17-29 Segment 1: Sibling Abuse

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Have you ever fought with a sibling? Most of us have at some point, especially as kids. While some experts say sibling rivalry strengthens sibling relationships, others claim this can be harmful for a child’s well-being. In extreme cases, siblings torment their brothers or sisters to the point of psychological or physical abuse. This abuse can lead to psychological disorders throughout a child’s life.

 

Thirty to fifty percent of siblings face abuse in their lifetime. What line can parents determine which is plain sibling rivalry and which is actual abuse? PTSD trainer Nancy Kilgore suffered through fifteen years of severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her own sister. She wrote the book Girl in the Water about her abuse and the psychological effects on her life. Kilgore says parents must not dismiss that it is normal for siblings to torment each other, and suggests parents step in should they see an issue arise.

 

Valparaiso University’s assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Mandy Morrill-Richards claims that parental attention is a key factor in sibling abuse. Typically, sibling abuse occurs out of the watch of parents, usually when they leave the children home alone. Often times the oldest child takes care of their siblings, and begins to abuse their younger siblings due to the lack of supervision. While parents cannot keep watch over their children 24/7, these experts suggest tackling the problem before it becomes even larger or more harmful for the children. This involves weekly open communication like meetings and paying attention to any warning signs. In order to prevent self-doubt, guilt, shame, and possibly even PTSD, parents need to supervise their children, especially if they begin to harm one another.

Read the entire transcript here. 

Guests:

  • Dr. John Caffaro, Distinguished Professor, Alliant International University
  • Nancy Kilgore, PTSD trainer, abuse survivor and author, Girl in the Water
  • Dr. Mandy Morrill-Richards, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Valparaiso University

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17-25 Segment 1: “Textalyzers” To Stop Texting While Driving

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American highways have become increasingly safe, but in the past three years, traffic fatalities have jumped by 14%. So, what’s the problem? Many say the culprit is texting and driving. According to AAA, 67% of Americans are guilty of this form of distracted driving. Ben Lieberman, co-founder of Distracted Operators Risk Casualties or DORC, has proposed that law enforcers use a “Textalyzer,” a kind of device that works like a Breathalyzer, but instead of measuring a driver’s intoxication, it measures their cell phone activity while driving.  

When Lieberman lost his son in a car accident, he suspected that there was more to the story than the driver falling asleep on the road. After obtaining the phone records of the driver, he discovered that the driver was texting throughout the drive. Lieberman says that while a drunk driver would be severely penalized for such an accident. The penalties for texting and driving are often as low as a $20 fine, and Lieberman also notes that there are currently states that don’t even have laws against texting and driving.

This led Lieberman to approach Cellebrite, a “mobile forensics” company that obtains digital data from cell phones, and together they developed a Textalyzer, a device that follows the same concept as a Breathalyzer; but instead of testing for alcohol, a Textalyzer can generate a report showing how many times a phone was accessed while driving.

While Cellebrite CEO, Jim Grady, and Ben Lieberman believe that the Textalyzer is ready for traffic enforcement, others disagree.  Rashida Richardson, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of New York, believes that the Textalyzer infringes on the privacy and rights of others and brings up questions about racial disparity in how these laws are enforced.

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Guests:

  • Ben Lieberman, founder, Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs) and Alliance Combatting Distracted Driving
  • Jim Grady, CEO Cellebrite, Inc.
  • Rashida Richardson, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of New York

Links for more information:

17-24 Segment 1: Only Children and Their Parents

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Only children, also known as “onlies,” have sometimes been labeled as the spoiled and selfish children of society. In studies from the 1980’s, being an only child was likened to having a disease. Beth Apone Salamon, Director of Communications & Television at Rutgers University, and Lauren Sandler, author of One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One, approach the concept of only children in different ways. Salamon voices her concern that once her parents are gone, she won’t have anyone to share family memories with. In contrast, Sandler loves being an only child as well as raising an only child: “We’re just selfish people raising selfish children.” Dr. Susan Newman, psychologist and author of Parenting an Only Child, points out that it makes sense that many onlies thrive more than children with siblings do, because the attention and time allotted by parents to their one child is more concentrated than if they were to divide these things among multiple children. Newman also talks about the importance of the “sibling substitute,” a friend, cousin, or family member with whom the only child can relate to and become comfortable with. By building relationships with “sibling substitutes,” onlies are able to connect with people other than their parents, which has proved beneficial in the long run. Additional studies have debunked myths about only children, concluding that the number of siblings a person has has little impact on his or her personality and life.

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Guests:

  • Beth Apone Salamon, Director of Communications & Television, School of Continuing Studies, Rutgers University and an only child
  • Lauren Sandler, only child, mother of an only child and author, One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One
  • Dr. Susan Newman, psychologist, contributor to Psychology Today magazine and author, Parenting an Only Child

Links for more information:

17-23 Segment 1: The Health Effects of Loneliness

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Loneliness affects far more than our mental health. Studies are now showing that loneliness and social isolation also have profound effects on our physical health, and increase the risk of death substantially.

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17-22 Segment 1: Alternatives to Opioids for Pain

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Americans consume 80 percent of the opioid painkillers prescribed worldwide, ultimately resulting in the deaths of more than 20,000 Americans each year of overdoses of these drugs. The crisis is making doctors look at alternative medicine therapies for a substitute for these drugs. Experts discuss modalities that have shown success.

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17-21 Segment 1: Blood Substitutes

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Donated blood saves 4.5 million American lives each year, but has a short shelf life, low portability and must be available for all blood types. Researchers have sought safe and effective blood substitutes for 60 years, and a few viable alternatives are in animal testing.

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17-20 Segment 1: Elephant DNA: The secret to cancer suppression?

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DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system.

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