Posts Tagged ‘ research ’

Division of Household Labor May Not Be As Equal As Parents Think

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

New parentsAs a modern mama, you probably expect (or at the very least hope) that your partner spends as much time on household chores and various other duties as you do. But new research suggests that the division of household labor grows unequal once the couple enters parenthood.

Researchers at the Ohio State University studied 182 opposite-sex couples before and after having their first child. During the “before” interviews, couples were able to accurately measure how many hours of housework and paid work they were doing— and men and women spent approximately the same amount of time on each duty.

Unfortunately, that didn’t hold true once they became parents. The couples were reevaluated when their babies were 9 months old. Once child care was added in, each partner reported performing approximately 90 hours of total work (that includes paid work, household chores, and childcare) in each week. And while that was an overstimation—both parents actually worked less than that—it turns out that the new dads overestimated their workload more than the new moms, and actually did less. Men reported doing 35 hours of housework and 15 hours of child care, but were actually only doing 9 hours of housework and 10 hours of child care. Women reported doing 27 hours of housework and 28 hours of child care—but in reality were doing 13.5 hours of housework and devoting 15.5 hours to child care.

Typically, with the new addition of child care, women’s workload increases by 21 hours while men’s increases by 13, according to the report.

To combat this eight hour discrepancy, researchers suggest confronting any inequalities in household labor before routines are established and become harder to break.

Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips

Image: Parents with newborn via Shutterstock

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Most Doctors Are Delaying Vaccines Because of Parents’ Requests, Study Says

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Baby VaccineDoctors are well aware of the potential risks that delaying vaccines can have, but, according to new research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most doctors are accommodating parents’ requests to alter their child’s vaccine schedule.

Although doctors agree that delaying or spacing out vaccines can increase their chance of contracting illnesses (like measles) and infecting others with these diseases, the importance of building parents’ trust seems to override these negative consequences in many situations.

The study, published today in the journal of Pediatrics, surveyed 534 pediatricians to find out how often parents requested postponing vaccines for children under the age of 2, how pediatricians felt about these requests, and what methods they used to respond.

Nearly all pediatricians (93 percent) reported have been asked to delay vaccines at least once per month—of those pediatricians, one-third said they complied with parents’ requests “often” or “always,” and another third caved in “sometimes.”

Most doctors complied with these requests in the hopes of building a better relationship with their family, and to avoid losing the child as a patient. “Parents hear a lot of frightening things about vaccines from family members, friends, and the media,” says David Hill, M.D., a pediatrician in Wilmington, North Carolina and author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro. “But I believe that the best way to protect children from disease is to vaccinate them on time and completely.”

The AAP’s‘ vaccine schedule, which was recently updated in late January, is compiled by a panel of 60 experts from the Advisory Community on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and details exactly when a child should get certain vaccines. “The schedule is designed very thoughtfully,” explains Wendy Hunter, M.D., a pediatrician in San Diego and author of the Baby Science blog. “The timing of vaccinations is proven safe and effective when the schedule is followed.”

And “going to a pediatrician is not like going to Starbucks,” says Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician and Parents advisor who’s also the author of the Baby 411 series. “If it feels that way, with parents ordering up their favorite shots and rejecting others, then they aren’t taking advantage of the knowledge that’s advocating for their child’s health.”

The AAP encourages pediatricians to continue working with reluctant parents, to educate and influence them to adhere to the vaccine schedule. Physicians can choose their own strategies to communicate with parents who are still uncertain about vaccines. “I find that given time to build a trusting relationship, we can usually work together to keep children as safe and healthy as possible,” says Dr. Hill.

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

The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule
The Vaccine Schedule

Photo of child getting a vaccine via Shutterstock

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Are Teachers’ Prejudices Affecting Your Daughter’s Math and Science Grades?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Female studentGirls can do anything boys can do, especially in math and science, but what if teachers, whose goal is to educate and empower kids, are discouraging girls from these subjects without knowing it?

This may be the case, according to new study conducted by the American Friends of Tel Aviv University and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The research suggests that the perceptions elementary school teachers have about what girls can and can’t do in math and science might be causing female students to shy away from those areas. Their unconscious biases are negatively impacting girls and unintentionally affecting the academic and career choices that female students make later in life.

Three groups of students, from sixth grade through the end of high school, were asked to take two exams. The exams were then graded by two different people: one who didn’t know their names and one who did. The results showed that girls were scored higher than boys only when their tests were graded by the objective scorer versus the familiar scorer, reports Science Daily.

Researchers in Tel Aviv continued to follow the students and also noticed a pattern: if a girl was discouraged by an elementary school teacher, they were less likely to register for advanced-level science and math courses. But boys who were encouraged, despite being scored lower, actually began to excel more and more.

“It isn’t an issue of discrimination but of unconscious discouragement,” said Dr. Edith Sand, an economist at the Bank of Israel and an instructor at TAU’s Berglas School of Economics. “This discouragement, however, has implications. The track to computer science and engineering fields, which report some of the highest salaries, tapers off in elementary school.”

Women around the world are still underrepresented in multiple fields, especially ones related to math and science. Although strides have been made in the U.S. to help young girls have a more STEM-focused education, to play with more toys related to science, technology, engineering, and math, and teach them how to code with HTML, there is still more to be done so that they won’t face inequalities in the future.

As parents, it’s important to continue encouraging kids, regardless of gender, to pursue all endeavors, which will definitely be a step in the right direction.

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

What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)
What Parents Don't Need to Do (When it comes to school)

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Bullying May Be Happening in Your Home

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

girl teasing boySibling rivalry is a common occurrence in many households, and altercations between a brother and a sister are not typically labeled as bullying.

But these conflicts are not something to be taken lightly, because aggressive sibling behavior is defined as sibling bullying. And new research confirms that bullying between siblings at home is actually more common than bullying between peers at school.

The new study, published in the Journal of Family Violence, surveyed approximately 400 undergraduate students about their childhood experiences. A checklist was used to determine which physical and verbal experiences fit into the category of bullying. The result: students expressed bullying behaviors among their siblings more often than among their peers.

“It’s understood that kids who are bulliers at school are sometimes being bullied at home, oftentimes by a sibling, though sometimes by a parent,” Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York psychiatrist, told NBC News.

And even more surprising, students who experienced sibling bullying were more likely to think it was normal childhood behavior and to downplay it. “And those who had been bullied by a sibling were less likely to report someone else being harassed to an authority figure,” reports NBC News.

Although the occasional sibling scuffle may not seem like something to stress over, the emotional and mental impact of sibling bullying on your child may be just as harsh as school bullying. So in order to combat instances that involve peer bullying, like cyberbullying, attitudes and behaviors at home must first be evaluated.

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

Image: Girl teasing boy via Shutterstock

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Body Image Issues Begin as Early as Age 5

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

girl looking in mirrorIt’s well known that many Americans, especially women, dislike their bodies. Much of the blame for this problem is placed on the media for airbrushing models and celebrities into unrealistic, typically unattainable beauties — and on society for glorifying these retouched versions of people.

We usually assume that the battle with negative self-image begins when adolescents hit puberty, but a new report from Common Sense Media suggests that these issues are beginning even earlier than that. Although the report is not comprehensive, information was compiled from numerous body image studies to determine what influences a child’s attitudes and behaviors, and at what age.

Researchers discovered that children begin to express concerns about their bodies as young as age 5. And at this young age, parents usually play a role in influencing their kids — as Common Sense Media notes, “you are your child’s first teacher,” meaning that kids can still pick up on subtle but negative body image message you give (even if you’re not harshly criticizing your body).

Even though body image research is often focused on girls, boys are influenced, too. According to the report, one-third of boys (and more than half of girls) between the ages of 6 and 8 believe an ideal body is thinner than their current body size. And 1 in 4 kids have already tried dieting by age 7. And get this—while a Barbie-like physique is knowingly unattainable, the measurements of male action figures surpass the measurements of even the largest bodybuilders!

To counteract the negative body image, Common Sense suggests that you talk openly about appreciating your body, steer clear of commenting on others’ appearances, and participate in healthy habits for your well-being (and not just to look better in the dress you’re wearing soon!).

“A lot of the negative body image comes from internal views of oneself, and when you can really shift that conversation from how someone looks to how someone feels, then kids can really start to think about what their choices are, and how they have control over how they feel, and that brings positive self-esteem and self-awareness,” says Seeta Pai, vice president of research for Common Sense Media and author of the report.

Also: Read these tips on how to talk to your kids about body image.

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 Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Girl looking in mirror via Shutterstock

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