Using fourteen waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a longitudinal panel survey with respondents in the United States, this research explores whether marital quality—as measured by reports of enjoyment of time together—influences risk of divorce or separation when either spouse acquires basic care disability. Discrete-time event history models with multiple competing events were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. Respondents were followed until they experienced the focal event (i.e., divorce or separation) or right-hand censoring (i.e., a competing event or were still married at the end of observation). Disability among wives was predictive of divorce/separation in the main effects model. Low levels of marital quality (i.e., enjoy time together) were associated with marital dissolution. An interaction between marital quality and disability yielded a significant association among couples where at least one spouse acquired basic care disability. For couples who acquired disability, those who reported low enjoyment were more likely to divorce/separate than those with high enjoyment; however, the group with the highest predicted probability were couples with low enjoyment, but no acquired disability.
International policy discussions on plastic pollution are entering a new phase, with more than 100 governments calling for the launch of negotiations for a new global plastics agreement in 2022. This article aims to contribute to efforts to identify effective international policy levers to address plastic pollution. It takes stock of the evolution of views and perceptions on this complex and multi-faceted topic—from concerns about marine pollution and waste management towards new strategic directions that involve the entire plastics life-cycle and include climate and health impacts associated with the proliferation of plastics. It also traces the progressive development of responses—from voluntary approaches invovling multiple stakeholders to national and international approaches focused on regulation. The paper is informed by desk research, a literature review and participation by the authors in informal and formal global governance processes on plastic pollution, the environment and development in the United Nations and World Trade Organization between 2019 and 2021. It also draws on empirical findings from a novel and original database on the life-cycle of plastic trade created by the authors. The paper argues that the important focus on downstream dimensions of plastic pollution—and strategies to address them—needs to be complemented by a broad life-cycle and “upstream” perspective that addresses plastic pollution at its source. It highlights the political economy tensions and inconsistencies at hand, observing that while some countries are taking concerted efforts to reduce pollution (including through bans on certain kinds of plastic and plastic products); to promote more circular plastic economies; and to reduce the carbon footprint of plastics (as part of a wider effort to decarbonize their economies), trade and investment in the plastic industry continues to rise. The paper argues that to reduce plastic pollution, emerging global governance efforts must integrate international environmental law and cooperation with a complementary and enabling global framework that addresses the economic, financial, industrial and trade policies needed to drive the necessary transformation of the plastics sector.
The subjective well-being of children in residential care is a relevant issue given the practical implications for improving the lives of these children who live in contexts of vulnerability. The question addressed in this respect was: “How does this well-being change over the years”? Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the subjective well-being displayed by adolescents aged 11–14 in residential care in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain) in 2014 to that displayed by adolescents in residential care in 2020. To this end, 572 responses to a questionnaire adapted from the Children’s Worlds project (364 from 2014 and 208 from 2020) were analysed with respect to the life satisfaction items. In both 2014 and 2020, the questionnaires had the same wording, and data were disaggregated by gender. No significant differences in means were observed between most of the life satisfaction items in 2014 and 2020, with the exception of satisfaction with friends and classmates and the area where you live, with lower means for these items in 2020. There is a discussion of the possible influence of COVID-19 on these results, while the overall stability of these children’s subjective well-being over the years is highlighted.
For decades, sustainability researchers have tenaciously insisted on transforming higher education institutions into more sustainable and inclusive campuses. Yet, as the 2030 agenda seems unlikely to be achieved, universities are struggling to meet the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) before the 2030 deadline. In addition, the post-COVID-19 era demands quality and inclusive education that entails care for students experiencing high stress levels. So far, most of the significant achievements are within the environmental or economic dimensions of sustainable development, but strengthening the social dimension is still one pending task. The importance of happiness to sustainability initiatives on campus, and beyond, deserves further research. To this end, this article offers insights into incorporating the sustainability–happiness nexus into sustainable universities to enhance the social dimension of sustainability. COVID-19 reminds sustainability academics and stakeholders that teaching technical and scientific knowledge is necessary to become more sustainable. Still, it is not sufficient to achieve the goals in the 2030 agenda. Providing inclusive and sustainable quality education will be reached when more sustainable universities consider happiness the ultimate goal of human development.
This paper offers the first overview of the Canadian animal cruelty investigations landscape. First, the public and private sector organizations responsible for enforcement are explained, followed by examination of the implications of this patchwork for reporting suspected cruelty. Key statistical data are presented about the types of issues and cases and investigator responses. Initial recommendations are then proposed, and the value of the animal harm spectrum is discussed, including how it can be mobilized to strengthen the operations of animal protection work and animal welfare policy across nations.
Knowing what perpetrators want can inform strategies to achieve safe, secure, and sustainable societies. To help advance the body of knowledge in counterterrorism, this research applied natural language processing and machine learning techniques to a comprehensive database of terrorism events. A specially designed empirical topic modeling technique provided a machine-aided human decision process to glean six categories of perpetrator aims from the motive text narrative. Subsequently, six different machine learning models validated the aim categories based on the accuracy of their association with a different narrative field, the event summary. The ROC-AUC scores of the classification ranged from 86% to 93%. The Extreme Gradient Boosting model provided the best predictive performance. The intelligence community can use the identified aim categories to help understand the incentive structure of terrorist groups and customize strategies for dealing with them.
European history is to a significant extent also a history about racialization and racism. Since the colonizers of past centuries defined boundaries between “civilized” and “savages” by applying value standards in which the notions of race, ethnicity, culture, and religion were interwoven and imposed on human beings perceived as fundamentally different from themselves, racialization became deeply inherent in how (white) Europeans viewed the world, themselves, and others. In this Special Issue, we assume that colonialist racialization constitutes the base of a persistent and often unreflective and indirect racism. Implicit value systems according to which white people are automatically considered as more competent, more desirable, preferable in general terms, and more “European” translate into patterns of everyday racism affecting the self-image and life chances of white and non-white Europeans. In this introductory article, which defines the conceptual framework for the special issue, we contest the idea of a “post-racial” condition and discuss the consequences of ethno-racial differentiation and stigmatization for racialized groups such as Black Europeans, European Roma, and non-white migrants in general. Finally, we argue for the need to further problematize and critically examine whiteness.
Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin (CKDu) has appeared across Sri Lanka’s North Central Province (NCP) since the 1990s as an epidemic, unexplained by conventional associated risk factors. During the past few decades, a large number of studies attempted to determine the unknown etiology of CKDu. Despite these investigations, no concrete conclusions were developed, though a number of contradictory hypotheses emerged. The present ethnographic study was carried out in two endemic areas, labelled as “CKDu hotspots”, and illuminates how curing takes place between biomedicine and traditional cultural practices. Our ethnographic study thoroughly scrutinized three decades of lived experience, lay-perceptions and local discourses on CKDu. We used a qualitative study design with a transcendental phenomenological approach and employed a mixture of ethnographic methods. Data collection techniques included participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Data was analysed by using an interpretive thematic analysis model. Findings revealed that lay people have constructed a popular discourse on CKDu, and we explored their views on the origin, etiology and prevalence of CKDu in their locality over the past few decades. Patients’ narratives revealed that there were currently a number of gaps in service delivery. These were mainly due to distant relationships between healthcare providers and CKDu patients. Lay people in affected communities were marginalized throughout the investigation process to determine the unknown etiology, their involvement marginalized to merely acting as objects for scientific instigation. The affected communities strongly believed that CKDu was a recent phenomenon resulting from the mismanagement of the natural environment due to social and lifestyle changes. These findings highlight local dynamics of healthcare seeking behaviours which demand complementary medicine system, particularly given the number of limitations in the biomedical system. Empirical evidence generated from this study suggests a conceptual shift to an ethno-medical model to address CKDu. Improving cultural competency and communication skills among healthcare providers in public health are crucial in order to apply a “bio-psychosocial perspective” in healthcare delivery system and bridging the gap between hospital and the community.
Despite the enduring popular view that the rise in the multiracial population heralds our nation’s transformation into a post-racial society, Critical Multiracial Theory (MultiCrit) asserts that how multiracial identity status is constructed is inextricably tied to systems and ideologies that maintain the white supremacist status quo in the United States. MultiCrit, like much of the multiracial identity literature, focuses predominantly on the experiences of emerging adults; this means we know little about the experiences of multiracial adolescents, a peak period for identity development. The current paper uses MultiCrit to examine how a diverse sample of multiracial youth (n = 49; Mage = 15.5 years) negotiate racial identity development under white supremacy. Our qualitative interview analysis reveals: (a) the salience of socializing messages from others, (b) that such messages reinforce a (mono)racist societal structure via discrimination, stereotyping, and invalidation, and (c) that multiracial youth frequently resist (mono)racist assertions as they make sense of their own identities. Our results suggest that multiracial youth are attentive to the myriad ways that white supremacy constructs and constrains their identities, and thus underscores the need to bring a critical lens to the study of multiracial identity development.
Objective: The current study investigates the effects of an alcohol-prevention program delivered to college students in a formal classroom setting. Participants: The sample comprised 231 first-year college students who enrolled in a multisection “First Year Experience” course at a large northeastern university in the United States. Method: A naturalistic experiment was conducted, with a baseline evaluation at the beginning of the semester and a post-experiment evaluation near the end of the semester. Results: Social drinking attitudes, proximal drinking norm and the college effect are significant predictors of pre- and post-intervention episodic drinking frequency. The intervention reduced episodic drinking frequency as well as perceived distal and proximal drinking norms. It also increased drinking attitudes and did not change perceived efficacy or drinking-outcome expectancies. Conclusions: Practitioners could consider implementing a similar intervention to allow students to learn and practice safe drinking skills in the first year of their college life.