Archive | April, 2016

Indiana University study: Caregivers whose eyes wander during playtime may raise children with shorter attention spans

29 Apr

Katherine Doyle of Reuters reported in the article, Parenting style linked to kids’ Internet addiction:

Recollections of strict, unaffectionate parents were more common among young adults with an unhealthy attachment to Internet use, compared to their peers, in a new Greek study.
Young adults who recall their parents being tough or demanding without showing affection tend to be sad or to have trouble making friends, and those personality traits raise their risk of Internet addiction, the researchers say.
“In short, good parenting, including parental warmth and affection, that is caring and protective parents, has been associated with lower risk for Internet addiction,” said lead author Argyroula E. Kalaitzaki of the Technological Education Institute (TEI) of Crete in Heraklion, “whereas bad parenting, including parental control and intrusion, that is authoritarian and neglectful parents, has been associated with higher risk for addiction.”
Research on Internet addiction is still relatively new, and there are no actual criteria for diagnosing the disorder, though there are many inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities in the U.S., Australia and Asia….
Kalaitzaki’s team predicted that the way kids bonded with their parents would predict aspects of their personality as young adults, which in turn would predict their likelihood of Internet addiction….
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/parenting-style-linked-kids-39-internet-addiction-222041126.html

Citation:

Argyroula Kalaitzaki
Technological Educational Institute of Crete
Article
The impact of early parenting bonding on young adults’ Internet addiction, through the mediation effects of negative relating to others and sadness.
Argyroula Kalaitzaki
Addictive Behaviors 01/2014; 39(3):733–736.

ABSTRACT The aim of the present study is the investigation of the potential role of negative relating to others, perceived loneliness, sadness, and anxiety, as mediators of the association between early parental bonding and adult Internet Addiction (IA). The factorial structure of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the prevalence rates of it in a Greek samplewill also be investigated. A total of 774 participants were recruited froma Technological Education Institute (mean age = 20.2, SD = 2.8) and from high school technical schools (mean age = 19.9, SD = 7.4). The IATwas used tomeasure the degree of problematic Internet use behaviors; the Parental Bonding Instrument was used to assess one’s recalled parenting experiences during the first 16 years of life; the shortened Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire was used to assess one’s negative (i.e. maladaptive) relating to others (NRO). Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the three-factor structure of the IAT. Only 1.0% of the sample was severely addicted to the Internet. The mediated effects of only the NRO and sadness were confirmed.
Negative relating to others was found to fully mediate the effect of both the father’s optimal parenting
and affectionless control on IA, whereas sadness was found to fully mediate the effect of the mother’s optimal parenting on IA. Overall, the results suggest that parenting style has an indirect impact on IA, through the mediating role of negative relating to others or sadness in later life. Both family-based and individual-based prevention and intervention efforts may reduce the incidence of IA.
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/259586504_The_impact_of_early_parenting_bonding_on_young

An Indiana University study expands on the importance of parental attention.

Science Daily reported in Infant attention span suffers when parents’ eyes wander during playtime:

Caregivers whose eyes wander during playtime — due to distractions such as smartphones or other technology, for example — may raise children with shorter attention spans, according to a new study by psychologists at Indiana University.

The work, which appears online today in the journal Current Biology, is the first to show a direct connection between how long a caregiver looks at an object and how long an infant’s attention remains focused on that same object.

“The ability of children to sustain attention is known as a strong indicator for later success in areas such as language acquisition, problem-solving and other key cognitive development milestones,” said Chen Yu, who led the study. “Caregivers who appear distracted or whose eyes wander a lot while their children play appear to negatively impact infants’ burgeoning attention spans during a key stage of development….”                                                                                         https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160428131954.htm

See, Parent’s Eye Contact During Playtime Can Extend Baby’s Attention Span: Simple Way To Improve Cognitive Development In Infancy        http://www.medicaldaily.com/eye-contact-attention-span-cognitive-development-383980

Citation:

Infant attention span suffers when parents’ eyes wander during playtime

Eye-tracking study first to suggest connection between caregiver focus and key cognitive development indicator in infants

Date:             April 28, 2016

Source:         Indiana University

Summary:

Caregivers whose eyes wander during playtime — due to distractions such as smartphones or other technology, for example — may raise children with shorter attention spans, according to a new study.

Journal Reference:

  1. Chen Yu, Linda B. Smith. The Social Origins of Sustained Attention in One-Year-Old Human Infants. Current Biology, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.026

Here is the press release from Indiana University:

IU study finds infant attention span suffers when parents’ eyes wander during playtime

Eye-tracking study first to suggest connection between caregiver focus and key cognitive development indicator in infants

  • April 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Caregivers whose eyes wander during playtime — due to distractions such as smartphones or other technology, for example — may raise children with shorter attention spans, according to a new study by psychologists at Indiana University.

The work, which appears online today in the journal Current Biology, is the first to show a direct connection between how long a caregiver looks at an object and how long an infant’s attention remains focused on that same object.

“The ability of children to sustain attention is known as a strong indicator for later success in areas such as language acquisition, problem-solving and other key cognitive development milestones,” said Chen Yu, who led the study. “Caregivers who seem distracted or whose eyes wander a lot while their children play appear to negatively impact infants’ burgeoning attention spans during a key stage of development.”

Yu is a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Linda Smith, IU Distinguished Professor and Chancellor’s Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, is co-author on the paper.

“Historically, psychologists regarded attention as an property of individual development,” Smith said. “Our study is one of the first to consider attention as impacted by social interaction. It really appears to be an activity performed by two social partners since our study shows one individual’s attention significantly influence another’s.”

Thanks to head-mounted cameras worn by both caregivers and infants in the study, IU scientists got a first-person point of view on parents and children playing together in an environment that closely resembled a typical play session at home or day care. The technology also allowed the parents and children to play with physical toys. A typical eye-tracking study of children would involve manipulating objects on a screen.

Caregivers were given no instructions before engaging with children to ensure the psychologists got an unfiltered view of their interactions.

Generally, Yu said, caregivers fell into two major groups: those who let the infants direct the course of their play and those who attempted to forcefully guide the infants’ interest toward specific toys.

“A lot of the parents were really trying too hard,” he said. “They were trying to show off their parenting skills, holding out toys for their kids and naming the objects. But when you watch the camera footage, you can actually see the children’s eyes wandering to the ceilings or over their parents’ shoulders — they’re not paying attention at all.”

The caregivers who were most successful at sustaining the children’s attention were those who “let the child lead.” These caregivers waited until they saw the children express interest in a toy and then jumped in to expand that interest by naming the object and encouraging play.

“The responsive parents were sensitive to their children’s interests and then supported their attention,” Yu said. “We found they didn’t even really need to try to redirect where the children were looking.”

The gains in attention for children in this group were significant. In cases where infants and caregivers paid attention to the same object for over 3.6 seconds, the infant’s attention lingered 2.3 seconds longer on average on the same object even after the caregiver’s gaze turned away. This extra time works out to nearly four times longer compared to infants whose caregivers’ attention strayed relatively quickly.

The impact of a few seconds here and there may seem small. But when they are magnified over a play session — and those play sessions occur over months of daily interaction during a critical stage in mental development — the outcomes grow significantly, Yu said. A number of other studies tracking the influence of sustained attention in children from ages 1 through grade school show consistently that longer attention spans at an early age are a strong predictor of later achievement.

“Showing that what a parent pays attention to minute by minute and second by second actually influences what a child is paying attention to may seem intuitive, but social influences on attention are potentially very important and ignored by most scientists,” said Sam Wass, a research scientist at the University of Cambridge whose commentary on the study appears in the same journal. “Chen Yu and Linda Smith’s work in this area in recent years has been hugely influential.”

The shortest attention spans in the study were observed in a third group, in which caregivers displayed extremely low engagement with children while playing. These distracted caregivers tended to sit back and not play along, or simply look elsewhere during the exercise.

“When you’ve got a someone who isn’t responsive to a child’s behavior,” Yu said, “it could be a real red flag for future problems.”

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Technology of all types and the effect technology has on personal relationships in increasingly the subject of research. Moi has written about the effect of television on the brains of young children. In Television cannot substitute for quality childcare and parental interaction. Your toddler not only needs food for their body and appropriate physical activity, but you need to nourish their mind and spirit as well. There are several good articles which explain why you do not want your toddler parked in front of a television several hours each day. Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE has a very good explanation of how television can be used as a resource by distinguishing between television watching and targeting viewing of specific programs designed to enhance learning. In Should Babies and Toddlers Watch Television? http://pregnancy.about.com/od/yourbaby/a/babiesandtv.htm Elizabeth Pantley commented about the effects of young children and television. MSNBC was reporting about toddlers and television in 2004. In the MSNBC report, Watching TV May Hurt Toddlers’ Attention Spans the harmful effects of television viewing on children were discussed. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4664749#.UtNlDbB3tdg Robin Yapp of the Daily Mail reported in the article, Children who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2537240/Children-watch-TV-damaged-brain-structures.html#ixzz2qFKiwot6

Jon Hamilton of NPR reported in the story, Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain:

Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. This could help explain why children who suffer abuse are much more likely than others to develop problems like anxiety and depression later on.

Brain scans of teenagers revealed weaker connections between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus in both boys and girls who had been maltreated as children, a team from the University of Wisconsin reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Girls who had been maltreated also had relatively weak connections between the prefrontal cortex the amygdala.

Those weaker connections “actually mediated or led to the development of anxiety and depressive symptoms by late adolescence,” says Ryan Herringa, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin and one of the study’s authors….
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/04/242945454/childhood-maltreatment-can-leave-scars-in-the-brain?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

Helping parents and caretakers to respond appropriately to children is crucial to stopping the cycle of abuse.

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 ©
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University of Miami Miller School of Medicine study: Links between neighborhood greenness and reduction in chronic diseases

24 Apr

Cheryl Katz wrote the 2012 Scientific American article, People in Poor Neighborhoods Breathe More Hazardous Particles:

Tiny particles of air pollution contain more hazardous ingredients in non-white and low-income communities than in affluent white ones, a new study shows.

The greater the concentration of Hispanics, Asians, African Americans or poor residents in an area, the more likely that potentially dangerous compounds such as vanadium, nitrates and zinc are in the mix of fine particles they breathe.

Latinos had the highest exposures to the largest number of these ingredients, while whites generally had the lowest.

The findings of the Yale University research add to evidence of a widening racial and economic gap when it comes to air pollution. Communities of color and those with low education and high poverty and unemployment face greater health risks even if their air quality meets federal health standards, according to the article published online in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Fresno are among the metropolitan areas with unhealthful levels of fine particles and large concentrations of poor minorities. More than 50 counties could exceed a new tighter health standard for particulates proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Communities of color and those with low education and high poverty and unemployment may face greater health risks even if their air quality meets federal health standards. A pervasive air pollutant, the fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 is a mixture of emissions from diesel engines, power plants, refineries and other sources of combustion. Often called soot, the microscopic particles penetrate deep into the lungs.

The new study is the first to reveal major racial and economic differences in exposures to specific particle ingredients, some of which are linked to asthma, cardiovascular problems and cancer….                                                                   http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-poor-neighborhoods-breate-more-hazardous-particles/

A University of Miami Miller School of Medicine expands upon the link between neighborhood greenness and disease.

Science Daily reported in Study links neighborhood greenness to reduction in chronic diseases:

A new study of a quarter-million Miami-Dade County Medicare beneficiaries showed that higher levels of neighborhood greenness, including trees, grass and other vegetation, were linked to a significant reduction in the rate of chronic illnesses, particularly in low-to-middle income neighborhoods. Led by researchers at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine, and the School of Architecture, the study showed that higher greenness was linked to significantly lower rates of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as fewer chronic health conditions.

The findings, published online April 6 by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are based on 2010 — 2011 health data reported for approximately 250,000 Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries over age 65, and a measure of vegetative presence based on NASA satellite imagery. The study was the first of its kind to examine block-level greenness and its relationship to health outcomes in older adults, and the first to measure the impact of greenness on specific cardio-metabolic diseases.

“This study builds on our research group’s earlier analyses showing block level impacts of mixed-use and supportive building features on adults and children,” said lead study author Scott Brown, Ph.D., research assistant professor of public health sciences. Brown was a co-principal investigator on the study with Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, M.Arch., a Malcolm Matheson Distinguished Professor in Architecture. Plater-Zyberk, who was responsible for the rewrite of the City of Miami’s zoning code in 2010, said the study results “give impetus to public agencies and property owners to plant and maintain a verdant public landscape.”

Study findings revealed that higher levels of greenness on the blocks where the study’s Medicare recipients reside, is associated with a significantly lower chronic disease risk for the residents of high greenness blocks, including a 14 percent risk reduction for diabetes, a 13 percent reduction for hypertension and a 10 percent reduction for lipid disorders…..                                                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160421171345.htm

Citation:

Study links neighborhood greenness to reduction in chronic diseases

Date:       April 21, 2016

Source:   University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Summary:

Higher levels of greenness (trees, park space and other vegetation) in neighborhoods is linked with significantly lower chronic illnesses, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, public health researchers has shown. The findings were based on 250,000 Medicare recipients age 65 and vegetation presence measured by NASA satellite imagery.

Journal Reference:

  1. Scott C. Brown, Joanna Lombard, Kefeng Wang, Margaret M. Byrne, Matthew Toro, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Daniel J. Feaster, Jack Kardys, Maria I. Nardi, Gianna Perez-Gomez, Hilda M. Pantin, José Szapocznik. Neighborhood Greenness and Chronic Health Conditions in Medicare Beneficiaries. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.008

Am J Prev Med. 2016 Mar 31. pii: S0749-3797(16)00065-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Neighborhood Greenness and Chronic Health Conditions in Medicare Beneficiaries.

Brown SC1, Lombard J2, Wang K3, Byrne MM3, Toro M3, Plater-Zyberk E2, Feaster DJ3, Kardys J4, Nardi MI4, Perez-Gomez G3, Pantin HM3, Szapocznik J2.

Author information

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Prior studies suggest that exposure to the natural environment may impact health. The present study examines the association between objective measures of block-level greenness (vegetative presence) and chronic medical conditions, including cardiometabolic conditions, in a large population-based sample of Medicare beneficiaries in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

METHODS:

The sample included 249,405 Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years whose location (ZIP+4) within Miami-Dade County, Florida, did not change, from 2010 to 2011. Data were obtained in 2013 and multilevel analyses conducted in 2014 to examine relationships between greenness, measured by mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index from satellite imagery at the Census block level, and chronic health conditions in 2011, adjusting for neighborhood median household income, individual age, gender, race, and ethnicity.

RESULTS:

Higher greenness was significantly associated with better health, adjusting for covariates: An increase in mean block-level Normalized Difference Vegetation Index from 1 SD less to 1 SD more than the mean was associated with 49 fewer chronic conditions per 1,000 individuals, which is approximately similar to a reduction in age of the overall study population by 3 years. This same level of increase in mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index was associated with a reduced risk of diabetes by 14%, hypertension by 13%, and hyperlipidemia by 10%. Planned post-hoc analyses revealed stronger and more consistently positive relationships between greenness and health in lower- than higher-income neighborhoods.

CONCLUSIONS:

Greenness or vegetative presence may be effective in promoting health in older populations, particularly in poor neighborhoods, possibly due to increased time outdoors, physical activity, or stress mitigation.

Copyright © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:

27061891

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Here is the press release from the University of Miami:

UM Study Links Neighborhood Greenness to Reduction in Chronic Diseases

Published: April 22, 2016.
Released by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

A new study of a quarter-million Miami-Dade County Medicare beneficiaries showed that higher levels of neighborhood greenness, including trees, grass and other vegetation, were linked to a significant reduction in the rate of chronic illnesses, particularly in low-to-middle income neighborhoods. Led by researchers at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine, and the School of Architecture, the study showed that higher greenness was linked to significantly lower rates of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as fewer chronic health conditions.

The findings, published online April 6 by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are based on 2010 – 2011 health data reported for approximately 250,000 Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries over age 65, and a measure of vegetative presence based on NASA satellite imagery. The study was the first of its kind to examine block-level greenness and its relationship to health outcomes in older adults, and the first to measure the impact of greenness on specific cardio-metabolic diseases.

“This study builds on our research group’s earlier analyses showing block level impacts of mixed-use and supportive building features on adults and children,” said lead study author Scott Brown, Ph.D., research assistant professor of public health sciences. Brown was a co-principal investigator on the study with Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, M.Arch., a Malcolm Matheson Distinguished Professor in Architecture. Plater-Zyberk, who was responsible for the rewrite of the City of Miami’s zoning code in 2010, said the study results “give impetus to public agencies and property owners to plant and maintain a verdant public landscape.”

Study findings revealed that higher levels of greenness on the blocks where the study’s Medicare recipients reside, is associated with a significantly lower chronic disease risk for the residents of high greenness blocks, including a 14 percent risk reduction for diabetes, a 13 percent reduction for hypertension and a 10 percent reduction for lipid disorders.

“Going from a low to a high level of greenness at the block level is associated with 49 fewer chronic health conditions per 1,000 residents, which is approximately equivalent to a reduction in the biomedical aging of the study population by three years,” said Brown.

Jack Kardys, Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, participated in data interpretation along with Miami-Dade County Parks’ Chief of Planning, Research, and Design Excellence, Maria Nardi. Kardys said the study findings “illuminate the vital role of parks and greens to health and well-being, and point to the critical need for a holistic approach in planning that draws on research.”

The study findings suggest extensive potential for park, open space, and streetscape design in South Florida and the United States to consider health impacts in strategic planning. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research and the Health Foundation of South Florida, the research adds to a growing body of evidence that exposure to higher levels of greenness is associated with better health outcomes, by reducing stress, air pollution, humidity and heat island impacts, and encouraging physical activity, social interaction and community cohesion.

From a design standpoint, study co-author Joanna Lombard, M.Arch., professor of architecture, noted that the goals of the County’s Parks and Open Spaces Masterplan already call for residents to have access to greenspace from the minute they walk outside of their homes, through tree-lined streets, as well as greens, parks, and open spaces within a 5 to 10 minute walk of their home, all of which have been shown to be linked to better health outcomes. “There’s so much suffering involved in the time, money and energy spent on disease burden in the U.S., which we realize that we can, to some extent, ameliorate through healthy community design,” said Lombard. “We collectively need to be attentive to the health impacts of the built environment. The associated harms are evident, and most importantly going forward, the potential benefits are significant.”

In examining the results by income level and by race, the research showed that the health benefits of greenness were proportionately stronger among all racial and ethnic groups in lower income neighborhoods. Brown said this aspect of the findings suggests that incorporating more green — trees, parks and open spaces — in low income neighborhoods could also address issues of health disparities, which have been recently highlighted in research journals and the national media.

José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair of public health sciences, and founder of the University of Miami Built Environment, Behavior, and Health Research Group, pointed out that augmenting greenness, particularly in warm climates, potentially contributes to the effectiveness of other aspects of walkability. “Providing a green feature,” said Szapocznik, “has been associated with safety, increased time outdoors, physical activity, and social interaction, and may potentially reduce disease burdens at the population level and enhance residents’ quality of life.”

This society will not have healthy children without having healthy home and school environments.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

What are Key Urban Environmental Problems?                                                                     http://web.mit.edu/urbanupgrading/urbanenvironment/issues/key-UE-issues.html

Understanding Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Poverty                                                   https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/winter11/highlight2.html

Where We Live Matters for Our Health: Neighborhoods and Health                                      http://www.commissiononhealth.org/PDF/888f4a18-eb90-45be-a2f8-159e84a55a4c/Issue%20Brief%203%20Sept%2008%20-%20Neighborhoods%20and%20Health.pdf

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 ©

https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©

https://drwilda.com/

Duke University study: Juvenile offenders probably more criminal to begin with

17 Apr

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

Alyssa Morones reported in the Education Week article, Juvenile-Justice System Not Meeting Educational Needs, Report Says:

Many of the teenagers who enter the juvenile-justice system with anger problems, learning disabilities, and academic challenges receive little or no special help for those issues, and consequently fall further behind in school, a report released Thursday concludes.
“Way too many kids enter the juvenile-justice system, they don’t do particularly well from an education standpoint while they’re there, and way too few kids make successful transitions out,” said Kent McGuire, the president and CEO of the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation, which produced the report, “Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems Into Effective Educational Systems.”
The report characterizes the problems plaguing the juvenile-justice system as “systemic.” It found a lack of timely, accurate assessments of the needs of students entering the system, little coordination between learning and teaching during a student’s stay, and inconsistency in curricula. Many of the teaching methods were also inappropriate, outdated, or inadequate, and little or no educational technology was used.
“We need to help find ways to create structures and dramatically change how schools and principals and teachers [in the juvenile-justice system] are held accountable,” said David Domenici, the executive director of the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, in Washington.
“We have kids who have not done well in school, but, more or less, they have to come every day. They’re a captive audience,” he said. “We can transform their perspective on school. But the reality is, education has been forgotten [in juvenile-justice systems].”
On any given day, 70,000 students are in custody in juvenile-justice systems across the country. Nearly two-thirds of those young people are either African-American or Hispanic, and an even higher percentage are male. Those systems, though, may be doing more educational harm than good, according to the report. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/17/29justice.h33.html

A Duke University study examines the question of nature vs. nurture regarding juvenile offenders/

Science Daily reported Juvenile offenders probably more criminal to begin with                         

It’s a long-simmering debate in juvenile justice: Do young offenders become worse because of their experience with the justice system, or are they somehow different than people who don’t have their first criminal conviction until later in life?

“There seems to be a lot of evidence that people who are convicted early are more heavily involved in crime,” says postdoctoral researcher Amber Beckley at Duke University, who has a new study out on the topic that appears online in the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Using data from a study that has tracked nearly 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38, Beckley looked at patterns that would distinguish youthful offenders from what she calls “adult-onset offenders.”

Of the 931 study participants, 138 males began criminal activity as juveniles. The adult-onset group consisted of 66 males. Across the entire cohort, in fact, 42 percent of the men have some sort of conviction, ranging from shoplifting and DUI to property crimes and assaults.

Using this unusually rich source of data, the study was able to look at childhood history compared with adult behavior. Beckley, who is in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, said the adult-onset group had a history of anti-social behavior back to childhood, but reported committing relatively fewer crimes.

The researchers looked at several possible reasons for adult-onset criminal behavior.

This group reported committing more crimes than folks who had never been convicted, but fewer crimes than people who had been in trouble as juveniles.

Contrary to some hypotheses, adult-onset offenders in this study were not found to come from significantly wealthier socioeconomic backgrounds, nor were they any more intelligent than those who were caught younger. They were more likely than non-offenders to have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and to be dependent on alcohol, but they were no more likely to be unemployed.

Beckley said her findings have some clear implications also for the mental health component of adult-onset criminal behavior. “It should be addressed in sentencing, because it’s not now and most incarcerations aren’t exactly therapeutic.”

Juvenile offenders probably more criminal to begin with: ‘Adult-onset’ criminals are different, but not in expected ways

Citation:

Juvenile offenders probably more criminal to begin with

‘Adult-onset’ criminals are different, but not in expected ways

Date:             April 14, 2016

Source:         Duke University

Summary:

It’s a long-simmering debate in juvenile justice: Do young offenders become worse because of their experience with the justice system, or are they somehow different than people who don’t have their first criminal conviction until later in life? A longitudinal study covering 931 people from birth to age 38 finds juvenile offenders are probably more criminal to begin with.

Journal Reference:

  1. Amber L. Beckley, Avshalom Caspi, Honalee Harrington, Renate M. Houts, Tara Renae Mcgee, Nick Morgan, Felix Schroeder, Sandhya Ramrakha, Richie Poulton, Terrie E. Moffitt. Adult-onset offenders: Is a tailored theory warranted?Journal of Criminal Justice, 2016; 46: 64 DOI: 1016/j.jcrimjus.2016.03.001

Here is the press release from Duke University:

Juvenile Offenders Probably More Criminal to Begin With

‘Adult-onset’ criminals are different, but not in expected ways

April 14, 2016 |

DURHAM, NC – It’s a long-simmering debate in juvenile justice: Do young offenders become worse because of their experience with the justice system, or are they somehow different than people who don’t have their first criminal conviction until later in life?

“There seems to be a lot of evidence that people who are convicted early are more heavily involved in crime,” says postdoctoral researcher Amber Beckley at Duke University, who has a new study out on the topic that appears online in the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Using data from a study that has tracked nearly 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to age 38, Beckley looked at patterns that would distinguish youthful offenders from what she calls “adult-onset offenders.”

Of the 931 study participants, 138 males began criminal activity as juveniles. The adult-onset group consisted of 66 males. Across the entire cohort, in fact, 42 percent of the men have some sort of conviction, ranging from shoplifting and DUI to property crimes and assaults.

Using this unusually rich source of data, the study was able to look at childhood history compared with adult behavior. Beckley, who is in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, said the adult-onset group had a history of anti-social behavior back to childhood, but reported committing relatively fewer crimes.

The researchers looked at several possible reasons for adult-onset criminal behavior.

This group reported committing more crimes than folks who had never been convicted, but fewer crimes than people who had been in trouble as juveniles.

Contrary to some hypotheses, adult-onset offenders in this study were not found to come from significantly wealthier socioeconomic backgrounds, nor were they any more intelligent than those who were caught younger. They were more likely than non-offenders to have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and to be dependent on alcohol, but they were no more likely to be unemployed.

Beckley said her findings have some clear implications also for the mental health component of adult-onset criminal behavior. “It should be addressed in sentencing, because it’s not now and most incarcerations aren’t exactly therapeutic.”

“I don’t think the court system has a large role in the juvenile offender’s trajectory,” Beckley said. The New Zealand subjects who were juvenile offenders self-reported that they were doing more and worse crimes at a young age, “before they even got caught.”

If there were any recommendations out of this study, Beckley said, hers would be to focus more on juvenile offenders while perhaps being be a bit more lenient on first-time adult offenders. “We should continue to devote resources to juvenile justice because two-thirds of the criminal population first commit crimes in adolescence.”

CITATION: “Adult-Onset Offenders: Is a tailored theory warranted?” Amber Beckley, Avshalom Caspi, Honalee Harrington, Renate Houts, Tara Mcgee, Nick Morgan, Felix Schroeder, Sandhya Ramrakha, Richie Poulton, Terrie Moffitt. Journal of Criminal Justice, 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2016.03.001

MORE INFORMATION

CONTACT: Karl Leif Bates

PHONE: (919) 681-8054

EMAIL: karl.bates@duke.edu

© 2016 Office of News & Communications
615 Chapel Drive, Box 90563, Durham, NC 27708-0563
(919) 684-2823; After-hours phone (for reporters on deadline): (919) 812-6603

Kids Count Data Center has statistics about the number of children in detention centers.

According to the report, Youth residing in juvenile detention and correctional facilities:
Location Data Type 2001 2003 2006 2007 2010
United States Number 104,219 96,531 92,721 86,814 70,792

Rate 335 306 295 278 225
INDICATOR CONTEXT

A change is underway in out nation’s approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law. Although the United States still leads the industrialized world in the rate at which it locks up young people, the youth confinement rate in the US is rapidly declining.

Read Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States to learn more.
http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/42-youth-residing-in-juvenile-detention-and-correctional-facilities#detailed/1/any/false/133,18,17,14,12/any/319,320

Although, the number of children in detention was declining as of the date of this report, these children must have their needs addressed and the Southern Education Foundation report indicates that that is not happening.

Related:

3rd world America: Many young people headed for life on the dole https://drwilda.com/2012/09/21/3rd-world-america-many-young-people-headed-for-life-on-the-dole/

The Civil Rights Project report: Segregation in education                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/09/19/the-civil-rights-project-report-segregation-in-education/

Study: Poverty affects education attainmen                                                                    https://drwilda.com/2012/08/29/study-poverty-affects-education-attainment/

Center for American Progress report: Disparity in education spending for education of children of color                                                                                                                  https://drwilda.com/2012/08/22/center-for-american-progress-report-disparity-in-education-spending-for-education-of-children-of-color/

Education funding lawsuits against states on the rise                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/education-funding-lawsuits-against-states-on-the-rise/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

Race, class, and education in America                                             https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

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Princeton and UCLA study: The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

10 Apr

Moi wrote about the importance of handwriting in The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum:

Gwendolyn Bounds reported in the WSJ article, How Handwriting Trains the Brain:

Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and ”adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.

“It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University who led the study.

Adults may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry, Dr. James says. For instance, in a 2008 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults were asked to distinguish between new characters and a mirror image of them after producing the characters using pen-and-paper writing and a computer keyboard. The result: For those writing by hand, there was stronger and longer-lasting recognition of the characters’ proper orientation, suggesting that the specific movements memorized when learning how to write aided the visual identification of graphic shapes.

Other research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

See, The Importance of Cursive Writing                                                 http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/author.asp?section_id=1077&doc_id=236382 and   The Case for Cursive                                                                                                     http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/28cursive.html?_r=0

Robert Lee Hotz reported in the Wall Street Journal article, Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?

Laptops and organizer apps make pen and paper seem antique, but handwriting appears to focus classroom attention and boost learning in a way that typing notes on a keyboard does not, new studies suggest.

Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers at Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found. Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques….

Ever since ancient scribes first took reed pen to papyrus, taking notes has been a catalyst for the alchemy of learning, by turning what we hear and see into a reliable record for later study and recollection. Indeed, something about writing things down excites the brain, brain imaging studies show. “Note-taking is a pretty dynamic process,” said cognitive psychologist Michael Friedman at Harvard University who studies note-taking systems. “You are transforming what you hear in your mind.”

Researchers have been studying note-taking strategies for almost a century. Not until recently, though, did they focus on differences caused by the tools we use to capture information. Note-taking with a lead pencil, first mass-produced in the 17th Century, just isn’t so different than using a fountain pen, patented in 1827; a ballpoint pen, patented in 1888; or a felt-tipped marker, patented in 1910.

Today, however, virtually all college students have portable computers; lectures are the main vehicle for instruction; and the keyboard clatter of note-taking is the soundtrack of higher education.

Generally, people who take class notes on a laptop do take more notes and can more easily keep up with the pace of a lecture than people scribbling with a pen or pencil, researchers have found. College students typically type lecture notes at a rate of about 33 words a minute. People trying to write it down manage about 22 words a minute.

In the short run, it pays off. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 found that laptop note-takers tested immediately after a class could recall more of a lecture and performed slightly better than their pen-pushing classmates when tested on facts presented in class. They reported their experiments with 80 students in the Journal of Educational Psychology….                                                                                                                                             http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-handwriting-make-you-smarter-1459784659

Citation:

A more recent version of this article was published on [06-04-2014]

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard

Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

  1. Pam A. Mueller1
  2. Daniel M. Oppenheimer2
  1. 1Princeton University
  2. 2University of California, Los Angeles
  1. Pam A. Mueller, Princeton University, Psychology Department, Princeton, NJ 08544 E-mail: pamuelle@princeton.edu
  1. Author Contributions Both authors developed the study concept and design. Data collection was supervised by both authors. P. A. Mueller analyzed the data under the supervision of D. M. Oppenheimer. P. A. Mueller drafted the manuscript, and D. M. Oppenheimer revised the manuscript. Both authors approved the final version for submission.

Abstract

Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.                                                                                                                                          http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/22/0956797614524581.abstract

Related:

Podcast

Prof. Daniel Oppenheimer on Why the Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard

July 4, 2015 0 Comment Glenn Leibowitz 1 min read                                                               http://www.writewithimpact.com/prof-daniel-oppenheimer-on-why-the-pen-is-mightier-than-the-keyboard/

It is interesting that in Silicon Valley where many of the tech elite live, many of the top managers send their children to an “old school” school. See, The private school in Silicon Valley where tech honchos send their kids so they DON’T use computers        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052977/The-Silicon-Valley-school-tech-honchos-send-kids-DONT-use-computers.html#ixzz2PjQ8sOfD

Matt Richtell reported in the New York Times article, A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute:

Three-quarters of the students here have parents with a strong high-tech connection. Mr. Eagle, like other parents, sees no contradiction. Technology, he says, has its time and place: “If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn’t want my kids to see them until they were 17.”

While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look — blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all

There is quite a lot that researchers need to explore about how technology affects the mind and body connection as well as how technology affects interpersonal relationships.

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Johns Hopkins University study: White teachers more likely to doubt educational prospects of black boys and girls

3 Apr

Moi wrote in The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color:

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.

Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress….

In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce

The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):

  • In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.
  • According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.
  • Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff….

The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that

o    Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.

o    Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.

o    Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.

Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/the-teaching-profession-needs-more-males-and-teachers-of-color/

Elisha Mc Neill reported in the Education Week article, Study Finds More Evidence of Racial Bias in Teachers’ Expectations for Students:

White teachers are less likely to expect academic success from black students, especially black boys, according to a new Johns Hopkins University study.

Published in the journal Economics of Education Review, the “Who Believes in Me?” study was compiled to investigate how teachers form expectations for students, whether those expectations are systematically biased, and whether they are affected by racial differences.

The findings are based largely on data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, an ongoing study following 8,400 10th grade public school students. For the survey, two different math or reading teachers, who each taught the same student, were asked to guess how far that one student would go in school.

The findings show that with white students, evaluations from both teachers were about the same. But for black students, white teachers had lower expectations than black teachers.

“What I would like to do is make teachers aware of biases,” said co-author Nicholas Papageorge, an assistant economics professor at JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, according to the Huffington Post. “Racism is alive and well. I’m sure when people look at a black young man they have certain views, and they might not realize they have these views, and that’s really dangerous.”

Researchers found that, compared to black teachers, white teachers were about 30 percent less likely to predict the same student will attain a four-year college degree and 40 percent less likely to expect their black students will even graduate high school. By contrast, black female teachers were 20 percent less likely than white teachers to predict their student wouldn’t graduate high school, and 30 percent less likely to to make that prediction than black male teachers….

The study also found that white and other non-black teachers were 5 percent more likely to predict that their black male students would not graduate high school compared to their black female students, whom white male teachers were 10 to 20 percent more likely to have low expectations for.

The research adds to a growing number of studies indicating that race can shape how teachers see and treat their students. For example, a 2010 Georgia Southern University study found that 342 students reported they had experienced a type of microagression, such as a teacher assuming a black student was poor without asking, at least once during high school. A 2015 American University study found the likelihood of boys of color being suspended or missing class in elementary school rises significantly if assigned to a teacher of another race. According to a Stanford University study in 2015, students of color are disciplined and taken out of class at higher rates than their white peers…..                                                                                                     http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2016/03/bias.html

Here is the press release from Johns Hopkins:

Race Biases Teachers’ Expectations for Students

White teachers more likely to doubt educational prospects of black boys and girls

March 30, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Office: 443-997-9906
Cell: 443-547-8805
jrosen@jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins University

When evaluating the same black student, white teachers expect significantly less academic success than black teachers, a new Johns Hopkins University study concludes. This is especially true for black boys.

When a black teacher and a white teacher evaluate the same black student, the white teacher is about 30 percent less likely to predict the student will complete a four-year college degree, the study found. White teachers are also almost 40 percent less likely to expect their black students will graduate high school.

“What we find is that white teachers and black teachers systematically disagree about the exact same student,” said co-author Nicholas Papageorge, an economist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. “One of them has to be wrong.”

The study, forthcoming in the journal Economics of Education Review, and now available online, suggests that the more modest expectations of some teachers could become self-fulfilling prophecies. These low expectations could affect the performance of students, particularly disadvantaged ones who lack access to role models who could counteract a teacher’s low expectations, Papageorge said.

“If I’m a teacher and decide that a student isn’t any good, I may be communicating that to the student,” Papageorge said. “A teacher telling a student they’re not smart will weigh heavily on how that student feels about their future and perhaps the effort they put into doing well in school.”

The findings also likely apply beyond the education system, the researchers say — leading to racial biases in the workplace, the service industry and the criminal justice system.

The researchers analyzed data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, an ongoing study following 8,400 10th grade public school students. That survey asked two different teachers, who each taught a particular student in either math or reading, to predict how far that one student would go in school. With white students, the ratings from both teachers tended to be the same. But with black students, boys in particular, there were big differences — the white teachers had much lower expectations than black teachers for how far the black students would go in school.

The study found:

  • White and other non-black teachers were 12 percentage points more likely than black teachers to predict black students wouldn’t finish high school.
  • Non-black teachers were 5 percent more likely to predict their black boy students wouldn’t graduate high school than their black girls.
  • Black female teachers are significantly more optimistic about the ability of black boys to complete high school than teachers of any other demographic group. They were 20 percent less likely than white teachers to predict their student wouldn’t graduate high school, and 30 percent less likely to say that then black male teachers.
  • White male teachers are 10 to 20 percent more likely to have low expectations for black female students.
  • Math teachers were significantly more likely to have low expectations for female students.
  • For black students, particularly black boys, having a non-black teacher in a 10th grade subject made them much less likely to pursue that subject by enrolling in similar classes. This suggests biased expectations by teachers have long-term effects on student outcomes, the researchers said.

Papageorge’s co-authors are Seth Gershenson, an assistant professor of public policy at American University, and Stephen B. Holt, a doctoral student at American University.

“While the evidence of systematic racial bias in teachers’ expectations uncovered in the current study are certainly troubling and provocative, they also raise a host of related, policy-relevant questions that our research team plans to address in the near future,” Gershenson said. “For example, we are currently studying the impact of these biased expectations on students’ long-run outcomes such as educational attainment, labor market success, and interaction with the criminal justice system.

The study was supported by the American Educational Research Association.

###

Johns Hopkins University news releases are available online, as is information for reporters. To arrange a video or audio interview with a Johns Hopkins expert, contact a media representative listed above or visit our studio web page. Find more Johns Hopkins stories on the Hub.

 

March 30, 2016 Tags: economics, Education, Nicholas W. Papageorge, race, teacher expectations, teachers
Posted in Education/K-12, Social Sciences

Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
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Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006                                             
http://releases.jhu.edu/2016/03/30/race-biases-teachers-expectations-for-students/

Brian Resnick wrote an intriguing article for National Journal, When Teachers Overcompensate for Racial Prejudice:

The performance gap between white and minority students is one of the most persisting problems in American education. Since the 1990s, the performance gap, as reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, has more or less stagnated. While a multitude of factors contribute to the disparity — most glaringly the quality of instruction in poorly funded schools — there are some underlying psychological factors as well.

One widely documented phenomenon is called stereotype threat: When confronted with a racial bias (for example, a suggestion that black students do not perform well on a task), stereotyped students actually don’t do as well compared to control groups. This, in part, explains why black students may not perform as well on high-stakes tests such as the SATs. Some studies have even shown that the threat can diminish short-term memory.

Another psychological roadblock, as outlined in a recent study in the Journal of Educational Psychology, is a tendency for white teachers to judge minority students’ work less critically than white students’.

It’s called positive feedback bias, but its effects are largely negative. “There’s nothing wrong with getting positive feedback,” says Kent Harber, lead researcher of the study. But “what happens is that when the feedback is inaccurate, it doesn’t provide a valid fix as to where a student is actually performing. Then they don’t know where they need to best direct their efforts. It’s like having a biased compass.”

Furthermore, the minority students are implicitly aware that this is happening, which increases their distrust of their white teachers and fuels disinterest in schoolwork.

“When black students get positive feedback from a white, and they believe that the white is aware of their race, not only does their self esteem not get bolstered by the positive feedback — it is actually depressed,” Harber says.

In the study, 126 teachers from the New York metropolitan area were asked to edit essays supposedly written by a black, Latino, or white student. They weren’t told the the student’s racial demographics, but the researchers provided students’ names that hinted at it (Taisha or Jarell for black students, Mark or Molly for white students). The teachers were told their comments would be delivered back to the students. In actuality, there were no students and the essays were assembled to mimic a C-grade level ability.

The researchers found that the teachers were indeed not grading the black and Latino students as critically as the white ones. This trend has been documented before, but the deeper question Harber and his colleagues were trying to answer was the source of the teacher’s motivation. What compelled them to be less critical of minority students?

Political correctness is often seen as an effort to keep up appearances, but Harber’s group found that something different was going on here. The teachers were trying to preserve a self image of being unbiased. The research group came to this conclusion this because the teachers didn’t show bias toward the objective aspects of the essay — the grammar or the spelling — but rather the subjective aspects like ideas and logic. And as the paper states, “criticizing subjective features of writing raises the risk of appearing unfair because there are few established standards to justifying such criticism.”

“There might be multiple causes [for positive feedback bias], but the one that seems particularly potent is a self-image concern, that the whites don’t want to see themselves as prejudiced, independent of how other people see them,” Harber says. “What happens, I believe, is their focus gets distracted from what are the needs of the students to what are ways that I can restore my self image.”

So how can this problem be solved? Harber and his colleagues found that teachers who have greater social support at school are less likely to show a positive feedback bias toward black students. The theory is that teachers with support feel less anxious about their performance and can concentrate on being fair graders.

http://news.yahoo.com/teachers-overcompensate-racial-prejudice-161229821.html;_ylc=X3oDMTNsMnZqdms3BF9TAzk3NDc2MTc1BGFjdANtYWlsX2NiBGN0A2EEaW50bAN1cwRsYW5nA2VuLVVTBHBrZwNkYWZkODM5NS04YjNkLTM4OTYtYTYyZC1mYzUyNGE0MTRiY2MEc2VjA21pdF9zaGFyZQRzbGsDbWFpbAR0ZXN0Aw–;_ylv=3

Citation:

Database: PsycARTICLES

[ First Posting ]

Students’ Race and Teachers’ Social Support Affect the Positive Feedback Bias in Public Schools.

Harber, Kent D.; Gorman, Jamie L.; Gengaro, Frank P.; Butisingh, Samantha; Tsang, William; Ouellette, Rebecca

Journal of Educational Psychology, Apr 30 , 2012, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0028110

Abstract

  1. This research tested whether public school teachers display the positive feedback bias, wherein Whites give more praise and less criticism to minorities than to fellow Whites for equivalent work. It also tested whether teachers lacking in school-based social support (i.e., support from fellow teachers and school administrators) are more likely to display the positive bias and whether the positive feedback bias applies to Latinos as well as to Blacks. White middle school and high school teachers from 2 demographically distinct public school districts gave feedback on a poorly written essay supposedly authored by a Black, Latino, or White student. Teachers in the Black student condition showed the positive bias, but only if they lacked school-based social support. Teachers in the Latino student condition showed the positive bias regardless of school-based support. These results indicate that the positive feedback bias may contribute to the insufficient challenge that undermines minority students’ academic achievement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

There are many causes for the disparity in education outcome for many children of color. Along with family situation, low-income status, low-performing schools, and cultural norms, more attention must be paid to the expectation of teachers regarding children who they judge as not likely to succeed.

Related:

Is there a ‘model minority’ ??                                                                            https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

UN-traditional Father’s Day message: Don’t become a father unless you can make the commitment to YOUR child

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/un-traditional-fathers-day-message-dont-become-a-father-unless-you-can-make-the-commitment-to-your-child/

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California                                                                                                           https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/study-the-plight-of-african-american-boys-in-oakland-california/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it                         https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

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