July 10th, 2021

Psychologist’s training program may impact police reform

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Just over a year ago, the world paused in stunned horror when a video surfaced of the murder of George Floyd, suffocated while pinned under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer who has since been found guilty of murder. The country erupted in anti-police brutality protests and calls went out for systemic change within policing around the country.

For police departments, it has been a time of reckoning. No one wants to think that they are the “bad guys,” especially not those who have dedicated their lives to stepping up to defend the weak and rout out crime.…

May 11th, 2021

Anti-Asian hate intensifies as pandemic lingers

By Eileen Weber

Three bystanders witnessed an Asian American woman being viciously attacked in front of a luxury condo in New York and did nothing to intervene.

An Asian man was brutally beaten unconscious on a New York subway while other riders watched.

Another Asian man out for his morning walk in San Francisco was slammed to the ground causing brain hemorrhaging from which he later died.

A mass shooting at three spas in Atlanta saw eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women.

Anti-Asian hate crimes are up in the U.S. and these few examples are just the tip of the iceberg.…

February 9th, 2021

Connecticut’s emergency shelters take financial hit in pandemic as abuse rises

By Eileen Weber

Across the country, reports of domestic abuse have been on the rise during the pandemic. In December 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine cited this increase, calling it a “pandemic within a pandemic.” Although calls for help dropped as much as 50 percent in some regions, that didn’t mean the violence stopped. It just wasn’t being reported. Isolated at home, many victims were trapped inside with their abusers.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline issued a snapshot in the spring. In March 2020, volume had decreased by six percent in comparison to the same time the previous year.…

July 16th, 2020

Psychologists study what inspires protestors

By Eileen Weber

The most recent Black deaths at the hands of police have fueled protests across the country. But for some psychologists, their interests lie not in what they are protesting, but why they protest in the first place. And when they protest, why does it sometimes turn violent?

As we have seen from a few of the recent George Floyd protests, there has been some rioting and looting. A 2018 collaborative study between the University of South Carolina, Stanford University, and the University of Toronto, posed that question: does violent protest backfire?…

November 4th, 2019

Study: Young Puerto Ricans experience higher rates of depression on U.S. mainland than at home

By Eileen Weber

Puerto Ricans and DepressionPuerto Ricans experience higher rates of depression and anxiety on the U.S. mainland than when at home. After nearly 20 years of research and about 2,000 people interviewed, the Boricua Youth Study discovered that fact.

The study compared kids ages five to 13 as they transitioned to early adulthood from 15 to 29 under similar conditions of income and exposure to violence in both Puerto Rico and the South Bronx, a region with one of the highest Puerto Rican populations on the U.S. mainland.

Research focused on four categories that influence mental health: environmental/social factors, cultural and minority stress, parent/peer relations, and family/individual vulnerability.…

October 9th, 2019

Link between video games, violence again examined

By Catherine Robertson Souter

video games and violenceFollowing recent mass shooting tragedies that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump condemned the “glorification of violence in our society,” specifically “the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” This claim of a link between the tragedies and the use of video games was repeated by other lawmakers, who claimed that the rise of video game use is directly linked to the rise in gun violence.

But is it true? Does playing violent video games cause violent behavior? Or, maybe more importantly, would removing these types of games from our culture curb the behavior?…

April 6th, 2018

Violence and Video Games: Are They Linked?

By Eileen Weber

are video games linked to violenceContentious debate continues over whether video games and other forms of media promote violent behavior, particularly in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. Games like “Resident Evil,” “Manhunt,” and “Mortal Kombat” top the list. But, is there a one-size-fits-all answer to the question?

“I don’t think you are going to find any media effects researchers willing to suggest that violent video games lead to school shootings,” said Kirstie Farrar, Ph.D, associate professor of communications at the University of Connecticut.

“However, most media effects researchers agree there is a small but significant relationship between violent media exposure and outcome aggression.”…