Sociology Index


Those factors that encourage or cause a particular outcome, for example addiction to hard drugs is a etiological factor that can lead people into prostitution or criminal behavior; being raised in a violent home is a etiological factor that can lead to violent behavior or being victimized by violence.

The study of the origins or causes of things. Typically etiology is used in medical research to describe the study of the causes of disease, but the term etiology is also used in the social sciences in reference to social problems like crime and deviance.

Etiological Factors and Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse - J. Vesterdal 
This is a difficult area for statistics because (a) the extent of the problem is always shrouded. Only the worst cases come before the courts; some are known by the authorities, some by neighbours and acquaintances, some only by the victim and the aggressor; (b) the line between legitimate punishment and abuse varies in different countries and at different periods, and can be difficult to draw with any certainty.

Case-control study of dietary etiological factors: the Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study - Kune S, Kune GA, Watson LF. 
As part of a large-scale investigation of colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence, etiology, and survival, a case-control study was conducted to identify dietary factors associated with the risk of CRC. The study compared 715 cases with 727 age- and sex-matched community controls. A quantitative diet history, assessed to be the most representative of the previous 20 years, was obtained from each subject and analyzed for both food groups and nutrients. The combination of a high-fiber and high-vegetable intake was found to be protective against large bowel cancer. Cruciferous vegetable intake was also found, although with less certainty, to be protective. Dietary vitamin C was protective for estimated intakes greater than 230 mg/day. Dietary Beta-carotene had no separate association with the risk of CRC. Beef intake was a risk factor in males but not in females. Fat intake was a risk factor for both males and females. A low intake of milk drinks was a risk for both males and females. A high intake of pork and fish was protective. The use of vitamin supplements was highly protective. A risk score, which was calculated as the number of risk factors an individual has in his or her diet, showed an increasing monotonic relationship with risk of CRC. The effects of the dietary variables were similar for colon and rectal cancer and, with the exception of beef, were similar for males and females.

Family interactions as etiological factors in mental disorders: An analysis of the American Journal of Insanity, 1844-1848 - WR McPeak 
A review of the first four volumes of the American Journal of Insanity indicated that the primary etiological factor noted by authors during that period was disturbed brain functioning, although emotional factors were often mentioned as additional explanations for mental illness. The influence of familial factors and interactions on the development of mental illness was rarely explored. The author concludes that psychiatry at this time did not yet recognize the importance of the dynamics of and interpersonal stresses within family relationships.

Changing presentation of seizures with aging: clinical and etiological factors - DeToledo JC,.University of Miami, USA.
BACKGROUND: The historically higher incidence of seizures in children has changed, the elderly now have a higher incidence than any age-group, 2-3 times of that found in children. Classical teachings on etiologies, clinical presentation and progression of seizures are based on observations of a younger population and need to be revised in view of features unique to this age-group. The findings of two large VA cooperative studies show that even in sophisticated medical environments, up to 30% of patients 60 years and older with recurrent partial seizures go undiagnosed for more than 1 year of seizure onset. OBJECTIVE: (a) To characterize the manifestations of auras, seizures and postictal states in the elderly and the relevance of various etiologies to these presentations. (b) To identify and discuss factors that contribute to the difficulties in the diagnosis of seizures in this population. METHODS: A review of our experience in treating a large population of elderly patients in a university epilepsy center and a review of the literature relating to the problem. CONCLUSIONS: Seizures in the elderly are both overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed: either situation can have serious adverse consequences. Diversity of etiologies and atypical presentations make recognition of seizures difficult. Histories are frequently inadequate: complaints of multiple physical symptoms confuse the picture, unwillingness of elderly patients to admit to problems they believe are physiological in nature by the fear others may think they are 'losing their mind' and high staff turnover result in erratic identification of problems. The significant morbidity and mortality associated with poorly controlled seizures in this population are in large part preventable since excellent response to treatment can be achieved in more than 80% of individuals. The correct diagnosis of seizures is more likely if both physician and patients are familiar with the nuances of epilepsy in the elderly.

The etiological factors that influence sexual offending
Abstract: The etiological factors that influence sexual offending continue to be investigated. The present study investigates childhood victimization, early exposure to pornography, and victim empathy as predictors of number and type of victims selected. For 188 incarcerated sexual offenders, admissions of victims and disclosures of childhood experiences of abuse and early exposure to pornography were recorded from criminal history, a sexual history questionnaire, and polygraph examinations. Offender empathy was assessed using victim- and abuse-specific measures. Structural equation modeling was used to test a model that included the direct effects of childhood victimization and early exposure to pornography on number and type of victims, as well as the mediated effects through an influence of lack of empathy. Childhood victimization and low empathy predicted the number and type of victims selected by the offender. Offenders who reported sexual abuse as children and early exposure to pornography displayed less empathy for children in abusive situations, and they had more reported child victims. Offenders who reported physical abuse as children displayed less empathy for women in abusive situations and they reported more adult victims. Findings support a mediational model, where lack of empathy mediated the associations between childhood factors and adult risk for sexual offending. These findings indicate that childhood experiences of victimization and exposure to sexually explicit material impact adult sexual offending by reducing one’s empathy for victims in abusive situations.