Drexel University School of Public Health study: Parental depression associated with worse school performance by children

7 Feb

Moi said in Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children:
Both the culture and the economy are experiencing turmoil. For some communities, the unsettled environment is a new phenomenon, for other communities, children have been stressed for generations. According to the article, Understanding Depression which was posted at the Kids Health site:

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds.
As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8. http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html

Schools are developing strategies to deal with troubled kids.

Andrew M. Seaman of Reuters reported in Parents’ depression may affect kids’ school performance:

Children perform worse in school when their parents are diagnosed with depression, suggests a study from Sweden.

The study found a significant negative link between parents’ depression and kids’ school performance, said senior author Brian Lee, of the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia.

“We obviously know that depression is a bad thing like any other mental health outcome,” Lee said. “It’s less recognized that mental health outcomes affect other people than the people themselves. So for parents or guardians, a vulnerable population would be their children.”

Previous studies found children with depressed parents are more likely to have problems with brain development, behavior and emotions, along with other psychiatric problems, Lee and his colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry. Few studies have looked at school performance, however.

For the new study, they used data from more than 1.1 million children born in Sweden between 1984 and 1994.

Three percent of the mothers and about 2 percent of fathers were diagnosed with depression before their children finished their last required year of school, which occurs around age 16 in Sweden.

Overall, when parents were diagnosed with depression during their children’s lifetime, the kids’ grades suffered. A mother’s depression appeared to affect daughters more than sons, they note.

Lee characterized the link between parental depression and children’s school performance as “moderate.”

On the range of factors that influence a child’s school performance, Lee said parental depression falls between a family’s economic status and parental education, which is one of the biggest factors in determining a child’s success in school.

The researchers caution that depression may have been undermeasured in the population. Also, they can’t say that a parent’s depression actually causes children to perform worse in school…. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-school-depression-parents-idUSKCN0VC2VS

Citation:

Parental depression associated with worse school performance by children

Date:      February 3, 2016

Source:   The JAMA Network Journals

Summary:

Having parents diagnosed with depression during a child’s life was associated with worse school performance at age 16 a new study of children born in Sweden reports.

Journal References:

  1. Hanyang Shen, Cecilia Magnusson, Dheeraj Rai, Michael Lundberg, Félice Lê-Scherban, Christina Dalman, Brian K. Lee. Associations of Parental Depression With Child School Performance at Age 16 Years in Sweden. JAMA Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2917
  2. Myrna M. Weissman. Children of Depressed Parents—A Public Health Opportunity. JAMA Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2967

Associations of Parental Depression With Child School Performance at Age 16 Years in Sweden ONLINE FIRST

Hanyang Shen, MPH, MSc1; Cecilia Magnusson, MD, PhD2,3; Dheeraj Rai, MRCPsych, PhD4,5; Michael Lundberg, MPH2,3; Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD1; Christina Dalman, MD, PhD2,3; Brian K. Lee, PhD, MHS1,6

[+] Author Affiliations

JAMA Psychiatry. Published online February 03, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2917

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ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT | INTRODUCTION | METHODS | RESULTS | DISCUSSION | CONCLUSIONS | ARTICLE INFORMATION | REFERENCES

Importance  Depression is a common cause of morbidity and disability worldwide. Parental depression is associated with early-life child neurodevelopmental, behavioral, emotional, mental, and social problems. More studies are needed to explore the link between parental depression and long-term child outcomes.

Objective  To examine the associations of parental depression with child school performance at the end of compulsory education (approximately age 16 years).

Design, Setting, and Participants  Parental depression diagnoses (based on the International Classification of Diseases, Eighth Revision [ICD-8], International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision [ICD-9], and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision [ICD-10]) in inpatient records from 1969 onward, outpatient records beginning in 2001, and school grades at the end of compulsory education were collected for all children born from 1984 to 1994 in Sweden. The final analytic sample size was 1 124 162 biological children. We examined the associations of parental depression during different periods (before birth, after birth, and during child ages 1-5, 6-10, and 11-16 years, as well as any time before the child’s final year of compulsory schooling) with the final school grades. Linear regression models adjusted for various child and parent characteristics. The dates of the analysis were January to November 2015.

Main Outcome and Measure  Decile of school grades at the end of compulsory education (range, 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).

Results  The study cohort comprised 1 124 162 children, of whom 48.9% were female. Maternal depression and paternal depression at any time before the final compulsory school year were associated with worse school performance. After covariate adjustment, these associations decreased to −0.45 (95% CI, −0.48 to −0.42) and −0.40 (−0.43 to −0.37) lower deciles, respectively. These effect sizes are similarly as large as the observed difference in school performance between the lowest and highest quintiles of family income but approximately one-third of the observed difference between maternal education of 9 or less vs more than 12 years. Both maternal depression and paternal depression at different periods (before birth, after birth, and during child ages 1-5, 6-10, and 11-16 years) generally were associated with worse school performance. Child sex modified the associations of maternal depression with school performance such that maternal depression had a larger negative influence on child school performance for girls compared with boys.

Conclusions and Relevance  Diagnoses of parental depression throughout a child’s life were associated with worse school performance at age 16 years. Our results suggest that diagnoses of parental depression may have a far-reaching effect on an important aspect of child development, with implications for future life course outcomes.                                                                                     http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2488039

Here is the press release from Drexel University:

Parental Depression Negatively Affects Children’s School Performance

February 03 2016

A new study has found that when parents are diagnosed with depression, it can have a significant negative impact on their children’s performance at school.

Researchers at Drexel University led a team including faculty from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and the University of Bristol in England in a cohort study of more than a million children born from 1984 until 1994 in Sweden. Using computerized data registers, the scientists linked parents’ depression diagnoses with their children’s final grades at age 16, when compulsory schooling ends in Sweden.

The research indicated that children whose mothers had been diagnosed with depression are likely to achieve grades that are 4.5 percentage points lower than peers whose mothers had not been diagnosed with depression. For children whose fathers were diagnosed with depression, the difference is a negative four percentage points.

Put into other terms, when compared with a student who achieved a 90 percent, a student whose mother or father had been diagnosed with depression would be more likely to achieve a score in the 85–86 percent range.

The magnitude of this effect was similar to the difference in school performance between children in low versus high-income families, but was smaller than the difference for low versus high maternal education (low family income: -3.6 percentage points; low maternal education -16.2 percentage points).

How well a student does in school has a large bearing on future job and income opportunities, which has heavy public health implications, explained Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, assistant professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health. On average in the United States, she said, an adult without a high school degree earns half as much as one of their peers with a college degree and also has a life expectancy that is about 10 years lower.

“Anything that creates an uneven playing field for children in terms of their education can potentially have strong implications for health inequities down the road,” Lê-Scherban said.

Some differences along gender lines were observed in the study. Although results were largely similar for maternal and paternal depression, analysis found that episodes of depression in mothers when their children were 11–16 years old appeared to have a larger effect on girls than boys. Girls scored 5.1 percentage points lower than their peers on final grades at 16 years old when that factor was taken into account. Boys, meanwhile, only scored 3.4 percentage points lower.

Brian Lee, PhD, associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health, said there were gender differences in the study’s numbers, but didn’t want to lose focus of the problem parental depression presents as a whole.

“Our study — as well as many others — supports that both maternal and paternal depression may independently and negatively influence child development,” Lee said. “There are many notable sex differences in depression, but, rather than comparing maternal versus paternal depression, we should recognize that parental depression can have adverse consequences not just for the parents but also for their children.”

Depression diagnoses in a parent at any time during the child’s first 16 years were determined to have some effect on the child’s school performance. Even diagnoses of depression that came before the child’s birth were linked to poorer school performance. The study posited that it could be attributed to parents and children sharing the same genes and the possibility of passing on a disposition for depression.

The study, “Associations of Parental Depression With Child School Performance at Age 16 Years in Sweden,” whose lead author was Drexel alumna Hanyang Shen, was published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Media Contact:
Frank Otto
fmo26@drexel.edu
215.571.4244

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children
http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

Resources:
1. About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

  1. Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm
  2. Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034
  3. Family Doctor’s What Is Depression? http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html
  4. WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children
  5. Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?

http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

  1. Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study: Evidence that autism spectrum disorder risks may begin in utero

31 Jan

The number of children with autism appears to be growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides statistics on the number of children with autism in the section Data and Statistics:

Prevalence

  • It is estimated that between 1 in 80 and 1 in 240 with an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have an ASD. [Read article]

  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, yet are on average 4 to 5 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls.  However, we need more information on some less studied populations and regions around the world. [Read article]

  • Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with an ASD with an approximate prevalence of 0.6% to over 1%. A recent study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%. [Data table ]

  • Approximately 13% of children have a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.  [Read article] http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

In order for children with autism to reach their full potential there must be early diagnosis and treatment.

Science Daily reported in Obesity, diabetes in mom increases risk of autism in child:

Children born to obese women with diabetes are more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than children of healthy weight mothers without diabetes, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

The findings, to be published Jan. 29 in the journal Pediatrics, highlight what has become a leading theory about autism, that the risk likely develops before the child is even born.

“We have long known that obesity and diabetes aren’t good for mothers’ own health,” says study leader Xiaobin Wang, MD, ScD, MPH, the Zanvyl Krieger Professor in Child Health at the Bloomberg School and director of the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease. “Now we have further evidence that these conditions also impact the long-term neural development of their children.”

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by severe deficits in socialization, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Since the 1960s, the prevalence rates have skyrocketed, with one in 68 U.S. children now affected by it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity and diabetes have also risen to epidemic levels in women of reproductive age over the same time period.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 2,734 mother-child pairs, a subset of the Boston Birth Cohort recruited at the Boston Medical Center at birth between 1998 and 2014. They collected data on maternal pre-pregnancy weight and whether the mothers had diabetes before getting pregnant or whether they developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy. They also followed up the children from birth through childhood via postnatal study visits and review of electronic medical records. They identified 102 children who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder over the course of the study. Those children with mothers who were both diabetic and obese were more than four times as likely to develop autism compared to children born to normal weight mothers without diabetes, they found.

“Our research highlights that the risk for autism begins in utero,” says co-author M. Daniele Fallin, PhD, chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health and director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. “It’s important for us to now try to figure out what is it about the combination of obesity and diabetes that is potentially contributing to sub-optimal fetal health.”

Previous studies had suggested a link between maternal diabetes and autism, but this is believed to be the first to look at obesity and diabetes in tandem as potential risk factors….                               http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160129091631.htm

Citation:

Obesity, diabetes in mom increases risk of autism in child

Date:         January 29, 2016

Source:     Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Summary:

Children born to obese women with diabetes are more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than children of healthy weight mothers without diabetes, new research suggests.

Journal Reference:

  1. Mengying Li; M. Daniele Fallin; Anne Riley; Rebecca Landa; Sheila O. Walker; Michael Silverstein; Deanna Caruso; Colleen Pearson; Shannon Kiang; Jamie Lyn Dahm; Xiumei Hong; Guoying Wang; Mei-Cheng Weng; Barry Zuckerman and Xiaobin Wang. The association of maternal obesity and diabetes with autism and other developmental disabilities. Pediatrics, January 2016 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-2206

Here is the press release from Johns Hopkins:

January 29, 2016

Obesity, Diabetes in Mom Increases Risk of Autism in Child

New study offers new evidence that autism spectrum disorder risks may begin in utero

Children born to obese women with diabetes are more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than children of healthy weight mothers without diabetes, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

The findings, to be published Jan. 29 in the journal Pediatrics, highlight what has become a leading theory about autism, that the risk likely develops before the child is even born.

“We have long known that obesity and diabetes aren’t good for mothers’ own health,” says study leader Xiaobin Wang, MD, ScD, MPH, the Zanvyl Krieger Professor in Child Health at the Bloomberg School and director of the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease. “Now we have further evidence that these conditions also impact the long-term neural development of their children.”

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by severe deficits in socialization, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Since the 1960s, the prevalence rates have skyrocketed, with one in 68 U.S. children now affected by it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity and diabetes have also risen to epidemic levels in women of reproductive age over the same time period.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 2,734 mother-child pairs, a subset of the Boston Birth Cohort recruited at the Boston Medical Center at birth between 1998 and 2014. They collected data on maternal pre-pregnancy weight and whether the mothers had diabetes before getting pregnant or whether they developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy. They also followed up the children from birth through childhood via postnatal study visits and review of electronic medical records. They identified 102 children who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder over the course of the study. Those children with mothers who were both diabetic and obese were more than four times as likely to develop autism compared to children born to normal weight mothers without diabetes, they found.

“Our research highlights that the risk for autism begins in utero,” says co-author M. Daniele Fallin, PhD, chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health and director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. “It’s important for us to now try to figure out what is it about the combination of obesity and diabetes that is potentially contributing to sub-optimal fetal health.”

Previous studies had suggested a link between maternal diabetes and autism, but this is believed to be the first to look at obesity and diabetes in tandem as potential risk factors.

Along with pre-conception diabetes, children of obese mothers who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy were also at a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed with autism.

The biology of why obesity and diabetes may contribute to autism risk isn’t well understood. Obesity and diabetes in general cause stress on the human body, the researchers say. Previous research suggests maternal obesity may be associated with an inflammation in the developing fetal brain. Other studies suggest obese women have less folate, a B-vitamin vital for  human development and health.

The researchers say that women of reproductive age who are thinking about having children need to not only think about their obesity and diabetes status for their own health, but because of the implications it could have on their children. Better diabetes and weight management could have lifelong impacts on mother and child, they say.

“In order to prevent autism, we may need to consider not only pregnancy, but also pre-pregnancy health,” Fallin says.

“The association of maternal obesity and diabetes with autism and other developmental disabilities” was written by Mengying Li; M. Daniele Fallin; Anne Riley; Rebecca Landa; Sheila O. Walker; Michael Silverstein; Deanna Caruso; Colleen Pearson; Shannon Kiang; Jamie Lyn Dahm; Xiumei Hong; Guoying Wang; Mei-Cheng Weng; Barry Zuckerman and Xiaobin Wang.

The parent study was supported in part by the March of Dimes, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (R21 ES011666) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2R01 HD041702). The Pediatrics study is supported in part by the Ludwig Family Foundation; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U01AI90727 and R21AI079872) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (R40MC27442).

# # #

Media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Barbara Benham at 410-614-6029 or bbenham1@jhu.edu and Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or sdesmon1@jhu.edu.

One of the implications of this study is the necessity that women receive adequate prenatal care and women really should have pre-pregnancy counseling and care.

United Health Foundation reports Prenatal Care (1990 – 2011): Percentage of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal care, as defined by Kessner Index:

Prenatal care is a critical component of health care for pregnant women and a key step towards having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Early prenatal care is especially important because many important developments take place during the first trimester, screenings can identify babies or mothers at risk for complications and health care providers can educate and prepare mothers for pregnancy.  Women who receive prenatal care have consistently shown better outcomes than those who did not receive prenatal care[1]. Mothers who do not receive any prenatal care are three times more likely to deliver a low birth weight baby than mothers who received prenatal care, and infant mortality is five times higher[2].  Early prenatal care also allows health care providers to identify and address health conditions and behaviors that may reduce the likelihood of a healthy birth, such as smoking and drug and alcohol abuse.                                                                                                                                                         http://www.americashealthrankings.org/All/PrenatalCare/2012

Given this recent study it is imperative that ALL women receive prenatal care particularly poor and those women at risk of difficult pregnancies.

Related:

Autism and children of color

http://drwilda.com/tag/children-of-color-with-autism/

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine study: Kids with autism more likely to be bullied

http://drwilda.com/2012/09/06/archives-of-pediatrics-and-adolescent-medicine-study-kids-with-autism-more-likely-to-be-bullied/

Father’s age may be linked to Autism and Schizophrenia

http://drwilda.com/2012/08/26/fathers-age-may-be-linked-to-autism-and-schizophrenia/

Chelation treatment for autism might be harmful

http://drwilda.com/2012/12/02/chelation-treatment-for-autism-might-be-harmful/

Journal of American Medical Association study: Folic acid may reduce autism risk

http://drwilda.com/tag/folic-acid-in-pregnancy-may-lower-autism-risk/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©

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University of Arizona study: The Effect(s) of Teen Pregnancy: Reconciling Theory, Methods, and Findings.

25 Jan

Moi has got plenty to say about hypocrites of the conservative persuasion, those who espouse family values, but don’t live up to them or who support corporate welfare while tossing out that old bromide that individuals must pull themselves up by their bootstraps even if they don’t have shoes.

Because of changes in family structure and the fact that many children are now being raised by single parents, who often lack the time or resources to care for them, we as a society must make children and education a priority, even in a time of lack. I know that many of the conservative persuasion will harp on about personal responsibility, yada, yada, yada. Moi promotes birth control and condoms, so don’t harp on that. Fact is children, didn’t ask to be born to any particular parent or set of parents.

Jonathan Cohn reports about an unprecedented experiment which occurred in Romanian orphanages in the New Republic article, The Two Year Window. There are very few experiments involving humans because of ethical considerations.

Nelson had traveled to Romania to take part in a cutting-edge experiment. It was ten years after the fall of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, whose scheme for increasing the country’s population through bans on birth control and abortion had filled state-run institutions with children their parents couldn’t support. Images from the orphanages had prompted an outpouring of international aid and a rush from parents around the world to adopt the children. But ten years later, the new government remained convinced that the institutions were a good idea—and was still warehousing at least 60,000 kids, some of them born after the old regime’s fall, in facilities where many received almost no meaningful human interaction. With backing from the MacArthur Foundation, and help from a sympathetic Romanian official, Nelson and colleagues from Harvard, Tulane, and the University of Maryland prevailed upon the government to allow them to remove some of the children from the orphanages and place them with foster families. Then, the researchers would observe how they fared over time in comparison with the children still in the orphanages. They would also track a third set of children, who were with their original parents, as a control group.

In the field of child development, this study—now known as the Bucharest Early Intervention Project—was nearly unprecedented. Most such research is performed on animals, because it would be unethical to expose human subjects to neglect or abuse. But here the investigators were taking a group of children out of danger. The orphanages, moreover, provided a sufficiently large sample of kids, all from the same place and all raised in the same miserable conditions. The only variable would be the removal from the institutions, allowing researchers to isolate the effects of neglect on the brain….

Drury, Nelson, and their collaborators are still learning about the orphans. But one upshot of their work is already clear. Childhood adversity can damage the brain as surely as inhaling toxic substances or absorbing a blow to the head can. And after the age of two, much of that damage can be difficult to repair, even for children who go on to receive the nurturing they were denied in their early years. This is a revelation with profound implication—and not just for the Romanian orphans.

APPROXIMATELY SEVEN MILLION American infants, toddlers, and preschoolers get care from somebody other than a relative, whether through organized day care centers or more informal arrangements, according to the Census Bureau. And much of that care is not very good. One widely cited study of child care in four states, by researchers in Colorado, found that only 8 percent of infant care centers were of “good” or “excellent” quality, while 40 percent were “poor.” The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found that three in four infant caregivers provide only minimal cognitive and language stimulation—and that more than half of young children in non-maternal care receive “only some” or “hardly any” positive caregiving. http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window?page=0,0&passthru=YzBlNDJmMmRkZTliNDgwZDY4MDhhYmIwMjYyYzhlMjg

Because the ranks of poor children are growing in the U.S., this study portends some grave challenges not only for particular children, but this society and this country. Adequate early learning opportunities and adequate early parenting is essential for proper development in children.

Science Daily reported in Teen pregnancy is not an isolated issue:

In a nationwide study, University of Arizona sociologists Christina Diaz and Jeremy E. Fiel found that the negative effect of young motherhood on educational attainment and earnings is not limited to those from disadvantaged backgrounds and actually is most significant among better-off teenagers.

Diaz and Fiel analyzed a subset of the Child and Young Adult Cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which launched in 1986 to analyze the lives of more than 10,000 American youth.

Their findings of the subset — more than 3,600 young women — confirm existing literature that most young mothers have lower educational attainment and earnings overall compared with those who delay having children.

However, they also found that the impact of early fertility on one’s educational attainment and wages depended on a woman’s personal attributes, experiences and factors such as their household income and familial expectations around family planning…

Diaz’s and Fiel’s findings are detailed in the co-authored paper “The Effect(s) of Teen Pregnancy: Reconciling Theory, Methods and Findings,” which was published in a January 2016 issue of Demography, a peer-reviewed journal. Fiel is a UA assistant professor of sociology.

For the investigation, Diaz and Fiel analyzed survey results from two groups: individuals who became pregnant and had children, and others who had yet to do so.
Diaz and Fiel wanted to understand variation in the effects of early fertility among women with differing likelihoods of teen pregnancy and childbearing. For both groups, they analyzed high school graduation rates, rates of college attendance and completion, and also earnings when respondents were between ages 25 and 35.

Some of Diaz’s and Fiel’s findings confirmed other existing research indicating that pregnant teenagers have more disadvantaged backgrounds, fewer academic skills, more behavior problems and delinquency, and lower feelings of self-worth.

“By the time a young woman becomes pregnant, there are already factors from her socioeconomic background that influence her experience,” Diaz said. “To that end, it is not necessarily the pregnancy itself that results in negative consequences. And for someone who is comparatively better off, they already have tools to succeed.”

Interestingly, it was those better-off teens for whom the consequences of an early pregnancy were most severe. The negative effect on earning a bachelor’s degree was twice as large among better-off teens compared to those who were less advantaged.
Diaz and Fiel found evidence suggesting that young women in families where early fertility was more common, and who had stronger familial relationships and support, may have experienced less stress transitioning into motherhood.

Such findings reveal the problem with assuming that all women see similar outcomes when having children at a younger age, Diaz and Fiel said….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121150119.htm

Citation:

Teen pregnancy is not an isolated issue
Socioeconomic disadvantage may reduce the effect young motherhood has on how successful a person is academically, and also what wages can be expected in the future
Date: January 21, 2016

Source: University of Arizona

Summary:
Researchers made a telling discovery: Young motherhood has different consequences for different women, depending on socioeconomic and other factors.

Journal Reference:
1. Christina J. Diaz, Jeremy E. Fiel. The Effect(s) of Teen Pregnancy: Reconciling Theory, Methods, and Findings. Demography, 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0446-6
Here is the press release from the University of Arizona:
UA Sociologists: Teen Pregnancy Not an Isolated Issue
Christina Diaz and Jeremy E. Fiel found that socioeconomic disadvantage may reduce the effect young motherhood has on how successful a person is academically, and also what wages can be expected in the future.

Here is the press release from the University of Arizona:

La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Relations – Communications

January 20, 2016

Resources for the Media

Extra Info

Christina Diaz’s and Jeremy E. Fiel’s research was funded by multiple agencies and organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship and the Center of Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

In a nationwide study, University of Arizona sociologists Christina Diaz and Jeremy E. Fiel found that the negative effect of young motherhood on educational attainment and earnings is not limited to those from disadvantaged backgrounds and actually is most significant among better-off teenagers.Diaz and Fiel analyzed a subset of the Child and Young Adult Cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which launched in 1986 to analyze the lives of more than 10,000 American youth.

Their findings of the subset — more than 3,600 young women — confirm existing literature that most young mothers have lower educational attainment and earnings overall compared with those who delay having children.

However, they also found that the impact of early fertility on one’s educational attainment and wages depended on a woman’s personal attributes, experiences and factors such as their household income and familial expectations around family planning.

“It is important to think about the ongoing debate about the causal relationship between teen pregnancy and attainment,” said Diaz, an assistant professor in the UA School of Sociology.

“Despite all of our methods and studies, we (as a research community) haven’t nailed down the effect of teenage pregnancy. So, we wanted to take a step back and think, ‘Why might there be divergent findings?'”

Diaz’s and Fiel’s findings are detailed in the co-authored paper “The Effect(s) of Teen Pregnancy: Reconciling Theory, Methods and Findings,” which was published in a January 2016 issue of Demography, a peer-reviewed journal. Fiel is a UA assistant professor of sociology.

For the investigation, Diaz and Fiel analyzed survey results from two groups: individuals who became pregnant and had children, and others who had yet to do so.
Diaz and Fiel wanted to understand variation in the effects of early fertility among women with differing likelihoods of teen pregnancy and childbearing. For both groups, they analyzed high school graduation rates, rates of college attendance and completion, and also earnings when respondents were between ages 25 and 35.

Some of Diaz’s and Fiel’s findings confirmed other existing research indicating that pregnant teenagers have more disadvantaged backgrounds, fewer academic skills, more behavior problems and delinquency, and lower feelings of self-worth.

“By the time a young woman becomes pregnant, there are already factors from her socioeconomic background that influence her experience,” Diaz said. “To that end, it is not necessarily the pregnancy itself that results in negative consequences. And for someone who is comparatively better off, they already have tools to succeed.”

Interestingly, it was those better-off teens for whom the consequences of an early pregnancy were most severe. The negative effect on earning a bachelor’s degree was twice as large among better-off teens compared to those who were less advantaged.
Diaz and Fiel found evidence suggesting that young women in families where early fertility was more common, and who had stronger familial relationships and support, may have experienced less stress transitioning into motherhood.

Such findings reveal the problem with assuming that all women see similar outcomes when having children at a younger age, Diaz and Fiel said.

The two affirmed in their paper that “women differentially respond to motherhood,” later noting: “Specifically, we argue that negative, trivial or positive effects could be simultaneously occurring among different types of women in the population.”
While nationwide data indicates that teen pregnancies among women ages 15-19 has beenon a steady decline since the 1970s, the World Bank reports the nation still maintains some of the highest rates on the globe. Based on 2014 figures, the financial institution reported that the U.S. had more births per 1,000 women in that age bracket than those that include the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France and Spain.

From a policy perspective, the findings can help to better identify how to support teen mothers who need it most, Diaz said.

“There are a lot of campaigns that set out to reduce pregnancy rates in disadvantaged communities that are based on the belief that there are still negative causal effects of teen pregnancy,” Diaz said.

The analysis, however, suggested that teen pregnancy prevention in isolation of other life challenges is likely to be ineffective for disadvantaged women. Such campaigns may be beneficial only for more advantaged women, Diaz said.

“There are all these underlying issues that happened before pregnancy — attending lower-quality schools, living in poor neighborhoods, living in high poverty contexts — so that teen pregnancy is just one issue,” she said.

Children in Poverty provides good data on the types of households most likely to be poor. Their findings for single parent households are:

Family structure continues to be strongly related to whether or not children are poor.
• In 2007, children living in households headed by single mothers were more than five times as likely as
children living in households headed by married parents to be living in poverty—42.9 percent
compared with 8.5 percent. (See Figure 1 )
• For non-Hispanic white children, the poverty rate in 2007 was 32.3 percent for children in single mother
households compared with 4.7 percent for children in married households.
• Similarly for black children, the poverty rate was 50.2 percent compared with 11 percent.
• For Hispanic children, the poverty rate was 51.4 percent compared with 19.3 percent.
• For Asian children, the poverty rate was 32 percent compared with 9.7 percent. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_102.60.asp

Families headed by single parents face economic challenges that are mitigated by two incomes.

Moi has never met an illegitimate child, she has met plenty of illegitimate parents. People that are so ill-prepared for the parent role that had they been made responsible for an animal, PETA would picket their house. We are at a point in society where we have to say don’t have children you can’t care for. There is no quick, nor easy fix for the children who start behind in life because they are the product of two other people’s choice, whether an informed choice or not. All parents should seek positive role models for their children. For single mothers who are parenting boys, they must seek positive male role models to be a part of their son’s life. Boys and girls of all ages should think before they procreate and men should give some thought about what it means to be a father before they become baby daddy.

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University of California Los Angeles study: Study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

18 Jan

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.

Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.”

Science Daily reported in Psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying:

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, UCLA psychologists report.

Compared to face-to-face situations, bystanders are even less likely to intervene with online bullying. The researchers wanted to learn why bystanders are infrequently supportive of when bullying occurs online.

In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who, in response to a post, received a mean comment — “Who cares! This is why nobody likes you” — from a Facebook friend named Sarah. That comment gets six likes.

The study involved 118 people, ages 18 to 22, from throughout the United States, 58 percent of the participants were female, and were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. They were randomly divided into four groups; each group saw Sarah’s nasty comment in response to a different Facebook post from Kate. Across the four groups, Kate’s Facebook post varied in level of personal disclosure (more or less personal) and whether it was positive or negative.

Two groups saw Kate make a highly personal disclosure about a relationship. “I hate it when you miss someone like crazy and you think they might not miss you back :(” (negative) or “I love it when you like someone like crazy and you think they might like you back :)” (positive).

The other two groups saw Kate make a less personal comment about the popular HBO program, “Game of Thrones.” “I hate it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you have to wait a whole week to watch more :(” or “I love it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you can’t wait until next week to watch more :).”

Participants then responded to questions about how much they blamed Kate for being cyberbullied, how much empathy they had for Kate and how likely they would be to support her.

Although the majority of participants considered Sarah’s comment an example of cyberbullying, they varied in their responses to Kate’s being bullied depending on her original post. Regardless of whether Kate’s post was positive or negative, participants viewed Kate more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

“We found that when the Facebook post is a more personal expression of the victim’s feelings, participants showed lower levels of empathy and felt Kate was more to blame for being cyberbullied,” said Hannah Schacter, a UCLA graduate student in developmental psychology, and lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160115100945.htm

Citation:

Psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, more online empathy is needed

Date:       January 15, 2016

Source:   University of California – Los Angeles

Summary:

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, psychologists report. In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who received a mean comment — ‘Who cares! This is why nobody likes you’ — that gets six likes.

Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah L. Schacter, Shayna Greenberg, Jaana Juvonen. Who’s to blame?: The effects of victim disclosure on bystander reactions to cyberbullying. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016; 57: 115 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.018

Here is the press release from the University of California Los Angeles:

UCLA psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, more online empathy is needed

Stuart Wolpert | January 14, 2016

Even when people agree that someone has been a victim of cyberbullying, participants view the victim more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, UCLA psychologists report.

Compared to face-to-face situations, bystanders are even less likely to intervene with online bullying. The researchers wanted to learn why bystanders are infrequently supportive of when bullying occurs online.

In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who, in response to a post, received a mean comment — “Who cares! This is why nobody likes you” — from a Facebook friend named Sarah. That comment gets six likes.

The study involved 118 people, ages 18 to 22, from throughout the United States, 58 percent of the participants were female, and were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. They were randomly divided into four groups; each group saw Sarah’s nasty comment in response to a different Facebook post from Kate. Across the four groups, Kate’s Facebook post varied in level of personal disclosure (more or less personal) and whether it was positive or negative.

Two groups saw Kate make a highly personal disclosure about a relationship. “I hate it when you miss someone like crazy and you think they might not miss you back ☹” (negative) or “I love it when you like someone like crazy and you think they might like you back ☺” (positive).

The other two groups saw Kate make a less personal comment about the popular HBO program, “Game of Thrones.” “I hate it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you have to wait a whole week to watch more ☹” or “I love it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you can’t wait until next week to watch more ☺.”

Participants then responded to questions about how much they blamed Kate for being cyberbullied, how much empathy they had for Kate and how likely they would be to support her.

Although the majority of participants considered Sarah’s comment an example of cyberbullying, they varied in their responses to Kate’s being bullied depending on her original post. Regardless of whether Kate’s post was positive or negative, participants viewed Kate more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

“We found that when the Facebook post is a more personal expression of the victim’s feelings, participants showed lower levels of empathy and felt Kate was more to blame for being cyberbullied,” said Hannah Schacter, a UCLA graduate student in developmental psychology, and lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Participants were asked, on a scale of one to five, whether they “felt for” Kate and whether they blamed Kate for Sarah’s criticism of her. Although the differences were small (about one third of point), they showed a consistent pattern of less forgiving responses when Kate posted about her personal issues as opposed to about Game of Thrones.

The authors found that victim-blaming and empathy for the victim influenced whether participants would intervene by sending a supportive message to the bullying victim (Kate), posting a supportive message, or posting that they disagree with the bully’s comment.  When participants felt that Kate deserved to be bullied and felt less empathy for her, they were less likely to express support for the victim.

“The emotional reactions toward Kate help explain whether online bystanders are likely to support the victim,” said Jaana Juvonen, a UCLA professor of psychology and senior author of the research.

“Our study suggests oversharing of personal information leads bystanders to blame and not feel for the victim,” Schacter said.

On social media websites, there appear to be unwritten rules about what is acceptable, and this study suggests that oversharing personal emotions or information violates these rules, she said.

“Young people need to understand that by revealing personal issues publicly online, they may make themselves more vulnerable to attacks from those seeking to harm others,” Juvonen said.

Sharing your feelings with a close friend is quite different from publicly sharing with many people who don’t know you well.

However, Schacter and Juvonen emphasize that the study’s findings have important implications for changing how people react when they see online bullying. Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, the authors say that more online empathy is needed. This is a challenge, they note, because bystanders do not see the anguish of victims of online bullying.

“Supportive messages can make a big difference in how the victim feels,” Schacter said. Other research, she noted, shows that sharing of troubles can help strengthen friendships among students and young adults.

Shayna Greenberg, a recent UCLA graduate who worked with Schacter and Juvonen on the study, is a co-author.

The research was partly funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research for Schacter.

Previous studies on bullying by Juvonen and her colleagues have found that:

Media Contact

Stuart Wolpert

310-206-0511

swolpert@support.ucla.edu

Two articles describe the effects of social networking on teen relationships. In the first article, Antisocial Networking?, Hillary Stout writes in the New York Times about toxic social networking sites and their effect on teens. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/fashion/02BEST.html?pagewanted=all

Hans Villarica wrote the excellent article in Time, Dealing With Cyberbullying: 5 Essential Parenting Tips

Make sure your kids know cyberbullying is wrong. Many kids don’t understand that when they write down and disseminate feelings of frustration, jealousy or anger toward others online, it can quickly escalate into problems in the real world. They also tend to think that what happens digitally “doesn’t count” and that digital abuse doesn’t hurt, especially since parents usually focus on their kids’ behavior in person…. (More on Time.com: Lessons on Cyberbullying: Is Rebecca Black a Victim? Experts Weigh In)

Take an interest in your kids’ online behavior. Kids tend to think their parents don’t know or care about their online lives. They fear that their parents, in not understanding, will simply take away their cell phone or computer if anything goes wrong….. (More on Time.com: The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying)

Check school policies on cyberbullying. Contact your child’s teacher or a school social worker or administrator and find out whether there is an official policy on cyberbullying. If there is one, read it and discuss it with your kids.

If there isn’t a written policy in place, ask about how cyberbullying is handled and whether there are any plans to create an official policy. Better yet, step up and join — or push to create — a committee to set the standards…. (More on Time.com: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness)

Set guidelines about cell-phone use. Many parents give their kids cell phones, so they can stay in closer contact with them. But that’s typically not the reason kids want cell phones. Rather, kids use them to surf the Web, send text messages to friends, update their social-networking status, and share pictures and videos.

Review with your children the laws that could affect their cell phone use, including limitations on where and when they can legally take photos or videos, and how you expect them to handle text messaging or Internet use. If you choose to monitor what’s on your kids’ phones, be aware that more than 70% of kids delete messages or photos before giving their parents their phones for checks, according to research from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. (More on Time.com: A Glimmer of Hope in a Bad-News Survey About Bullying)

Help your children respond appropriately if they are cyberbullied. First, talk with your children about what happened and how they feel about it. Be supportive. Remember that your kids feel that they are under attack. Second, report the abuse to the website on which it occurred. This can often be done via an “abuse” or “report” button or link on the site. Lastly, report the bullying to school administrators and ask them to look after your children.                                                                                                                           http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/25/dealing-with-cyberbullying-5-essential-parenting-tips/

Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology.

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University of California San Francisco study: E-cigarettes, as used, aren’t helping smokers quit

17 Jan

Some children consider smoking a rite of passage into adolescence. According to Tobacco Facts most teenage smoking starts early. Among the statistics cited at Tobacco Facts are the following:

Each day 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette.

Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16.

At least 3 million adolescents are smokers.

20 percent of American teens smoke.

Almost all first use occurs before high school graduation.

Roughly 6 million teens in the US today smoke despite the knowledge that it is addictive and leads to disease.

Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result from smoking.

Of every 100,000 15 year old smokers, tobacco will prematurely kill at least 20,000 before the age of 70.

Adolescent girls who smoke and take oral birth control pills greatly increase their chances of having blood clots and strokes.

According to the Surgeon’s General, Teenagers who smoke were:

* Three times more likely to use alcohol.

* Eight times are likely to smoke marijuana.

* And 22 times more likely to use Cocaine.

Although only 5 percent of high school smokers said that they would definitely be smoking five years later, close to 75 percent were still smoking 7 to 9 years later.

Kids who smoke experience changes in the lungs and reduced lung growth, and they risk not achieving normal lung function as an adult.

A person who starts smoking at age 13 will have a more difficult time quitting, has more health-related problems and probably will die earlier than a person who begins to smoke at age 21.

Kids who smoke have significant health problems, including cough and phlegm production, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.

If your child’s best friends smoke, then your youngster is 13 times more likely to smoke than if his or her friends did not smoke.

Adolescents who have two parents who smoke are more than twice as likely as youth without smoking parents to become smokers.

More than 90 percent of adult smokers started when they were teens.                                       http://www.tobacco-facts.net/smoking-facts/teen-smoking-facts

It is important to prevent teens from beginning to smoke because of health issues and the difficulty many smokers have in quitting the habit.

Science Daily reported in E-cigarettes, as used, aren’t helping smokers quit, study shows:

Electronic cigarettes are widely promoted and used to help smokers quit traditional cigarettes, but a new analysis from UC San Francisco found that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.

The study — a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data — is the largest to quantify whether e-cigarettes assist smokers in quitting cigarettes.

The findings will be published online January 14, 2016 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

“As currently being used, e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers,” concluded first author Sara Kalkhoran, MD who was a clinical fellow at the UCSF School of Medicine when the research was conducted. She is now at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation,” Kalkhoran wrote.

Electronic cigarettes, known by a variety of names including vapor pens, are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to deliver an aerosol inhaled by the user. While they are promoted as a way to quit traditional cigarettes, they also are promoted as a way to get nicotine in environments where traditional cigarettes are prohibited, even though more than 430 cities and several states ban their use in smoke free sites where conventional cigarettes are also prohibited.

In 2015, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend the devices to help adults quit smoking. No e-cigarette company has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve e-cigarettes for smoking cession, and the FDA has not taken any action against companies that claim e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking….                                                                                                            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160114162544.htm

Citation:

E-cigarettes, as used, aren’t helping smokers quit, study shows

New analysis found ‘vapers’ are 28 percent less likely to stop smoking

Date:     January 14, 2016

Source: University of California – San Francisco

Summary:

Electronic cigarettes are widely promoted and used to help smokers quit traditional cigarettes, but a new analysis found that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.

Journal Reference:

  1. Sara Kalkhoran, Stanton A Glantz. E-cigarettes and smoking cessation in real-world and clinical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00521-4

Here is the press release from the University of San Francisco:

E-Cigarettes, As Used, Aren’t Helping Smokers Quit, Study Shows

New Analysis by UCSF Found “Vapers” Are 28 Percent Less Likely to Stop Smoking

By Elizabeth Fernandez on January 14, 2016

Electronic cigarettes are widely promoted and used to help smokers quit traditional cigarettes, but a new analysis from UC San Francisco found that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.

The study — a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data — is the largest to quantify whether e-cigarettes assist smokers in quitting cigarettes.

The findings will be published online January 14 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

“As currently being used, e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers,” concluded first author Sara Kalkhoran, MD who was a clinical fellow at the UCSF School of Medicine when the research was conducted. She is now at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation,” Kalkhoran wrote.

Electronic cigarettes, known by a variety of names including vapor pens, are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to deliver an aerosol inhaled by the user. While they are promoted as a way to quit traditional cigarettes, they also are promoted as a way to get nicotine in environments where traditional cigarettes are prohibited, even though more than 430 cities and several states ban their use in smoke free sites where conventional cigarettes are also prohibited.

In 2015, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend the devices to help adults quit smoking. No e-cigarette company has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve e-cigarettes for smoking cession, and the FDA has not taken any action against companies that claim e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

In their analysis, the UCSF team reviewed 38 studies assessing the association between e-cigarette use and cigarette cessation among adult smokers. They then combined the results of the 20 studies that had control groups of smokers not using e-cigarettes in a meta-analysis that concluded that the odds of quitting smoking were 28 percent lower in smokers who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not.

There were no language restrictions imposed on the studies, which included both real-world observational as well as clinical studies. The studies included smokers who both were and were not interested in quitting, and included people as young as 15 years old.

The studies included in the analysis controlled for many variables, including demographics, past attempts to quit, and level of nicotine dependence.

“The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting,” said co-author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. “While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.”

“The fact that they are freely available consumer products could be important,” Glantz added.

E-cigarette regulation has the potential to influence marketing and reasons for use, the authors wrote:

“The inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoke-free laws and voluntary smoke-free policies could help decrease use of e-cigarettes as a cigarette substitute, and, perhaps, increase their effectiveness for smoking cessation. The way e-cigarettes are available on the market — for use by anyone and for any purpose — creates a disconnect between the provision of e-cigarettes for cessation as part of a monitored clinical trial and the availability of e-cigarettes for use by the general population.”

Kalkhoran’s research was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award T32HP19025. Glantz’s work in the project was supported by grant 1P50CA180890 from the National Cancer Institute and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and UCSF Health, which includes two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, as well as other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.                                                                                                                                                              https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/01/401311/e-cigarettes-used-arent-helping-smokers-quit-study-shows

Family Doctor.org has some excellent tips about quitting smoking at Tobacco Addiction Treatment:

How can I stop smoking?

You’ll have the best chance of stopping if you do the following:

  • Get ready.
    •Get support and encouragement.
    •Learn how to handle stress and the urge to smoke.
    •Get medication and use it correctly.
    •Be prepared for relapse.
    •Keep trying….
    Remember, you will need some help to stop smoking. Nine out of 10 smokers who try to go “cold turkey” fail because nicotine is so addictive. But it is easy to find help to quit.
    http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/tobacco-addiction/treatment.html

Prevention is the best course of action.

Resources:

Smokeless Tobacco

http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=207&cat_id=20138&article_set=20424

A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/science/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-but-they-have-some-unlikely-critics.html

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Concordia University study: Long-term benefits of improving your toddler’s memory skills

15 Jan

MedicineNet.com defines working memory in the article, Definition of Working memory:

Working memory is a system for temporarily storing and managing the information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Working memory is involved in the selection, initiation, and termination of information-processing functions such as encoding, storing, and retrieving data.
One test of working memory is memory span, the number of items, usually words or numbers, that a person can hold onto and recall. In a typical test of memory span, an examiner reads a list of random numbers aloud at about the rate of one number per second. At the end of a sequence, the person being tested is asked to recall the items in order. The average memory span for normal adults is 7 items. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7143

The University of Pennsylvania researchers studied working memory in a longitudinal study. See, Penn and CHOP Researchers Track Working Memory From Childhood Through Adolescence http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-and-chop-researchers-track-working-memory-childhood-through-adolescence

Science Daily reported in Early intervention: New research shows that preschoolers with poor short-term recall are more at risk of dropping out of high school:

If your toddler is a Forgetful Jones, you might want to help boost his or her brainpower sooner rather than later. New research shows that preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12.
“Identifying students who are at risk of eventually dropping out of high school is an important step in preventing this social problem,” says Caroline Fitzpatrick, first author of a study recently published in Intelligence, and a researcher at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre.

She and the study’s other researchers, who are affiliated with the Université Sainte-Anne and Université de Montréal, have suggestions for how parents can help kids improve their memory.

The study examines responses from 1,824 children at age two and a half, and then at three and a half. That data is then compared to the school-related attitudes and results of these children when they hit grade seven.

Results were clear: those that do better on a memory-testing imitation sorting task during toddlerhood are more likely to perform better in school later on — and therefore more likely to stay in school. The imitation sorting task is specifically effective in measuring working memory, which can be compared to a childs mental workspace.

“Our results suggest that early individual differences in working memory may contribute to developmental risk for high school dropout, as calculated from student engagement in school, grade point average and whether or not they previously repeated a year in school,” says Fitzpatrick.

“When taken together, those factors can identify which 12 year olds are likely to fail to complete high school by the age of 21.”
Help at home

“Preschoolers can engage in pretend play with other children to help them practise their working memory, since this activity involves remembering their own roles and the roles of others,” says Linda Pagani of the Université de Montréal, co-senior author.
“Encouraging mindfulness in children by helping them focus on their moment-to-moment experiences also has a positive effect on working memory….” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160112125425.htm

Citation:

Long-term benefits of improving your toddler’s memory skills
Early intervention: New research shows that preschoolers with poor short-term recall are more at risk of dropping out of high school
Date: January 12, 2016

Source: Concordia University

Summary:
Preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12, new research shows. In a new article, the authors offer suggestions for how parents can help kids improve their kid’s memory.

Journal Reference:
1. Caroline Fitzpatrick, Isabelle Archambault, Michel Janosz, Linda S. Pagani. Early childhood working memory forecasts high school dropout risk. Intelligence, 2015; 53: 160 DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2015.10.002

Here is the press release from Concordia University:

The long-term benefits of improving your toddler’s memory skills

Early intervention: a researcher at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre finds that preschoolers with poor short-term recall are more at risk of dropping out of high school

Montreal, January 12, 2016 — If your toddler is a Forgetful Jones, you might want to help boost his or her brainpower sooner rather than later. New research shows that preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12.

“Identifying students who are at risk of eventually dropping out of high school is an important step in preventing this social problem,” says Caroline Fitzpatrick, first author of a study recently published in Intelligence, and a researcher at Concordia’sPERFORM Centre.
She and the study’s other researchers, who are affiliated with the Université Sainte-Anne and Université de Montréal, have suggestions for how parents can help kids improve their memory.

The study examines responses from 1,824 children at age two and a half, and then at three and a half. That data is then compared to the school-related attitudes and results of these children when they hit grade seven.

Results were clear: those that do better on a memory-testing imitation sorting task during toddlerhood are more likely to perform better in school later on — and therefore more likely to stay in school. The imitation sorting task is specifically effective in measuring working memory, which can be compared to a childs mental workspace.

“Our results suggest that early individual differences in working memory may contribute to developmental risk for high school dropout, as calculated from student engagement in school, grade point average and whether or not they previously repeated a year in school,” says Fitzpatrick.

“When taken together, those factors can identify which 12 year olds are likely to fail to complete high school by the age of 21.”
Help at home

“Preschoolers can engage in pretend play with other children to help them practise their working memory, since this activity involves remembering their own roles and the roles of others,” says Linda Pagani of the Université de Montréal, co-senior author.
“Encouraging mindfulness in children by helping them focus on their moment-to-moment experiences also has a positive effect on working memory.”

Pagani also notes that breathing exercises and guided meditation can be practised with preschool and elementary school children. In older kids, vigorous aerobic activity such as soccer, basketball and jumping rope have all been shown to have beneficial effects on concentration and recall.

The researchers note that another promising strategy for improving working memory in children is to limit screen time — video games, smartphones, tablets and television — which can undermine cognitive control and take time away from more enriching pursuits.
“Our findings underscore the importance of early intervention,” says Fitzpatick.

“Parents can help their children develop strong working memory skills at home, and this can have a positive impact on school performance later in life.”

Partners in research: First author Caroline Fitzpatrick is a researcher at Concordia’s PERFORM Centre and a professor of psychology at Université Sainte-Anne. Co-senior author Linda Pagani is a professor at the École de Psychoéducation at the Université de Montréal and a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine. The study was conducted and supported by the Groupe de recherche sur les environnements scolaires.

Source
Cléa Desjardins
Senior Advisor
Media Relations
514-848-2424 ext. 5068
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
@CleaDesjardins

Parents can help foster curious kids.

Justin Coulson writes in the article, Raising smart, curious children:

Parents can do several things that will foster curiosity and a love of learning in their children, and help them grow up intellectually stimulated and successful.
• Model a love of learning. Be seen reading, finding answers, and discovering things yourself. Your children will watch and learn from you.
• Embrace the motto “we try new things”. Whether it is a new meal, a new sport, a new holiday destination, or a new way of cleaning the house, let your children know that you want to try new things and discover things you previously did not know much about.
• Teach your children to find answers. When your children ask you a question, rather than answering them directly encourage them to find out for themselves. Point them to references, the Internet, or other useful sources.
• Ask questions. If your child is curious about something, find out why. Encourage discussion. Find out what s/he knows already. When your child makes a statement (about anything) you can ask “why” and have an interesting conversation. Your demonstration of curiosity can be a terrific example to your children
• Be willing to talk. It is often easy for a parent to say “I’ll tell you later”, or “Not now, I’m busy.” Such responses will dampen the enthusiasm and curiosity a child has for a subject. Be being available, your child will be able to pursue a love of learning and all you have to do is facilitate it.
• Provide tools for learning by visiting the library, buying books from the shops, and having access to the Internet available for appropriate learning activities.
• Eliminate the use of rewards for learning. Research shows that the more we reward someone for a task, the less interested they become in the task. When rewards are offered, people generally become more interested in the reward than in the process required to obtain the reward. Instead, encourage curiosity for its own sake….. http://www.kidspot.com.au/schoolzone/Study-tips-Raising-smart-curious-children+4165+304+article.htm

Education is a partnership and parents must help educators foster curiosity in children.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Albert Einstein

Resources:

How Can Teachers Foster Curiosity?                                                                             http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/06/04/33shonstrom.h33.html

How to Stimulate Curiosity
How to Stimulate Curiosity

Six ways to build greater curiosity in students
http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/six-ways-to-build-greater-curiosity-in-students

How to Ignite Intellectual Curiosity in Students
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/igniting-student-curiousity-inquiry-method

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Canisius College study: Bite-mark analysis can lead to false convictions

11 Jan

Erik Eckholm wrote in the New York Times article, Mississippi Death Row Case Faults Bite-Mark Forensics:

In one of the country’s first nationally televised criminal trials, of the smirking serial murderer Ted Bundy in Florida in 1979, jurors and viewers alike were transfixed as dental experts showed how Mr. Bundy’s crooked teeth resembled a bite on a 20-year-old victim.

Mr. Bundy was found guilty and the obscure field of “forensic dentistry” won a place in the public imagination.

Since then, expert testimony matching body wounds with the dentition of the accused has played a role in hundreds of murder and rape cases, sometimes helping to put defendants on death row.

But over this same period, mounting evidence has shown that matching body wounds to a suspect’s dentition is prone to bias and unreliable.

A disputed bite-mark identification is at the center of an appeal that was filed Monday with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Eddie Lee Howard Jr., 61, has been on death row for two decades for the murder and rape of an 84-year-old woman, convicted largely because of what many experts call a far-fetched match of his teeth to purported bite wounds, discerned only after the woman’s body had been buried and exhumed.

The identification was made by Dr. Michael West, a Mississippi dentist who was sought out by prosecutors across the country in the 1980s and 1990s but whose freewheeling methods “put a huge black eye on bite-mark evidence,” in the words of Dr. Richard Souviron, a Florida-based dental expert who helped identify Mr. Bundy in 1979, in an interview last week.

Since 2000, at least 17 people convicted of murder or rape based on “expert” bite matches have been exonerated and freed, usually because DNA tests showed they had been wrongfully accused, according to research by the Innocence Project in New York. Dr. West was the expert witness in two of those cases.

In six additional cases, one involving Dr. West and one involving Dr. Souviron, indictments and arrests linked to bite-mark identifications were dropped after new evidence showed that the matches were wrong….http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/16/us/mississippi-death-row-appeal-highlights-shortcomings-of-bite-mark-identifications.html?_r=0

A Canisius College study throws further doubt on the legitimacy of Bite-mark analysis.

Science Daily reported in Bite-mark analysis can lead to false convictions, landmark research shows:

Forensic science is a vital crime-fighting tool in today’s criminal justice system. But it can also lead to false convictions, according to H. David Sheets, PhD. Landmark research by the Canisius College physics professor proves that bite-mark analysis is “far from an exact science.”

Bite-mark analysis compares the teeth of crime suspects to bite-mark patterns on victims. Historically, forensic odontologists (dentists who provide forensic dental identifications in criminal investigations and mass disasters) operate under two general guidelines when interpreting bite-mark evidence. First, that everyone’s dental impression is unique to the individual, “similar to fingerprints,” Sheets explains. Second, that human skin — the most common material on which a bite mark is inflicted — reliably records an individual’s dental impression.

Bite-mark analysis is widely accepted in criminal courts and often presented as key evidence in prosecutions. “People assume that it’s close to fingerprints in terms of accuracy,” Sheets says. “But the notions that a person’s dentition is unique or that the human skin can accurately record an individual’s bite mark have never been validated scientifically.”

Sheets and his colleagues, Mary A. Bush, DDS and Peter J. Bush, from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Dental Medicine, sought to do just that.

Using a variety of dental impressions, they examined more than 1,000 human dentitions and studied hundreds of bite marks in cadaver skin. With the help of computer analysis and applied statistics, the team then worked to match its database of bite marks to the correct dental impressions.

“When the dental alignments were similar, it was difficult to distinguish exactly which set of teeth made which bites,” Sheets says. “That tells us that a single bite mark is not distinct enough to be linked to a specific individual. It can actually point to many different individuals.” This means that a false identification is possible, which can lead a police investigation away from the real perpetrator and toward an innocent individual.

The Canisius-UB studies are among the largest conducted on bite-mark analysis and the first to use human-skin models (rather than animal models, wax or Styrofoam). More notable is that its findings call into question criminal convictions that rested entirely on bite-mark evidence.

Since 2000, at least 25 people convicted on bite-mark evidence have been exonerated due to advances in DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project. The national organization, which works to free wrongfully convicted individuals, is now using the Canisius-UB studies to help build a case for having bite-mark evidence cast out of criminal proceedings.

“This is an example of where science can help prevent future wrongful convictions and perhaps even provide some social justice to those already convicted,” Sheets concludes….                                   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160108134949.htm

Citation:

Bite-mark analysis can lead to false convictions, landmark research shows

Date:         January 8, 2016

Source:     Canisius College

Summary:

Forensic science is a vital crime-fighting tool in today’s criminal justice system. But it can also lead to false convictions, according to an expert, whose study proves that bite-mark analysis is “far from an exact science.”

Here is the press release from Canisius College:

Landmark Research Shows Bite-Mark Analysis Can Lead to False Convictions

Findings call into question criminal convictions that rested entirely on bite-mark evidence.

Released: 8-Jan-2016 9:05 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Canisius College

Newswise — Forensic science is a vital crime-fighting tool in today’s criminal justice system. But it can also lead to false convictions, according to H. David Sheets, PhD. Landmark research by the Canisius College physics professor proves that bite-mark analysis is “far from an exact science.”

Bite-mark analysis compares the teeth of crime suspects to bite-mark patterns on victims. Historically, forensic odontologists (dentists who provide forensic dental identifications in criminal investigations and mass disasters) operate under two general guidelines when interpreting bite-mark evidence. First, that everyone’s dental impression is unique to the individual, “similar to fingerprints,” Sheets explains. Second, that human skin – the most common material on which a bite mark is inflicted – reliably records an individual’s dental impression.

Bite-mark analysis is widely accepted in criminal courts and often presented as key evidence in prosecutions. “People assume that it’s close to fingerprints in terms of accuracy,” Sheets says. “But the notions that a person’s dentition is unique or that the human skin can accurately record an individual’s bite mark have never been validated scientifically.”

Sheets and his colleagues, Mary A. Bush, DDS and Peter J. Bush, from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Dental Medicine, sought to do just that.

Using a variety of dental impressions, they examined more than 1,000 human dentitions and studied hundreds of bite marks in cadaver skin. With the help of computer analysis and applied statistics, the team then worked to match its database of bite marks to the correct dental impressions.

“When the dental alignments were similar, it was difficult to distinguish exactly which set of teeth made which bites,” Sheets says. “That tells us that a single bite mark is not distinct enough to be linked to a specific individual. It can actually point to many different individuals.” This means that a false identification is possible, which can lead a police investigation away from the real perpetrator and toward an innocent individual.

The Canisius-UB studies are among the largest conducted on bite-mark analysis and the first to use human-skin models (rather than animal models, wax or Styrofoam). More notable is that its findings call into question criminal convictions that rested entirely on bite-mark evidence.

Since 2000, at least 25 people convicted on bite-mark evidence have been exonerated due to advances in DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project. The national organization, which works to free wrongfully convicted individuals, is now using the Canisius-UB studies to help build a case for having bite-mark evidence cast out of criminal proceedings.

“This is an example of where science can help prevent future wrongful convictions and perhaps even provide some social justice to those already convicted,” Sheets concludes.

In addition to Sheets’ research on bite-mark analysis, he is a member of the Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Handwriting Analysis. Appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which provide oversight to the federal forensic community, the Expert Working Group on Handwriting Analysis is one of several discipline-specific groups charged with identifying the human factors that affect the outcomes of forensic analyses and developing best practices, based on scientific research, that will reduce the likelihood of errors in the future.

Canisius College, a Jesuit, Catholic university, offers outstanding undergraduate, graduate and professional programs distinguished by transformative learning experiences that engage students in the classroom and beyond. We foster in our students a commitment to excellence, service and leadership in a global society.

Contacts

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  • News office:
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  • Buffalo NY 14208
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  • Fax news office: 716-888-2965

 

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Eileen Herbert

Public Relations Director

Joseph Peterson, Ira Sommers, Deborah Baskin, and Donald Johnson wrote in The Role and Impact of Forensic Evidence in the Criminal Justice Process:

Conclusions & Discussion

In spite of the increased attention paid to forensic evidence over the past decade, there is little published empirical data identifying the types of evidence routinely collected, and the extent to which this evidence is submitted to and examined in forensic crime laboratories. There is even less research that describes the role and impact of such evidence on criminal justice outcomes. While the current study shows that

forensic evidence can affect case processing decisions, it is not uniform across all crimes and all evidence types; the effects of evidence vary depending upon criminal offense, variety of forensic evidence, the criminal decision level, and other characteristics of the case. The current study attempted to fill this gap in knowledge by examining the role and impact of forensic evidence on five felony crimes across five jurisdictions….

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/231977.pdf

The Canisius College study is important because it examines whether one type of forensic evidence has the validity to be used to support convictions in criminal cases.

Resources:

Bite-mark Analysis                                                                                                                   http://science.howstuffworks.com/forensic-dentistry3.htm

It literally started with a witch hunt: A history of bite mark evidence                                           https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/02/17/it-literally-started-with-a-witch-hunt-a-history-of-bite-mark-evidence/

Cases Where DNA Revealed that Bite Mark Analysis Led to Wrongful Arrests and Convictions                                                                                                                                 http://www.innocenceproject.org/news-events-exonerations/cases-where-dna-revealed-that-bite-mark-analysis-led-to-wrongful-arrests-and-convictions

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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