Writing 3; Section 5: March 2012 Archives

Divorce, which has gone from an occurrence that rarely happened during our parents generation to something that now happens in almost 50% of all marriages in the US. According to an article in Time Magazine the long-term damage of kids living with divorced parents has led to difficulties in establishing career goals and stable relationships. This makes me question whether the results have been by chance, the stress factor, missing out on input from a parent of each sex or a mixture of a lot of things. The thing I found most surprising in the section was that when parents experienced just mild conflict before being divorced, the effects from them were actually worse on the kids than if they were severe. This makes it sound like the change from a child living in a two-parent bad environment to only one parent actually helped them and lacked the difficulties that otherwise arose. I personally have not witnessed too much change in personality from friends and acquaintances in the short term but that is not to say it will not happen in the future. Because of the correlation-causation effects of how children may have been treated prior, however, there really is no way to be sure of how children really are affected at this point in time and reactions to the topic are brought about mostly by divorce experience.


I wish my parents were bilingual. As a German minor, I wish my parents could have taught me a second language as a young child, particularly German. MULTIRACIAL.jpgThis wish was reinforced by Psychology 1001 when we learned about the benefits from learning a second language in young children. To further the research in this area, researchers are turning to the brains of infants to find out how they distinguish between languages as they are developing.

Neurological activity in an infant's brain shows how an infant distinguishes between languages. Researchers at the University of Washington highlighted the differences between monolingual and bilingual infants when it comes to distinguishing languages.

At six months, monolingual infants could discriminate between phonetic sounds, whether they were said in the infants' primary language or another language. By 10 to 12 months, the infants were only detecting sounds in their primary language.
In contrast, the bilingual infants' results showed that at six to nine months, the infants were not able to distinguish between phonetic sounds in languages. At 10 to 12 months, however, they were able to distinguish between sounds in both.

According to Dr. Patricia Kul, co-director of the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, "What the study demonstrates is that the variability in bilingual babies' experience keeps them open. They do not show the perceptual narrowing as soon as monolingual babies do" (Klass). Early learning of multiple languages can only benefit an infant. Parents should capitalize on this opportunity.

Klass, Perri. "Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Languages." New York Times. New
York Times, 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2012 health/views/11klass.html>.


In Chapter 10 there was a short side note about Lee Malvo who was seventeen when he participated in the Washington, DC, sniper killings in October 2002 and other various killings that resulted in 42 shootings. He was the accomplice of his mentor John A. Muhammad. Some argued that for his wrong doings Malvo should be sent to death row because the United States does permit the execution of juveniles as young as 16 years old. On the other hand, some felt that because he was only seventeen he should get a less severe punishment.


An article about Lee Malvo called "Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence" states that, "emerging knowledge about cognitive, psychosocial, and neurobiological development in adolescence supports the conclusion that juveniles should not be held to the same standards of criminal responsibility as adults" (1010). Teenagers are more vulnerable to the influence of others and their identity is still forming. The article also points out that teenager's attitude towards risk is different from adults in that teenagers are more likely to take bigger risks. Despite these arguments, it has also been argued that teenager's cognitive capacities are actually closer to adults than was previously thought.

Ultimately Malvo receive a sentence of life in prison while John A. Muhammad received the death penalty. Along with the argued reasons for treating adolescents less severely than adults, another possible reason why Malvo did not receive the death penalty could have been because his sentencing occurred two days before Christmas. This could have possibly caused the jury to feel more willing to spare the life of murderer. It has been argued that if the sentencing had taken place two days after Christmas Malvo would be sitting on death row.

So the question is: do adolescents deserve less punishment because they are not adults?




About half of the children living in the United States will see their parents go through divorce. I am part of that population growing up with a split household, my father and mother split when I was born and then currently my mother and step father are divorcing. Blog 3 pic 1.jpg How do divorces affect the children of the couple? I looked at a paper published by the University of New Hampshire that dove into this issue.

Impacts on children from divorce depend on the age of the child when divorced, gender, amount of conflict between parents, and their support system. The affects are most prominent from pre-school aged to adolescents. For all ages, depression, aggressiveness, grief, fault, resentment, and loneliness are typical effects. Preschoolers believe they have caused the divorce and may show baby-like behavior as a coping method. School aged children take it harder, possibly because they may understand the conflict. They tend to hope they reunite and feel rejected. Teenagers feel pushed into adulthood, may take over or control family to fill in shoes, doubt their own relationships, feel pressured to choose a parent, fault one, and understanding the issue may interfere with their coping ability.

Additionally, the gender of the child and which parent raises them can have some repercussions. Generally, it's best for the same sex parent to raise the child. With this model, boys show less aggression and have less emotional problems and girls can become more responsible and mature.

Blog 3 pic 2.jpg

Hopefully one day there can be less divorces and happier children worldwide.

Temke, Mary. "The Affects of Divorce on Children." University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, May 2006. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. .

In a time where the Chinese economy is booming and there are more and more multinational businesses with both Western and Chinese management, there needs to be an understanding of decision making processes of both cultures. In the Western culture, they have a value of making quick decisions. This goes against the more analytical process the Chinese take. The Chinese focus on the complexity of an issue. They will take their time to review every angle of the problem and go back to the beginning to make sure every step was looked at. In addition, their collectivist outlook requires them to have a consensus before moving forward. Their slow and steady approach is looked as inefficient to the Western culture who takes a individualistic approach. Chinese see this approach as overly aggressive and dangerous. They think that a safer decision or no decision is better than forcing a decision on someone.
One interesting tactic to solve these conflicts is a Jue ce hui: a type of meeting in China that indicates that a decision must be reached. This meeting makes sure there is a pai ban, a final decision, either by consensus or a voted leader. This is very good information to hold on to for the future. All of this information is eye-opening, because I am a typical Western thinker, a very quick decision maker. I believe that action is what drives results and that if there is not decisions being made then a group is failing. I can use this information that I have acquired in my steps to run my own company someday. In addition to information on China, I would like to know other ways decisions are made in different countries like the UK.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Writing 3; Section 5 category from March 2012.

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