Monday, September 5th, 2011
Puberty, the physical transformation from child to adult, is an epic event in a kid’s life.
A new study in the journal Developmental Psychology finds that the timing of that change (how early or late it begins) and the pace at which it takes place have a big impact on a child’s behavior and mood, The Los Angeles Times reports.
From the LA Times:
Researchers followed 364 white boys and 373 white girls for six years through puberty. In girls, they found, both an early timing of puberty (early compared with their same-age peers) and faster tempo (how fast or slow the puberty evolves from start to finish) were linked with problems related to symptoms of depression, anxiety, social withdrawal or vague physical complaints. A faster tempo was also linked to delinquent behaviors, such as lying and cheating.
In boys, faster tempo was linked to more behavioral problems. Boys who started puberty earlier than their peers and progressed through puberty faster than normal experienced the most problems.
The researchers commented that the puberty timeline can vary widely from child to child. From the LA Times:
“The thought is that when the major changes of puberty are compressed into a shorter amount of time, adolescents don’t have enough time to acclimate, so they’re not emotionally or socially ready for all the changes that happen,” the lead author of the study, Kristine Marceau, of Penn State, said in a news release. “This is the explanation that originally was attributed solely to early timing, but we suggest that the same thing also is happening if the rate of puberty is compressed.”
Readers, what do you think? What can parents do to help make these changes easier on kids?
(image via: http://www.wholeheartedparenting.com)
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Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Canadian researchers say that having an actively engaged dad makes a child more intelligent and less prone to behavior problems, The Montreal Gazette reports.
A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science followed 138 children over several years. The children took intelligence tests and their mothers completed questionnaires about their home environment.
The researchers found that a positive, hands-on dad benefits his children even if he does not live with them, Erin Pougnet, a PhD candidate in psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and the study’s lead author, told the Gazette.
“Regardless of whether fathers lived with their children, their ability to set appropriate limits and structure their children’s behavior positively influenced problem-solving and decreased emotional problems, such as sadness, social withdrawal and anxiety,” Pougnet said.
The researchers also stressed that children can do well even if their fathers are absent. From the Gazette:
“While our study examined the important role dads play in the development of their children, kids don’t necessarily do poorly without their fathers,” stresses co-author Lisa A. Serbin, a professor in the Concordia Department of Psychology and a CRDH member.
(image via: http://www.lessonsofadad.com)
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Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
McDain’s Restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., which identifies itself on its website as a “fine casual dining” establishment, has instituted a new policy banning children under 6 from dining in the restaurant. As The Huffington Post reported:
In an email sent to customers, owner Mike Vuick wrote, “Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit children under six years of age. We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”
Some customers are outraged at the new policy, which is not prohibited by law. The Pittsburgh news channel WTAE quoted one mother, Stephanie Kelley:
Kelley’s son, Jameson, is 13 months old. She had planned a July 16 dinner outing at McDain’s with a group of 20 visiting family members from North Carolina, but Vuick told her he would not take the reservation if she plans to bring young Jameson. “We really enjoy eating at McDain’s, and Jameson is very well-behaved,” Kelley said. “If they’re so concerned about noise, what do they plan to do about the loud people at the bar?”
But others support Vuick’s right to deny service if young children disturb the atmosphere he’s trying to create in his restaurant. “”It’s up to him. If he thinks they’re a problem under 6, then I think the patrons should abide by that,” Suzanne Swigart told WTAE.
Recently Malaysia Airlines banned young children from their first class cabin, and in March, former Top Chef contestant Dale Levitski banned children from brunch at his Chicago restaurant.
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