Monday, September 16, 2013

Restoring Virtue Ethics in the quest for happiness report

What makes people happy? Economists typically claim that the answer is higher income and consumption. Sociologists emphasize the quality of social support such as one's network of family and friends ("social capital"). Psychologists stress the importance of personality, mental health, and an individual's state of mind (e.g. "positive psychology"
or "mindfulness"). Many moral philosophers and religious leaders have suggested that virtue is the key to happiness, an approach sometimes called virtue ethics.1 Of these factors, it is the ethical dimension that is most often overlooked in current discussions of well-being, and one that I explore in this highly speculative essay. As shown compelling by Helliwell and Wang (2013) in this volume, all four types of factors — economic, social, psychological, and ethical — help to account for the differences across individuals
and nations in measured happiness, used in the "evaluative" sense of life satisfaction. Helliwell and Wang identify six basic covariates that fall within the four dimensions.


Monday, September 9, 2013

College depression: What parents need to know

Helping your child make the emotional transition to college can be a major undertaking. Know how to identify whether your child is having trouble dealing with this new stage of life — and what you can do to help.

What is college depression and why are college students vulnerable to it?

Depression is an illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. College depression isn't a clinical diagnosis. Instead, college depression is depression that begins during college.

College students face many challenges, pressures and anxieties that can cause them to feel overwhelmed. They might be living on their own for the first time and feeling homesick. They're also likely adapting to a new schedule and workload, adjusting to life with roommates, and figuring out how to belong. Money and intimate relationships can also serve as major sources of stress. Dealing with these changes during the transition from adolescence to adulthood can trigger or unmask depression during college in some young adults.