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Electoral Process in Brazil and Norway Essay Example

Introduction

A democratic state refers to one in which the power is with the people who rule directly or through elected representatives. There are many variants of democracy the main being direct, representative, and parliamentary. Despite these many variants, one of the main characteristics that democracies share is the right for eligible citizens to participate in free and fair elections. As a result, different democracies, such as Brazil and Norway, have a different electoral process that they use in the selection of representatives. The Electoral processes in Brazil and Norway have several similarities and differences that influence their election outcomes.

Brazil

Brazil is a federal representative democratic republic in which multi-party politics is practiced. The administration is divided into the federal government, 26 states, including a federal district or capital, and local governments at the grass-root (Anglo Info). The President position heads both the state and the government. The federal government has three branches known as the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. Each branch works independently in a manner aimed to ensure the rule of law is followed (Anglo Info). Members of the Legislature, along with the president, are subject to elections to determine their positions in power.

Elections occur at the state level at a period in which citizens elect presidential candidates to serve for a maximum of two four-year terms. The Legislature comprises two houses, each composed of elected officials. There are 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies in one house, who serve four-year terms while the other house of the Federal Senate comprising of 81 members serving an eight-year term for their position (Anglo Info).

The country holds one general election in which the citizens elect leaders at both the federal and state levels. This includes the presidential position, which represents the grievances of the respective houses. Participation in the voting process is an essential responsibility and persons between 18 and 70 years old can be involved, provided they are citizens with proper registration.

The elections of the officials occur through a majority vote system, in which candidates with more than 50 percent tally win the seated contest. Should there be a tie or no absolute majority then a second run-off is conducted between the involved candidates (Utsumi). Members elected through this process include the president, governors, senators, and mayors. The members of parliament and city officials receive their seats through a proportional open system.

The proportional open system has four main steps beginning with voters choosing a lone candidate or the party’s hero as a representative. Once cast, the parties receive the votes, engage in tallying, and then distribute the available positions proportionally according to the overall tally (Utsumi). After the distribution, the parties then divided the positions among the candidates who received the majority vote.

Norway

Norway made its transition from an absolute monarchy to a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy (Norwegian American). Now recognized as a democratic state, the Prime Minister exercises executive power through the cabinet known as the King’s Council (Norwegian American). The government and the Storting, better known as parliament, have Legislative power and are elected into their position through a multi-party election exercise. The King’s Council of State, despite the ceremonial position of the monarch, still has select Executive power that they use on the King’s behalf. Other than being a ceremonial figure, the King is also the Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces and the protector of the Norwegian Church (Norwegian American).

The Norwegian elections occur every four years at the national and municipal levels. However, they occur in a two-year apart period and never simultaneously. The National elections allow citizens to elect their parliamentary representatives into the unicameral parliament. The Storting has 169 representatives referred to as Stortingrepresentanter, and the basis of the proportionate allocation of the 19 counties is the geographical size and population of each (Norwegian American). In addition to 169 seats available for contesting, the election authorities reserve 19 of the seats to aid the balance of discrepancies after counting and receiving at least 4 percent of the popular vote (Norwegian American).

Each party develops its voting list, which is used on the ballot by the electorate who vote not based on personal preference through party loyalty. On Election Day, voters use the list to select at least to cast their votes by selecting the list from the party to choose at least three candidates are selected. This process is direct and does not go through intermediate processes such as the Electoral College in North America (Bjorgo). Once the votes are tallied, the parties work collectively to form a unitary government to work together should a single party fail to win the majority of 85 seats. It is illegal for the candidates to use the radio, television, and newspapers for campaign purposes.

Comparison

Both electoral systems share the same principles of direct elections and proportional representation in a multi-party system of governance. In Brazil, the president, governors, senators, and mayors are elected by direct votes and the municipal workers through proportional distribution. Similarly, Norway carries out direct Executive and Legislative elections and proportional for the municipal governments. Moreover, the officials have relatively the same term in office. In each country, elected officials serve four-year terms before the next elections. Both countries allow the only registered citizens to participate in the voting process

Contrast

Despite their similarities, there is also a difference between the two electoral processes. In Brazil, the head of state is the president, and he/she is elected whereas in Norway, the Prime Minister is elected as the head of state with Executive power and the monarch is the Commander in Chief. Moreover, Brazil allows citizens up to the age of 16 years old to participate in voting, unlike Norway which only allows only individuals over the age of 18 years to participate. Election time is filled with numerous campaigns in all media in Brazil to help rally the citizens to vote for their favorite part. In Norway, campaigns in electronic and print media are against the law.

Conclusion

            The information presented shows that the Norwegian and Brazilian electoral processes have many similarities. However, they also have a few differences that explain the differences in political processes. The important thing to note is that both systems respect democracy and consider the needs of the voters. Therefore, the Brazilian and Norwegian electoral systems have more similarities than differences.

Works Cited

Anglo Info. “Voting in National Elections in Brazil.” 2017. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

Bjorgo, Kjersti. “The main features of the Norwegian Electoral System.” Norwegian Government. 07 Aug. 2014. 10 Mar. 2017.

Norwegian American. “How Norwegians do it: National elections in Norway.” The Norwegian American, 4 Nov. 2016. 10 Mar. 2017.

Utsumi Igor. “Elections in Brazil.” The Brazil Business. 21 May 2014. 10 Mar. 2017.

Business Case – Systems Development Life Cycle Essay Example

The web platform, in this instance, is developed as a shopping service for beauty products, with an auxiliary delivery service. Its development is an alternative to the presence of a physical store, and the advancement of the current information website to a fully-fledged interactive system for browsing and purchase forms the basis of the project.

The Core Team

The core team will include a systematic selection of developers, contributors, and user review base (cos-development). The execution of the project is set out in the setup of the program schedule and the development plan. In this regard, the development team will include a combination of web and app developers teaming up to integrate the proposed platform onto both web and app-based. The contributors are primarily from the existing business, including owners and its marketing and strategy innovations teams. These participants form the decision-making process throughout the project development and implementation phases, and in this way, transfer the requirements of the owners’ interests in expanding the business platform. As such, the combined effort of the developers and contributors will allow the user reviewers to participate directly in the cos-development approach. This is an ideal setting, where the consumers make crucial contributions to the entire project’s progress, and in this way, allows the interests of the business owners and its users to align before the final implementation and launch.

In general, the core team is tasked with the creation of the entire development plan, from which the project undertaking can occur. Creating this development plan requires the establishment of resource availability both in a financial capacity and implementation onto the proposed platform. In addition, the team is to establish the resource application schedule, from which resource availability is made to fit into a timetable, from which the entire project implantation will occur. Within the schedule, there is the need to design criterion to avoid interruptions to the entire plan and establish workarounds available in case of these interrupts (McLaren & Zhou, 2013). As a role within the initiation and establishment of the project, there is a necessity for the team to consider the hypothetical expectations of the users. From such a perspective, the team should take into consideration the customer requirements, and by the integration of continuous participation of such users in development, it is possible to meet the required criteria.

MOV

Using the measurable organizational value as a tool for assessing the returns that an investment system may offer includes the value that an organization can yield. In this case, defining the value includes determining the viability of the project within the environmental variables relevant to the project. The inherent immeasurability of the project as an IT-based venture limits the interest in comparing the effectiveness of the entire project to its input value. However, the initial projection of the productivity of this website indicates that it will be possible to increase the user experience and simultaneously increase interest in the product on offer by the web service (Marchewka, 2015). As such, the value addition will emerge from the growth in the value for the end-user, and from such increased utility levels, the business can take advantage of the increased clicks to further sales. These utilities include the growing ease of navigating the interface, bettered access of utilities, and the catalog.

Apart from improving the user experience, it is possible to project that the enhanced interface makes the user more at ease while interacting with various facets of the web interface. From a financial point of view, the initial input into the entire endeavor is reflected in the increased responses of users to the services available on the interface. However, it is important to note that the returns on these improved utilities are hinged onto the reducing cost of maintaining the services, and with the desired effect being increasing the clients’ frequency in logging onto the platform there is a growth in value.

Alternatives

The advancement of the current platform to form a more interactive and usable web service for clients is ideally the most suitable position for the expansion of operating capacity for most business concepts. However, there are alternatives from the integration of both physical and online setting to the transference of functions into an exclusive web-based business. This alternative appeals to businesses that can take advantage of an online presence to the level of abandoning the current business model to pursue a virtual alternative, especially when it presents a larger TBO to the current costs of establishment and operation of the alternative (McLaren & Zhou, 2013). In this case, the assessment of the alternative is in the comparison of its feasibility to the current potential of the business maintaining the alternative. With the initial idea of expanding the scope of the business through its expansion of the web presence and marketing options, this possibility presents a larger potential for taking over the online market and forfeit its physical consumer base.

A second alternative is in the forfeit of the expansion of the online presence, and instead, apply the resource allocation to expanding the current user base through advancing the marketing policy. This alternative appeals to the possibility of increased risk in the innovative approach taken in the development of an online market and takes sanctuary in the status quo and its potential on a known feasibility and risk status (Alhawari, Karadsheh, Nehari Talet, & Mansour, 2012). However, its potential is limited in scalability, especially since the initial intent of establishing a new market is in advancing the scale of the business to an extensive market level. The advantage of this system is determined by its reduced risk due to the currently available knowledge from experience amassed over time in this alternative.

Feasibility and Risks

Efforts into improving user experience present a number of limitations and increased risk, in particular with the changing of the interactions that are on offer for the client to use. The feasibility of this project is reflected in its interest to define the customers’ experience online and use this knowledge to align the products on offer to the interests that are exhibited. Initial intents of the endeavor included the betterment of online interactions, easing utility, and allowing more exploration of users (and increasing their login sessions). Therefore, the feasibility of this development is captured in the ability to improve the quality of user experience, increase the efficiency of the business and product presentation, and save costs in customer acquisition, and in this way, reduce the working asset. As such, the business can align the revenue generation process to a more efficient marketing and sales model while minimizing risk.

Risks presented by this venture occur majorly from the interdependency of the proposed business model to the stability of the web service outside of the initial business operation. These risks emerge in the limitations that the implementation of the web platform presents to the entire business. Firstly, the online business includes the risks of creating a limited scope of interaction for consumers, especially in this business space where the users may prefer a physical interaction with products and associated services (Alhawari et al., 2012). In as much as there are increased opportunities for client acquisition and login time, there is a possibility of a reduction of consumers purchasing products due to the absence of human and physical interactions. Additionally, the possibility of online business failure, in this case, presents the largest risk of losing the initial investment, from which collapse of the basis protocols implemented could occur.

The TCO

The computation of the cost of ownership is entrenched into the resulting expenses to be incurred in the execution of the project. In this regard, the efforts into offering a solid value of the fully burdened costs include the tangible inputs and the intangible outputs such as an enhanced user experience and their satisfaction levels from using the web service (Marchewka, 2015). However, it is still possible to compare the monetary value of each additional effort, and in this way, the viability of this undertaking can be measured in monetary value. Software replacement and upgrading, both as an attempt in the reduction of the issues currently experienced by users and in increasing usability, are necessary as a valuable assessment tool. In this case, the necessity of the installation of additional utility tools on the platform is motivated by the current limitations for clients in interacting with the catalog and browsing options. Its cost to the owner can, therefore, be summarized as follows;

  1. Initiation and establishment costs – $3000
  2. Labor costs – $2500
  • Implementation – $1200
  1. Fully burdened costs – $7000

From these initial estimates, a comparison of the overall cost of customer acquisition is considerably higher for similar benefits as the integration of alternative business strategies. The inclusion of the proposed concept presents a total cost of $7000, inclusive of initial implementation and maintenance operations. The breakdown of this cost on a qualitative level includes the new software and web platform installation, expected changeover costs into the new platform, the necessity for training workers, and the facilitation of support and upgrades of the system in the future.

The TBO

Resultant benefits from the endeavor are captured by both tangible and intangible returns to the service, and establishing the procedure is significant in deciding on the viability. Costs, in comparison to expected benefits, also rely on the measurability of the impact of the endeavor on the monetary worth of the web platform (Marchewka, 2015). These advantages include the increase in demand for the service offered, an increase in the time clients stay logged on, and more efficient data analysis from such customers’ usage. By increasing the user-friendliness of the interface, it is possible to postulate that service utility will increase and the cost of customer acquisition through advertising will decrease in a similar measure. For the clients, a bettered web experience on this platform serves to increase their interest in staying on longer and browsing more options to their liking. To the organization, this is a direct benefit due to the betterment of the total utility of the service and exclusion of initial costs in advertising. Online interactions, in this case, are not only more functional (in comparison to physical interactions and access to the products on offer), but they also allow the business to assess their clients’ behavior, and in this way, present them with more products.

In this case, data analysis is majorly comparative, and the quantitative and qualitative returns are reflected majorly on a financial level, in that the ability of the business to use the new platform to acquire assets and ensure their operational functioning for the business purpose of customer acquisition and sales. The benefit, therefore, includes the increased agility of sales processes, bettered interactions with consumers and reduction in costs of courting customers, increase in return customer numbers, and increasing efficiencies of planning marketing strategies due to eased data analysis. The platform allows the owners to expand the scope of the business, and in this way, bettering the potential of the business for further monetary benefits.

Alternatives Analysis

In analyzing options, a scoring model is deemed more applicable to the integration of new platforms for the opportunity increase, from which alternatives can be analyzed and compared. As such, the initial position of intent in establishing and implementing the proposed system is compared in the score to the retention of the status quo versus a fully-fledged implementation of a web platform. This choice, from an analytical standpoint, will allow for a more concise application of comparative evaluation, from which modifications to the project can be proposed. However, the choice may directly influence the decision-making that is relevant to the presentation and usage of resources in the design and implementation of the project objectives within the resource allocation. Its significance in resource allocation means that the scoring model may limit the expression of the financial value of features of the project versus investment from which the comparison of TCO to TBO would be carried out.

Additionally, the interest of creating an alternative for the business to expand within the virtual space presents a larger opportunity for the business and its clients. In comparison to the maintenance of the current status, this offers a broader market on a similar budget, and for a more sustainable period. The instantaneousness of this business progress approach presents immense possibilities as compared to the repetitive interests of using marketing as a tool for acquiring clients. On the other hand, the possibility of engaging a dedicated web service and phasing out the physical operations of the business present a larger risk for the business (Alhawari et al., 2012). The initial interest of this project is to present the business with diversity and options for expansion with minimal risk. An alternative that limits the options for the business counters the interest to reduce the risks that the business is facing.

Support for the Recommended Project

With the expressed position of establishing a functional web platform for the marketing and sales of beauty products, this project recommends the establishment of an extension of an existing business. Through the establishment of a web presence, the business stands to integrate itself as a customer acquisition platform for the physical business and as a sales platform for the consumers preferring the online experience. As a dual purpose, this interest is hinged on the possibility of using the current business to take advantage of the current abilities of a physical store to appeal to clients. From the consideration of the development life cycle, it is possible to identify the potential of the project and its interest in expanding options for the current store, which is committed to the operation of a physical store. In the present usage of web presence as a tool for furthering the business, this project will magnify the ability of the business to reach out to new consumers and interact with a diversity of online parties, and in this way, expose itself to more business.

The justification of this interest is captured in the comparative aspect of the costs and benefits expected in the short and long term projections. In the consideration that the present cost of customer acquisition through traditional marketing options and the proposed option of expanding web presence are similar, transference is possible. This form of transference of costs is interested in gaining more tangible and intangible benefits for the owners and the clients. Through easing the interaction for both parties, the business will stand more potential for engaging consumers and reduce the costs with time. With the application of IT in business, the inevitability of this transition is imminent, and the current position of the business is optimal for the engagement of the clientele on a new platform that is expected to be better preferred.

References

Alhawari, S., Karadsheh, L., Nehari Talet, A., & Mansour, E. (2012). Knowledge-based risk management framework for information technology project. International Journal of Information Management, 32(1), 50-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2011.07.002

Marchewka, J. T. (2015). Information technology project management: Providing measurable organizational value (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

McLaren, T., & Zhou, Y. (2013). Creating and evaluating business cases for complex IT investments: Towards a new process theory. CONF-IRM 2013 Proceedings. 22. Retrieved from http://aisel.aisnet.org/confirm2013/22

Global Cities: Managers of the Global Economy Essay Example

Globalization may have been occurring since the dawn of civilization, but our current period in history is seeing the world come together like never before. Rather than spreading territory through conquest, as we have throughout history according to National Geographic, we are using technology and business to bring countries and cultures together. It is far from a perfect system. We’ve already seen the harm that corporations can do when looking to cut costs on labor and resources around the world, examples of this being sweatshops in third world countries or child labor on cocoa plantations. Luckily, a form of management has already emerged: The global city.

Globalized Production Networks

Through this period of globalization, we have created complex, globalized production networks, allowing for international trade and a stronger global economy. According to Saskia Sassen, an expert sociologist whose body of work focuses on globalization and human migration, this has required us to create new forms of financial and producer services to manage the global economy on a wide scale. What has resulted in the emergence of “global cities”, which function as hubs of specialized production in different areas around the world. In short, global cities are what manage and maintain globalization, and they’re needed to keep the economic and cultural divides in check as we continue to move forward. If globalization is the expansion of businesses on an international scale, then global cities need to be the pillars that hold global business to a higher standard.

It isn’t enough for global cities to be economic powerhouses. They need to be forward-thinking, innovative and looking towards sustainability. It isn’t just about growing the economy and creating jobs for the short term, but as Michael Kimmelman pointed out, creating a population that is educated and driven to find creative solutions in the future. To be successful, a global city has to be adaptable, sustainable, and competitive. A global city is ranked based on its “education and technology, quality of life, ease of doing business, health, and safety, economic clout, and transportation”, according to Irene Ogrodnik. A global city also needs to be able to take innovative ideas for positive change and be able to execute them effectively. Even A lot of people who are educated from a global city also writes an essay very professionally.

Unchecked, our race to expand globalization through the business will continue to repeat the theme of conquest. Not through war, but through taking advantage of those who don’t have the resources or skills to fight for their rights, writes Dan Rodnik in a New York Times article. Global cities are interdependent on one another, no matter what nation they are a part of. The top global cities are demonstrating that they have the ability to be at the forefront of the world economy while understanding the critical elements that are needed to improve the global population’s quality of life. While global cities move forward and create new methods of increasing transportation, education, and sustainability, other cities are taking note and following in their footsteps.

The job of a global city—at the moment—is not to look after the interests of the global population. However, the cities themselves will be less reliant on the nations they are a part of, and increasingly tied to other cities. As the creators and facilitators of the global economy, these cities will have to emerge as a stronger management system for global practices. By organizing and holding to global economic standards, the cities will be able to affect sustainability, adaptability, and a higher quality of life beyond their city limits. At the moment, the UN reports that 54% of the world’s population lives in urban environments, with the percentage expected to grow to over 66% by 2050. This means that cities will continue to increase in global power as we continue forward, making them the perfect management tool for business practices around the globe.

While it may take time for global cities to recognize their true international power as a whole, they are the perfect management system to handle corporate responsibility. What we’ve seen so far are corporations who leave one country to begin production in regions with fewer restrictions or more lenient labor laws. Without keeping corporations in check, the global population will continue to suffer. Global cities like London, New York, Toronto, and Tokyo, can create a cross-city coalition that upholds higher standards of doing business in our modern world. At the moment, there is no better system for management in place, and the importance of sustainable, labor and resource-friendly practices are needed more than ever.

Bibliography

Kimmelman, Michael. 2016. “The Kind of Thinking Cities Need.” New York Times, October 28. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/opinion/sunday/the-kind-of-thinking-cities-need.html?_r=0

Martinez, Mel and Henry Cisneros. 2016. “How to Build Global Cities That Are Engines of Inclusion, Not Displacement.” Next City, April 1. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/build-global-cities-engines-of-inclusion-cisneros-martinez

National Geographic Society. 2017. “Globalization.” National Geographic, last updated 2017. http://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/globalization/

Ogrodnik, Irene. 2014. “Toronto 4th ‘Most Attractive’ Global City: Survey.” Global News, May 21. http://globalnews.ca/news/1344014/toronto-4th-most-attractive-global-city-survey/

Rodnik, Dan. 2016. “Put Globalization to Work for Democracies.” New York Times, September 18. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/opinion/sunday/put-globalization-to-work-for-democracies.html

Sassen, Saskia. 2005. “The Global City: Introducing a Concept.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol. XI, Issue 2, Winter/Spring, 27. http://www.saskiasassen.com/pdfs/publications/the-global-city-brown.pdf

United Nations. 2014. “World’s Population Increasingly Urban with More than Half Living in Urban Areas”. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html

 

 

 

Can People with Autism Lead a Functional Life? Essay Example

Abstract

Today, a lot of children suffer from autism. As a result, many parents after their child is diagnosed with autism wonder what will become of their children. It is no wonder that the initial question in the minds of the parents after realizing that their child has autism is whether the child will be able to have a “normal” life. As of today, one in every 110 children across the globe is estimated to suffer from autism. Due to its now prevalent presence in the world, it has become very important for scholars and parents, and researchers to understand whether this whole lot of children can have a functional life. The first known and documented case of autism was done1943 and was recorded in a medical journal that the article reported as “unlike anything reported so far.” In that case, Donald T was the case number 1 child given the autism diagnosis. Donald is now 77 years old and when John Donovan, a reporter from The Atlantic went to visit him found in the forest playing golf. The term “functional” has been coined to replace the word “normal” because there are many variations in each case of autism and therefore, it is almost impossible to determine how “normal” the life of a person is going to be. However, numerous studies and research are now revealing that no matter how “high functioning” and “low functioning” a person’s autism is there is increasing evidence that such children have hope for a functional life with supports and therapies. This paper analyses autism by exploring whether a person with autism can lead a functional life as a teenager and as an adult.

Introduction

One of the initial questions asked by a parent after realizing that their child has autism is whether the child will be able to have a “normal” life. As of today, one in every 110 children across the globe is estimated to suffer from autism. Due to its now prevalent presence in the world, it has become very important for scholars and parents to understand whether this whole lot of children can have a functional life. This first case of autism was reported in 1943 in a medical journal that the article reported as “unlike anything reported so far.” In that case, Donald T was the case number 1 child given the autism diagnosis. Donald is now 77 years old and when John Donovan, a reporter from The Atlantic went to visit him found in the forest playing gold. The term “functional” has been coined to replace the word “normal” because there are many variations in each case of autism and therefore, it is almost impossible to determine how “normal” the life of a person is going to be. However, numerous studies and research are now revealing that no matter how “high functioning” and “low functioning” a person’s autism is there is increasing evidence that such children have hope for a functional life with supports and therapies. This paper analyses autism by exploring whether a person with autism can lead a functional life as a teenager and as an adult.

Research Problem

With so many people now diagnosed as being autistic, the need is to now understand whether these people are capable of leading functional lives.

Hypothesis

With modern therapies and support people with autism are now able to live functional lives.

Literature Review

Gowen and Hamilton (2013) outline that more than previously thought possible, people suffering from autism are able to live as independently as possible as a result of modern therapies and supports (Gowen & Hamilton, 2013). The article further outlines that children can now go to the same classrooms with the other children and this raises the confidence and the coping capabilities of the autistic children. With the support now coming from all sides, under some special circumstances, a child can get intervention of specialists in order to reduce the degree any disruptive behavior that they may have through therapy.

Through the interventions through therapy, children can now more than ever before learn the essential academic skills such as math, writing, and reading and be able to finish high school (Groden, Woodard & Kantor, 2012). It has been documented that some are now even going all the way and attain college degrees, now they even have careers like accounting and writing an essay. There are programs now to help autistic adults comfortably live independent lives, be involved in community building, and do meaningful work (Belkin, 2010). As a result, even the ones with cognitive challenges are able to live independently and be able to do house chores for themselves, such as working, dressing, cooking, and shopping among others.

In the book Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life, Wright explains that the most important factor in helping a child reach their fullest potential is early intervention (Wright, 2012). When a child manages to get help early on in life, they are capable of getting the necessary intervention from family members and community support groups so that they can reach their fullest potential. Early intervention is necessary considering that now it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of adults with autism that are living independently and are positively contributing to their community. She goes on to argue that a lot of essay writers now in the workplace and in relationships have autism, but are now able to manage it and earn a living for themselves.

In a 2013 article, Claire Bates outlines that with early intervention, children born with “high functioning” autism can grow out of autism (Bates, 2013). The study outlined that this group of recovering children consist of children that tended to have mild forms of autistic symptoms and social difficulties. Later in life, with early intervention and support programs, these children showed no signs of difficulties in social interaction, face recognition, language, or communication despite having been diagnosed with autism early in life. However, the researchers cautioned that the results relate only to a small number of people who were born with high functioning autism. For this group of autistic children, intensive therapy is able to make them grow out of autism, completely doing away with their difficulties in communication and interaction with other people, thereby making them lead fully functional lives.

However, Jennifer Van Pelt is a little optimistic about the functionality of life that adults suffering from autism are able to attain given that many therapies and support programs are oriented towards children with autism (Pelt, 2008). In her article “Autism into Adulthood-Making the Transition”, Pelt outlines that therapies and support structures are well organized for autistic children. However, she observes that there has been little enthusiasm to understand what happens when these children grow up. With very few support programs and therapies for adults, autistic adults face challenges ranging from social relationships, employment, and daily living. Pelt explains that it is not that the therapies are not there or that support programs do not exist, they have simply not been documented, researched, or advertised as those attending to young adults. Her article outlines that local and state resources for teenagers and adults with autism range from social skills development, vocational training, long-term residential care, and supervised daycare. Due to these challenges, her article urges social work to specifically target this group in order to improve their physical stamina, personal relationships, and regular employment expectations.

 

References

Bates, C. (2013, January 15). Children can GROW OUT of autism: Controversial research suggests not all youngsters have the same fate. Daily Mail.

Belkin, L. (2010, September 15). When Autistic Children Become Adults. The New York Times.

Gowen, E., & Hamilton, A. (2013). Motor abilities in autism: a review using a computational context. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, (2), 323. doi:10.1007/sl0803-012-1574-0

Groden, J., Woodard, C., & Kantor, A. (2012). How Everyone on the Autism Spectrum, Young and Old, Can… : Become Resilient, Be More Optimistic, Enjoy Humor, Be Kind, and Increase Self-Efficacy – A Positive Psychology Approach. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Pelt, J. V. (2008). Autism Into Adulthood — Making the Transition. Social Work Today, 8(5), 12.

Wright, S. D. (2016). Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

 

Depression and its Links to Physical Pain & Illness Essay Example

Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of Americans each year. In 2015, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) estimated that 16.1 million adults (ages 18 and up) experiencing at least one major depressive episode in that year alone (NIH, 2017). One of the commonalities for those suffering from depression is reports of physical illnesses or pain. While it is true that some cases of depression stem from an individual having a physical illness, and developing depression due to their illness, there are vast numbers of cases that include physical illness that didn’t manifest until after a depressive episode (Goodwin, 2006). It is through these reports that a strong link between physical and mental health can be drawn. While depression may not be the sole reason that someone develops physical illnesses, research shows that there is a direct connection between biology and a person’s mental health.

The Common Cold Of Psychiatry

Depression is often described as being “‘the common cold’ of psychiatry”, affecting individuals in both mild and severe forms (Goodwin, 2006). The links between the physical body and depressive episodes are often lost, but it needs to be understood that “all severe depression is in some sense biological” (Goodwin, 2006). When patients present to their doctors, the symptoms of “major depression… minor depression dysthymia, and depressive symptoms merge with other manifestations of human distress”, most notably physical illness or ailments (Goodwin, 2006).

Another point that must be addressed is the differences between men and women who are diagnosed with depression. According to NIH (2017), women are twice as likely to suffer a depressive episode as men. It is difficult, however, to conclusively say that women suffer from depression more than men, since men are less likely to report symptoms. Women are noted as being more comfortable discussing emotional issues with their primary physicians over men, which could explain why fewer men are reported to have depressive episodes (WHO, 2017).

Findings by Harvard Health Findings (2009) found interesting results when looking at the link between pain and depression: “According to some estimates, more than 50% of depressed patients who visit general practitioners complain only of physical symptoms, and in most cases the symptoms include pain. Some studies suggest that if physicians tested all pain patients for depression, they might discover 60% of currently undetected depression” (Harvard Health Findings, 2009). Since the full scope of depression in the global population is uncertain, it cannot be said with certainty that women are more likely to suffer depressive episodes than men.

Additionally, when it comes to physical symptoms, women are more likely to “generally report more bodily distress and more numerous, more intense, and more frequent somatic symptoms than men” (Barsky, Peekna, and Borus, 2001). At the same time, the study by Barsky et al (2001) notes that men and women have different experiences when it comes to “somatic symptoms, bodily distress, and physical health”. The interpretations of current research, however, “is difficult because studies vary in the methods used to elicit and measure symptoms” (Barsky et al, 2001). It is because of this that physical illness resulting from depression cannot be measured as being higher in men than it is in women. While more women are found to have depressive episodes, and, for example, be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, direct ties between specific illnesses and depression cannot be verified (WHO, 2017). There are many risk factors for illnesses, and while stress (or depression) are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, there is no way to conclusively know what sole specific factor brought on the development of the disease (WHO, 2017).

Identifying Risk Factors

Because of the issues with identifying risk factors, it cannot be said with certainty that depression leads to the development of specific illnesses or physical ailments. However, there is conclusive evidence that shows those with depression have higher rates of physical symptoms. For those suffering from depression, physical symptoms often manifest in the form of “chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness, sleep disturbances, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite changes” (Trivedi, 2004). While most studies tend to try and identify which came first, the physical manifestations or the depression, Trivedi (2004) points out that “physical pain and depression have a deeper biological connection than simple cause and effect”. In patients suffering from a depressive episode, “many physicians consider patients to be in remission when their acute emotional symptoms have abated, but residual symptoms—including physical symptoms—are very common and increase the likelihood of relapse” (Trivedi, 2004).

For a patient to achieve a full remission, both the emotional symptoms and the residual symptoms need to be measured. “There are a number of short yet accurate measurement tools (rating scales) available that effectively measure the remission of physical symptoms as well as emotional symptoms” (Trivedi, 2004). Given the links between depression and physical symptoms, as well as the increased likelihood of relapse due to not handling the residual symptoms as part of the depressive episode, it is in the patient’s best interest to perform simple tests to ensure they succeed at making a full remission, rather than to risk a relapse by not making the connection between the mental and the physical links.

The Biological Link Between Depression And Physical Pain

There is something to be said about the biological link between depression and physical pain, in the way that they are both treated. “Pain, especially chronic pain, is an emotional condition as well as a physical sensation. It is a complex experience that affects thought, mood, and behavior and can lead to isolation, immobility and drug dependence” (Harvard Health Publications, 2009). When looked at from that perspective, it is easy to see that depression is similar to physical pain. “Pain is depressing, and depression causes and intensifies the pain. People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms—usually mood or anxiety disorders—and depressed patients have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain” (Harvard Health Publications, 2009).

Anti-depressants and pain medication also act in the same way, furthering the idea of a biological link. Both “act in brain pathways that regulate mood and the perception of pain” (Harvard Health Publications, 2009). If there wasn’t a biological link between the two, the brain pathways targeted for treatment would likely not be the same in both pain and depression. When a person has both depression and pain, the recovery from both is a lot more difficult. “Pain slows recovery from depression, and depression makes the pain more difficult to treat; for example, it may cause patients to drop out of rehabilitation programs. Worse, both pain and depression tend to feed on themselves” (Harvard Business Publications, 2009).

This is something that must be considered for patients with both pain and depression. Given the estimation that such a high percentage of depression patients go undiagnosed, it would be useful for health care providers to test for physical and mental health problems at the same time. This would increase a person’s chance at a full remission after treatment, as well as let the health care provider know if there are more issues that have to be addressed than just the physical or mental state. Pain and depression both “change brain function and behavior. Depression leads to isolation and isolation leads to further depression; pain causes fear of movement, and immobility causes the conditions of further pain” (Harvard Business Publications, 2009). Depression and pain act the same way, and “when depression is treated, pain often fades away, and when the pain goes away, so does much of the suffering that causes depression” (Harvard Health Publications, 2009). When considering this, along with the research by Trivedi (2004), it is clear that just because a patient is no longer experiencing pain or depression after the other has been treated, doesn’t mean that it is gone completely.

Focus On The Patient’s Mental Health

For psychologists, the focus will still always be on the patient’s mental health. At the same time, testing for physical pain or illness would be a smart move. The overall health and well being of the patient is the goal, not just the solving of a single problem. With mental health and physical pain or illness being so tied together, it would be wrong to only treat one problem when many more could be being overlooked, which would cause a relapse back into depression in the future. Primary care physicians should also be aware of the links, taking the time to look for depression rather than just treat physical pain or illness. By working together, psychologists and primary care providers can treat the whole patient, not just the part that seems to be broken from their diagnostic perspective.

While there is still a lot of research to be done, a direct biological link between pain and depression is being discovered. As with any illness or disease, it is impossible to conclusively say which factors caused specific illnesses. It is also impossible to say which comes first, the depression or the pain. Instead of trying to find what to blame for either mental or physical illness, health care providers need to look at the links between mental and physical health as being impossible to separate. One will always affect the other, even in minor ways. To ignore this is to leave problems undiagnosed, which only results in the problem coming back again for the patient in the future. The links between the mind and the body are fascinating, and we still haven’t begun to understand how deep the connection goes. We have to keep asking questions and comparing bodies of research so that we can begin to form the bigger picture in its entirety.

References

Barsky, A.J., Peekna, H.M., Borus, J.F. (2001). Somatic symptom reporting in men and women. Journal of General Internal Medicine, April 2001; 16(4): 266-275.

Goodwin, G.M. (2006). Depression and associated physical diseases and symptoms. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. June 2006; 8(2):259-265.

Harvard Health Publications (2009). Depression and pain. Harvard Medical School, June, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2017 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression_and_pain

NIH (2017a). Major depression among adults. National Institute of Mental Health, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017 from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml

NIH (2017b). Who is at risk for heart disease? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017 from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/atrisk

Trivedi, M.H. (2004). The link between depression and physical symptoms. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2004; 6(suppl 1): 12-16.

WHO (2017). Gender and women’s health. World Health Organization, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017 from http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/

 

 

 

 

What the Future Holds Essay Example

The beer boom is expected to expand throughout 2017 and beyond. If your taste in beer has been progressively improving from the typical larger to the trendiest craft beers, you are probably in for a treat as brewers have a lot of goodies in store for 2017. The number of craft beer breweries has increased over the years, thanks to the high demand. The boom began after the government put in place legislation to allow breweries to produce any amount of beer possible within their capacity. The future of craft brewing looks bright from state to state, and it is likely to give the federal government revenues, which will improve the economy exponentially. The growing economy has unleashed a wave of new entrepreneurial heads who are looking for fun and exciting ways to spend their money. The brewing industry will benefit from this new trend as its potential is great and promising. The breweries are cropping up from side to side, thanks to millennials’ obsession with craft beer.

The Craft Beer Boom

The craft beer boom has no signs to slow down, according to the Beer Institute study. The beer Institute study found out that the overall beer industry contributed a lot of money to the Canadian economy. The brewers and distributors, together with retailers and importers, have an important role to play in ensuring that the beer industry remains at the top. Statistics show that consumer preferences are in tandem with the impact of beer brewing on the national economy. The market is still ready for more breweries, and as it is, this will make a booming 2017 in terms of breweries and craft beer. Additionally, the production volumes are expected to go up. However, there was a lower growth rate last year. Production levels reduced from 16% to 8 % for the same period. This drop was mostly attributed to new investors buying out craft breweries with no intention to grow the craft brewing arm of the breweries. Non-craft companies, even when producing craft beer, are not considered as a craft. The opening of new breweries, on the other hand, will ensure that this does not happen by the end of this year. The volume lost will be recovered, and the breweries will improve this production volume. The growth trajectory of the craft industry as a whole will be positive if all things considered going as planned.

The Brewers’ Association of Canada

The Brewers’ Association of Canada indicates that Canadian brewers are ready for what has to be done to ensure domestic brewing can competitively compete with other brewers across the globe. This was cemented in the free trade negotiations between American and Canadian breweries to ensure free trade. It was a move to ensure that Canada would be able to import and export their produce without much hassle. The goal is to revitalize the economy step by step through brewing. It is not like people are drinking more – they are just choosing to drink better and drink locally brewed beer. Consumers see this as a chance to bolster the community and in some way contribute to the economy.

The future of drinking lies in the constituents of a drink and the impact it has on the social and economic ways of living. It is because consumers are more aware of what they want – tastes and preferences play a critical role in the choice of drink. Craft beer has introduced a new trend in beer drinking as consumers continue to identify with drinks that suit their tastes and preferences. As such, craft beer has attracted new markets in young women and non-jock men who previously did not appeal to the beer market. The demographic preferences will continue to influence future beer trends. The highest consumers of craft beer range between 21 and 35 years of age. The millenniums demand of craft beer is mainly influenced by variety, quality, and demand for local products, unlike previous generations. Increasing demand for local products and the need to explore different tastes continues to encourage local manufacturers to enter into the industry. Craft beer has also emerged as an alternative to wine, consequently attracting older consumers. As the wine industry continues to be stagnant, many boomers are discarding wine and shifting to craft beers which provide them with the unique flavors tastes that they crave for.

Similarly, pricing continues to play a fundamental role in influencing the type of craft beer that millenniums purchase. Millenniums are the largest consumers of craft beer and are limited to affordable drinks when making purchases. Affordable craft beers continue to attract this particular demographic who are serial beer enthusiasts.

The Canadian Beer Market

The Canadian beer market has also been hit by the social media wave as millenniums share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter. Untappd social media app allows interaction between beer enthusiast to review the drinks they like and discover the closest breweries, restaurants, and pubs that they can acquire those exact brews. Using the social media app, beer enthusiasts share their experiences and encourage each other to try out different craft beers. In addition, enthusiasts can easily locate restaurants and pubs that have their beer of choice. A survey on drinking trends of millenniums identifies Untappd as influencing beer lovers in the identification of spots that sell certain craft beers, consequently encouraging people to explore the different flavors offered by beer. The trend has seen Canadian beer culture overlook the mass-produced brands in favor of craft beer. In Canada, beer consumption dropped by 6%, but craft beer servings in pubs and restaurants have risen by 7% since 2014. According to Ontario Craft Brewers, craft beer boasts of growing sales of between 20% and 30% annually, thus making it the fastest-growing segment in the beer category. Experimentation is key in brewers’ development, with the trend being linked to a return of classic beer brewing styles. Brewer’s creativity is explored as brewers develop new tastes and flavors through the adoption of traditional beer styles to provide finesse in their beers. According to Ontario Craft Brewers, the aim is to catch the attention of the curious beer enthusiasts who want to relate to the favorite choice of beer.

Social trends continue to influence the demand for craft beers in 2017, with statistics showing an increase in consumer experimentation and a continuous lack of brand loyalty by customers. These trends continue to provide support for the growth of the industry in the coming years. Consumer behavior trends show that consumers are on the lookout for new flavors hence the newest brand or tastes influence the popularity of the brewer. Canadian Millennials and Beverage Alcohol survey establish that while consumers might display a few personal favorites, they tend to drink something new each time they go out for drinks. In the past, brand loyalty gave established brands a market advantage over upcoming brands, which made it difficult for craft beers to compete against international brands. However, the shift in market trends has provided exponential growth in the craft beer industry.

Research indicates that quality is a significant determining factor. The customer base has been identified as disloyal to brands and always in search of new tastes, hence, such a clientele cannot settle for poor quality. While the different flavors determine the growth of brands, it is the quality that determines which brand will last. Thus, if the taste of the beer is not good, clients will fail to buy the beer and immediately shift to their competitors. Current trends dictate that variety is what is driving the craft beer business. As with every other trend, this might change in the future as people start to identify with particular brewers. As a result, people would stop experimenting and start developing preferences of existing brands and rotating between their favorite brands. Craft breweries would continue to provide demand, but their growth would be stagnant, which will prove difficult for new brands to enter the market as before. Quality would be the deciding feature, determining which brewery lasts and which one dies away, just as evidenced by the 90s recession of the craft beer industry. Thus, consistency in the quality of beer would be critical in case harsh times hits the craft beer industry again and consumer trends change.

Canada’s Growth In The Craft Industry

Canada’s growth in the craft industry is driven by the continuous need for new flavors and the demand for local products. Customers lack brand loyalty – they just want different tastes, consequently giving beer brewers equal opportunity in the market. As such, even bad beer can outsell great beer due to this trend, hence, brewers are not pressurized to produce quality beer. The continuous need for new tastes is not only limited to Canada, but is a developing global trend. As a result, breweries have a growing market in Europe for craft beers, and they can thus increase their products through exports. However, with the increasing number of breweries, the quality will play a significant role in determining which brewer lasts in the market. Inconsistent quality would lead to the boycott of products, thus leading to a decrease in sales and a shift in consumer preferences. As stated earlier, if a brewer wants to penetrate their product into the Canadian market, then the introduction of new, unique flavors would greatly assist them in achieving this goal. However, if the brewers want to last longer in the market, consistency in quality is key to their crafting business.

Affordable Care Act Essay Example

The Affordable Care Act and the Federal Patient Protection Act was signed into law in 2010. It was duly dubbed ObamaCare (ACA) since it was introduced by former President Barack Obama. It is a comprehensive act that contains over 2,000 provisions in an over 900 pages act (HealthCare, 2016). This paper provides a review of the Affordable Care Act to highlight its key provisions by utilizing the HealthCare website as a professional and credible source of information regarding the act.

Fundamental tenets of the ACA

The fundamental tenets of the ACA are envisioned to increase health insurance access, curb the rise of healthcare costs, expand the workforce, and improve consumer protection. In order to achieve the insurance expansion tenet, the ACA proposed tax credits to small businesses and made it mandatory for employers to cover their employees’ health insurance, otherwise be liable to pay penalties (HealthCare, 2016). State-based exchanges were created with limits on the premium costs from 2 to 9.5 percent depending on the income. Additionally, the act sought to increase consumer protection by prohibiting insurance plans that exclude children and prohibiting cancellation of coverage (HealthCare, 2016).

A Prevention Fund

Apart from insurance, the ACA established a prevention fund that could provide screening and immunizations. Furthermore, a national council was created to help in the prevention of tobacco and obesity-related problems. Additionally, food companies and restaurants with over 20 locations were required to provide calorie information upon request. Another dimension of the ACA was an improvement of the healthcare quality by increasing the training of nurses and support of nurse-management clinics that serve underprivileged communities in the country (HealthCare, 2016). Furthermore, stiffer penalties were introduced for health insurance fraud by insurance companies seeking to avoid paying claims. One key tenet is the shift from a fee-for-service system to one based on the quality of the service. Finally, the ACA sought to improve patients’ access to generic drugs.

From the above analysis, it is evident that the ACA is a comprehensive overhaul of the American healthcare system. Some of the provisions seek to directly impact the wellbeing of patients, others increase access, and others enhance integrity and transparency from stakeholders (HealthCare, 2016). The main misgiving is that small business exceptions are rare and many businesses either decreased or failed to increase their employees to avoid spending a lot on healthcare cover.

References

HealthCare. (2016, December 16). Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from HealthCare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/

 

 

Engagement and Assessment of Communities Essay Example

This research paper explores a number of aspects of the researcher’s chosen community. The aspects under consideration include the description of the community, key informants, reasons for contacting the informants, and important skills for engagement. The community of interest in this paper is the homeless people of Derry City. This is because the issue of homelessness within the city has drawn a lot of public attention due to a number of struggles that these people endure on a daily basis in spite of the city being a commercial hub for many economic models within the country. Also, this issue has cropped up in the city in recent years. Some seven years ago, it was uncommon to witness people sleeping on the streets unlike nowadays. The key informants identified include the homeless people, local authorities, and members of the public over the perceptions that they had towards the homeless within the city. The principal reason for contacting the informants was to establish a true and unbiased view of the homeless community within the city. Finally, two important skills for engagement with the homeless community were identified; these are empathy and rapport building.

Introduction

When undertaking a needs assessment for any community it is imperious that an individual has the relevant skills that allow him or her to integrate with the members of the community so as to undertake a study on their needs and the resources that they have at their disposal so as to meet these needs (Itzhaky & York, 2002). The aim of this assessment was to conduct a needs assessment on a given community so as to establish the best strategies that could be applied so that the needs of the society are met in the long-term.

Description of the Community

The community that I selected and assessed was the homeless people in Derry City. Homelessness within the city has been an issue that has drawn a lot of public attention as a result of the various struggles that these individuals go through on a daily basis despite the city being a business hub for many economic models within the country. The target group will be individuals who do not have permanent shelters in the city or the suburbs and are thereby forced to sleep on the streets.

The majority of the people within this community do not have a job and only rely on food and cash that they are given by well wishers and passers-by on the streets. Due to the lack of income, some rely on welfare support from the local authorities in terms of food and clothing. The main reason that made me choose this community is due to the increase it has been experiencing in the past five years. In 2010, it was rare to find a homeless man on the street; however, this has changed with many homeless people sleeping on the streets today.

Key Informants

Some of the key informants that I identified included the homeless people, local authorities, and members of the public over the perceptions that they had towards the homeless within the city. Other informants included local shops and supermarket owners who are on many occasions on the forefront when dealing with homeless people. The police are also other informants that could provide key details about the society and how their presence in society affects the wellbeing and welfare of the people.

Reasons for contacting the Informants

There are numerous reasons that I identified several informants about the plight of the homeless in Derry City. The first major reason was so as to establish a true and unbiased view about the community. When undertaking such a study, it is important to ensure that all the information that is collected is true and relates to the given community. The homeless would be contacted so as to understand the various factors that contributed to them being on the streets in the first place. Such information could be used in the needs assessment so as to come up with strategies that reduce their presence on the streets. Contacting the local authorities would also be important to the study since it would come up with the various numbers about the group and the various demographic aspects about the selected community.

Important Skills for Engagement

When performing the needs assessment, it is important to possess various skills that can allow a researcher to get the needed pieces of information about society in general. One of the most important skills is empathy. Empathy is the ability of a researcher to understand the needs of the community that is being studied (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2012). When dealing with the homeless, it is imperious that a researcher exemplifies a lot of empathy since such empathy is directly related to the level of communication that may take place between the two parties. The homeless are on many occasions starved and failure to show empathy could lead to them not offering the much-needed information for the research to be a success. I chose the skill as a fundamental one since it can be difficult to deal with the group due to the various challenges that it faces on a daily basis.

The second skill that I identified that could be vital in the needs assessment exercise is rapport building. Rapport building is the ability of a researcher to create a harmonious and close relationship between the various groups that exist within the community. In the needs assessment test, rapport building could include the ability to make partnerships with the various groups of informants that were selected so as to clearly come up with vital information that could allow me to study the group so as to come up with the various interventions that could be made so as to ensure that their well-being is enhanced in the future.

References

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2012). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning. Chapter 5, “Engagement and Assessment in Generalist Practice” (pp. 161-206)

Itzhaky, H., & York, A. S. (2002). Showing results in community organization. Social Work, 47(2), 125-131. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Revenue and Pricing Hypothesis Essay Example

Part A

The startup app intends to establish its pricing both on the vendors and consumers end based on theoretical cost analysis and costing process. Based on a revenue streams hypothesis, it is possible to consider the significance of the input of the beauticians in comparison to their costs. Such comparisons are to be made to the income they stand to obtain from being independent with a similar consumer stream. In order to test the hypothesis and create a more practical and market-relevant approach, there emerged the need to interview potential clients and vendors. As such, it would be difficult to establish initial price points without interactions with the customer, which would ease the process of developing ideal pricing and compute expected profit margins.

Interviews of 7 potential clients with respect to the hypotheses resulted in the following responses to the price list. The respondents were majorly positive on the usage of PayPal or credit cards as payment platforms – ideally, since they had used these platforms before in paying for other online services. Beaut-Ease branded product prices were offered, and a number of them responded to having to pay higher prices for high-end beauty services. In this regard, a majority of prices were commended in light of the efficiency that was captured in acquiring them (through delivery and accompanied by services). However, the pricing of products that did not require service accompaniment was pointed out as being above the standard market value by too many price points, and the value of delivery and convenience was not considered to justify the rather high pricing of the products. These included Deep Clean Charcoal Clay Mask and Exotic Exfoliation Body and Facial Scrub CoCo, whose pricing ($30-$50) could not be justified without the provision of accompanying services.

However, on the side of the startup, the cost of establishing services in substitution of the application of clay masks and body and facial scrubs was not justifiable. These beauty treatments are commonly self-served and easy to use and apply. In this regard, setting the price for accompanying service is not ideal due to the inability of Beaut-Ease to incorporate associated service. In response to the inclusion of supplies for the vendors, there were interactions with six respondents, who were assessed in their interest in pricing in response to the proposed price points for service and its delivery to the comfort of the client. The proposed division of revenue from 25% for the startup and 75% for the vendor was deemed suitable by a significant number of respondents, provided that the pricing was suitably above that available for the vendors acting on a private basis. Most of the respondents were confident about the hourly approach to payment as opposed to the standard approach of payment per session of service. The hourly rates are appealing to the standard range beautician, and increases their bottom-line through the reduction of the cost of supplies, and only demanding their skill.

Additionally, the provision of a competitive edge to these service vendors increases their drive towards increasing their work input to enhance their standing and ratings within the app. The professional in this case, in earning a commission for offering services, allows for the enhancement of their brand. The estheticians’ abilities, according to some respondents, should reflect the amount of business they receive, and this is observable in the inclusion of an opportunity for the clients to rate the service. Although most of the respondents’ interests were not aligned with custom pricing, the hypothetical interest expressed a commonly stated question on whether such competitive pricing would result in higher turnaround and customer retention rates. As such, the initial pricing models may require modifications to fit this requirement and allow for the increased interaction of service providers among themselves for better pricing models.

Part B

The following results emerged from considering the revenue hypothesis in light of respondents relevant to the usage of the services or acting as professional beauticians.

Are 70% of users willing to pay a membership fee?

Professionals logging onto the platform as service providers are willing to pay a membership fee, with a majority of them preferred that the amount be annual and justifiable within the expected returns. Of the respondents, 80% were comfortable with a membership fee contingent on their gaining from payment of such fee within the guarantee of gaining a similar amount in less than a month of serving within the platform. The rationale behind this interest is to safeguard the service providers from paying a redundant fee that would not benefit them. In addition, these professionals may require the justification of the price of membership on a less frequent basis, especially since they submit 25% of revenue on a consistent basis to the service in exchange for clients. Additionally, it is arguable that the payment of a membership fee would increase the responsibility of the professionals to committing to service provision in the interests of the app as opposed to the risk-free operation that would be damaging to other members. A similar requirement, therefore, captured the willingness of the users to pay the fee to make a commitment to the service provision process.

Would 80% of customers be willing to download the free app?

All the respondents interviewed were ready to download the free app given that all emergent charges were only for the provision of services. Their response was justified by their interest in exploring and testing the convenience on offer from the app, and with the app being free, they were won over. More than half of the respondents expressed interest in comparing the prices on offer from the free app to their current spending on independent service providers and contractors. However, not all these customers expressed their interest in sampling the quality of services if the pricing of such service could not be justified by convenience against their competition. It would, therefore, be suitable to pivot the pitch for the consumers to a cost-friendly approach in initial pricing, ideally to convince the users on the level of quality of the services. However, the free app would motivate increased downloading and testing of the services by potential clients.

Are 50% of customers willing to purchase products from the Beaut-Ease Skin Care Line?

From the respondents willing to download the free app, only 40% were already willing to buy products on the app without any kind of guarantee on quality. This limits the level of business that the startup expects in the initial stages. However, there are opportunities to motivate purchasing, with initial offers for the users, where the motivation for consumption would increase with an established clientele base (Bates & Robb, 2014). Additionally, this initial reluctance to purchase from the app may be eased by offering attractive pricing in the initial setting to promote purchases. In the overall sense, this reluctance emerges from the unfamiliarity of the users with this form of service and product delivery.

Part C

Revenue Streams

100% of income will come from payments facilitated by PayPal and major credit cards when the service sales are paid online by customers. This absolute approach to payment is in the response of clients in fully proffering these methods, especially since they have used them before on other online purchases and service interactions. These platforms are an attempt to eliminate cash-based payment which would shortchange the startup. Additionally, the proposed platforms offer secure payment options that can be liaised with to facilitate eased payment options with free transactions for the clients.

10% of income comes from Beaut-Ease Skin Care products (scrubs and masks) available for online purchase and beauty service upsells. This hypothetical stance is retained due to its suitability to the business model provided by the service providers and the preferences of the clients. As such, 10% is deemed suitable for service upsells and online purchases.

7.5% of income comes from membership fees and registration fees of beauty service employees. The increase in the percentage demanded from the professionals is captured in their initial interest in joining the platform and enhancing their bottom line. As such, it is possible to take a larger percentage of the income from the initial fees, which will facilitate the setting up of services for the benefits of these beauty service employees. Also, it makes it easier to engage the demands of the employees in aligning pricing indices to the preferences of the clients and end-users.

Free download for customers to access Beaut-Ease Travelling Service Mobile App. This hypothesis is maintained due to the advantages it presents to the startup in introducing the services to the users and increasing their interest in recognizing the services on offer and the pricing. However, the free download requires being coupled with a similarly attractive pricing approach from which the users are motivated to try out the products and services on offer (Jelfs & Thomson, 2016). With the responses from the clients regarding buying new products without motivation, there emerges the need to market the products using pricing that is competitive. This can then be coupled with the selling point of the service, which is convenient for the client at similar pricing.

Part D

App Developers and Associated Services

Q: What timelines can be expected in maintenance and system setting up processes?

A: The development can be completed within six weeks, with the flexibility of up to two weeks to complete the process.

Q: What charges are on offer in the initial startup days?

A: Development will cost $3500 for setting up, $1000 for initial modifications and maintenance operations.

Q: What credit options exist for service provision from the developers?

A: The developers have credit options of up to 50% financing of the development over a period of six months.

Investors

Q: What timelines are required from the investor for the initial return on investment?

A: The investors will offer a grace period of 6 months for the initial response for returns on investment for a period spanning up to two years.

Q: How well can credit be stretched to fulfill financial requirements from the company?

A: Credit facilities will be offered, with a line of credit of up to $10,000 for furthering the initial setting up of the app and establishment of inventory for the testing phase.

Q: What is the ideal credit interest does the investor possess?

A: The most suitable credit interest would be capped at 10%, with an associated reducing balance on the line of credit. It would mean that a reducing value of interest would be offered with the picking of the business.

 

References

Bates, T., & Robb, A. (2014). Small-business viability in America’s urban minority communities. Urban Studies, 51(13), 2844-2862. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098013514462

Jelfs, A., & Thomson, H. (2016). Marketing small and medium sized enterprises in the digital age: Opportunities and challenges. Teaching Business & Economics, 20(1), 4-7.

Cyberbullying of Children and Teen Essay Example

Bullying in the classical sense refers to the sustained or recurrent physical or verbal attacks on a child or teenager by one or more peers. Usually, the suspects are individuals who are unwilling or unable to de-escalate the bullying. Typically, bullying involved physical assault, verbal harassment, taunting, humiliation, intimidation, and coercion. However, children and teenagers spend more time on their electronic devices. They interact more on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp than any previous generation. However, this interaction has led to the development of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a term that refers to sustained and recurrent social, verbal, and emotional abuse of a child by their peers using information technology. Cyberbullying takes the form of harassing texts, unapproved posts of humiliating pictures, disparaging social media comments, and direct threats using online platforms. Statistics show that that seven in ten people under 18 years have experienced some form of cyberbullying. The statistics also seem to show that one in every three victims of cyberbullying tries to self-harm (UN Chronicle, 2016). Clearly, cyberbullying has an effect on the emotional and physical well-being of the individual. This paper seeks to investigate the causes and consequences of cyberbullying as well as developing some solutions to prevent cases of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying causes

The prevalence of cyberbullying is quite alarming, but there is a need to understand the causes of cyberbullying to understand why it is so prevalent. A study by Hoff and Michell (2009) sought to investigate this by conducting an open-ended survey. Their study seemed to reveal that there are found predominant reasons students engaged in cyberbullying. Hoff and Michell (2009) found that breakups were the predominant cause of cyberbullying accounting for 41 percent of cases. Among children and teenagers, breakups were the predominant reason for cyberbullying. Normally, one of the jilted exes posted the information on social media. In most cases, this information is not positive. They also found that envy was the reason for 20 percent of cyberbullying. Envy was normally a result of students who were romantically attracted to others, but they were ignored. This envy led to cyberbullying as a way of getting back to the other individual or their romantic interest. Intolerance accounted for 16 percent while ganging up accounted for 14 percent. In the study, intolerance referred to the cases where cyberbullies were trying to feel better about themselves or because they wanted the other person to feel the same misery they felt. Hoff and Michell (2009) believe intolerance is the same reason for classical bullying, but it has taken a digital appearance. Finally, students would gang up against students who they did not want to be part of their group.

A similar study was conducted by Mishna et al. (2010) who found that 33.7 percent of the students in middle and high schools admitted to having cyberbullied one or more of their peers. In 22 percent of the cases, the method of cyberbullying was calling other people bad names. An additional 14 percent was by pretending to be someone else, 11 percent was spreading bad rumors, five percent was threatening others and finally, three percent sent unwelcoming pictures or texts to others. The information showed that 52 percent of the bullying was aimed at a friend, 21 percent was aimed at other students in school, and 11 percent was aimed at students in other schools while six percent was aimed at complete strangers. Mishna et al. (2010) also revealed the reasons why students bullied others. Their findings showed that 25 percent of them believed that cyberbullying others made them funny. Other reasons for making fun of others included the target’s appearance, race, school performance, sexuality, disability, gender, and family of the person they were bullying. Mishna et al. (2010) were able to show that cyberbullies got some form of aesthetic pleasure from cyberbullying others. Most of them believed that cyberbullying made them more popular, funny, and powerful. However, these feelings were normally followed by guilt or regret for their actions.

A study by Cowie (2013) reviewed the causes of cyberbullying among children and adolescents and found that the primary cause was the reaction to the break-up of both romantic and platonic relationships. Additionally, the individuals who bullied others normally did so when they were envious of the other person or when they had some form of prejudiced intolerance towards them. However, there seemed to be a lot of bullying occurring due to gender differences between individuals. Sometimes the individuals were intolerant of the other students’ sexual orientation, disability, or ethnicity. Cowie (2013) also found that there was an overlap between the traditional form of bullying and cyberbullying. The research seems to indicate that people who bully others physically were willing to extend the bullying to cyberspace and vice versa.

Another study by Low and Espelage (2013) reviewed the causes of cyberbullying from a psychological perspective. The study showed that parental supervision and cyberbullying were interrelated. Children and teens who have the least adult supervision engaged the most in cyberbullying. In Caucasian female children, alcohol and drug use were increased the bullying behavior between participants. Low and Espelage (2013) also found that family conflict seemed to increase the possibility of engaging in cyberbullying. There were high levels of hostility and depression when it comes to white teen males and African-American males respectively. Additionally, African-American teens were more likely to engage in cyberbullying because there are less parental supervision and family cohesion as compared to other races. The research by Low and Espelage (2013) found that behavior is related to emotional processing by teenagers and children. These students seemed to bully others as a way of dealing with their emotions or managing bullying from their families. The specific risk factors highlight the reasons why some adolescent youth are willing to engage in cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying consequences

            One of the most authoritative figures on the effects of cyberbullying is Michael Wright who has reviewed the psychological effects. According to Wright (2016), has highlighted that cyberbullying victims suffer from a lot of psychological issues. Most of the time, cyberbullying caused a lot of depression in children and teens. Wright (2016) highlighted cases of increased loneliness and sadness, disruption of eating and sleeping patterns, loss of interest in social activities leading to hermit-like behavior, and the health problems associated with depression. In many cases, the individuals had chronic anxiety when it came to going to school. Wright (2016) highlighted that this resulted in cases of missing, dropping out, and skipping school to avoid coming face-to-face with the perpetrators of cyberbullying. As a result, many of the children and teenagers who are victims of cyberbullying tend to have poor grades due to inconsistent attendance in school. They have low self-esteem leading to a higher risk of falling into exploitative relationships later in life. Wright (2016) also highlighted that victims tend to have a high likelihood of engaging in drugs and alcohol. In extreme cases, bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts. The suicidal tendencies also create problems in adult life as individuals who were victims of cyberbullying as children are more likely to attempt suicide as adults.

            In another study, Wright (2016) investigated the emotional responses and attributions in dealing with coping strategies. In his study, he found that adolescents who were cyberbullied seemed to experience emotions of embarrassment, worry, stress, anxiety, sadness, and fear. Wright (2016) also found that in other cases, the victims of cyberbullying seemed to feel offended, defenseless, scared, and rejected. Clearly, cyberbullying victims develop emotional issues that normally lead to depression when they are compounded. In other cases, the victims develop coping mechanisms to deal with the emotional strain that arises from the cyberbullying. The first type of coping mechanism for most is retaliation where they target the cyberbullies for revenge. This coping mechanism normally leads to a perpetuation of the cyberbullying culture. The second coping mechanism is avoidant behavior that seeks to ignore the aggressor. This may be effective in reducing cyberbullying of other individuals, but the damage to the victim’s emotion has already been done. Wright (2016) also found that the best coping mechanism was seeking emotional support. The strategy allows the victims to deal with the attribution of emotions that arises from cyberbullying.

Additional research by Aoyama et al. (2011) found that the effects of cyberbullying are somewhat the same as those in classical cases of bullying. However, the effects seem to be amplified. Aoyama et al. (2011) believe that the reason for this is the frequency and the fluidity of cyberbullying. In some cases, Cyberbullying can involve an entire class or grade making it more brutal for the victims. They found that students who are harassed online are twice as likely to show depression symptoms as those who are bullied physically. Their research also showed that victims of cyberbullying had lower self-esteem and self-consent. Clearly, the emotional impact of cyberbullying seems to be exponentially greater than the effect of physical bullying. Aoyama et al. (2011) also found that cyberbullying led to greater social anxiety because the victims developed a distrust for their peers and other people in the public. This distrust makes it harder for these individuals to seek help from their peers. Moreover, victims seemed more reluctant to inform teachers and parents of cyberbullying for fear that they would lose online privileges or that their internet access would be restricted. These factors compounded make cyberbullying a lot worse than classical bullying.

According to Akturk (2015), found that victims of cyberbullying tend to develop sensitivity. The sensitivity is used with instances when the individual has been encountered by unfamiliar stimuli. This results in a cognitive realignment that assumes that everyone and everything has nefarious intentions to harm him or her. As per Akturk (2016), the reason for this is the perception that the individual is under threat due to the distrust developed after experiencing cyberbullying. In many cases, cyberbullying is perpetrated by people the victim considers peers and the profound distrust that develops leads to a lot of sensitivity. In some cases, Akturk (2016) suggests that the individual develops coping mechanisms that appear tyrannical in nature. The victims may start threatening other individuals as a precaution to avoid being cyberbullied in the future. At this point, the victims also tend to become perpetrators of cyberbullying. This cyclic effect leads to an increase in cyberbullying. Akturk (2015) also identifies cases where cyberbullying individuals got lower grades and developed anti-social behavior to avoid cases of cyberbullying. This increases the chances of adolescent delinquency as the victims seek drugs and alcohol as a way of relieving the stress and anxiety that they experience.

One of the researchers who reviewed the relationship between cyberbullying and suicide is Nixon (2014). As per his research, there is a great association between suicidal behavior and cyberbullying. The research showed that cyberbullying led to an increase in the likelihood of self-harm in individuals. Nixon (2014) found that cyberbullying had a more profound impact on the tendency of self-harm as compared to classical self-healing. The reason is the increase in depression and negative emotions. Additionally, there is a lot of emotional harm for the victims. The same effect leads to an increase in suicidal behavior. Nixon (2014) also found that face-to-face bullying victims could always seek respite from their peers but the scale of cyber bullying causes so much distrust in victims that they are unwilling to engage in cyberbullying. Nixon (2014) expanded cases of suicidal behavior to encompass the self-inflicted harm that involved cases of substance abuse and involvement in physical violence. The studies seemed to indicate that cyberbullying and the broad suicidal behavior is exponential. Additionally, there are physical effects like poor physical health, headaches, insomnia, and stomach aches. Clearly, cyberbullying has a greater negative effect on the health of children and teenagers.

Cyberbullying solutions

Hoff and Mitchel (2009) suggested certain specific measures that can help reduce the cases of cyberbullying. The first prong is the education of students with the need for cyber accountability to ensure that they avoid cyberbullying. When the students are informed of the consequences of cyberbullying, they will be less willing to engage in cyberbullying. Another prong is the involvement of the parents in internet accountability. Involving parents will help monitor cases of cyberbullying. It will also provide victims with a platform to seek emotional support. Hoff and Mitchell (2009) also suggest that school administrators need to be trained in identifying cases of cyberbullying. Those who bully others need to be punished as a deterrent to others. Educators need to develop an environment where all the students can study without any fear. In order to improve parental supervision, the educators train the parents on how to identify and deal with students who are both perpetrators and victims of cyberbullying. A combination of parental and educator efforts will reduce cases of cyberbullying and ensure that victims are able to deal with the psychological trauma.

Another study by Nandhinia and Sheebab (2015) sought to reduced cases of online cyberbullying by using software that would investigate, classify, and flag cases of cyberbullying. Their solution is based on the integration of genetic and fuzzy logic. Their solution involved the classification of bullying and harassment, racism, taunting, and flaming. Nandhinia and Sheebab (2015)’s procedure would involve the use of fuzzy logic in the location and retrieval of data that would be used as input. Thereafter, the genetic algorithm is used in obtaining precise output by optimizing the parameters obtained using fuzzy logic. These systems can be used by administrators and parents in monitoring cases of cyberbullying.

Another study by Notar et al. (2013) looked at the role that schools have to play in the reduction of cases of cyberbullying. The first step was to seek legislation that will help school districts deal with cyberbullying. One of the main loopholes that students can use to avoid punishment is by stating that the bullying did not happen in the school compound. Notar et al. (2013) suggest that legislation can be made to allow punishment for off-school offenses including cyberbullying. There are certain schools that have already embraced this including New Jersey and South Dakota. Legislation can go a step further allowing the establishment of anti-bullying laws that will enforce cases of physical and cyberbullying. These two measures provide a legal mandate for schools to search and monitor nefarious online interactions in a bid to reduced cases of cyberbullying. Notar et al. (2013) suggest that schools should also sponsor programs that will help create awareness of the detrimental effects of cyberbullying. The programs can be district-sponsored allowing all students in a school district to be provided measures of dealing with cyberbullying. These sponsored events can allow educators to learn the ways of detecting and countering cyberbullying efforts. An extra measure can be the inclusion of curriculum-based programs that ensure that all students are aware of the consequences of cyberbullying. Parents can also be informed of the numerous filter programs that can be used in monitoring the texts and social media posts of their children. An increase in parental involvement is likely to reduce the cases of cyberbullying. Parents need to be informed of the best ways of preventing cyberbullying without contravening the children’s online privacy act. Some applications provide an adequate measure of protection without going against any children’s rights. The programs only highlight cases of aggression via text or social media posts.

Finally, Chaux et al. (2016) conducted research on the relationship between cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Their results revealed that there were a lot of similarities. As a result of the similarities, most of the solutions of classical bullying can be applied in cyberbullying. The only difference was the effect of bullying on the victim. Chaux et al. (2016) suggest that cyberbullying is more amplified and as a result, the measures used to deal with it should also be amplified. Punishments should be more severe, and the counseling given to victims needs to be more effective.

Cyberbullying in children and teenagers can be caused by numerous factors. Hoff and Mitchell (2009) highlighted breakups, envy, intolerance, and ganging up as the main causes of cyberbullying. The study by Mishna showed that cyberbullies believed that cyberbullying made them more popular, funny, and powerful. The research found an overlap between classical and cyberbullying. Low and Espelage (2013) provided the best information when they found that perpetrators of cyberbullying were normal individuals suffering from issues at home. Additionally, African-American teens were found the most likely to cyberbully others due to the lack of parenting as well as the lack of family cohesion. A review of the consequences revealed that children and teens who were cyberbullied tended to suffer from depression. Additionally, there were numerous cases of missing, dropping out, and skipping school by the cyberbully victim. Wright (2016) found that the coping mechanisms led them to either be reactive, avoidance, or one that sought some form of emotional support. Studies also seemed to show that the cyberbullying victims developed a lot of sensitivity due to the fear of additional victimization. The bleakest finding was that suicide cases are higher when it comes to cyberbullying than in the classical case of bullying. There were some solutions proposed to help deal with cases of cyberbullying. Studies showed that the education of the students and teachers helps reduce the cases of cyberbullying. Additionally, parents need to be taught to embrace internet accountability. Notar et al. (2013) suggested the development of legislation at the school district and state level to allow schools to punish cases of cyberbullying that happens outside the school. Additionally, parents should be given the right to monitor the devices for their children without litigation. Finally, researchers proposed the development of programs using genetic algorithms and fuzzy logic to deal with cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a serious topic, but the term paper provides a holistic overview of information.

References

Akturk, A. O. (2015). Analysis of cyberbullying sensitivity levels of high school students and their perceived social support levels. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 44-61.

Aoyama, I., Saxon, T. F., & Fearon, D. D. (2011). Internalizing problems among cyberbullying victims and moderator effects of friendship quality. Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, 92-105.

Chaux, E., Vekasquez, A. M., Scultze-Krumbholz, A., & Scheithauer, H. (2016). Effects of the Cyberbullying Prevention Program Media Heroes on Traditional Bullying. Aggressive Behavior, 157-165.

Cowie, H. (2013). Cyberbullying and its impact on young people’s emotional health and well-being. The Psychiatrist Online, 167-170.

Hoff, D. L., & Mitchell, S. N. (2009). Cyberbullying: causes, effects, and remedies. Journal of Educational Administration, 652-665.

Low, S., & Espelage, D. (2012). Differentiating cyber bullying perpetration from non-physical bullying: Commonalities across race, individual, and family predictors. Psychology of Violence, 39-52.

Mishna, F., Cook, C., Gadalla, T., Daciuk, J., & Solomon, S. (2010). Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 362-374.

Nandhinia, B., & Sheebab, J. (2015). Online Social Network Bullying Detection Using Intelligence Techniques. Procedia Computer Science, 485-492.

Nixon, C. L. (2014). Current perspectives: the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent health. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 143-158.

Notar, C. E., Padgett, S., & Roden, J. (2013). Cyberbullying: Resources for Intervention and Prevention. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 133-145.

UN Chronicle. (2016, December 4). Cyberbullying and Its Implications for Human Rights. Retrieved from UN Chronicle: https://unchronicle.un.org/article/cyberbullying-and-its-implications-human-rights

Wright, M. F. (2016). Cyber victimization and psychological adjustment difficulties among adolescents. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 536-550.

Wright, M. F. (2016). Cybervictims’ emotional responses, attributions, and coping strategies for cyber victimization: a qualitative approach. Safer Communities, 160-169.