• Bibliography



    1. Berent, Rusti, Cindy A. Crusto, Bohdan S. Lotyczewski, Susan R. Greenberg, Dirk A. Hightower, and Joy S. Kaufman. "Development and Psychometric Refinement of a Measure Assessing Young Children's Exposure to Violence: Parent Report of Children's Experiences." Best Practices in Mental Health 4 (2008): 19-30.

    2. Hem, Erlend, Anne Marie Berg, and Oivind Ekeberg. "Suicide in Police--a critical review." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 31 (2001): 224-33.

    3. Loo, Robert. "A Meta-Analysis of Police Suicide Rates: Findings and Issues." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 33 (2003): 313-25.

    4. Marzuk, Peter M., Matthew K. Nock, and Andrew C. Leon. "Suicide Among New York City Police Officers, 1977-1996." The American Journal of Psychiatry 159 (2002): 2069-071.

    5. Ortega, Sandra, Antoine Beauchemin, and Reyhan Burcu Kaniskan. "Building Resiliency in Families with Young Children Exposed to Violence: The Safe Start Initiative Pilot Study." Best Practices in Mental Health 4 (2008): 48-64.

    6. Shields, John P. "An Evaluation of Police Compliance with Domestic Violence Documentation Policy Reform: Improving the Identification of Exposed Children." Best Practices in Mental Health 4 (2008): 65-73.

  • Emily, I also wonder a lot about the high rates of suicide and domestic abuse among police officers. I have various theories about why people in law enforcement have these problems in greater proportions than the general population. I would guess that their jobs alternate between being very boring or very unpleasant and dangerous, and that affects them psychologically. They are exposed to the most violent, dysfunctional aspects of our culture, and so maybe that rubs off on them. Or, maybe they are used to everyone doing exactly what they say, so if their husband, wife or child disagree with them, they don't know how to react, except to strike them. Probably, too, the job attracts people with existing psychological issues surrounding authority and conformance. I believe that many men who become police officers used to be bullies in high school, and law enforcement suits their personalities because they enjoy having power over other people.

    Whatever the reasons, this is a serious problems, and its great that you have identified a local NFP who focuses on this issue. But I am not sure how a product that you design could be useful in helping police officers to deal with their problems in more healthy ways. Can you tell me more about what you have in mind here? I can't really respond to your bibliography exercise without knowing more about the actual product you hope to make. If you want help brainstorming about product ideas, come over to my office later this week and we can discuss it. steven

  • In response to fascinating idea..., posted by steven landau,
    in the thread Bibliography

    Hi Steven.

    Thanks for your input.

    I guess I will just start by explaining my two topics the way I have explained to Robert and Rick.

    I am very interested in the collaboration of therapy and design. Domestic Violence and Police Suicide are two topics in which I want to apply design to. With domestic violence, many people are still struggling to come forth and seek help. But for those who do, it is hard for the family, wives and children, to reconnect with each other. Every women's center, or domestic violence center deals with their victims differently, but my idea was to focus on their means of therapy. Many families go through therapy to overcome all the problems, fears, and pain they went through during abuse. I believe that actions speak louder that words, and this is what I wanted to apply to a "product". If I were to go through with this topic, I would love to focus on creating a product that helps the families reconnect and communicate with each other. Especially with children, words cannot always express what they fear or are feeling, so to create a product that helps them interact and open up is my ideal goal with this topic.

    Police suicide is a personal topic that I am interested in because I look foward to becoming a detective in the future. Statistics say that 2 out of 3 police officers are most likely to commit suicide than be killed in the line of duty. This just mirrors all the problems that they may face as an officer, personal such as marital problems are most common, sometimes with shootings, etc. There are many different reasons for a police officer to feel helpless but many find it hard to find help. Some reading that I have done for this topic blame issues of failing as an officer has much to do with confessing their problems. I am very interested in this topic but I do not know exactly what I can design to help. It could range from creating a "health" check at every precinct, or it is a tool to help those who have admitted their troubles or what. Suicide is not only a problem in police officers, but also with military personnels, firefighters, or any law enforcement or medical officers. They need help and I hope to find one in design.

  • In response to thesis topics, posted by Emily Kim,
    in the thread Bibliography

    Wow, Emily, so interesting. So you want to become a police officer after graduating from design school...that will be a unique combination of skills and may provide you with important insights in an area where design has not had very much impact. In looking over your comments, I personally feel that you may have problems trying to reduce police suicide through product design, because people in that position are unlikely to use the thing that you make. If they are so desperate that they want to kill themselves, it's hard to imagine them pausing long enough to use your product....

    On the other hand, I am very intrigued about the use of product design to help people communicate in a therapeutic or legal setting about things that are hard to verbalize, especially for kids. I know that there are big problems with eye-witness accounts of crimes; apparently, memory is highly inaccurate, and in a courtroom, where eyewitness testimony is very persuasive to juries, the need to be able to sort through someone's memories to determine what is reliable and what is not is of crucial importance. Innocent people have been executed because of faulty eye-witness accounts. Maybe there should be a product that would permit a child witness to create a picture that more accurately reflects what really happened than if you ask him or her a lot of leading questions, in which case you usually can get them to say whatever you want them to. While this would not be a mass-market product, but rather something very specialized, it would have the potential of making an important contribution to improving outcomes in criminal cases. Also, I'll bet there are plenty of non-profit groups who focus on the rights of the accused, who would be interested in working with you on a project like this.

    Hope this helps, let's talk more in class on Monday. steven

  • In response to thesis topics, posted by Emily Kim,
    in the thread Bibliography


    Looks like you have some really solid ideas for your project. I like that you are able to be so focused on the re-entry of family members into family life following therapy. May I ask what brought you to this particular focus or, how did you identify this as a "problem"?

    The bad news is that domestic/male violence is so prevalent that there are many types of design interventions that are needed. The good news (if there is any) is that there are many community-based organizations who are focused on issues of violence in the NYC area. This could make your research work very interesting.

    I also wonder how other domestic violence treatment/prevention/reduction programs might be equally inspiring or promising to you. For example, I know that some organizations are focused on more on what they call "community responses" to domestic violence that take into account the gaps in conventional interventions (therapy, jail=more violence, etc) and the way that some communities (poor people without access to therapy, people of color, cultural groups, etc) and long-held traditions can sometimes be more effective in addressing this problem.

    I read recently about a program (I want to say in Brooklyn) where communities work together with families to help access services, but also support both the victims to reduce violence and confront the perpetrator and provide education, counseling, etc. My point in raising these examples is to say that often these informal and community supported responses lack the proper support and funding. They could potentially benefit more from such a design.

    I'm looking forward to see how this develops. I'm interested in your response.



  • Hi Jesse.

    Thanks for your response. I do feel that all those support groups don't really help the victims on a personal level. Families have a hard time trying to go back to a "normal" life, still scared and feeling some type of responsibility to their abuser, etc. I just really wanted to focus on getting the families or victims to reconnect with themselves, their family and friends. Domestic violence, or such trama in ones' life does not just effect the abused, but also effects all the people around them. Getting the victim to have faith in creating better relationships for themselves is one of my goals in tackling this topic.

    This might be lame, but I actually came across this issue through my favorite artist Christina Aguilera. Her mother and she were also victims of abuse, and this is where I began to wonder about how design could help. In a positive note, I believe that if I approach this problem in a certain way, it could help all victims of different crimes, not just domestic violence.

    Although I am set on working on this project, the other idea that I am really interested in is police or military personnel suicide. The fact that these individuals give their life to protect and serve the people, it seems unfair that they have to face certain life changing decisions that effect the way their life works. The work load and stress levels that occur from their jobs really effect their personal lives, and hurts them physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'm actually surprised that there is not a certain design, or even a good system, to detect and help these officers out of depression and thoughts of suicide. I'm a little torn between the two topics and might need some more opinions on deciding what could be more beneficial to those I am designing for.

    Thank you again for your incite.

    Best, Emily

  • Emily:

    I hope that you didn't think that I was being critical of your ideas. I think they are both very interesting and have great potential if you can focus your research/questions related to the issues. A plus is that there are several potential overlaps between the 2 subjects.

    I agree with you that it seems families need to be offered strategies and support to transition into more healthy and peaceful family/relationship settings. Beyond Christina Aguilera, have you identified a great need for these types of interventions? Are there loca organizations of service providers, organizers or victim groups who have verbalized this need? I don't doubt that there is a need and I understand that we are in the beginning stages, but you'll need to quantify this. Perhaps if when you make your initial contact with a group/organization you'll find others. Start local. Your work will be more relevant and more easily manageable this way.

    In these first few contacts, you'll also find some interesting choices you'll come across for various directions you could go with this project. It could be the perfect combination of passion+theory that makes a solid thesis.



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