Posts Tagged ‘ new study ’

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

Image: Screaming boy via Shutterstock

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Brain Scans Reveal Babies Feel Pain the Same Way Adults Do

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Brain scansUntil now, some people have argued that a baby’s brain isn’t developed enough yet developed to feel pain, but recent research has showed that babies not only feel pain when they get shots. And a new study shows that babies and adults share the same pain threshold.

Through the use of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered that babies’ brains react similarly to adult brains when exposed to the same degree of pain.

Related: Yes, Babies CAN Feel Pain When Getting Shots

These findings could potentially alter current guidelines dealing with infants and pain management during painful procedures. “As recently as the 1980s, it was common practice for babies to be given neuromuscular blocks but no pain relief medication during surgery,” reports Science Daily.

As of now, this is a small-scale study; in total, researchers have only examined 20 healthy individuals: 10 infants between one and six days old, and 10 adults between 23- and 36-years-old. Of the 20 brain regions that are active when adults experience pain, 18 were also active in babies (see the MRI image here).

In fact, scans showed that babies’ brains that were given a weak “poke” had the same response as adults who were given a “poke” that was four times as strong. This suggests that babies are not only feeling pain, but they also have a significantly lower tolerance for the feeling. Of course, further research will be needed to draw a better conclusion.

However, because babies are unable to verbalize when and how badly they experience pain, this information is especially important in establishing the best ways to deal with pain relief in the future.

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

Baby's First Year
Baby's First Year
Baby's First Year

Image: Doctors examining brain scans via Shutterstock

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Most Americans Believe Kids Should NOT Be Exposed to Medical Marijuana

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Medical MarijuanaMore than 20 states have legalized marijuana in the United States, but that does not make it any less of a complicated topic. A new poll reveals that Americans are not keen on medical marijuana being used by children, or even being used around them.

The Mott National Poll on Children’s Health represented a national sample of adults in the United States—10 percent of which either have a marijuana card or know someone who does.

Almost two-thirds of people believe that medical marijuana should be used by adults, but only half as many (a third) believe that children should use it.

Related: The AAP’s Current Stance on Marijuana for Kids

Most adults (80 percent) also believe that marijuana should not be used in the presence of children, and that belief was especially strong among adults with children under the age of 18. This is not entirely surprising because the number of children who have mistakenly ingested medical marijuana products has increased as the amount of prescriptions have increased.

This poll comes only a few months after the American Academy of Pediatrics updated it’s policy on medical marijuana and acknowledged that it could be beneficial for children with “debilitating or life-limiting diseases.”

“Our findings suggest that not only is the public concerned about the use of medical marijuana among children, but that the majority of Americans worry that even exposure to it may be harmful to kids’ health,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., professor and director of the National Poll on Children’s Health. “As is typical with anything involving health, the public’s standards are much higher when it comes to protecting children’s health.”

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

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns

Image: Medical marijuana via Shutterstock

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Is This Ability the Secret to Childhood Popularity?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Sensitive KidsRecently, a study found that nearly 40 percent of parents in Britain would prefer their child be popular than be clever. And a new study may have pinpointed the be exact characteristic that help children quickly gain popularity.

That characteristic? The ability to anticipate and predict how others will act or react. The study found that “preschoolers and school-age children who are good at identifying what others want, think, and feel are more popular in school than their peers who aren’t as socially adept.”

Related: Would Your Rather Have Your Kid Be Popular or Smart?

The research, which appears in the journal Child Development, examined 20 previous studies that analyzed popularity and complex social situations (or theory of mind). The data included information from 2,096 children, between the ages of 2- and 10-years-old, across multiple continents.

Across the board, a connection was found that tied a child’s popularity with their ability to determine someone else’s mental perspective, which is an important trait for making, maintaining, and keeping friends later in life.

What’s also interesting is that the link was found to be a stronger train in girls than in boys. A reason might be that girls’ interactions often contain higher levels of intimacy, which may help them be more aware of (and understand) others’ thoughts and feelings.

But being popular is certainly not everything, and whether or not you’re worried about your child’s popularity, this study reinforces the importance of teaching your child to be sensitive to others.

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

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

Back to School: How To Help Kids Make New Friends
Back to School: How To Help Kids Make New Friends
Back to School: How To Help Kids Make New Friends

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Why Waiting at Least 18 Months Between Pregnancies Is Important

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Expecting familyWomen in the U.S. typically wait about two and a half years before getting pregnant again, but nearly 30 percent are getting pregnant within 18 months of their last pregnancy, which is not recommended by health professionals.

This information comes from a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data was collected from a number of birth certificates, which accounted for approximately 83 percent of the births in 2011.

Instead, experts say the ideal length of time is to wait at least 18 months (and no more than 60 months) before the next pregnancy so that a mother’s body has time to recover from the physical stress of giving birth. The chances for having a preterm baby and a baby with low birth weight also increase when there is a shorter period between pregnancies.

Related: Raising Two Kids Under Two

About 20 percent of women had babies more than five years apart. Oftentimes,though, this age gap between children was due to the mothers’ own age. “The older the mom was, the longer the spacing between a birth and her next pregnancy,” reports ABC News. But waiting too long, about five or more years, to become pregnant again can also increase health risks (such as preeclampsia) for mothers and babies.

If you’re hoping to get pregnant for the second time, it’s important to know that it’s likely your second pregnancy will be different than your first. And if you’re feeling anxious, no need to worry—your second-pregnancy fears can always be addressed with your doctor.

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

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

Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?

Image: Expecting family via Shutterstock

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