Archive | June, 2019

Imperial College London study: Major study finds no conclusive links to health effects from waste incinerators

27 Jun

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. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160421171345.htm

Science Daily reported in Major study finds no conclusive links to health effects from waste incinerators:

Researchers have found no link between exposure to emissions from municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and infant deaths or reduced foetal growth.
However, they show living closer to the incinerators themselves is associated with a very small increase in the risk of some birth defects, compared to the general population. But whether this is directly related to the incinerator or not remains unclear.
The findings come from the largest and most comprehensive analysis to date of the effects of municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) on public health in the UK.
MWIs are used to burn waste that is not recycled, composted or sent to landfill and can include materials such as paper, plastic, wood and metal. While MWI emissions are governed by EU regulations, public concern remains around their potential impact on public health and scientific studies to date have been inconsistent or inconclusive.
The analysis, led by a team at Imperial College London and funded by Public Health England and the Scottish Government, looked at MWIs at 22 sites across the UK between 2003 and 2010.
Researchers from the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) at Imperial first analysed concentrations of fine particles called PM10 (particulate matter measuring 10 micrometres or less in diameter) emitted from the chimneys of the incinerators as waste is burned.
Computer models generated from the data showed how these particles spread over a 10 km radius around 22 MWIs in England, Scotland and Wales. The models show that MWIs added very little to the existing background levels of PM10 at ground level – with existing PM10 concentrations at ground level on average 100 to 10,000 times higher than levels emitted by the chimneys (Environment Science & Technology, 2017).
Using these models, the team then investigated potential links between concentrations of PM10 emitted by MWIs and any increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. In an earlier study (Environment International, 2018), they found that analysis of records covering more than one million births in England, Scotland and Wales revealed no evidence of a link between small particles emitted by the incinerators and adverse birth outcomes such as effects on birthweight, premature birth, infant death, or stillbirth, for children born within 10 km of MWIs in Great Britain…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190620220026.htm

Citation:

Major study finds no conclusive links to health effects from waste incinerators
Date: June 20, 2019
Source: Imperial College London
Summary:
Researchers have found no link between exposure to emissions from municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and infant deaths or reduced fetal growth.

Journal References:

Brandon Parkes, Anna L. Hansell, Rebecca E. Ghosh, Philippa Douglas, Daniela Fecht, Diana Wellesley, Jennifer J. Kurinczuk, Judith Rankin, Kees de Hoogh, Gary W. Fuller, Paul Elliott, Mireille B. Toledano. Risk of congenital anomalies near municipal waste incinerators in England and Scotland: Retrospective population-based cohort study. Environment International, 2019; 104845 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.05.039

Rebecca E. Ghosh, Anna Freni-Sterrantino, Philippa Douglas, Brandon Parkes, Daniela Fecht, Kees de Hoogh, Gary Fuller, John Gulliver, Anna Font, Rachel B. Smith, Marta Blangiardo, Paul Elliott, Mireille B. Toledano, Anna L. Hansell. Fetal growth, stillbirth, infant mortality and other birth outcomes near UK municipal waste incinerators; retrospective population based cohort and case-control study. Environment International, 2019; 122: 151 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.10.060

Philippa Douglas, Anna Freni-Sterrantino, Maria Leal Sanchez, Danielle C. Ashworth, Rebecca E. Ghosh, Daniela Fecht, Anna Font, Marta Blangiardo, John Gulliver, Mireille B. Toledano, Paul Elliott, Kees de Hoogh, Gary W. Fuller, Anna L. Hansell. Estimating Particulate Exposure from Modern Municipal Waste Incinerators in Great Britain. Environmental Science & Technology, 2017; 51 (13): 7511 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b06478
A. Freni-Sterrantino, R.E. Ghosh, D. Fecht, M.B. Toledano, P. Elliott, A.L. Hansell, M. Blangiardo. Bayesian spatial modelling for quasi-experimental designs: An interrupted time series study of the opening of Municipal Waste Incinerators in relation to infant mortality and sex ratio. Environment International, 2019; 128: 109 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.009

Anna Font, Kees de Hoogh, Maria Leal-Sanchez, Danielle C. Ashworth, Richard J.C. Brown, Anna L. Hansell, Gary W. Fuller. Using metal ratios to detect emissions from municipal waste incinerators in ambient air pollution data. Atmospheric Environment, 2015; 113: 177 DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.05.002

Danielle C. Ashworth, Paul Elliott, Mireille B. Toledano. Waste incineration and adverse birth and neonatal outcomes: a systematic review. Environment International, 2014; 69: 120 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.003

Here is the press release from Imperial College London:

NEWS RELEASE 20-JUN-2019
Major study finds no conclusive links to health effects from waste incinerators
IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
Researchers have found no link between exposure to emissions from municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and infant deaths or reduced foetal growth.
However, they show living closer to the incinerators themselves is associated with a very small increase in the risk of some birth defects, compared to the general population. But whether this is directly related to the incinerator or not remains unclear.
The findings come from the largest and most comprehensive analysis to date of the effects of municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) on public health in the UK.
MWIs are used to burn waste that is not recycled, composted or sent to landfill and can include materials such as paper, plastic, wood and metal. While MWI emissions are governed by EU regulations, public concern remains around their potential impact on public health and scientific studies to date have been inconsistent or inconclusive.
The analysis, led by a team at Imperial College London and funded by Public Health England and the Scottish Government, looked at MWIs at 22 sites across the UK between 2003 and 2010.
Researchers from the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) at Imperial first analysed concentrations of fine particles called PM10 (particulate matter measuring 10 micrometres or less in diameter) emitted from the chimneys of the incinerators as waste is burned.
Computer models generated from the data showed how these particles spread over a 10 km radius around 22 MWIs in England, Scotland and Wales. The models show that MWIs added very little to the existing background levels of PM10 at ground level – with existing PM10 concentrations at ground level on average 100 to 10,000 times higher than levels emitted by the chimneys (Environment Science & Technology, 2017).
Using these models, the team then investigated potential links between concentrations of PM10 emitted by MWIs and any increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. In an earlier study (Environment International, 2018), they found that analysis of records covering more than one million births in England, Scotland and Wales revealed no evidence of a link between small particles emitted by the incinerators and adverse birth outcomes such as effects on birthweight, premature birth, infant death, or stillbirth, for children born within 10 km of MWIs in Great Britain.
The team’s latest findings, published in the journal Environment International, looked at occurrence of birth defects within 10 km of a subset of 10 incinerators in England and Scotland between 2003 and 2010. In their analysis, the team used health data on more than 5000 cases of birth defects among over 200,000 births, still births and terminations in England and Scotland.
They found no association between birth defects and the modelled concentrations of PM10 emitted by MWIs, but there was a small increase in the risk of two birth defects among those living closer to MWIs – specifically congenital heart defects and hypospadias (affecting the male genitalia – where the opening of the urethra is not at the top of the penis). These birth defects typically require surgery but are rarely life-threatening.
In the UK, congenital heart defects affect approximately 5.3 in 1000 births and 1.9 per 1000 males are born with hypospadias (Source: NCARDRS 2016*).
In terms of excess risk, the team estimates that the associated increase in risk for these two birth defects could be around 0.6 cases per 1,000 total births for congenital heart defects and 0.6 cases per 1,000 male births for hypospadias within 10 km of an incinerator.
Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) said: “Based on the available data, our findings showing that there is no significant increased risk of infant death, stillbirth, preterm birth or effects on birthweight from municipal waste incinerators are reassuring. The findings on birth defects are inconclusive, but our study design means we cannot rule out that living closer to an incinerator in itself may slightly increase the risk of some specific defects – although the reasons for this are unclear.”
Professor Mireille Toledano, Chair in Perinatal and Paediatric Environmental Epidemiology at Imperial, said: “In these studies we found a small increase in risk for children living within 10 km of an MWI being born with a heart defect, or a genital anomaly affecting boys, but did not find an association with the very low levels of particulates emitted. This increase with proximity to an incinerator may not be related directly to emissions from the MWIs. It is important to consider other potential factors such as the increased pollution from industrial traffic in the areas around MWIs or the specific population mix that lives in those areas.”
Professor Anna Hansell, Director of the Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability at the University of Leicester, who previously led the work while at Imperial College London, added: “Taken together, this large body of work reinforces the current advice from Public Health England – that while it’s not possible to rule out all impacts on public health, modern and well-regulated incinerators are likely to have a very small, or even undetectable, impact on people living nearby.”
The team explains that while the results of the emissions studies are reassuring, they cannot rule out a link between the increased incidence of the two birth defects and the activities of the MWIs. They add that while they adjusted their results for socioeconomic and ethnic status, these may still influence birth outcomes findings. Poorer families may be living closer to MWIs due to lower housing or living costs in industrial areas, and their exposure to industrial road traffic or other pollutants may be increased.
The researchers highlight that their findings are limited by a number of factors. Also, they did not have measurements (for the hundreds of thousands of individual births considered) of metals or chemical compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, but used PM10 concentrations as a proxy for exposure to MWI emissions – as has been used in other incinerator studies.
They add that ongoing review of evidence is needed to explore links further, as well as ongoing surveillance of incinerators in the UK to monitor any potential long-term impacts on public health.
###
The research was funded by Public Health England and the Scottish Government, with support from the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/icl-msf062019.php

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/

University of Georgia study: How fathers, children should spend time together

16 Jun

Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children; after all, you and your child should not be raising each other.

Eric Schulzke of Deseret News reported in the article, Like father like child: why your future may be closely tied to your father’s income and education:

A child’s odds of breaking out of poverty or gaining a college education are heavily shaped by the father’s income and education level, says Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution.
In a couple of graphs that unpack piles of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the University of Michigan, Reeves breaks education and income levels down into quintiles and shows the close connection between a father’s level and how far his children go.
Whether you see that as a glass half empty or glass half full depend on your starting point, Reeves acknowledges. “If you assume that in an ideal world, where you would end up would bear no relation to where you started.” That is, he argues, if we had real equality of opportunity, 20 percent of every group would end up in the other four groups in the next generation.
Instead, 41 percent of kids whose father had top-level educational achievement stay there, and 36 percent of those who start in the bottom income bracket will remain there.
There is some mobility, of course. Of those who start in the bottom fifth of income levels, 35 percent end up in the middle class or above, which is roughly equal to the 36 percent who stay put…. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865616732/Like-father-like-child-why-your-future-may-be-closely-tied-to-your-fathers-income-and-education.html?pg=all

See, Children with married parents are better off — but marriage isn’t the reason why http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/08/children-with-married-parents-are-better-off-but-marriage-isnt-the-reason-why/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/father/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/fathers/

Science Daily reported in How fathers, children should spend time together:

New research from the University of Georgia reveals that both the type of involvement — caregiving versus play — and the timing — workday versus non-workday — have an impact on the quality of the early father-child relationship.
The study by Geoffrey Brown, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that fathers who choose to spend time with their children on non-workdays are developing a stronger relationship with them, and play activities seem particularly important, even after taking into account the quality of fathers’ parenting.
“Fathers who make the choice to devote their time on non-workdays to engaging with their children directly seem to be developing the best relationships,” said Brown, assistant professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “And on those non-workdays, pursuing activities that are child centered, or fun for the child, seems to be the best predictor of a good father-child relationship.”
However, fathers who spend lots of time helping out with child care-related tasks on workdays are developing the best relationships with their children. And men who engage in high levels of play with their children on workdays actually have a slightly less secure attachment relationship with them.
“It’s a complicated story, but I think this reflects differences in these contexts of family interaction time on workdays versus non-workdays,” Brown said. “The most important thing on a workday, from the perspective of building a good relationship with your children, seems to be helping to take care of them.”
In early childhood, the most common way to conceptualize the parent-child relationship is the attachment relationship, according to Brown. Children form an emotional bond with their caregivers, and it serves a purpose by keeping them safe, providing comfort and security, and modeling how relationships should work….
For this study, Brown and his colleagues worked with 80 father-child pairs when the children were about 3 years old. The team conducted interviews and observed father-child interaction in the home, shooting video that was evaluated off site and assigned a score indicating attachment security.
“We’re trying to understand the connection between work life and family life and how fathers construct their role. It’s clear that there are different contexts of family time,” Brown said. “Relying too much on play during workdays, when your child/partner needs you to help out with caregiving, could be problematic. But play seems more important when there’s more time and less pressure.
“Ultimately, fathers who engage in a variety of parenting behaviors and adjust their parenting to suit the demands and circumstances of each individual day are probably most likely to develop secure relationships with their children.”
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190611133938.htm

Citation:

How fathers, children should spend time together
Study dives into factors that could help develop a stronger relationship
Date: June 11, 2019
Source: University of Georgia
Summary:
Fathers who spend lots of time helping out with child care-related tasks on workdays are developing the best relationships with their children.

Journal Reference:
Geoffrey L. Brown, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Aya Shigeto, Maria S. Wong. Associations between father involvement and father–child attachment security: Variations based on timing and type of involvement.. Journal of Family Psychology, 2018; 32 (8): 1015 DOI: 10.1037/fam0000472

Here is the press release from the University of Georgia:

How fathers, children should spend time together

by Allyson Mann

As men everywhere brace for an onslaught of ties, tools, wallets and novelty socks gifted for Father’s Day, here are two questions fathers of young children should ask themselves: What activities are best for bonding with my child, and when should those activities take place?
New research from the University of Georgia reveals that both the type of involvement—caregiving versus play—and the timing—workday versus non-workday—have an impact on the quality of the early father-child relationship.
The study by Geoffrey Brown, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that fathers who choose to spend time with their children on non-workdays are developing a stronger relationship with them, and play activities seem particularly important, even after taking into account the quality of fathers’ parenting.

“Fathers who make the choice to devote their time on non-workdays to engaging with their children directly seem to be developing the best relationships,” said Brown, assistant professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “And on those non-workdays, pursuing activities that are child centered, or fun for the child, seems to be the best predictor of a good father-child relationship.”
However, fathers who spend lots of time helping out with child care-related tasks on workdays are developing the best relationships with their children. And men who engage in high levels of play with their children on workdays actually have a slightly less secure attachment relationship with them.
“It’s a complicated story, but I think this reflects differences in these contexts of family interaction time on workdays versus non-workdays,” Brown said. “The most important thing on a workday, from the perspective of building a good relationship with your children, seems to be helping to take care of them.”
In early childhood, the most common way to conceptualize the parent-child relationship is the attachment relationship, according to Brown. Children form an emotional bond with their caregivers, and it serves a purpose by keeping them safe, providing comfort and security, and modeling how relationships should work.
Decades of research have focused on mother-child attachment security, but there’s much less research on the father-child relationship and how a secure attachment relationship is formed.
For this study, Brown and his colleagues worked with 80 father-child pairs when the children were about 3 years old. The team conducted interviews and observed father-child interaction in the home, shooting video that was evaluated off site and assigned a score indicating attachment security.
“We’re trying to understand the connection between work life and family life and how fathers construct their role. It’s clear that there are different contexts of family time,” Brown said. “Relying too much on play during workdays, when your child/partner needs you to help out with caregiving, could be problematic. But play seems more important when there’s more time and less pressure.
“Ultimately, fathers who engage in a variety of parenting behaviors and adjust their parenting to suit the demands and circumstances of each individual day are probably most likely to develop secure relationships with their children.”
College of Family and Consumer Sciences Research                https://news.uga.edu/how-fathers-children-should-spend-time-together/

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.
There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children.Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.
Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

See:
We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

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/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

University of Washington study: Early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day

9 Jun

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth:

What are the effects of child poverty?
• Psychological research has demonstrated that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our nation’s children.
• Poverty impacts children within their various contexts at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
• Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and underresourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
• Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
• These effects are compounded by the barriers children and their families encounter when trying to access physical and mental health care.
• Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in lost productivity in the work force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system.
Poverty and academic achievement
• Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.
• Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
• School drop out rates are significantly higher for teens residing in poorer communities. In 2007, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 10 times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families (8.8% vs. 0.9%).
• The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.
• Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.
• Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty. http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx
See, While Black folk are immobilized and stuck on Ferguson, Asian ‘star’ tutors advance Asian achievement https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/tag/poverty-and-education/
Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. See Dr. Wilda on poverty https://drwilda.com/tag/poverty/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/poverty/page/2/
Science Daily reported in Poverty leaves a mark on our genes:
A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception.
Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, many cancers and infectious diseases, for example. Furthermore, lower SES is associated with physiological processes that contribute to the development of disease, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and cortisol dysregulation….
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404135433.htm

Citation:

Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
Study’s findings challenge understandings of genes as fixed features of our biology
Date: April 4, 2019
Source: Northwestern University
Summary:
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) — a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression — at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.

Journal Reference:
Thomas W. McDade, Calen P. Ryan, Meaghan J. Jones, Morgan K. Hoke, Judith Borja, Gregory E. Miller, Christopher W. Kuzawa, Michael S. Kobor. Genome‐wide analysis of DNA methylation in relation to socioeconomic status during development and early adulthood. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2019; 169 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23800

A University of Washington study reported about the effects of early life challenges.

Science Daily reported in Early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day:

Adversity early in life tends to affect a child’s executive function skills — their ability to focus, for example, or organize tasks.

Experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, also can lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones. These hormones rise to help us face challenges, stress or to simply “get up and go.”
Together, these impacts to executive function and stress hormones create a snowball effect, adding to social and emotional challenges that can continue through childhood. A new University of Washington study examines how adversity can change the ways children develop.
“This study shows how adversity is affecting multiple systems inside a child,” said the study’s lead author, Liliana Lengua, a UW professor of psychology and director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being. “The disruption of multiple systems of self-control, both intentional planning efforts and automatic stress-hormone responses, sets off a cascade of neurobiological effects that starts early and continues through childhood.”
The study, published May 10 in Development and Psychopathology, evaluated 306 children at intervals over more than two years, starting when participants were around 3 years old, up to age 5 ½. Children were from a range of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, with 57% considered lower income or near poverty.
Income was a key marker for adversity. In addition, the children’s mothers were surveyed about other risk factors that have been linked to poor health and behavior outcomes in children, including family transitions, residential instability, and negative life events such as abuse or the incarceration of a parent.
Against these data, Lengua’s team tested children’s executive function skills with a series of activities, and, through saliva samples, a stress-response hormone called diurnal cortisol.
The hormone that “helps us rise to a challenge,” Lengua said, cortisol tends to follow a daily, or diurnal, pattern: It increases early in the morning, helping us to wake up. It is highest in the morning — think of it as the energy to face the day — and then starts to fall throughout the day. But the pattern is different among children and adults who face constant stress, Lengua said.
“What we see in individuals experiencing chronic adversity is that their morning levels are quite low and flat through the day, every day. When someone is faced with high levels of stress all the time, the cortisol response becomes immune, and the system stops responding. That means they’re not having the cortisol levels they need to be alert and awake and emotionally ready to meet the challenges of the day,” she said…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190605171354.htm

Citation:

Early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day
Date: June 5, 2019
Source: University of Washington
Summary:
Experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, can affect executive function and lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones, according to a new study.
ournal Reference:
Liliana J. Lengua, Stephanie F. Thompson, Lyndsey R. Moran, Maureen Zalewski, Erika J. Ruberry, Melanie R. Klein, Cara J. Kiff. Pathways from early adversity to later adjustment: Tests of the additive and bidirectional effects of executive control and diurnal cortisol in early childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0954579419000373

Here is the press release from the University of Washington:

June 4, 2019
How early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day
Kim Eckart
UW News
Adversity early in life tends to affect a child’s executive function skills — their ability to focus, for example, or organize tasks.
Experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, also can lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones. These hormones rise to help us face challenges, stress or to simply “get up and go.”
Together, these impacts to executive function and stress hormones create a snowball effect, adding to social and emotional challenges that can continue through childhood. A new University of Washington study examines how adversity can change the ways children develop.
“This study shows how adversity is affecting multiple systems inside a child,” said the study’s lead author, Liliana Lengua, a UW professor of psychology and director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being. “The disruption of multiple systems of self-control, both intentional planning efforts and automatic stress-hormone responses, sets off a cascade of neurobiological effects that starts early and continues through childhood.”
The study, published May 10 in Development and Psychopathology, evaluated 306 children at intervals over more than two years, starting when participants were around 3 years old, up to age 5 ½. Children were from a range of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, with 57% considered lower income or near poverty.
Income was a key marker for adversity. In addition, the children’s mothers were surveyed about other risk factors that have been linked to poor health and behavior outcomes in children, including family transitions, residential instability, and negative life events such as abuse or the incarceration of a parent.
Against these data, Lengua’s team tested children’s executive function skills with a series of activities, and, through saliva samples, a stress-response hormone called diurnal cortisol.
The hormone that “helps us rise to a challenge,” Lengua said, cortisol tends to follow a daily, or diurnal, pattern: It increases early in the morning, helping us to wake up. It is highest in the morning — think of it as the energy to face the day — and then starts to fall throughout the day. But the pattern is different among children and adults who face constant stress, Lengua said.
“What we see in individuals experiencing chronic adversity is that their morning levels are quite low and flat through the day, every day. When someone is faced with high levels of stress all the time, the cortisol response becomes immune, and the system stops responding. That means they’re not having the cortisol levels they need to be alert and awake and emotionally ready to meet the challenges of the day,” she said.
To assess executive function, researchers chose preschool-friendly activities that measured each child’s ability to follow directions, pay attention and take actions contrary to impulse. For instance, in a game called “Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders,” children are told to do the opposite of what a researcher tells them to do — if the researcher says, “touch your head,” the child is supposed to touch their toes. In another activity, children interact with two puppets — a monkey and a dragon — but are supposed to follow only the instructions given by the monkey.
When children are better at following instructions in these and similar activities, they tend to have better social skills and manage their emotions when stressed. Children who did well on these tasks also tended to have more typical patterns of diurnal cortisol.
But children who were in families that had lower income and higher adversity tended to have both lower executive function and an atypical diurnal cortisol pattern. Each of those contributed to more behavior problems and lower social-emotional competence in children when they were about to start kindergarten.
The study shows that not only do low income and adversity affect children’s adjustment, but they also impact these self-regulation systems that then add to children’s adjustment problems. “Taken all together, it’s like a snowball effect, with adverse effects adding together,” Lengua said.
While past research has pointed to the effects of adversity on executive function, and to the specific relationship between cortisol and executive function, this new study shows the additive effects over time, Lengua said.
“Executive function is an indicator that shows the functioning of cognitive regulation. Cortisol is the neuroendocrine response, an automatic response, and the two consistently emerge as being related to each other and impacting behavior in children,” she said.
The research could be used to inform parenting programs, early childhood and school-based interventions, Lengua said. Safe, stable environments and communities, and positive, nurturing parenting practices support child development, while a focus on relationships and healthy behaviors in preschool settings can support children of all backgrounds — those with high as well as low adversity.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Co-authors were Stephanie Thompson, Erika Ruberry and Melanie Klein of the UW Department of Psychology; Lyndsey Moran of the Boston Child Study Center; Maureen Zalewski of the University of Oregon; and Cara Kiff of UCLA.
###
For more information, contact Lengua at Liliana@uw.edu.

The is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education, there is what works to produce academic achievement in each population of students.
What moi observes from Asian culture is that success does not occur in a vacuum and that students from all walks of life can benefit from the individual intervention to prevent failure. The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture.
See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? https://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

Resources:

Culture of Success http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success
How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:

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

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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Rice University study: Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time

1 Jun

Moi wrote about homeschools in Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu.  What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.
Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschooling/

Science Daily reported in Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time: Better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise:

Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a Rice University study.
A report by Rice kinesiology lecturer Laura Kabiri and colleagues in the Oxford University Press journal Health Promotion International puts forth evidence that the amount of time a student spends in home school is “weakly or not at all related to multiple aspects of youth physical health.”
“Although there may be differences in the health of elementary through high school home-schoolers, those differences don’t seem to change with additional time spent in home school,” Kabiri said. “In other words, staying in home school longer isn’t related to increased health benefits or deficits.”
Earlier this year Kabiri and her Rice team reported that home-schooled students who depended on maintaining physical fitness through outside activities were often falling short.
The flip side presented in the new report should come as good news to parents and students. The study was conducted by Kabiri and colleagues at Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at San Antonio.
The results from studies of more than 140 children in grades kindergarten through 5, who were tested against statistically normal data for children of their age and gender, accounted for prior published research that showed home-schooled children have less upper-body and abdominal muscle strength and more abdominal fat when compared to public school students. Additional studies also showed that home-schooling benefited sleep patterns, overall body composition and diet.
However, to the researchers’ surprise, these differences in home-schooler health did not appear to be affected either way by increased time in home school…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190523142212.htm

Citation:

Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time
Better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise
Date: May 23, 2019
Source: Rice University
Summary:
Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a new study.
Journal Reference:
Laura S Kabiri, Allison Butcher, Wayne Brewer, Alexis Ortiz. Youth physical health and years in American homeschools: are they related? Health Promotion International, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/heapro/daz047

Here is the press release from Rice University:

Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time
MIKE WILLIAMS
– MAY 23, 2019POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS, FEATURED STORIES
Rice-led study finds better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise
Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a Rice University study.
A report by Rice kinesiology lecturer Laura Kabiri and colleagues in the Oxford University Press journal Health Promotion International puts forth evidence that the amount of time a student spends in home school is “weakly or not at all related to multiple aspects of youth physical health.”
“Although there may be differences in the health of elementary through high school home-schoolers, those differences don’t seem to change with additional time spent in home school,” Kabiri said. “In other words, staying in home school longer isn’t related to increased health benefits or deficits.”
Earlier this year Kabiri and her Rice team reported that home-schooled students who depended on maintaining physical fitness through outside activities were often falling short.
The flip side presented in the new report should come as good news to parents and students. The study was conducted by Kabiri and colleagues at Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at San Antonio.
The results from studies of more than 140 children in grades kindergarten through 5, who were tested against statistically normal data for children of their age and gender, accounted for prior published research that showed home-schooled children have less upper-body and abdominal muscle strength and more abdominal fat when compared to public school students. Additional studies also showed that home-schooling benefited sleep patterns, overall body composition and diet.
However, to the researchers’ surprise, these differences in home-schooler health did not appear to be affected either way by increased time in home school.
“Body composition can relate to sleep as well as diet,” Kabiri said. “And as far as muscular health goes, these kids are still active. We’re not saying there’s not an upfront benefit or detriment to their health, but after an initial gain or loss, there aren’t additional gains or losses over time if you’re going to home-school your children for one year or their entire careers. The relationship between their health and the time they spend in home school seems to be irrelevant.”
Co-authors of the study are doctoral student Allison Butcher and Associate Professor Wayne Brewer of Texas Woman’s University and Alexis Ortiz, the Berneice Castella Endowed Allied Health Chair in Geriatric Science in the department of physical therapy at UTHealth San Antonio.
The research was supported in part by the Texas Physical Therapy Foundation. http://news.rice.edu/2019/05/23/home-schoolers-see-no-added-health-risks-over-time-2/

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/