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 34). Anxiety disorders manifest themselves for lengthy periods which may last up to six months (National Institute of Mental Health, 2010, para. 5-10).
For instance, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manifests itself in an injured person or a close relative after a terrifying act. Symptoms generally include becoming emotionally numb, startling easily, loss in interest, aggressiveness and lack of affectionate behaviour. Manifestation of flashbacks through nightmares and daydreams occurs within six months after experiencing the accident (Schacter, 2009, p. 34). While symptoms of PTSD are common in other anxiety and depression disorders, their onset in PTSD mainly occurs after a terrifying act (Davidson, 2000, p. 12; Margolin & Gordis, 2000, p. 456). In addition, they must last for more than a month and their onset is occasioned by certain triggers such as loud bangs (Regier et al, 1998, p.
34; Yehuda, 1999, p. 65).
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Many treatment approaches exist in the management of PTSD. The efficacy of treatment is bolstered through the combination of two or more approaches.
In this case, cognitive behavioural therapy brings about better outcomes in patient care. Although its efficacy may require the incorporation of medication, high levels of success have still been observed. Making the affected individuals to understand the real causes of their disorders is imperative in this approach (Bandura, 1986, p. 23). Willingness and desire to cooperate is important to enhance the individual recover from the condition.
Individuals should be ready to undergo several weeks of behavioural therapy that entails talking to a therapist (Schacter, 2009, p. 47). The affected individual is assisted in recalling the traumatic events through an enhancing environment that serves to lessen the fear produced by the situation. In addition, the patient is also taught simple physical exercises that enhance the patient relieve stress thus bringing serenity and relaxation.
Recurrence of the symptoms is managed through the same procedure (Gurman & Messer, 2003, p. 12; Guerin, 1993).
Alcohol abuse and violence
Significant relationship exists between alcohol abuse and occurrence of violent behaviours in the society (Gustafson, Roland & Kallmen, 1996, p.
54). In fact, several research approaches have denoted mixed results, although majority depict an increased relationship across all age groups (Andrews & Bonta, 1998, p. 54; Heider, 1958, p. 54). However, the success of each of the methodology is dependent on applying stringent procedures to reduce the occurrence of bias (White, Hansell & Brick, 1993, p.
32). Owing to the dynamic nature of the association between the two variables, it becomes imperative to utilise a method that can generate a broad range of results (Schacter, 2009, p. 65). In this case, a survey research would play a major role in enhancing the achievement of the objectives. A survey entailing the collection of data from a selected population would produce incredible information useful in informing future treatment approaches and policy formulation.
The study would target youths and middle aged adults due to the increased propensity of indulging in alcohol abuse. Systematic sampling would be conducted to ensure the appropriate representation of the target group. Furthermore, data collections such as administer questionnaires and observations would be applied in the study (Sapsford, 2006, p. 12). Open ended questionnaires would be applied to ensure much information is collected from the respondents. In addition, survey research brings increased reliability owing to the fact that each respondent is provided with a standardised stimulus that enhances the researcher to make informed inferences on the subject.
Utilisation of the same format in wording and content of questionnaire reduces the extent of unreliability in the subject. Validity is also achieved in the content through application of appropriate criteria and ensuring the research displays proper attitudes when dealing the respondents (Sapsford, 2006, p. 5). However, survey research has lower validity levels when compared to other approaches such as case studies. Surveys are inexpensive, provide large quantities of information, large samples are feasible, offers flexibility and provides accurate information due to utilisation of standardised stimulus (Margolin, & Gordis, 2000, P. 65).
The generalisation of research questions and lack of mechanism to deal with context issues may affect the results. In order to address the ethical considerations, the researcher has to borrow permission from the relevant school authorities and ethical bodies. More importantly, informed consent will be sought from all the respondents after offering adequate briefing on the importance of the study.
The subjects should be informed of their liberty to participate in the study (Sapsford, 2006, p. 15).
Positive and negative reinforcement
Reinforcement is a term mostly utilised to refer to the application of stimulus in encouraging or discouraging the occurrence of certain behaviours in individuals thereby resulting in the adoption of certain behaviours (Skinner, 1938, p.
15). Positive reinforcement entails the introduction of a stimulus with a view of strengthening the response in an individual. On the other hand, negative reinforcement encompasses the integration of certain stimulus in order to prevent the occurrence of unwanted responses. Offering of rewards is an example of positive reinforcement while spanking can explain some from of negative reinforcement (Schacter, 2009, p. 78; Hull, 1943). The two forms of reinforcement occur frequently throughout the life of an individual especially in the early stages.
In my situation, positive reinforcement occurred with regard to closing of water taps (Kohlberg, 1973, p. 76). Owing to my errant nature of wasting water, my mother started praising me every time i closed the water tap after using the water. The continued praise and reminder of the importance of conserving water was imperative in reinforcing the behaviour (Lilienfeld, Lynn & Lohr, 2000, p. 65). At first, my mother would praise me until a time when the behaviour was fully reinforced. The regular and continued praise provided the needed encouragement and motivation that brought about the reinforcement into later life.
However, negative reinforcement also occurred with regard to crossing the road. During my early years, I used to haphazardly cross the road without regard of my safety. Episodes of spanking from my mother helped me reform this behaviour. The spanking provided me with the lessons that enhanced my road crossing behaviour (Forgas, 1992, p. 12).
Relating the spanking episodes to my safety, I was able to be careful and patient when crossing the road. In view of the above, negative reinforcement occurred. While reinforcement offers the greatest opportunity in bringing behavioural change, appropriate care should be taken when dealing with children thus bringing the need to observe ethical considerations (Ferster, & Skinner, 1957, p. 65).
The utilised stimulus should not bring about harm or injury to the individual. Respect for the dignity of humanity should take precedence before the researcher implements any behavioural approach in an individual. Persistence and adherence to the laid-down procedures are imperative in order to achieve efficiency in reinforcement (Ferster & Skinner, 1957, p. 43).
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