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Go Out and Play! A Defense of Paternalistic Policies to Promote Graduate Student Well-being

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Studies suggest that graduate students experience higher rates of anxiety and depression than their peers outside of academia. Studies also show exercise is correlated with lower levels of anxiety and

Studies suggest that graduate students experience higher rates of anxiety and depression than their peers outside of academia. Studies also show exercise is correlated with lower levels of anxiety and depression among graduate students. However, despite this evidence, nearly half of graduate students do not exercise regularly. Accordingly, I suggest universities consider adding an exercise requirement to promote graduate student well-being. One potential objection to this recommendation is that an exercise requirement is objectionably paternalistic. I answer this objection with two possible replies. First, there are reasons why the exercise requirement might not be paternalistic, and there may be sufficient non-paternalistic reasons to justify the policy. Second, there are reasons why even if the policy is paternalistic, it is not objectionably paternalistic, and may still be justified. I will offer reasons to consider paternalism in a positive light and why the exercise requirement may be an example of a good paternalistic policy. Because the exercise requirement might be justified on paternalistic grounds, there are reasons to consider other paternalistic policies to promote graduate student well-being.

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  • 2020

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Reviving Hedonism

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According to hedonism about happiness, all and only enjoyable experiences are the basic constituents of one’s happiness, and these experiences contribute to one’s happiness just to the extent that they

According to hedonism about happiness, all and only enjoyable experiences are the basic constituents of one’s happiness, and these experiences contribute to one’s happiness just to the extent that they have a greater intensity or duration. After defending this view, I show that it must be amended to count as an equally plausible theory of what constitutes one’s well-being. I then present two such amended versions of hedonism about well-being. The first, which I call objective hedonism, adds the claim that the objective worth of the things one enjoys also makes a difference to the extent to which an enjoyable experience contributes to one’s well-being. The second, which I call reliabilist hedonism, adds the claim that one’s evaluative intuitions about which things are good for one track which things have proven themselves to one to reliably lead to enjoyable experience. I conclude that reliabilist hedonism constitutes a revival of hedonism about well-being.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Effect of Social Support on Health Empowerment and Perceived Well-Being in Adults Impacted By Cancer: A Program Evaluation

Description

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of social support provided by a cancer support agency on health empowerment and perceived well-being in adults impacted by cancer.

Conceptual Framework: The Health Empowerment Theory maintains that perceived wellbeing is the desired outcome; mediated by health empowerment through social support, personal growth, and purposeful participation in active goal attainment.

Methods: Twelve adults impacted by cancer agreed to complete online questionnaires at
baseline and at 12 weeks after beginning participation in social support programs provided by a cancer support agency.
Instruments included: Patient Empowerment Scale, The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS), and The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Subjective Well-Being Questions.

Results: Four participants completed pre and post surveys. An increase was seen in
empowerment scores (pre M = 1.78, SD = 0.35 and post M = 3.05, SD = 0.42). There was no
increase in perceived well-being: SWEMWBS pre (M= 3.71, SD= 0.76), post (M= 3.57, SD=
0.65); ONS pre (M= 7.69, SD= 1.36), post (M= 6.59, SD= 1.52).

Implications: The data showed an increase in health empowerment scores after utilizing social support programs, lending support to the agency’s support strategies. It is recommended that the measures be included in surveys routinely conducted by the agency to continue to assess the impact of programming on health empowerment, and perceived well-being.

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  • 2017-05-03