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Brief on the Science Behind Civility and the Mayors' Accord


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Brief on the Science Behind Civility and the Mayors' Accord

  1. 1.  Potential  Community  and  National  Benefits  of  the  Mayors’  Civility  Accord  The Mayors’ Accord (presented by Mayor of Tucson) intends to reduce incivility in daily life in America’s citiesand towns. Such incivility has increased in every corner of America, according to 78% of Americans polled1—regardless of political party, religion, culture or ethnicity. Highly regarded scientists in the United States havewidely studied such incivility, and have proved that increasing civility in homes, schools, businesses, organizations,and communities has positive benefits on education, health, safety, business, politics and the economy.The Benefits of Civility. A mayors’ accord for civility in politics, in community, in neighborhoods, in businesses,in schools, and in homes has the potential to inspire the following proven scientific benefits as examples: • Improved language and cognitive development in children. • Improved employee behavior and business success. • Increased academic achievement, high school graduation and college entry.2 • Reduced school and community vandalism costs and discipline problems.3 • Reduced need for costly special education.2 • Reduced prevalence of costly ADHD, without medications.4 • Reduced violent injuries by and from students.5 • Improved health among students and adults.5 • Reduced lifetime major psychiatric disorders and improved behavioral health.6 • Reduced lifetime criminal violence.7 • Reduced felony offenses and relapse of current drug offenders.8-17 • Reduced lifetime suicidal behaviors.18 • Reduced lifetime alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug addictions in children, teens and adults.6 19When citizens negative ruminations about such incivility decrease, the US economy rebounds.20The notion that civility is good for family, business and community health ought not to come as a surprise. The ideais embodied in every religious faith. For example, the New Testament commands that we should do unto others, aswe would have others do unto us. That is the Golden Rule.The Dangers of Incivility. Incivility, insults, threats, name-calling, or degrading and humiliating comments haveno proven benefits for improving public safety,21 public health,22-24 common defense or economic wellbeing.25Organized incivility has widespread adverse consequences in a free society. There are studies that show suchbehaviors provide short-term gain for the perpetrators, but not for the greater common good. When incivility isconsciously invoked as a political strategy, it has another name: propaganda—used by the right or left across theworld for evil.A Practical Science of Increasing Civility and Reducing Incivility. Every mayor knows that his or hercommunity can grow and prosper when civility rules. Civility does not preclude spirited, even pointed discussions,debate, or challenges. Our Founding Fathers were spirited and passionate. Our Founding Fathers valued Reason,which is strengthened by civility and diminished by incivility and irrationality. The proposed accord will utilize thebest peer-reviewed science to promote civility in American communities. As the Founders were scientists ofeveryday events, we must be everyday scientists for improving the wellbeing, safety, health, freedom and securityof every one of our citizens—young or old, Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, rich or poor, recentor new to America, Black, White, Red, Yellow something in between. We are all Americans.A Call To Action. As mayors we can lead by example and moral persuasion to enlist fellow citizens, families,neighborhoods, school boards, county officials, businesses, state officials, faith leaders, advocacy organizations,local media and others to adopt, reinforce and spread proven practices that increase civility and decrease incivility. 1
  2. 2. References Cited1. Marks J. "The American Uncivil Wars" U.S. News & World Report, 1996:68.2. Bradshaw CP, Zmuda JH, Kellam S, Ialongo N. Longitudinal Impact of Two Universal Preventive Interventions in First Grade on Educational Outcomes in High School. Journal of Educational Psychology 2009;101(4):926-37.3. Mayer GR, Butterworth T, Nafpaktitis M, Sulzer-Azaroff B. Preventing school vandalism and improving discipline: A three-year study. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1983;16(4):355.4. van Lier PAC, Muthen BO, van der Sar RM, Crijnen AAM. Preventing Disruptive Behavior in Elementary Schoolchildren: Impact of a Universal Classroom-Based Intervention. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 2004;72(3):467-78.5. Krug EG, Brener ND, Dahlberg LL, Ryan GW, Powell KE. The impact of an elementary school-based violence prevention program on visits to the school nurse. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1997;13(6):459-63.6. Kellam S, Brown CH, Poduska J, Ialongo N, Wang W, Toyinbo P, et al. Effects of a universal classroom behavior management program in first and second grades on young adult behavioral, psychiatric, and social outcomes,. Drug & Alcohol Dependence 2008(Special Issue):24.7. Petras H, Kellam S, Brown CH, Muthen B, Ialongo N, Poduska J. Developmental epidemiological courses leading to antisocial personality disorder and violent and criminal behavior: Effects by young adulthood of a universal preventive intervention in first- and second- grade classrooms. Drug & Alcohol Dependence 2008;95(Suppl 1):45-59.8. Petry N, M. , Tedford J, Martin B. Reinforcing compliance with non-drug-related activities. Journal of substance abuse treatment 2000;20(1):33-44.9. Petry NM, Alessi SM, Hanson T. Contingency management improves abstinence and quality of life in cocaine abusers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2007;75(2):307-15.10. Petry NM, Bickel WK, Tzanis E, Taylor R, Kubik E, Foster M, et al. A behavioral intervention for improving verbal behaviors of heroin addicts in a treatment clinic. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1998;31(2):291-97.11. Petry NM, Martin B, Cooney JL, Kranzler HR. Give them prizes and they will come: Contingency management for treatment of alcohol dependence. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 2000;68(2):250-57.12. Petry NM, Martin B, Finocche C. Contingency management in group treatment: A demonstration project in an HIV drop-in center. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2001;21(2):89-96.13. Petry NM, Peirce JM, Stitzer ML, Blaine J, Roll JM, Cohen A, et al. Effect of Prize-Based Incentives on Outcomes in Stimulant Abusers in Outpatient Psychosocial Treatment Programs: A National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2005;62(10):1148-56.14. Petry NM, Petrakis I, Trevisan L, Wiredu G, Boutros NN, Martin B, et al. Contingency Management Interventions: From Research to Practice. Am J Psychiatry 2001;158(5):694-702.15. Petry NM, Roll JM, Rounsaville BJ, Stitzer M, Blaine J, McCarty D, et al. Serious adverse events in randomized psychosocial treatment studies: Safety or arbitrary edicts? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2008;76(6):1076-82.16. Petry NM, Simcic F, Jr. Recent advances in the dissemination of contingency management techniques: Clinical and research perspectives. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2002;23(2):81-86.17. Petry NM, Tedford J, Austin M, Nich C, Carroll KM, Rounsaville BJ. Prize reinforcement contingency management for treating cocaine users: How low can we go, and with whom? Addiction 2004;99(3):349-60.18. Wilcox HC, Kellam S, Brown CH, Poduska J, Ialongo N, Wang W, et al. The impact of two universal randomized first- and second-grade classroom interventions on young adult suicide ideation and attempts. Drug & Alcohol Dependence 2008;95(Suppl 1):60-73.19. Furr-Holden CD, Ialongo NS, Anthony JC, Petras H, Kellam SG. Developmentally inspired drug prevention: middle school outcomes in a school-based randomized prevention trial. Drug & Alcohol Dependence 2004;73(2):149-58.20. Zullow HM. Pessimistic rumination in popular songs and newsmagazines predict economic recession via decreased consumer optimism and spending. Journal of Economic Psychology 1991;12(3):501-26.21. Adams GA, Buck J. Social stressors and strain among police officers: Its not just the bad guys. Criminal Justice and Behavior 2010;37(9):1030-40.22. Augustin T, Glass TA, James BD, Schwartz BS. Neighborhood psychosocial hazards and cardiovascular disease: The Baltimore Memory Study. American Journal of Public Health 2008;98(9):1664-70.23. Lim S, Cortina LM, Magley VJ. Personal and workgroup incivility: Impact on work and health outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology 2008;93(1):95-107.24. Reio TG, Jr., Ghosh R. Antecedents and outcomes of workplace incivility: Implications for human resource development research and practice. Human Resource Development Quarterly 2009;20(3):237-64.25. Porath CL, Pearson CM. The cost of bad behavior. Organizational Dynamics 2010;39(1):64-71. 2