1.0 The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science (CJBS) from 1965 to 1969
1.1 CJBS in 1965
1.2 CJBS in 1966
1.3 CJBS in 1967
1.4 CJBS in 1968
1.5 CJBS in 1969
3.0 The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science from 1980 to 1984 (omitting 1981-82)
3.1 CJBS in 1980
3.2 CJBS in 1983
3.3 CJBS in 1984
4.0 The Canadian Journal Of Behavioural Science from 1986 to 1989
4.2 Family Violence
4.3 Sexual Deviance
4.4 Multicultural Issues
4.5 Screening, Prevention And Intervention Relating To Children
4.6 The Impact Of Parental Interactions And Divorce On Children
4.8 Stress Management
4.9 Type A Personality
4.10 Gender-Related Issues
4.12 Legal And Police Issues
The period of time from 1965 to 1969 was one of great social, economic and political change for the world, North America, and Canada. All aspects of life were effected: private, social, business, and the professional, especially the growing field of Psychology. Recognizing that nothing can change or grow in a social vacuum, we decided to look at Canadian and world issues by researching The Globe and Mail newspaper, McLean's magazine and The New York Times newspaper of these five years. We saw the combination of the Zeitgeist, the topics of discussion from the Annual General Meetings of the Canadian Psychological Association, together with some of the research subjects published as being contributing parts of the same whole.
Some of the major events of interest for this time frame were :the 'space race' and lunar landing,the 'Baby Boom' having reached adolescence, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and it's associated social effects like protests and draft dodging, a second Kennedy's assassination, Canada's centennial and struggle for a Canadian identity.
In our reports, these issues will be tied in with the movements of Canadian Psychology and discussed in a chronological manner.
The Canadian Psychological Association turned 25 years old in 1964, and the first printed article from the Canadian Journal of Psychology was entitled "Notes on the History of Psychology in Canada." There was a noticeable Behaviourist slant to many of the articles in the journal, with much focus being dedicated to the educational process of children, the problems of aggression and reading difficulties having specific attention. There were also a number of articles concerned with the regulation of the training of Psychology students and practitioners, and in the job listing section there were postings for hospitals, clinics and schools all across the country.
Another issue for the CPA that year was increasing their public image. This came about through having had a relatively small request for Government funding turned down. The CPA took this to mean that the general public did not have a high opinion of the professional contribution of the field of Psychology. They sought to increase the public's validation, specifically of some of their more pragmatic and 'scientific' approach to training and function.
The two greatest social issues of this year were the escalation of the Vietnam War, and a heightened focus on Social Reform. The CPA's annual general meeting was held at McGill University and had more symposiums and invited talks than in previous years. Some of the speeches seemed to reflect the outside world directly: the move for social reform, increasing number of school aged children, and the demand for better educational practices.
One speech in particular seemed to focus on the societal change, and was entitled "Drive Incentive, Motivation and Behaviour". In order to help any reform occur, it is important for those in a position of power to understand the people in order to bring about a better, more well educated society.
The increased focus on childhood behaviour and learning was a more explicit reflection of the social events of the time. The "Baby Boom" had caused an increased interest in all aspects of child psychology. A parallel session at the AGM involved Developmental Psychology and Child Behaviour, with topics such as "frustrative non-reward in children", "Animals, educational implications of research in cognition, and a speech entitled "Towards a Theory of Guiding the Learning of The Young".
Canada's Centennial year, 1967, saw the country dominated by its groping for maturity and nationhood. The Globe and Mail pessimistically notes that Canada was in "a crisis of unity". All the major news stories of the year had a single theme the nation, what it was, and what it should be. Appropriately the AGM of the Canadian Psychological Association was held in the nation's capital. It brought to Ottawa the academics, practitioners and students of "Canadian" psychology. But as we review the year in all these factions, we see some of the stresses affecting the nation being played out in this field. Both French-English, and North South dichotomies appear to have significant roles.
The keynote address at the CPA's 28th AGM, entitled "A Social Psychology of Bilingualism", was given by Prof. W. Lambert of McGill University. This itself illustrated the psycho- social significance of having two official languages in one country. At the business meeting of the CPA it was decided that all publications of the association would be in both French and English.
From the beginning, through the past, and to the present, we see the American influence on Canadian psychology. Behaviourism appears to dominate the work of Canadian psychologists. One half of the articles published in the CPA journal fell under the behavioural rubric, and seven out of nine parallel sessions at the AGM were dedicated to Behaviourism. Also, over 70% of the articles submitted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Psychology were reviewed by psychologists from the USA. An analysis of new appointments at three Canadian universities revealed the heavy reliance on the American origin of our professors. Of 20 faculty appointments, only three psychologists received their Ph.D. from a Canadian university.
With the 100 year celebration of our country,1967 appears to have been a pivotal time for looking back, with the intention of seeing parts of our future against this context. In the CJP of this year, four article addressed the history of psychology in Canada, however there was not one single article that spoke toward the future or offered a vision for Canadian psychology.
By 1968 there were some new areas of interest, and a few familiar ones as well, such as the teaching of undergrads in psychology, childhood learning difficulties, and a few more articles were published in the CJP on the history of psychology in Canada.
Socially, then the world was in the throes of another flux. The Vietnam War had escalated almost to its peak, grabbing the bulk of media attention. This had some social effects like anti- war rallies, and draft dodging, which brought many Americans to Canada, a phenomenon especially felt by our universities.
The articles of the year in the .CJP had revealed new concerns, like alcoholism and cigarette addiction, with both behavioural and social learning points of view. The behaviourist dogma still had the loudest bark in the journal. There was, however, articles on artistic ability, creativity and identity. There was also a special talk at the AGM on the relationship between schizophrenia an the 'hippie' class of society.
Employment opportunities for clinical psychologists in 1968 were focussed on hospitals, sanatoriums, and schools. Also, a new hunt for researching psychologists was offered in each province, possibly in the quest to 'legitimize' the field of psychology with more scientific studies.
The most effectual and exciting story of 1969, and quite possibly of recorded history to that date was the American lunar landing. And so it was, on July 21st, 1969 that Neil Armstrong, the Apollo II commander, placed a booted foot upon the ancient dust of the moon. 'One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.'
Project Apollo had not only opened our horizons to true space travel, it had put and optimistic outlook to our efforts, aims and goals. With our intelligence and technology, mankind proved that it could achieve great things.
Canadian universities had felt a wave of popularity of psychology in the public eye, which increased enrollment in the field county-wide. This seems to have held promise for psychology in the coming years. Improvements in the state of psychology were being further evidenced by federal government support for experimental research, and provincial funding for applied research as well.
Another encouraging start had been made by the Canada Council decision to fund social psychological research, in the area of education and childhood development. The achievements of the '60s have indeed been impressive. Psychology has now been recognized by the Science Council as a science and a profession with great potential for the social and economical development of our country. The discipline is being viewed as an important national resource to be exploited by government and industry. Canadian psychology has had a long and tumultuous childhood, an exciting adolescence, and appears to finally have come of age.
What does it mean to be a Canadian? Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has been occupied with the desire to establish itself as an independent country as well as develop a unique national identity. This obsession to distinguish itself from its neighbouring countries has affected all aspects of Canada, including its psychological community. Like Canada, the community is young. As a result, its journals are amenable to change and are open to different prospects. For example, the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Sciences (CJBS) was originally designed to only accommodate experimental investigations in the area of applied psychology, but expanded to include theoretical reports when the only Canadian journal concerned with theory, at the time, proved unable to support itself. In addition to being young, the society of psychology is comparatively smaller. Unlike the American journals in which there is a diversity of journals, each dealing with specific disciplines, the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science encompasses various areas of psychology. There were four main areas of concentration in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Sciences between 1975-1979. These include aspects concerning culture, education/development, social behaviour and clinical/pathology.
Between 1975 and 1979 the Canadian political climate was governed by issues of cultural identity and autonomy. English speaking whites feared the encroaching cultural and domination of Americans. Francophones resented the perceived attempts of those same Anglophones to acculturate Quebecois identity. Meanwhile, native Canadians were engaged in a tremendous effort to shake off centuries of cultural oppression at the hands of both English and French speaking whites. These large scale, intrinsically Canadian socio-cultural concerns infiltrated down into the CJBS. Applied psychologists working in this era of social activism (in a branch of the profession that encourage the practical application of scientific principles to real world issues) threw open a window in the Ivory tower and began taking notes on society.
As would be expected, their disciplinary perspective differed greatly from that held by sociologists or political scientists. For example, papers in the CJBS on French-English relations were usually comparisons of the two groups on measures of traditional psychological variables (i.e. motivation) rather than analyses of specific political events. The years 1975-1979 also saw a rash of articles on bilingualism, perhaps inspired by the fierce debates over language laws during this period. The CJBS itself was still predominantly an English publication - only 17 articles from a total of 175 published during these years were written in French.
Native Canadians in the 1970s campaigned for the recognition of past and present mistreatment, demanding that educational and living standards on the reserves be improved and laying claim to traditional lands. In the wake of these events, the CJBS published many articles dealing with native issues. The cognitive competencies of native and white children were compared, as were their relative educational opportunities.
During these same years, theCJBS also focused heavily on general educational and developmental aspects of behavioural psychology. Perhaps due to the fact that during this period the baby boomer generation began to reproduce and raise families, many of the research articles involved studies of child rearing and the effects of parenting on child behaviours. For example, in 1978, David Andres published a report on "Relations between maternal employment and development of nursery school children". Issues dealing with cognitive development were also in abundance, in particular the development of moral judgment. Methods to test and observe the maturation of conscience and moral judgment in children involved the use of Kohlberg's moral dilemma scenarios. In addition, many articles involved research on education. The effects of teacher attitudes and school activities were popular topics. Finally, the CJBS as well dealt with research on juvenile delinquency, primarily focusing on drug and alcohol use.
The CJBS (1975-1979) also published many accounts of applied work in the areas of clinical and abnormal psychology. It provided a forum for the Canadian evaluation of assessment forms and indexes like the verbal report form, the Psychological Stress Evaluator and the MMPI. It also published a multitude of articles investigating the efficacy of behavioural modification techniques (i.e. efforts to re-program the behaviour of delinquents' parents and teachers, aversion therapy for child molesters, preventative self-management programs for problem drinkers and smoking modification procedures). Other researchers discussed their uses of token economies, systematic desensitization, electromyographic biofeedback and flooding. Yet, references to client-centred or talking therapies were conspicuously absent. As a journal of behavioural science, the sections on clinical and abnormal psychology focused on behaviour- oriented techniques.
In some ways, these areas of research reflect a theory of learning proposed one year prior to the years of our survey. In 1974, a Canadian psychologist by the name of Albert Bandura, proposed his Social Learning Theory (SLT) of behaviour. This learning theory proposed that people learn from and imitate the behaviour of others by observation. This theory needed to be tested, so to see research of this nature in a Canadian journal, particularly one of behavioural sciences, in the years immediately following the theory's proposal, is of no surprise. Bandura's research cited the interaction of the person, the environment and expected outcomes, as the force behind the Social Learning Theory. Accordingly, many of the articles published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, dealt with issues of social behaviour. Examples include the promotion of child behaviour, changing deviant adolescent behaviour, and social modeling among infants, children and adults. Another topic of great interest arising from this notion of social learning was recidivism or behavioural relapse.
Because the SLT model deemed it possible to change some behaviours, many models of health education became prominent. The family, therefore, became targets of social change; researchers thought that the family was the place to influence change, especially because of the current emphasis on deviance and delinquency. These models of health education investigated topics such as obesity, stress and loci of control.
The research topics published during these years of 1975- 1979, indicate a very wide variety of principles prevalent at the time. This great diversity of topics also gives an indication toward the state of Canadian psychology for these five years. The journal reflects the ever changing and growing character of Canadian identity; not only in psychology but also in the domains of language, education and culture.
Although the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science is merely one source to account for the history of psychology, it is possible to provide some sense of the major issues that were present throughout the years. However, it must be noted that the following presents only the major themes in 1980, 1983 and 1984. (Regretfully, 1981 and 1982 were omitted due to a group member's unexpected withdrawal).
As indicated by the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, it seems as though the sub-field of psychology that was the most popular in 1980 is Social or Applied Psychology. Many articles focused on the research of significant problems in the real world. For example, one article looked at how anxiety and depression is alleviated by aerobic exercise, suggesting that vigorous physical activity may be an effective strategy for moderating the intensity and duration of depression and anxiety states. Another article reported that there may be other variables to consider, such as setting and personality characteristics, in the alcohol-aggression correlation. In this respect, an alternate theory was presented: a subset of the population is predisposed to aggression, and drinking occasions are an acceptable outlet for this aggression. This leads to the suggestion that less socialized individuals are rewarded for drinking, since in that environment behavioral norms are relaxed. Another article examined the relationships between depression, helplessness, and failure attributions. It was suggested that, rather than ability being the main culprit for depressive states, personal, stable, and global attributions were more strongly correlated. In total, this 'applied psychology' likely reflects the zeitgeist (spirit of the times) of this era, as the numerous studies of anxiety and depression may reflect both the economic uncertainty and the increasing public awareness of health issues in the 1980s.
The articles of 1980 concentrate on feminist issues as well. One article looked at whether sex, occupation or age most affected the impressions by women of women. It was found that only the sex variable yielded main effects, which undermines the existence of sex-role prejudices on the part of women against women. Women managers were perceived to have more ability and be more successful than males who were thought to have easier job demands and luck attributions. Another study found support for the continuing existence of traditional perceptions of women and men. In particular, the study revealed that even the current generation of students, despite their concern over male-female characteristics and roles, believed that society holds traditional views of women and men. In another article, it was found that maternal employment was correlated with patterns of family functioning and parental role satisfaction, but not highly related to the development of children.
Another predominant theme in 1980 was multiculturalism. One study examined the attitudes of children of several ethnic backgrounds to determine their levels of ethnocentrism and multiculturalism (acceptance of others). It was found the Blacks and Whites were the most strongly ethnocentric, with minority ethnic backgrounds the least. However, several problems of methodology were admitted. One study looked at the role of second language fluency as a determining factor in play patterns, and it was found that language skill was not related to play choices. Another article examined second language acquisition, finding that self confidence, opportunity for contact with members of the second language community, and fear of assimilation greatly influenced the acquisition of English.
In addition to those presented above, there were numerous studies revolving around both behavioural psychology and cognitive psychology. Articles looked at the cognitive organization of the environment, recall of long word lists being affected by amnesia and verbal inhibition, external versus self- reinforcement, the influence of teachers on student's behaviour, and so on. Unfortunately, not all of these could be discussed here. Because many of these issues have been (and will continue to be) predominant throughout the years, the focus has been on new areas of interest and scrutiny within psychology.
The journal articles from the year 1983 bring out some prominent themes. Studies that involved intelligence testing were quite prevalent. One article involves a study that attempts to find out if the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Revised(WISC-R) gives researchers information about the future achievements of children that took the test. It seems that there was also quite a concern among psychologists over the content of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R). Canadian psychologists felt that the tests were biased because some of the questions contained American content. The WAIS-R had only been available in Canada for the past year and one article addressed the effects of changing the test to incorporate Canadian content. The research found that there were problems in changing the American content into Canadian content. For example, it was very difficult to find questions that matched equally in difficulty. However, another article conducted a study that compared the cross cultural differences between the test results of Canadian and American children on the WISC-R. They found no differences on the changed questions.
In the 1983 volume, there is one whole edition that is dedicated to important and popular issues in Canadian psychology. The editor found that there was an interest and a lot of work being done in clinical health psychology among applied psychologists. Therefore, this could be the topic of the special edition. The material in this edition largely dealt with health related aspects of lifestyles. Another article researched whether hypnosis blocked surgical pain. Clinical intervention was another practice that was studied. Other articles researched topics such as whether intervention was helpful in areas such as the birthing process, dealing with a life-threatening illness and living with arthritis. This edition focused on applied psychology, as this was an area that was becoming increasingly popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
The 1984 volume was also very strongly oriented towards applied psychology. Similar to
1983, there were quite a few articles that dealt with the WAIS-R and the WISC-R.
These intelligence tests were used by clinical and school psychologists for diagnosing and
assessing clients by the education system for screening and selection, and by research
psychologists. There were three articles that investigated the American bias in the WAIS-R
and the WISC-R.
> One article found that, although the changes did not make a big difference, it was a positive thing to do for the Canadian audience.
Ethnicity and language are other topics that were noticeable in the 1984 volume. Canada was becoming increasingly multicultural and a new 'Multiculturalism Act' was in the making by the Mulroney government. Bilingualism has also been attacked by many Canadians since the 1970s. There was an article that studied ways to improve second language comprehension. It investigated various methods to maximize the student's learning. Another article look directly at French immersion programs and their outcomes. The Multiculturalism policy was another area of research for an article.
In addition, there were several articles that looked at women's issues. One such article studied the concept of 'fear of success' in relation to job performance for women. Other articles looked at such things as sex bias in judgments of job suitability, men and women in organizations as partners, wife assault, and the women's movement. This likely reflects the continuing struggles and concerns for women's rights that were present at this point in history. There was an edition in 1984 that was dedicated to the theme of social psychology. Obviously this was a topic of popularity at this time (and continues to be). The articles included in this edition were concerned with the effects of the social world on the behavior and mental processes of individuals or groups in Canada. Some of these articles have already been mentioned, such as wife assault, multiculturalism and bilingualism. The public view of sentencing in the justice system was an aspect of the article. In particular, it looked at how media can distort the public's image. This is an issue that is still prominent today.
In total, the articles presented in early 1980 editions of the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science can be seen to have several prominent themes. Social psychology was prevalent, as research seemed to focus on ways to help people in the real world. In this respect, the Journal was mainly concerned with theory, research and application in areas of psychology concerned with social problems. Women's issues were also presented throughout the early 1980 editions, which likely reflects the popularity the growing feminist movement at that time. In addition, the topic of multiculturalism is strongly present throughout the articles. This took the form of language studies, ethnocentrism research, bilingualism, and so on. This likely reflects the growing concern for multiculturalism in Canada that was occurring during the early 1980s.
The psychology of this period, as reflected in the published research in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Scince from 1986- 1989, suggests a focus on applied psychology, specifically pressing Canadian social issues. Published research during this period relates to violence, education, crime, multiculturalism, and depression. In addition, various studies explored issues related to children and adolescents, gender, sexual deviance, hypnosis, stress management and the Type A personality.
During this period, family violence was an important topic, evidenced bythe fact that an entire issue was devoted to the subject. Among the issues dealt with was the prevalence of child sex abuse. Also detailed in the special issue were the results of research that attempted to develop a comprehensive theory about the "causes" of child abuse and corresponding recommendations for treatment and prevention. Other research in this issue looked at the impact on victims of childhood sex abuse in relation to suicidal behaviour. The 1980s was a time when horrific revelations were being made by adults about having been sexually abused as children. In 1976, in the U.S., there were 7,559 reported cases while in 1983, the number had skyrocketed to 71,961 (Peters, Wyatt & Finkelhor, 1986). It is fairly safe to assume that the reporting of sexual abuse cases in Canada also would have jumped. Therefore, it is not surprising that these articles were chosen for publication.
At the same time, awareness was increasing about the high incidence of spousal abuse. In 1985, a study conducted for the Solicitor General revealed that domestic violence represented the most frequent type of request for police assistance (Larson, Goltz & Hobart, 1994). This type of data would have created much interest for researchers. Consequently, they looked at ways to change the attitudes of children who had witnessed family violence, and developed strategies for intervention. Other researchers considered the situation from the abusers perspective, investigating their explanations for the assaults.
Other articles during this time period considered the issue of pedophilia. For example, one piece of research attempted to identify neurological differences between pedophiles and other criminals. Another study looked at the erectile responses among heterosexual childmolesters.
In the 1980s, immigration into Canada increased dramatically whichlikely generated a corresponding increase in research in related areas (Malatest, 1991). Researchers investigated attitudes toward the dilemma of assimilation vs. culture maintenance which is still a controversial issue today. Several studies looked at the issue of racism in Montreal.
It was found that, while immigrant women rejected homogeneous neighborhoods (neighborhoods of the same culture and race), landlords in Montreal showed a preference for renting to their own culture and race. Another study explored issues relating to visible minority immigrant women with regard to status within their own ethnic group.
Interest in this topic was also reflected in the area of psychometrics, whereby researchers posed the question about the efficacy of using intelligence scales that were culturally- biased. This applied to immigrants, as well as Canada's indigenous populations. Several researchers explored the issue of testing on the WAIS-R and WISC-R with particular reference to the need for developing culturally relevant tests that eliminated an American bias.
Finally, researchers also explored the issue of Native identity in Canada and compared the way that Natives viewed themselves in relation to whites. Results showed that low self- esteem and a lack of cultural awareness contributed to Natives identifying whites as better than themselves.
During this time period, there seems to have been a lot of interest in accurate screening of children and adolescents for early intervention in a number of different areas. One article addressed the issue of reliability and validity in a test for young children designed to assess school experiences, peer relationships and social skills with respect to their impact on future development and behaviour. Another article described research that examined a measurement tool for juvenile offenders that determined the clinical/placement needs of young offenders. A third piece of research attempted to identify children at risk of child abuse. A fourth article detailed the development of a questionnaire designed to measure behaviour in pre-school children as an index for behaviour problems in elementary school children, again with the goal of screening for early intervention.
Another study concerning childhood social difficulties found that neglected children were not much different from children who had not been neglected. However, rejected children were found to be more unpopular, aggressive and withdrawn from their peers.
Research during this period also revealed that adolescents were concerned about the threat of nuclear war. Another study looked at children who were trying to adhere to a special diet designed to control an amino acid imbalance that, when unchecked, results in developmentaland behavioral problems.
It seems likely that, during this period, psychologists, in general, may have been focusing their attention on the prevention of (and early intervention for) serious behavioural problems in children in a similar fashion to the way that the medical profession was approaching such issues as smoking and safe sex.
Divorce rates have increased in Canada, influenced by liberalized divorce legislation in 1968 and 1985 (Larson et al, 1994). Correspondingly, much research has been done to explore the impact of divorce on children. Studies of divorce during this period dealt with the issue of how to best resolve the problems associated with divorce so as to satisfy the interests of all concerned. For example, mediation was found to be effective in custody battles.
Research during this period also examined the impact that positive feedback from parents had on children's motivation levels. It also looked at the effect that positive feedback had on levels of intrinsic motivation and additional factors that mediated this process. As a result of working in the area of parenting education over the last 6 years, one of the authors is aware that, since the 1980s through the present, there was, and continues to be, a deluge of information on, and increased interest in, the topic of parenting styles and their impact on children. Therefore, it was an area that was ripe for researchers to explore during this period.
Several articles related to learning disabilities, which may reflect increased recognition of the importance of early identification of this type of disability.
Two articles related to the topic of stress, specifically how cognitive variables mediate stressful life events and subsequent recovery. This is indicative of a growing awareness of the need for people to take control of their lives in order to improve both psychological and physical health.
Two articles examined issues relating to the Type A personality. One explored the behaviour patterns in stressful conditions and the other focused on the hostility component of the Type A personality, linking only that component of the profile to hypertension. The Type A personality type was certainly a much discussed item during the 1980s, and this type of research has helped to clarify the exact nature of itseffects.
One article investigated sex-role stereotyping in TV commercials, a popular topic for discussion and research during this time period. Another study investigated the effects of superior female performance and sex-role orientation on gender conformity and concluded that females were becoming less submissive. Further research explored age and sex differences in children's reports of dental anxiety, as well as self-efficacy relating to dental visits. It was found that girls over 9 years of age suffer more dental anxiety than boys of the same age. It was also found that children who assessed themselves as having low self-esteem also believed that their peers had similar fears had higher anxiety levels.
Two studies during this period explored the issue of whether hypnosis could be used to enhance memory. Another study investigated the effects of using hypnosis to reduce pain. A third study looked at amnesiacs' susceptibility to hypnosis. Perhaps other research results relating to hypnosis stimulated an increase in further research on this topic during this time period.
Research during this period examined the accuracy of eyewitness testimony in police investigations and criminal trials, as well as its impact on jury decisions. The extent to which witnesses focused their attention on the clothes worn by people in police line-ups was also studied. One study investigated differences between genuine and fake amnesiacs and concluded that it could be determined with some accuracy whether an individual was faking amnesia for personal gain, (i.e. criminals wanting to avoid prosecution). The impetus for this type of research may have come from cases like that of Kenneth Bianchi, who, in the early 1980s, tried to fake Multiple Personality Disorder to escape criminal conviction for a series of murders (Davison & Neale, 1994).
Other research looked at the way in which polygraph evidence is assessed. Studies were specifically concerned with assessing the degree of confidence that people had in the polygraph, as well as its accuracy in criminal procedures and screening for applicants applying to the police force. This was a time when various police forces were changing their entry requirements to include a higher level of education. Also, various municipal police forces, for example the Vancouver Police Department, considered using polygraph testing as a screening device for job applicants.
Depression is a very common problem in Canadian society. Therefore, there is an abundance of research ongoing in this area in an attempt to alleviate the suffering of large numbers of Canadians. Research during this period looked at the relationships among self-esteem levels, negative thought patterns, and depression in undergraduates. Another piece of research examined the relationship between marital problems and depression in both depressed and non-depressed individuals. This same study looked at differences in coping strategies between depressed women and their non-depressed husbands, and couples in non-depressed control groups. A final study on this topic suggested that there was a need for the creation of new criteria to detect depression among women visiting their family physicians. The reason behind the suggested change was that family doctors were not picking up on symptoms being emitted by patients. A new set of criteria would allow for more effective diagnoses of mood disorders in patients.
In conclusion, during the years between 1986-1989, the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science published research articles that focused on issues that impact both the individual and society as a whole. It appears that the aim of some researchers in the field of psychology during this period was to work towards improving the quality of life for everyone. However, this brief look at Canadian psychology does not necessarily represent a true history of Canadian psychology during these years. Rather, it may simply reflect the research that was deemed appropriatefor publication in this Canadian journal during this time period. It is not known by which criteria articles were chosen for publication.
Davison, G.C., & Neale, J.M. (1994). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Larson, L.E., Goltz, J.W., & Hobart, C.W. (1994). Families in Canada: Social Context, Continuities, and Changes. Scarborough: Prentice Hall Canada Inc.
Malatest, R.A. (April 1991). The Lower Mainland education project: phase 1 - demographic overview.
Peters, S.D., Wyatt, G.E., & Finkelhor, D. (1986). Prevalence. In D. Finkelhor (Ed.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse. Beverley Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science has been devoted to the publication of research and theory in the applied areas of psychology and in the areas of social, personality, abnormal, educational, developmental and child psychology" (CJBS, 1990). This journal is issued quarterly. Each issue consists of articles submitted mostly by Canadian authors, book reviews, and also one issue per year is reserved for a special topic. Between the years of 1990 to 1995, there have been particular themes that repeatedly appeared in this journal. It is probably no surprise that they are the same concepts that are consistently exposed in the media. This paper will uncover the common threads that ran through The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science during the past five years. To begin with, a general overview of all the major themes will be disclosed. As you will see, this journal has quite a broad range of accepted entries. Continuing on, we will choose the topic of gender issues to focus upon. We will provide an overview of the significant studies in this area within the last five years. Finally, we have taken an in-depth look at one particular gender study, "Gender Differences in Belief in Scientifically Unsubstantiated Phenomena" by Thomas Gray (1990). In doing so, we hope that you will get a taste of the fascinating issues that are currently being studied in Canada.
Children, more now than ever, are a major focus of attention in the 1990's. The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science has published many articles every year detailing articles ranging from daycare quality, to how parents cope with premature babies. There is also a lot of attention paid to adolescent Behavioural problems such as attempting suicide as well as criminal sentencing of youth. This is an obvious reflection of the issues in which common Canadians are interested, issues which and are also reoccurring stories in the news media.
Family functioning is also a topic that has sparked the interest of many researchers. Problems of both sexual and physical abuses seem to be of greater prevalence as more people speak out on this issue. Child psychopathology, as a result of earlier abuses, leads to subsequent aggression, delinquency, depression and teenage pregnancy. How parents deal with behavioural problems in children is also of some interest. Studies have been done on parents perception of their children's problems, and how parents deal with learning disabled, autistic and delayed children.
Another issue that has been focused upon is that of control: control of emotions, control over children, and perceived control related to illness recovery. It seems very important in our society to maintain a level of control over one's life. Seniors in geriatric care who are given some measure of control over their lives do better in hospital settings than patients who have no power to control the care provided.
As Canada becomes more multicultural, there is considerably more research on multiculturalism being done. Topics covered include second language proficiency, levels of stress in immigrant communities, prejudice in school children, and development of a scale to measure cross-cultural sensitivity. As Canada continues grow in population these types of issues will become more important for us to understand. In the future, cultural issues will probably be in the forefront.
As we have just seen, in the period of 1990 to 1994, The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science published a variety of articles from different areas of psychology. The emphasis seemed to be on the child and social issues. For this report however, we chose the subject of gender issues to focus on for it seems that this is becoming a hot topic not only in psychology, but in our society in general.
In our research, we found that there were two more articles on gender issues in the period of 1990 to 1995 in The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, than in the previous period, 1985 to 1989. It is hard to say if this difference in quantity is significant, but it would be interesting to know whether this trend will continue in the future or not. Going through each individual article, it was noticed that the majority of studies were concerned about differences in the performance or opinions between men and women. These studies directly tested whether or not significant differences were found, by having both men and women as participants. The other approach to testing gender differences was to test only women. This approach was usually chosen when experimenters decided to test a stereotypic belief that is held by the society, and that usually had a negative connotation towards women. These studies tried to examine whether those common beliefs were substantial and harmful for women. Also of interest was whether such beliefs about the differences between men and women were simply inflated. The results were similar and consistent across the tested issues and showed that for the most of the time those differences either did not exist or were insignificant.
Finally, we will look at a particular article that is relevant to the gender issue; "Gender Differences in Belief in Scientifically Unsubstantiated phenomena" by Thomas Gray (1990). Gray establishes through his testing procedure, using questionnaires measuring belief, that gender differences within the university may exist but that these differences are subject to many confounds. We wish to reiterate his findings and criticize his test criterion.
Gray establishes that differences in beliefs are influenced by the program a student is enrolled in (i.e. Science/Arts) and at the level of completion of that program (i.e. graduate/undergraduate). Gray's results reflect the accumulation of evidence demonstrating that gender differences may exist but that their influences are probably more a result of non-formal and extracurricular activities. He also asserts that the gender differences found in his report will probably be different if replicated 15 years from now.
We find it very interesting that Gray chose unsubstantiated phenomena as the criteria for establishing differences. Perhaps one may consider gender differences as being unsubstantiated beliefs in itself, yet this aspect was not tested. Gray admits that he did not operationally define his concept of belief, yet this may be overlooked for matters of simplicity in asserting his results. Why does he choose the topic matter of belief? It may be asserted that Gray is continuing a trend of the psychological testing tradition of placing faith in statistical results and a continued assault on the realms of parapsychology to maintain the importance of testable findings. Although it is evident that he is trying to dismiss the belief that women are stereotypically more likely to believe "Old wives tales", and that men are more scientific in their beliefs, his test criterion appears to be built upon a subjective belief about his own personal reality and the significance of the testing tradition. We found it very distressing that he provided no conclusive research to support the validity of his claim of unsubstantiative phenomena. He is testing the likeliness of narrow-mindedness compared to openness as a way of uncovering gender differences.
While Gray's research strongly displays the trend of disintegrating belief about gender differences, his methods are rather ambiguous. It is in our opinion that further research should be applied to more extracurricular and non-formal settings as well as in the universities. Gray's research blindly asserts his opinion on the reality of unsubstantiated belief and its potential relationship with gender differences, yet his report does damaging influence to the realm of the occult and other "strange" phenomena in the righteous tradition of scientific investigation. When one tests the belief on unbelievable phenomena that person is inadvertently fueling the potential differences that exist within gender and their opinions.
We hope that the research and general interest in gender issues will increase in the next years. Each piece of research and published article contributes in a special way to this world in becoming free of biases, stereotypes and discrimination. Only then we will be able to say that we live in an equal and humane society. We also hope that The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science will continue publishing articles that tap into the pulse of Canadian people and our struggles. We found it a privilege to be able to look at the recent history of Canadian psychology as documented in The Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science.