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American Psychological Association, Aug. 6-9

Last Updated: August 10, 2015.

The 123rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association

The annual meeting of the American Psychological Association was held from Aug. 6 to 9 in Toronto and attracted more than 10,000 participants from around the world, including scientists, practitioners, and educators. The conference featured the latest advances in psychological knowledge, with presentations focusing on immigration, racism, bullying, eating disorders, clinical practice, social networking, and psychotherapy.

During one presentation, David G. Myers, Ph.D., of Hope College in Holland, Mich., provided an overview of the psychology and biology of hearing and hearing loss, with a special emphasis on hearing assistive technology, including the "hearing loop." The technology may enable those with hearing loss to become more social and involved within their community. It is currently being coined the Wi-Fi for hearing aids, as the loop system allows hearing aids to serve as wireless speakers.

"It's a simple 'hearing loop,'" Myers explained. For example, in a church setting, "a wire surrounding the congregation sends a magnetic signal to a sensor -- a 'telecoil' (or 'T-coil') that comes at no additional cost with seven in 10 new hearing aids and all cochlear implants."

Hearing loops are gaining momentum and being installed in public places around the United States, with new American manufacturers beginning to design and market hearing loop amplifiers.

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During another presentation, Donald S. Grant, Ph.D., of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., discussed how individuals in sobriety not only prefer face-to-face Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, but find greater connection, safety, ease of self-disclosure, and abstinence success there, compared with online sobriety support.

"Mediated communication was found to foster a lesser degree of authentic self-presentation and minimal efficacy in terms of sustained sobriety success. Results also indicated that even those who established their sobriety in face-to-face AA self-report decreasing their face-to-face meetings in favor of mediated ones," Grant said. "This migration was not tremendous but significant enough to prove that my fear of the demise of face-to-face AA is not unwarranted. Especially when considering that my subjects were all over the age of 18 and thus, digital immigrants."

According to Grant, face-to-face connection and community establishment is a vital and basic key to a successful significant lifestyle change for those dealing with sobriety.

"I think it is safe to assume that technology and digital communication opportunities are here to stay. Not only that, but how quickly they have progressed in such a short time of existence predicts that those opportunities will only become more popular, easier, and sophisticated," Grant added. "Thus, I believe that in terms of pragmatics, a blend of face-to-face and mediated sobriety is the best goal for the future of those seeking sobriety support."

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Abbie E. Goldberg, Ph.D., of Clark University in Worcester, Mass., and colleagues explored parents' experiences with their children's schools among 30 gay male adoptive couples, 40 lesbian female adoptive couples, and 45 heterosexual adoptive couples.

The investigators found that most lesbian/gay parents (three-quarters of lesbian parents; 88 percent of gay male parents) reported that they had not encountered major challenges relating to their sexual orientation in the schools. In addition, the investigators also found that challenges relating to the parent's status as an adoptive family were named by 20 percent of lesbian parents, 4 percent of gay male parents, and 26 percent of heterosexual parents. A common complaint among participants was that teachers had demonstrated insensitivity and/or ignorance about adoption issues; they were not seen as "adoption savvy."

"The findings were somewhat surprising, in the sense that higher levels of disclosure about sexuality and lower levels of perceived stigma were reported than in some older studies, which likely reflects the passing of time and increased acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual families," Goldberg said. "On the other hand, the instances of adoption stigma that were reported are troubling and suggest that many educators need training in adoptive families."

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APA: Evidence in Support of 'Time-Outs' for Preschoolers

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Experts speaking at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting in Toronto offered evidence in support of time-outs -- and a range of other parenting tactics.

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APA: Use of Legal Performance-Enhancing Drugs Up Among Men

FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of legal appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs (APEDs) is increasing among men, with a considerable proportion concerned about their own supplement use, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, held from Aug. 6 to 9 in Toronto.

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