Posts Tagged ‘ child behavior ’

Not Sure Why Your Child Is Acting Out? This Might Be Why

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Screaming boyIf your child is particularly aggressive these days and you can’t seem to figure out why, new research might have the answer: An international study from Duke University suggests that if children are hypersensitive to hostility from others, they are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior themselves.

Researchers examined 1,299 8-year-old children and their parents in nine countries (representing 12 cultural groups) for four years. One universal pattern was found across all cultures: “When a child infers that he or she is being threatened by someone else and makes an attribution that the other person is acting with hostile intent, then that child is likely to react with aggression,” said the study’s lead author, Kenneth A. Dodge M.D.

The findings, which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that the way a child is socialized is key. If children are socialized to be defensive, there is a greater chance for aggressive behavior.

When it came to the countries with the highest and lowest rates of child aggressive behavior problems, children from the United States (Durham, N.C. to be exact) who participated in the study came out somewhere in the middle.

“By teaching our children to give others the benefit of the doubt, we will help them grow up to be less aggressive, less anxious and more competent,” Dodge notes.

Related: Genetics May Determine Toddlers’ Aggression

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

Handling Aggressive Behavior
Handling Aggressive Behavior
Handling Aggressive Behavior

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Omega-3 May Lead to Improved Behavior in Children: Study

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Omega3 FoodsYou probably already know that omega-3 fatty acid is one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on, thanks to its multiple health benefits. And now there’s another reason to add them to your family’s diet: New research, which was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, has found that consuming an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acid may also lead to fewer behavioral problems in children.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania followed 200 children (aged 8-16) to determine the effects of omega-3 supplements. The children were divided into two groups: one group received regular supplements of omega-3 via a juice drink for six months, while the other group received the same drink with no added supplement. After six months, a blood test was administered to see how the two groups’ omega-3 levels compared—and six months following that the study was repeated for another six months.

The parents and children were asked to complete a series of personality questionnaires and assessments. Researchers found that parents of children consuming the supplemented drink reported a decrease in their child’s antisocial and aggressive behavior after the one year mark.

“The control group returned to the baseline while the omega-3 group continued to go down. In the end, we saw a 42 percent reduction in scores on externalizing behavior and 62 percent reduction in internalizing behavior,” explained the study’s author Adrian Raine.

Further research is needed to determine whether the positive changes shown in the study will last over time.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Best Super Foods for Your  Baby
Best Super Foods for Your  Baby
Best Super Foods for Your Baby

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Girls Can Overcome Bullying More Than Boys With Mom’s Help

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Bullied boyBullied children can often display — and become tolerant of — negative behavior, but a new study determined that a mother’s warmth can prevent aggression and antisocial behavior in some kids, especially girls.

The study analyzed data collected from more than 1,000 children, over the age of 8, on whether they had been bullied; about 68 percent reported having been bullied within the last month. Researchers also visited the families at home to evaluate family conflicts and how a mother acted toward her children — if she was warm and showed pride/pleasure, or if she was cold and harsh. (For this particular study, fathers were not included.)

Girls who received affection and who communicated well with their moms were less likely to internalize the bullying and feel like a victim. But even if boys received maternal warmth, they still absorbed the negative effects of bullying, and antisocial behavior actually increased over five years.

However, mothers also reported less communication with their sons, making the case that increased conversations may lessen the negative impact of bullying on boys.

“Children who develop hostile and distrustful relationships with their parents due to low parental warmth and responsiveness may adopt similar patterns of negative expectations when engaging with peers, as a result of their greater fear and anxiety,” said Grace Yang, lead author of the study.

Researchers even speculated that boys’ behavior might improve with a stronger and supportive network of friends, versus girls who “depended on the parent and family dynamics.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying
How to Identify Bullying

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How Depressed Dads Can Lead to Troubled Toddlers

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Sad boyIt has been proven that a mother’s depression has negative impacts on her children, but research was never done to provide information on whether or not a father’s depression has any effect—until now.

A recent study published online in the journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, has linked both mothers’ and fathers’ depression with troubling behaviors in children, in particular toddlers.

Researchers at Northwestern University gathered information from approximately 200 couples with 3-year-olds; the parents had all participated in a depression study at the time of their child’s birth. Each individual filled out a questionnaire that asked about “parental depression, their relationship with their partner, and their child’s internalizing behaviors (sadness, anxiety, jitteriness) and externalizing behaviors (acting out, hitting, lying),” reports Science Daily.

The study concluded that each parent’s level of depression impacted their child’s behaviors both internally and externally, and that paternal postnatal depression had a significant impact on toddler behavior. Depression affected children much more negatively than parental fighting because depressed parents were less likely to make eye contact, smile, bond, or engage with kids.

With this information, doctors may now begin to monitor both parents’ levels of depression—rather than only focusing on a mother’s potential for postpartum depression.

“Father’s emotions affect their children,” said Sheehan Fisher, the study’s lead author. “New fathers should be screened and treated for postpartum depression, just as we do for mothers.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Postpartum Depression: What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum Depression: What Is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum Depression: What Is Postpartum Depression?

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Sodas Linked to Aggressive Behavior in Kids

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A new study suggests that the more soda kids drink, the more likely they are to experience behavior problems.

Researchers analyzed data on nearly 3,000 5-year-olds from 20 large U.S. cities. Their mothers completed checklists about the children’s behaviors over the previous two months, and also told scientists about the children’s habits, such as their diets and how much TV they watched, explains the study’s lead author, Shakira Suglia, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Here’s more from Reuters.com:

Aggressive behavior was measured on a scale between 0 and 100—with higher scores indicating more aggression. Suglia said the average score is 50, and 65 is usually used as a clinical marker of when children should be evaluated for a problem.

Kids who reportedly drank no soda scored 56 on the aggression scale, on average. That compared to 57 among kids who drank one serving per day, 58 among those who drank two servings, 59 among those who drank three servings and 62 for four soda servings or more per day.

After taking into account habits that may have influenced the results—such as how much TV the kids watched, how much candy they ate and their mother’s race and education—the researchers still found that drinking two or four or more servings of soda per day was tied to higher aggression scores.

Overall, kids who drank four or more servings of soda per day were twice as likely to destroy other people’s belongings, get into fights and physically attack people, compared to children who didn’t drink soda.

Soda drinkers also scored higher on scales measuring signs of withdrawal and attention problems, write the researchers in The Journal of Pediatrics.

 Little boy drinking soda, via Shutterstock

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