Monthly Archives: June 2009

Special Edition: Historical Analysis of the American Civil Liberties Union – ACLU Involvement in Anti-war Demonstrations, 1965-1971

Brandon Scribner, Bowling Green State University

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/aclu/scribner.html

Introduction: Throughout the ACLU’s history it was involved with some of the most politically and socially galvanizing issues to occur in the United States. One such issue was the anti-war response to the United States involvement in Vietnam. When determining the ACLU’s involvement during this time many important questions arise. In order to better understand the general idea one needs to study the position taken by the ACLU in response to these anti-war demonstrators. Furthermore, it is essential to address some of the specific instances or cases in which the ACLU was involved and what their strategies were during those times. Because these questions play a vital role in providing the information needed to determine the ACLU’s involvement and subsequent impact during this time period, it is also important to question what, if any, were the consequences the ACLU faced as it took action. For instance, did the ACLU risk disagreement within the organization for the positions it took? Overall, answering these questions will allow for deeper insight into the organization during the Vietnam era and for insight into the culture of the United States at that time.

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Special Edition: Historical Analysis of the American Civil Liberties Union “In God We Trust” and the ACLU, 1955-1959

Randy Kamcza, Bowling Green State University

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/aclu/kamcza.html

Introduction The founding fathers created the framework for our country that would not be controlled by religion. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, only seven percent of the people in the thirteen colonies belonged to a church. Yet, by the 1950s the country they had created was so controlled by religion that a vote against “In God We Trust” as the national motto or a vote against “Under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance would be confused with a vote for communism and a vote against America. The Founding Fathers’ first amendment to the constitution stated, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus creating what is commonly called the Separation of Church and State (also known as Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause). Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States exclaimed,

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Special Edition: Historical Analysis of the American Civil Liberties Union

Leigh Ann Wheeler, Associate Professor, Binghamton University
Full article: http://www.kon.org/urc/aclu/intro.html
Introduction:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has played a central role in the development of civil liberties jurisprudence, but it has also shaped popular understandings of civil liberties through its public advocacy, behind-the-scenes pressure on public officials, and, of course, legal work. These two papers—Randy Kamcza’s on the ACLU’s position on the adoption of “In God We Trust” as an official United States motto in the 1950’s and Brandon Scribner’s on the ACLU’s involvement in protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960’s—show us some of the many ways that the ACLU tried to shape law, public policy, and public opinion on some of the most important issues of yesterday and today. Unlike most scholarship on the ACLU, these papers were written by two young researchers who approached their work with no prior experience with the ACLU. Thus, in contrast to the ACLU’s most well-known biographers—Samuel Walker, author of the scholarly, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990) and William Donohue, author of the more polemical book, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union (1985) to cite just two examples)—Kamcza and Scribner were neither members nor detractors of the organization before they began their work.

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Parent’s Depression and Its Relation to Adolescent Suicide Attempts

Christina Solomon, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/solomon.html

Abstract There is current research that shows the relation between parent psychopathology along with mental health outcomes in adolescents. This study examined the relationship between parents’ depression and adolescent suicide attempts. The hypothesis was that adolescents with multiple suicide attempts would have parents who are more depressed than adolescents with none or one suicide attempt. There were a total of 448 adolescents who were in a psychiatric hospital at a university or private facility. Age, race/ethnicity, and income of the sample are given. The results showed that there was not a strong relationship between parent depression and youth suicide attempts. Further research must be conducted to show the significance of parent depression on adolescent suicide attempts.

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Post-Divorce Living Conditions and Child Maturation

Jessica Crabb, The Master's College

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/crabb.html

Abstract Research suggests that the impacts of divorce are far reaching because the nature of divorce changes the family unit and creates new transition points in the life course of the individuals involved. A review of the literature indicated that many changes occur in the lives of parents and children after divorce, including negative changes such as high levels of stress for parents and children, emotional peaks and plummets, regressive behaviors in children, and alteration/strain in the relationships between parents and children. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the living conditions in post-divorce families affect the child’s maturation. Pursuant to the treatment, data were collected through a seven-question survey instrument that employed a Likert-type scale to measure the responses of participants from the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys. The survey instrument was designed to measure what changes were perceived to occur in the lives of children and parents after divorce. The results of the study indicated that the changes in the life of the parent do impact the development of the child. Those surveyed believed that the living conditions in post-divorce families will influence the maturation of a child.

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Xbox as Therapy? An Experimental Investigation into Persuasion, Catharsis and Violent Video Games

David S. Chester, Kathryn A.P. Burleson*, Warren Wilson College

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/chester.html

Abstract The hypothesis that persuasive articles that either endorse/oppose cathartic aggression (releasing psychological stress through aggressive behavior) would affect the preference to play violent video games was tested on 37 undergraduates. Participants who read articles that endorsed cathartic aggression indicated a greater preference for playing a violent video game than participants who read articles that opposed cathartic aggression. Our findings suggest that an individual’s motivation to play violent video games is moderated by their belief in the efficacy of catharsis.

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