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A Review of Research on Problematic Internet Use and Well-Being: With Recommendations for the U.S. Air Force

March 27, 2015 Comments off

A Review of Research on Problematic Internet Use and Well-Being: With Recommendations for the U.S. Air Force
Source: RAND Corporation

This report reviews the scientific literature on the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of problematic Internet use (PIU) with the goal of informing Air Force policies aimed at mitigating PIU’s negative impact on operations and the mental health of Airmen. The report is motivated by a recent RAND study estimating that 6 percent of Airmen have PIU. Individuals with PIU, similar to people with substance addictions, suffer from excessive and compulsive online activities, symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal, and functional impairment. PIU is also strongly associated with other mental health problems including major depression. However, at present there is no single accepted definition of PIU, and no up-to-date estimates of the prevalence of PIU in the general U.S. population are available. A range of prevention and treatment approaches have been developed, but none has been rigorously tested in clinical trials. Prevention programs rely on workplace Internet policies and strategies to help individuals self-regulate their Internet use. Treatment approaches that have proven feasible and acceptable to patients with PIU include adaptations of cognitive-behavioral therapy, an evidence-based treatment for depression and anxiety, to the specific symptoms of PIU. Based on our findings, we recommend: (1) increasing awareness of PIU among organizational leadership and mental health professionals, (2) incorporating content related to PIU into existing trainings related to mental health, (3) providing support for self-regulation of Internet use on the job by incorporating PIU management principles into Internet use policies, and (4) continuing monitoring of the emerging scientific literature on PIU.

Open Data in the G8

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Open Data in the G8
Source: Center for Data Innovation

In 2013, the leaders of the G8 signed an agreement committing to advance open data in their respective countries. This report assesses the current state of open data efforts in these countries and finds substantial variation in their progress. Moving forward, countries have many opportunities to enhance their open data capabilities, such as by increasing international collaboration, better educating policymakers about the benefits of open data, and working closely with civil society on open data initiatives.

The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America

March 26, 2015 Comments off

The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America
Source: Brookings Institution

Proximity to employment can influence a range of economic and social outcomes, from local fiscal health to the employment prospects of residents, particularly low-income and minority workers. An analysis of private-sector employment and demographic data at the census tract level reveals that:

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of jobs within the typical commute distance for residents in a major metro area fell by 7 percent.

As employment suburbanized, the number of jobs near both the typical city and suburban resident fell.

As poor and minority residents shifted toward suburbs in the 2000s, their proximity to jobs fell more than for non-poor and white residents.

Residents of high-poverty and majority-minority neighborhoods experienced particularly pronounced declines in job proximity.

EU Council Library Think Tank Review — Issue 22

March 26, 2015 Comments off

EU Council Library Think Tank Review — Issue 22
Source: General Secretariat of the Council of the EU (Central Library)

Welcome to issue 22 of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library. It gives a short abstract of papers published in February 2015, with a link to the full text.

This month’s Review has a focus on external action and includes the CEPS/ Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung report on More Union in European defence, presented in Brussels on 9 March. Other relevant resources from the library were listed in our blog post on the event.

On economics, we harvested the habitual range of papers on the banking union, capital markets, pros and cons of the ECB’s quantitative easing, debt targets and the balanced budget rule, and more. Thomas Piketty’s book continues to trigger debate. See the collection of (mostly critical) essays on the book by the UK think tank Policy Network. On inequality, the notion at the heart of Piketty’s book, we also feature an article by Caritas Europa and one by Friends of Europe.

2015 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?

March 25, 2015 Comments off

2015 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?
Source: Brookings Institution

The 2015 Brown Center Report (BCR) represents the 14th edition of the series since the first issue was published in 2000. It includes three studies. Like all previous BCRs, the studies explore independent topics but share two characteristics: they are empirical and based on the best evidence available. The studies in this edition are on the gender gap in reading, the impact of the Common Core State Standards — English Language Arts on reading achievement, and student engagement.

Part one examines the gender gap in reading. Girls outscore boys on practically every reading test given to a large population. And they have for a long time. A 1942 Iowa study found girls performing better than boys on tests of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and basic language skills. Girls have outscored boys on every reading test ever given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—the first long term trend test was administered in 1971—at ages nine, 13, and 17. The gap is not confined to the U.S.

Part two is about reading achievement, too. More specifically, it’s about reading and the English Language Arts standards of the Common Core (CCSS-ELA). It’s also about an important decision that policy analysts must make when evaluating public policies—the determination of when a policy begins. How can CCSS be properly evaluated?

Part three is on student engagement. PISA tests fifteen-year-olds on three subjects—reading, math, and science—every three years. It also collects a wealth of background information from students, including their attitudes toward school and learning.

Training Cyber Warriors: What Can Be Learned from Defense Language Training?

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Training Cyber Warriors: What Can Be Learned from Defense Language Training?
Source: RAND Corporation

As the importance of cyber operations in national security grows, the U.S. military’s ability to ensure a robust cyber workforce becomes increasingly important in protecting the nation. A particular concern has been the growing need for cyber warriors: highly trained and specialized individuals who engage in offensive and defensive operations. The authors seek to help those planning future training for cyber warriors by highlighting what can be learned from another specialty: defense language. While there is no perfect analogy between cyber personnel and another segment of the national security workforce, a number of similarities exist between the need for language skills and cyber warrior expertise, including the need for a highly specialized skill that requires extensive training, the critical role of the skill in mission effectiveness, a need to quickly build capacity, and a potentially limited pipeline of qualified candidates. In this exploratory study, the authors examine what the military services and national security agencies have done to train linguists — personnel with skills in critical languages other than English — and the kinds of language training provided to build and maintain this segment of the workforce. They draw from published documents, research literature, and interviews of experts in both language and cyber. Among key findings, the authors find that shared definitions and metrics are an important first step, training must be closely aligned with mission needs, efforts should focus on building a strong pipeline of candidates, and training must be aligned with overall workforce management efforts.

Criminal Justice Technology Taxonomy Web Tool

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Criminal Justice Technology Taxonomy Web Tool
Source: RAND Corporation

Institutional and community corrections agencies face increasingly complex tasks and challenges today. It is important, therefore, to identify opportunities where changes in tools, technology, practices, or approaches can help agencies respond more effectively to solve problems and mitigate risks in their role to protect the public. Identifying and prioritizing possible corrections innovations was the goal of this research effort, the results of which are described Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector. The starting point for considering future technological and other innovations is the baseline that exists today. As a result, the effort developed a map or taxonomy of technologies and populated it based on information on tools and practices that are already in use. This tool presents that map in dynamic form, allowing the user to explore the different areas of corrections technology and practice and to make comparisons between community and institutional corrections.

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