Tag Archives: Science Daily

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston study: Mental illness not to blame for gun violence, study finds

10 Feb

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: The U.S. Constitution is a bit like the Bible. People want to select passage from both documents which suit their purpose and their intent. People don’t want to deal with the parts that they don’t agree with or that they find disagreeable.

Political party culture is stuck on stupid. Moi grew up in Pierce County and was for many years a dem in the mold of Senators Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson. There is no room in today’s dem party for folks like moi. Moi doesn’t believe in abortion in all circumstances and supports the FIRST AMENDMENT guarantees. In light of the fact that moi is an independent, this story illustrates why moi is an independent. Every now and again is a story that is so stupid, one has to comment.

City Looks to Twitter for Answer to Gun Problem: The best submitted ideas will be debated at an Oct. 11 panel discussion:

The City of Chicago is asking residents with ideas on how to get illegal guns off the streets to share their thoughts — in 140 characters or fewer on Twitter.
The initiative is part of Chicago Ideas Week, an annual forum for innovators, artists, scientists and others to share ideas and inspire action.
Those who think they know how to cut off the flow of illegal guns into Chicago are being asked to tweet them with the hashtag (hash)whatifchicago.
The best submitted ideas will be debated at an Oct. 11 panel discussion.
Chicago’s social media director, Kevin Hauswirth, says the effort is a great example of “the potential power that social media offers city government.” http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/City-Looks-to-Twitter-for-Answer-to-Gun-Problem-171939501.html#ixzz27ziNIsVD

Really, no one in Chicago can guess how to reduce gun violence. Must be that stranglehold of P.C. And ideology.

Let moi makes some suggestions even though she lives in Seattle not Chicago. Seattleites shouldn’t gloat as our government is equally stuck on stupid with a tendency to stick their head in sand regarding Seattle’s own gang problem.

Part if the solution will not be P.C. for “progressives.” In the short-term, just about any crime-ridden neighborhood in America needs better education and economic development. Can one say, JOBS, JOBS, and MORE JOBS. In the longer term, there will have to be a change in the cultural dynamic and thinking of groups trapped by low-income culture and mentality. This is what moi said in UN-traditional Father’s Day message: Don’t become a father unless you can make the commitment to YOUR child:
Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption. This is a totally NOT P.C. Message because “progressives” want to think that government can solve this society’s problem. First Lady Michelle Obama is a gracious and classy woman, but really girlfriend, the problem is too many “baby mamas” and “baby daddy.” When we have around 70% of Black children born to woman who are most likely not able to feed and care for the children, whether they are eating vegetables is not as relevant. One needs to treat the gaping head wound first.

There must be cultural change in addition to economic development and “progressives” don’t want to touch that hot potato. Meanwhile, because this society is not dealing with the root problem, the carnage goes on.
A University of Texas study examined gun violence and mental illness.

Science Daily reported in Mental illness not to blame for gun violence:

Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms.
A study by researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked into the association between gun violence and mental health in a group of 663 young adults in Texas. Their results were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
“Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence,” said Dr. Yu Lu, a postdoctoral research fellow at UTMB and the lead author of the study.
What researchers found instead was that individuals who had gun access were approximately 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun. Individuals with high hostility were about 3.5 times more likely to threaten someone.
“These findings have important implications for gun control policy efforts,” Lu said.
Each year, an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 Americans are injured by firearms and 30,000 to 40,000 die from firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Much of the limited research on gun violence and mental illness has focused on violence among individuals with severe mental illnesses or rates of mental illness among individuals arrested for violent crimes,” Lu said. “What we found is that the link between mental illness and gun violence is not there.”
Lu and Dr. Jeff Temple, another author of the study and a professor at UTMB, surveyed participants in a long-term study about their firearm possession and use as well as about anxiety, depression, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, hostility, impulsivity, borderline personality disorder, mental health treatment and other demographic details.
The researchers found that individuals who had access to guns, compared to those with no such access, were over 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun, even after controlling for a number of demographic and mental health variables. Meanwhile, most mental health symptoms were unrelated to gun violence.
“Taking all this information together, limiting access to guns, regardless of any other mental health status, demographics or prior mental health treatments, is the key to reducing gun violence,” Temple said…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190207102607.htm

Citation:

Mental illness not to blame for gun violence, study finds
Date: February 7, 2019
Source: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms.

Journal Reference:
Yu Lu, Jeff R. Temple. Dangerous weapons or dangerous people? The temporal associations between gun violence and mental health. Preventive Medicine, 2019; 121: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.01.008

Here is the press release from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston:

Mental illness not to blame for gun violence study finds

February 6, 2019

GALVESTON, Texas – Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms.
A study by researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked into the association between gun violence and mental health in a group of 663 young adults in Texas. Their results were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
“Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence,” said Dr. Yu Lu, a postdoctoral research fellow at UTMB and the lead author of the study.
What researchers found instead was that individuals who had gun access were approximately 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun. Individuals with high hostility were about 3.5 times more likely to threaten someone.
“These findings have important implications for gun control policy efforts,” Lu said.
Each year, an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 Americans are injured by firearms and 30,000 to 40,000 die from firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Much of the limited research on gun violence and mental illness has focused on violence among individuals with severe mental illnesses or rates of mental illness among individuals arrested for violent crimes,” Lu said. “What we found is that the link between mental illness and gun violence is not there.”
Lu and Dr. Jeff Temple, another author of the study and a professor at UTMB, surveyed participants in a long-term study about their firearm possession and use as well as about anxiety, depression, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, hostility, impulsivity, borderline personality disorder, mental health treatment and other demographic details.
The researchers found that individuals who had access to guns, compared to those with no such access, were over 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun, even after controlling for a number of demographic and mental health variables. Meanwhile, most mental health symptoms were unrelated to gun violence.
“Taking all this information together, limiting access to guns, regardless of any other mental health status, demographics or prior mental health treatments, is the key to reducing gun violence,” Temple said.
This research was supported by awards from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and from the National Institute of Justice. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NICHD or NIJ. https://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article11989.aspx

What both proponents of gun control and those who advocate unfettered gun possession along with unlimited possession of ALL types of guns don’t want to acknowledge is that it ultimately goes back to the Constitutional process of a legislature enacting a law and the judiciary reviewing the Constitutionality of the law. Neither side may be happy with the result. See, Both sides in the gun debate are acting like morons https://drwilda.com/tag/gun-control/

Resources:

A Dozen Things Students Can Do to Stop School Violence http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/school_safety_04.cfm

A Dozen Things. Teachers Can Do To Stop School Violence
http://www.ncpc.org/cms-upload/ncpc/File/teacher12.pdf

Preventing School Violence: A Practical Guide
http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/psv.pdf

Related:

Violence against teachers is becoming a bigger issue https://drwilda.com/2013/11/29/violence-against-teachers-is-becoming-a-bigger-issue/

Hazing remains a part of school culture
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/09/hazing-remains-a-part-of-school-culture/

FEMA issues Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/08/fema-issues-guide-for-developing-high-quality-school-emergency-operations-plans/

Study: 1 in 3 teens are victims of dating violence
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/05/study-1-in-3-teens-are-victims-of-dating-violence/

Pediatrics article: Sexual abuse prevalent in teen population
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/10/pediatrics-article-sexual-abuse-prevalent-in-teen-population/

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

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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https://drwilda.com/

Virginia Tech study: First study to find digital ads work — on millennials

3 Feb

Moi wrote in Social media addiction:

Moi wonders if anyone is surprised by this development. The UK’s Daily Mail reported about internet addiction among the young in Internet Rehab Clinic for ‘Sreenager” Children Hooked on modern technology https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1258703/Internet-rehab-clinic-screenager-children-hooked-modern-technology.html In a 2010 Movieline interview, Miley gives the reason for closing her Twitter account at that time. According to Miley, It’s Dangerous, It Wastes Your Life, It’s Not Fun http://www.mtv.com/news/1634000/miley-cyrus-says-the-internet-wastes-your-life/ Ya, think?

“I was kind of, like, tired of telling everyone what I’m doing,” Cyrus told Movieline. “I hate when I read things and celebrities are complaining like, ‘I have no personal life.’ I’m like, well that’s because you write everything that you’re doing.”
“So I was that person who was like, ‘I’m so sad. I have no real, normal life, everyone knows what I’m doing.’ And I’m like, well that’s my own fault because I’m telling everyone,” Cyrus said. “And then I’d tweet, ‘I’m here,’ and I’d wonder why a thousand fans are outside the restaurant. Well, hello, I just told them. So I’m just, like, kind of thinking doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Everything I’m saying is not really going with what I’m putting on the internet.
Asked if the change has been for the better, Cyrus took a moment to consider, then said, “I’m a lot less on my phone, I’m a little bit more social. I have a lot more real friends as opposed to friends who are on the internet who I’m talking to — which is like not cool, not safe, not fun and most likely not real. I think everything is just better when you’re not so wrapped up in [the internet].”

What Miley was saying is that she wants the type of social relationships which come from face-to-face contact. In other words, she wants healthier social interactions. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/24/social-media-addiction     Since 2010, social media has become the primary method of reaching a certain segment of the population.

Science Daily reported in First study to find digital ads work — on millennials:

While millions of dollars are spent every day on digital advertising, no research has found these ads actually work — until now.
Katherine Haenschen, assistant professor in the department of communication at Virginia Tech said “this is first time we found that digital ads do something and what they do is they increase voter turnout among millennials in municipal elections.”
According to research published in Political Communication digital ads increased voter participation in a Dallas municipal election.
Why Dallas? Less than 7 percent of residents, and under 2 percent of millennials voted in their 2015 municipal election, making it the worst major city in the United States for voter turnout.
Discouraged by that statistic civic leaders wanted change. The effort led to a collaboration with the Dallas Morning News, Jay Jennings of University of Texas, and of course Haenschen.
In the study, millennials were exposed to two or four weeks of ads in the month leading up to the election. One set of ads focused on providing information about city council and school board candidates published by Dallas Morning News. The other set of ads served as election participation reminders. Some groups were exposed to both sets of ads (information and reminders) while other groups only saw one set of ads. At most, people saw ads four times per day.
“Since many adults encounter over 2,000 ads a day,” we gave people a very small amount of ads and were still able to change their behavior,” Haenschen said.
In competitive districts, when millennials were exposed to all four weeks of ads, voter turnout went up. In non-competitive districts the effect was the opposite, suggesting users in uncontested districts may have chosen not to participate.
One of the more surprising findings was the effect the digital ads had on millennials who “are a notoriously difficult demographic to reach,” said Haenschen. “They don’t have landlines and move around a lot making them difficult targets for candidates.”
That is why Haenschen and collaborators chose to use cookie-targeted digital ads for the study. “Millennials’ IP address is perhaps more stable than their physical address,” said Haenschen…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190130133029.htm

Citation:

First study to find digital ads work — on millennials
Date: January 30, 2019
Source: Virginia Tech
Summary:
While millions of dollars are spent every day on digital advertising, no research has found these ads actually work — until now.

Journal Reference:
Katherine Haenschen, Jay Jennings. Mobilizing Millennial Voters with Targeted Internet Advertisements: A Field Experiment. Political Communication, 2019; DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2018.1548530

Here is the press release from Virginia Tech:

First study to find digital ads work on millennials
January 30, 2019
While millions of dollars are spent every day on digital advertising, no research has found these ads actually work — until now.
Katherine Haenschen, assistant professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech said “this is first time we found that digital ads do something and what they do is they increase voter turnout among millennials in municipal elections.”
According to research published in Political Communication, digital ads increased voter participation in a Dallas municipal election.
Why Dallas? Less than 7 percent of residents, and under 2 percent of millennials voted in their 2015 municipal election, making it the worst major city in the United States for voter turnout.
Discouraged by that statistic, civic leaders wanted change. The effort led to a collaboration with the Dallas Morning News, Jay Jennings of University of Texas, and Haenschen.
In the study, millennials were exposed to two or four weeks of ads in the month leading up to the election. One set of ads focused on providing information about city council and school board candidates published by the Dallas Morning News. The other set of ads served as election participation reminders. Some groups were exposed to both sets of ads (information and reminders), while other groups saw only one set of ads. At most, people saw ads four times per day.
Since many adults encounter more than 2,000 ads a day,“we gave people a very small amount of ads and were still able to change their behavior,” Haenschen said.
In competitive districts, when millennials were exposed to all four weeks of ads, voter turnout went up. In noncompetitive districts the effect was the opposite, suggesting users in uncontested districts may have chosen not to participate.
One of the more surprising findings was the effect the digital ads had on millennials, who “are a notoriously difficult demographic to reach,” said Haenschen. “They don’t have landlines and move around a lot, making them difficult targets for candidates.”
That is why Haenschen and collaborators chose to use cookie-targeted digital ads for the study. “Millennials’ IP address is perhaps more stable than their physical address,” said Haenschen.
But the thing that excites Haenschen the most about this research was it showed a path to mobilize people who had never voted in an election.
“One thing that I think is so great about our study is that it was able to mobilize people who had never voted in a municipal election before,” said Haenschen. “So you figure now these folks have been mobilized to vote for their city council member and school board one time. Now they will be on lists of people who voted in prior municipal elections, so future candidates will reach out to them. We can hope that it may have snowball effect over time, and this can be a way to systematically increase turnout among a tough demographic.”
About Haenschen
Katherine Haenschen is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, whose research focuses on ways to increase voter turnout. Her areas of expertise include data journalism, digital media influence, and political participation.
Her expertise has been featured in The Guardian, The Hill, Scientific American, and Campaigns & Elections.
To schedule an interview or get a copy of the paper
Contact Ceci Leonard, ceciliae@vt.edu, 540-357-2500
Our studio
Virginia Tech’s television and radio studio can broadcast live HD audio and video to networks, news agencies, and affiliates interviewing Virginia Tech faculty, students, and staff. The university does not charge for use of its studio. Video is transmitted by LTN Global Communications and fees may apply. Broadcast quality audio for radio is transmitted via ISDN.
Contact:
• Ceci Leonard
540-357-2500

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also The Importance of Eating Together: Family dinners build relationships, and help kids do better in school. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/

It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go https://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/toddlers-latch-onto-iphones-8212-and-wont-let-go/ Stout reports:

But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

Where information leads to Hope. ©

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles study: Giving children the skills they need to tackle life’s toughest challenges

27 Jan

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

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

One strategy in helping children to succeed is to recognize and treat depression.

How Common Is Depression In Children? According to Mary H. Sarafolean, PhD in the article, Depression In School Age Children and Adolescents:

In general, depression affects a person’s physical, cognitive, emotional/affective, and motivational well-being, no matter their age. For example, a child with depression between the ages of 6 and 12 may exhibit fatigue, difficulty with schoolwork, apathy and/or a lack of motivation. An adolescent or teen may be oversleeping, socially isolated, acting out in self-destructive ways and/or have a sense of hopelessness.
Prevalence and Risk Factors
While only 2 percent of pre-teen school-age children and 3-5 percent of teenagers have clinical depression, it is the most common diagnosis of children in a clinical setting (40-50 percent of diagnoses). The lifetime risk of depression in females is 10-25 percent and in males, 5-12 percent. Children and teens who are considered at high risk for depression disorders include:
* children referred to a mental health provider for school problems
* children with medical problems
* gay and lesbian adolescents
* rural vs. urban adolescents
* incarcerated adolescents
* pregnant adolescents
* children with a family history of depression http://www.healthyplace.com/depression/children/recognizing-symptoms-of-depression-in-teens-and-children/

If you or your child has one or more of the risk factors and your child is exhibiting symptoms of prolonged sadness, it might be wise to have your child evaluated for depression.

Science Daily reported in Giving children the skills they need to tackle life’s toughest challenges:

Mental health and suicide are not just adult issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have tripled over the last 15 years among girls 10 to 14 years of age in the United States. More detailed analyses of the data only paint a bleaker picture for some minority populations. Asian American and Pacific Islanders, 15 to 24 years old, are the only racial/ethnic group in which suicide is the number one cause of death. “As a mother of two daughters in their pre-teens, these are alarming statistics that cannot be ignored,” says pediatrician and researcher Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
The suicide rate in Asian communities is just one of many markers that illustrate the need to better serve the mental health needs of minority populations. Born and raised in Historic Filipinotown, just outside of downtown Los Angeles, Dr. Javier feels this burden as her own. Filipinotown is a community of early-generation immigrant families, with strong ties to culture and traditions of the Philippines. A robust set of values permeates those who live there, from religious beliefs to work ethic and academics. But there are challenges, too. Bullying, racism, and other pressures can affect immigrant families who seek to preserve their roots while adapting to a new country. Seeing first-hand how these difficulties can translate into poor health outcomes, Dr. Javier is doing something about it. She earned degrees in medicine and public health to prepare herself to make a difference. Her passion is to partner with the community that raised her, an example of bayanihan, a Filipino cultural term that describes how a community works together for a common good.
But how can such complex issues be addressed?
Dr. Javier sought to enroll families in a parenting program called The Incredible Years®. Parenting programs like these are shown to prevent problems such as substance abuse and conduct disorder. They also promote family connectedness and adult caring — protective factors against suicide in children and teens. After offering this program through local churches, schools, and community-based organizations, parents reported a significant decrease in parenting stress and positive changes in their families. In addition to giving parents tools to create better relationships with their children, the program allowed parents to meet other families with similar backgrounds and values. The challenge was to recruit more families. Dr. Javier reports that “only about 20 percent of parents were interested in the program, likely because parents see enrollment as asking for help,” says Dr. Javier. This is when she knew something had to change. How could she bring this resource, with its proven success, to her community, to combat growing rates of adverse outcomes?
To answer these questions, Dr. Javier turned to her community. Together with parents from the community, an idea was born. They designed a video that featured testimonials from Filipino parents and grandparents who had participated in the Incredible Years® parenting program to encourage other parents to participate in the program as well. The idea was to educate their peers about the issues they faced as a community and as parents. And it worked….
With the demonstrated success of this parenting program, Dr. Javier knows that recruiting more families will help her community. “I am so grateful to my grandparents and parents for sacrificing so much to come to the United States,” says Dr. Javier. “The research that I have been doing is important in my own journey as a parent, and I want to share this knowledge with as many families as possible.”
“It’s not just mental health we’re after,” she says, “but building mental strength and resilience so that kids have the tools they’ll need to overcome life’s hardest challenges.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190125112323.htm

Citation:

Giving children the skills they need to tackle life’s toughest challenges
Date: January 25, 2019
Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Summary:
Mental health is not just an adult issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have tripled over the last 15 years among girls 10 to 14 years of age in the United States. More detailed analyses of the data only paint a bleaker picture for some minority populations.
Journal Reference:
Joyce R. Javier, Dean M. Coffey, Lawrence A. Palinkas, Michele D. Kipke, Jeanne Miranda, Sheree M. Schrager. Promoting Enrollment in Parenting Programs Among a Filipino Population: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics, 2019; e20180553 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-0553

Here is the press release from Children’s Hospital:

Giving Children the Skills They Need to Tackle Life’s Toughest Challenges
Published on
January 25, 2019
How one doctor born and raised in a tightly knit Filipino culture is poised to dramatically improve the health and well-being of her community
Mental health and suicide are not just adult issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have tripled over the last 15 years among girls 10 to 14 years of age in the United States. More detailed analyses of the data only paint a bleaker picture for some minority populations. Asian American and Pacific Islanders, 15 to 24 years old, are the only racial/ethnic group in which suicide is the number one cause of death. “As a mother of two daughters in their pre-teens, these are alarming statistics that cannot be ignored,” says pediatrician and researcher Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
The suicide rate in Asian communities is just one of many markers that illustrate the need to better serve the mental health needs of minority populations. Born and raised in Historic Filipinotown, just outside of downtown Los Angeles, Dr. Javier feels this burden as her own. Filipinotown is a community of early-generation immigrant families, with strong ties to culture and traditions of the Philippines. A robust set of values permeates those who live there, from religious beliefs to work ethic and academics. But there are challenges, too. Bullying, racism, and other pressures can affect immigrant families who seek to preserve their roots while adapting to a new country. Seeing first-hand how these difficulties can translate into poor health outcomes, Dr. Javier is doing something about it. She earned degrees in medicine and public health to prepare herself to make a difference. Her passion is to partner with the community that raised her, an example of bayanihan, a Filipino cultural term that describes how a community works together for a common good.
But how can such complex issues be addressed?
Dr. Javier sought to enroll families in a parenting program called The Incredible Years®. Parenting programs like these are shown to prevent problems such as substance abuse and conduct disorder. They also promote family connectedness and adult caring – protective factors against suicide in children and teens. After offering this program through local churches, schools, and community-based organizations, parents reported a significant decrease in parenting stress and positive changes in their families. In addition to giving parents tools to create better relationships with their children, the program allowed parents to meet other families with similar backgrounds and values. The challenge was to recruit more families. Dr. Javier reports that “only about 20 percent of parents were interested in the program, likely because parents see enrollment as asking for help,” says Dr. Javier. This is when she knew something had to change. How could she bring this resource, with its proven success, to her community, to combat growing rates of adverse outcomes?
To answer these questions, Dr. Javier turned to her community. Together with parents from the community, an idea was born. They designed a video (available to watch here) that featured testimonials from Filipino parents and grandparents who had participated in the Incredible Years® parenting program to encourage other parents to participate in the program as well. The idea was to educate their peers about the issues they faced as a community and as parents. And it worked.
Dr. Javier and her research team conducted a randomized controlled trial and demonstrated a significantly higher rate of enrollment of Filipino parents with their cost effective, culturally-tailored video when compared to a standard promotional video for the program. They found that Filipino families were more than two and half times more likely to enroll in The Incredible Years® after watching the video.
With the demonstrated success of this parenting program, Dr. Javier knows that recruiting more families will help her community. “I am so grateful to my grandparents and parents for sacrificing so much to come to the United States,” says Dr. Javier. “The research that I have been doing is important in my own journey as a parent, and I want to share this knowledge with as many families as possible.”
“It’s not just mental health we’re after,” she says, “but building mental strength and resilience so that kids have the tools they’ll need to overcome life’s hardest challenges.”
The findings of Dr. Javier’s trial were published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, on January 24th. Co-authors on the study include Dean M. Coffey, PsyD; Lawrence Palinkas, PhD; Michele Kipke, PhD; Jeanne Miranda, PhD; and Sheree M. Schrager, PhD, MS.
The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
For more information about Dr. Javier’s program, please visit https://filipinofamilyhealth.com/

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been ranked the top children’s hospital in California and sixth in the nation for clinical excellence by the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. The Saban Research Institute at CHLA is one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. CHLA also is one of America’s premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. For more, visit CHLA.org, the child health blog and the research blog.

Here is information about the Adverse Child Experiences Study. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides access to the peer-reviewed publications resulting from The ACE Study. http://acestudy.org/
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/study-some-of-the-effects-of-adverse-stress-do-not-go-away/

Science Daily reported in Infantile memory study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development:

A new study on infantile memory formation in rats points to the importance of critical periods in early-life learning on functional development of the brain. The research, conducted by scientists at New York University’s Center for Neural Science, reveals the significance of learning experiences over the first two to four years of human life; this is when memories are believed to be quickly forgotten — a phenomenon known as infantile amnesia.
“What our findings tell us is that children’s brains need to get enough and healthy activation even before they enter pre-school,” explains Cristina Alberini, a professor in NYU’s Center for Neural Science, who led the study. “Without this, the neurological system runs the risk of not properly developing learning and memory functions…”
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160718111939.htm

Citation:

Infantile memory study points to critical periods in early-life learning for brain development
Date: July 18, 2016
Source: New York University
Summary:
A new study on infantile memory formation in rats points to the importance of critical periods in early-life learning on functional development of the brain. The research reveals the significance of learning experiences over the first two to four years of human life.
Journal Reference:
1. Alessio Travaglia, Reto Bisaz, Eric S Sweet, Robert D Blitzer, Cristina M Alberini. Infantile amnesia reflects a developmental critical period for hippocampal learning. Nature Neuroscience, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4348

Our goal as a society should be:

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

Resources:

The Effects of Stress on Your Body
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body

The Physical Effects of Long-Term Stress
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/the-physical-effects-of-long-term-stress/all/1/

Chronic Stress: The Body Connection
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53737

Understanding Stress Symptoms, Signs, Causes, and Effects
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

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/

 

Duke University study: Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health

24 Jan

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic 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? Because 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 societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is. Sabrina Tavernise wrote an excellent New York Times article, Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html?emc=eta1

The Centers for Disease Control report:

Today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to the Healthy People 2020 goals of eliminating blood lead levels ≥ 10 µg/dL and differences in average risk based on race and social class as public health concerns. The program is part of the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/

A Wayne State University study finds that lead exposure may affect more than one generation.

Science Daily reported in Lead exposure in mothers can affect future generations:

A team of researchers at Wayne State University have discovered that mothers with high levels of lead in their blood not only affect the fetal cells of their unborn children, but also their grandchildren. Their study, Multigenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans: DNA methylation changes associated with maternal exposure to lead can be transmitted to the grandchildren, was published online this week in Scientific Reports.
It’s a known fact that babies in the womb can be affected by low levels of lead exposure. If a pregnant woman is exposed to lead, the lead passes through the placenta into the baby’s developing bones and other organs. Pregnant women with a past exposure to lead can also affect the unborn child’s brain, causing developmental problems later in life. Previous research studies have suggested that exposure to heavy metal toxicants can influence a person’s global DNA methylation profile…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151002191739.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

A Duke university study examined the effects of lead added to gasoline.

Science Daily reported in Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health:

Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline.
Previous studies have identified a link between lead and intelligence, but this study looked at changes in personality and mental health as a result of exposure to the heavy metal.
The findings, which will appear Jan. 23 in JAMA Psychiatry, reveal that the higher a person’s blood lead levels at age 11, the more likely they are to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age 38.
The link between mental health and lead exposure is modest, according to study coauthor Aaron Reuben, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke University. But “it’s potentially important because this is a modifiable risk factor that at one point in time everyone was exposed to, and now, certain people in certain cities and countries are still exposed to,” he said.
In a previous study, Reuben and colleagues showed that higher levels of lead in childhood were linked to lower IQ and lower social standing in adulthood.
Both sets of findings suggest that lead’s “effects really can last for quite a long time, in this case three to four decades,” said coauthor Jonathan Schaefer, also a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke. “Lead exposure decades ago may be harming the mental health of people today who are in their 40s and 50s.”
Because gasoline around the world was treated with high levels of lead from the mid 1960s until the late 1980s, most adults now in their 30s, 40s, and 50s were exposed as children. Lead from automotive exhaust was released into the atmosphere and soils. Today, high lead exposures are rarer, and most often found in children who live in older buildings with lead plumbing and paint.
The subjects of this study are part of a group of more than 1,000 people born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, at a time when gasoline lead levels in New Zealand were among the highest in the world. They have regularly participated in physical and mental health evaluations at the local University of Otago.
Researchers measured blood lead levels — in micrograms per deciliter of blood (ug/dL) — when participants were 11 years old. Today, blood lead levels above 5 ug/dL will trigger additional clinical follow-up of a child. At age 11, 94 percent of participants in the Dunedin Study had blood lead levels above this cutoff.
“These are historical data from an era when lead levels like these were viewed as normal in children and not dangerous, so most of our study participants were never given any treatment for lead toxicity,” said Terrie Moffitt, the senior author of the study and Duke’s Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of psychology & neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences.
The Duke research team also assessed participant mental health and personality at various points throughout their lives, most recently at age 38. Diagnostic criteria or symptoms associated with eleven different psychiatric disorders — dependence on alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, or hard drugs; conduct disorder, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, fears and phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mania, and schizophrenia — were used to calculate a single measure of mental health, called the psychopathology factor, or “p-factor” for short.
The higher an individual’s p-factor score, the greater the number and severity of psychiatric symptoms. Lead’s effects on mental health as measured by the p-factor score are about as strong as those on IQ, explained coauthor Avshalom Caspi, Edward M. Arnett Professor of psychology & neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke. “If you’re worried about lead exposure’s impact on IQ, our study suggests you should probably also be worried about mental health,” Caspi said.
The research team also determined that participants exposed to higher levels of lead as children were described as having more difficult adult personalities by family members and friends. Specifically, they found that study members with greater lead exposure were rated as more neurotic, less agreeable, and less conscientious than their less-exposed peers.
These findings confirm personality characteristics that have been previously linked to a number of problems, including worse mental and physical health, reduced job satisfaction, and troubled interpersonal relationships…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190123112330.htm

Citation:

Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health
Date: January 23, 2019
Source: Duke University
Summary:
Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline. The findings reveal that the higher a person’s blood lead levels at age 11, the more likely they are to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age 38.

Journal Reference:
Aaron Reuben, Jonathan D. Schaefer, Terrie E. Moffitt, Jonathan Broadbent, Honalee Harrington, Renate M. Houts, Sandhya Ramrakha, Richie Poulton, Avshalom Caspi. Association of Childhood Lead Exposure With Adult Personality Traits and Lifelong Mental Health. JAMA Psychiatry, 2019 DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4192

Here is the press release from Duke University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 23-JAN-2019
Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health
Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood
DUKE UNIVERSITY
DURHAM, N.C. — Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline.
Previous studies have identified a link between lead and intelligence, but this study looked at changes in personality and mental health as a result of exposure to the heavy metal.
The findings, which will appear Jan. 23 in JAMA Psychiatry, reveal that the higher a person’s blood lead levels at age 11, the more likely they are to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age 38.
The link between mental health and lead exposure is modest, according to study coauthor Aaron Reuben, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke University. But “it’s potentially important because this is a modifiable risk factor that at one point in time everyone was exposed to, and now, certain people in certain cities and countries are still exposed to,” he said.
In a previous study, Reuben and colleagues showed that higher levels of lead in childhood were linked to lower IQ and lower social standing in adulthood.
Both sets of findings suggest that lead’s “effects really can last for quite a long time, in this case three to four decades,” said coauthor Jonathan Schaefer, also a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke. “Lead exposure decades ago may be harming the mental health of people today who are in their 40s and 50s.”
Because gasoline around the world was treated with high levels of lead from the mid 1960s until the late 1980s, most adults now in their 30s, 40s, and 50s were exposed as children. Lead from automotive exhaust was released into the atmosphere and soils. Today, high lead exposures are rarer, and most often found in children who live in older buildings with lead plumbing and paint.
The subjects of this study are part of a group of more than 1,000 people born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, at a time when gasoline lead levels in New Zealand were among the highest in the world. They have regularly participated in physical and mental health evaluations at the local University of Otago.
Researchers measured blood lead levels — in micrograms per deciliter of blood (ug/dL) — when participants were 11 years old. Today, blood lead levels above 5 ug/dL will trigger additional clinical follow-up of a child. At age 11, 94 percent of participants in the Dunedin Study had blood lead levels above this cutoff.
“These are historical data from an era when lead levels like these were viewed as normal in children and not dangerous, so most of our study participants were never given any treatment for lead toxicity,” said Terrie Moffitt, the senior author of the study and Duke’s Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of psychology & neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences.
The Duke research team also assessed participant mental health and personality at various points throughout their lives, most recently at age 38. Diagnostic criteria or symptoms associated with eleven different psychiatric disorders — dependence on alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, or hard drugs; conduct disorder, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, fears and phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mania, and schizophrenia — were used to calculate a single measure of mental health, called the psychopathology factor, or “p-factor” for short.
The higher an individual’s p-factor score, the greater the number and severity of psychiatric symptoms. Lead’s effects on mental health as measured by the p-factor score are about as strong as those on IQ, explained coauthor Avshalom Caspi, Edward M. Arnett Professor of psychology & neuroscience and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke. “If you’re worried about lead exposure’s impact on IQ, our study suggests you should probably also be worried about mental health,” Caspi said.
The research team also determined that participants exposed to higher levels of lead as children were described as having more difficult adult personalities by family members and friends. Specifically, they found that study members with greater lead exposure were rated as more neurotic, less agreeable, and less conscientious than their less-exposed peers.
These findings confirm personality characteristics that have been previously linked to a number of problems, including worse mental and physical health, reduced job satisfaction, and troubled interpersonal relationships.
“For folks who are interested in intervention and prevention, the study suggests that if you’re going to intervene on a group of kids or young adults that have been lead exposed, you may need to think very long-term when it comes to their care,” said Schaefer.
In the future, the Dunedin Study team is interested in whether lead exposure might be linked to the development of later-life diseases such as dementia or cardiovascular disease.
Reuben said the findings are relevant to other developed countries as well. “When we see changes that may be the result of lead exposures in New Zealand it’s very likely that you would have seen those same impacts in America, in Europe, and the other countries that were using leaded gasoline at the same levels at the same time.”
###
The New Zealand Health Research Council and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment provided funding to the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit. Support also came from grants T32AG000139 and AG032282 from the National Institute on Aging, T32HD007376 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, F31ES029358 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and MR/P005918/1 from the UK Medical Research Council. The Jacobs Foundation and the Avielle Foundation provided additional funding.
CITATION: “Association of Childhood Lead Exposure With Adult Personality Traits and Lifelong Mental Health,” Aaron Reuben, Jonathan D. Schaefer, Terrie E. Moffitt, Jonathan Broadbent, Honalee Harrington, Renate M. Houts, Sandhya Ramrakha, Richie Poulton, Avshalom Caspi. JAMA Psychiatry, January 23, 2019. DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4192
https://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4192
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Another cause of lead poisoning is substandard housing conditions.

A 2002 Journal of Public Health article, Housing and Health: Time Again for Public Health Action:

Poor housing conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections, asthma, lead poisoning, injuries, and mental health. Addressing housing issues offers public health practitioners an opportunity to address an important social determinant of health. Public health has long been involved in housing issues. In the 19th century, health officials targeted poor sanitation, crowding, and inadequate ventilation to reduce infectious diseases as well as fire hazards to decrease injuries. Today, public health departments can employ multiple strategies to improve housing, such as developing and enforcing housing guidelines and codes, implementing “Healthy Homes” programs to improve indoor environmental quality, assessing housing conditions, and advocating for healthy, affordable housing. Now is the time for public health to create healthier homes by confronting substandard housing…. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447157/

Substandard housing has been identified as a cause of health issues for decades. The issue is what can or will be done to address the issue.

Related:

Unequal exposures: People in poor, non-white neighborhoods breathe more hazardous particles                                  http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/unequal-exposures

Lead Poisoning                                                        http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/explore/pollute/lead.htm

Learn about Lead                                                                                  http://www2.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

Poor Neighborhoods’ Influence On Parents May Raise Preschool Children’s Risk Of Problems                                         http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207085613.htm

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/

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https://drwilda.com/

University of Tennessee Knoxville study: Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

20 Jan

Francois Grosjean Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, Who is Bilingual? How one describes bilinguals has changed over time.

This other way of looking at bilinguals allows one to include people ranging from the professional interpreter who is fluent in two languages all the way to the established immigrant who speaks the host country’s language but who may not be able to read or write it. In between we find the bilingual child who interacts with her parents in one language and with her friends in another, the scientist who reads and writes articles in a second language (but who rarely speaks it), the member of a linguistic minority who uses the minority language at home only and the majority language in all other domains of life, the Deaf person who uses sign language with her friends but uses the written form of the spoken language with a hearing person, and so on. Despite the great diversity that exists between these people, they all lead their lives with more than one language.
The more recent and more realistic view of bilingualism has allowed many people who live with two or more languages to accept who they are – bilingual, quite simply. (See here for some feedback on what it is like to be bilingual)…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-bilingual/201010/who-is-bilingual

Many argue the advantages of being bilingual.

Maria Konnikova wrote in the New Yorker article, Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?

So does that mean that there’s no such thing as a bilingual advantage? No. It’s just one study. But it adds further evidence to the argument that the bilingual advantage is sometimes overstated. “I’m definitely not saying there’s no bilingual advantage,” de Bruin says. But the advantage may be different from the way many researchers have described it: as a phenomenon that helps children to develop their ability to switch between tasks and, more broadly, enhances their executive-control functions. The true edge, de Bruin believes, may come far later, and in a form that has little to do with task-switching and executive control; it may, she says, be the result of simple learning…. https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/bilingual-advantage-aging-brain

A University of Tennessee Knoxville study examined one aspect of being bilingual.

Science Daily reported in Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no:

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks, according to a new study published in PLOS One.
The study, “No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children’s bilingualism on executive functions,” was coauthored by two UT faculty members: Nils Jaekel, clinical assistant professor of theory and practice in teacher education, and Julia Jaekel, associate professor of child and family studies, together with Jessica Willard and Birgit Leyendecker, researchers from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany….
For their research, the scientists used a computer test to compare the executive function of two groups of children between the ages of five and 15 living in the German Ruhr region. The first group consisted of 242 children who spoke both Turkish and German, and the other group consisted of 95 children who spoke only German.
The test measured the time bilingual and monolingual children took to correctly respond to computer-based problems and stimuli. The results showed no difference in the executive functions of the two groups.
The researchers also considered children’s German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages, factors for which previous studies on the topic had been criticized for lacking.
Does this mean there’s no value in speaking more than one language? Not exactly, said Nils Jaekel: “Although bilingual children are not necessarily more focused than monolingual children, speaking another language can provide other social opportunities along the way. However, it is important to continue the research on this topic so parents, educators, and policymakers do not overpromise on the benefits of speaking a second language.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190118123014.htm

Citation:

Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says n
Date: January 18, 2019
Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Summary:
Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.
Journal Reference:
Nils Jaekel, Julia Jaekel, Jessica Willard, Birgit Leyendecker. No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children‘s bilingualism on executive functions. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (1): e0209981 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209981

Here is the press release from University of Tennessee Knoxville:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 18-JAN-2019
Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE.
The study, “No evidence for effects of Turkish immigrant children’s bilingualism on executive functions,” was coauthored by two UT faculty members: Nils Jaekel, clinical assistant professor of theory and practice in teacher education, and Julia Jaekel, associate professor of child and family studies, together with Jessica Willard and Birgit Leyendecker, researchers from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany.
“The research of executive functions is important because they have direct application to success in both real-life and academic situations,” said Julia Jaekel.
For their research, the scientists used a computer test to compare the executive function of two groups of children between the ages of five and 15 living in the German Ruhr region. The first group consisted of 242 children who spoke both Turkish and German, and the other group consisted of 95 children who spoke only German.
The test measured the time bilingual and monolingual children took to correctly respond to computer-based problems and stimuli. The results showed no difference in the executive functions of the two groups.
The researchers also considered children’s German and Turkish vocabulary size and exposure to both languages, factors for which previous studies on the topic had been criticized for lacking.
Does this mean there’s no value in speaking more than one language? Not exactly, said Nils Jaekel: “Although bilingual children are not necessarily more focused than monolingual children, speaking another language can provide other social opportunities along the way. However, it is important to continue the research on this topic so parents, educators, and policymakers do not overpromise on the benefits of speaking a second language.”
###
CONTACT:
Brian Canever
865-974-0937
bcanever@utk.edu
Jules Morris
865-719-7072
julesmo@utk.edu
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

The issue of official language is often addressed in the context of national cohesion.

Brandon Brice wrote in Why English should be the official language of the United States:

The United States, contrary to popular belief, has no official language. Federal legislators have proposed laws to make English the official business language of the United States, and every year that legislation dies….
Making English the official language would encourage new migrants to learn the language of the country they have adopted as theirs. The end goal is to unite the American people, while improving the lives of immigrants and native-born inhabitants.
There would be savings; official English would save billions in federal spending. The direct cost of translators and bilingual education alone are billions, and many of these costs are born by local governments. In Los Angeles in 2002, $15 million, or 15 percent of the election budget, was devoted to printing ballots in seven languages and hiring bilingual poll workers. Los Angeles county hires over 400 full-time court interpreters at a cost of $265 per day. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law Executive Order 13166, which forces health care providers who accept Medicare and Medicaid payments to hire interpreters for any patient who requires one, at the providers’ own expense.
The indirect costs of accidents and lost productivity caused by the millions of people who don’t speak English are billions more….
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/why-english-should-be-official-language-united-sta/

Noemi Nagy asks an interesting question in Language Diversity as a Source of Conflict in Hungary—Possible Implications of Immigration.

Nagy described the language conflict:

Hungary has been a multinational and multilingual state for a thousand years, therefore had to implement policies and legislation on its minorities and linguistic diversity. After the democratic transition in 1989/90, the country’s new legislation on the protection of minorities became generally praised as standard setting in Europe. In 2011 a new Constitution and a new law on minorities were adopted, one of the major ‘innovations’ being Hungarian declared as the official language of the State. The aim of the paper is to present and critically evaluate the legislation and policies on language use and minority protection in Hungary in the democratic era, with special focus on the reverberations of today’s immigration boom in Europe, and the Hungarian government’s reactions to that. The paper opens questions such as: Is Hungary’s legal arrangement is appropriate to accommodate current needs of language minorities including new minorities, i.e. migrants? What are the possible implications of influx of immigrants into Hungary in terms of language policy? Will language resurface as a source of conflict as a new layout of multilingualism is taking shape in Europe? https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-77231-8_5

Something to ponder.

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University of Vermont study: Why people reject city trees

13 Jan

The Nature Conservancy published How Urban Trees Can Save Lives:

The Planting Healthy Air report documents which cities stand to benefit most from tree plantings, in terms of both heat and PM reduction, and how much investment would be required to achieve meaningful benefits.
The analysis found that investing just US$4 per resident in each of these cities in tree planting efforts could improve the health of millions of people, and that trees are as cost-effective as many other common solutions.
Most of the cooling and filtering effects created by trees are fairly localized, so densely populated cities—as well as those with higher overall pollution levels—tend to see the highest overall return on investment (ROI) from tree plantings…. https://global.nature.org/content/healthyair

Exeter University reported that asthma attacks were reduced in tree-lined urban areas.

Science Daily reported in Asthma attacks reduced in tree-lined urban neighborhoods:

People living in polluted urban areas are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma when there are lots of trees in their neighbourhood, a study by the University of Exeter’s medical school has found.
The study into the impact of urban greenery on asthma suggests that respiratory health can be improved by the expansion of tree cover in very polluted urban neighbourhoods.
The study, published in the journal Environment International, looked at more than 650,000 serious asthma attacks over a 15 year period. Emergency hospitalisations were compared across 26,000 urban neighbourhoods in England.
In the most polluted urban areas, trees had a particularly strong association with fewer emergency asthma cases. In relatively unpolluted urban neighbourhoods trees did not have the same impact.
In a typical urban area with a high level of background air pollution — for example, around 15 micrograms of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) per cubic metre, or a nitrogen dioxide concentration around 33 micrograms per cubic metre — an extra 300 trees per square kilometre was associated with around 50 fewer emergency asthma cases per 100,000 residents over the 15 year study period.
The findings could have important implications for planning and public health policy, and suggest that tree planting could play a role in reducing the effects of air pollution from cars.
Over 5.4 million people receive treatment for asthma in the UK with an annual cost to the NHS of around £1 billion. 18 per cent of adults report asthma in the previous 12 months, and a quarter of 13-14 year olds report symptoms. Asthma causes over a thousand deaths a year.
The study led by Dr Ian Alcock, research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Medical School, found that trees and green space were both related to a decrease in people admitted to hospital with asthma…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171117103814.ht

Urban trees can affect the quality of life and health.

Science Daily reported in Why people reject city trees: Study explains why thousands of Detroit residents rejected city’s tree planting efforts:

Trees are a hallmark of vibrant neighborhoods. So why did nearly one-quarter of eligible residents in Detroit, Michigan, turn down free street trees? That’s the mystery University of Vermont researcher Christine Carmichael solves in one of the first studies to explore opposition to city tree planting programs.
As cities from New York to L.A. embark on major tree planting initiatives, the research helps to explain why more than 1,800 of 7,425 eligible Detroit residents — roughly 25% — submitted “no-tree requests” between 2011 and 2014 alone. The study was published January 7 by Society and Natural Resources journal.
“This research shows how local government actions can cause residents to reject environmental efforts — in this case, street trees — that would otherwise be in people’s interests,” says Carmichael, a postdoctoral researcher at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Carmichael found that the opposition in Detroit resulted primarily from negative past experiences with street trees, particularly in low-income neighborhoods grappling with blight from vacant properties. In 2014 alone, the city had an estimated 20,000 dead or hazardous trees, following the contraction of Detroit’s once-massive tree maintenance program from budget cuts and population decline.
For many long-term residents, wariness of the new trees was driven by past experiences of caring for vacant properties in their neighborhood. They believed responsibility for maintaining the trees would eventually fall to them. “Even though it’s city property, we’re gonna end up having to care for it and raking leaves and God knows whatever else we might have to do,” said one woman interviewed for the study.
Carmichael also found that skepticism of the program was tied to wider distrust of the city government and outside groups in parts of Detroit. As a result, residents wanted greater decision-making power in selecting which trees to plant in particular locations, adds Carmichael who completed the three-year study for her PhD with co-author Maureen McDonough of Michigan State University…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190107142109.htm

Citation:

Why people reject city trees: Study explains why thousands of Detroit residents rejected city’s tree planting efforts
Date: January 7, 2019
Source: University of Vermont
Summary:
Why did nearly one-quarter of eligible residents in Detroit turn down free street trees? That’s the mystery researchers solve in one of the first studies to explore opposition to city tree planting programs. As cities from New York to L.A. embark on tree planting initiatives, the research helps to explain why more than 1,800 of 7,425 eligible Detroit residents — roughly 25 percent — submitted ‘no-tree requests’ between 2011 and 2014 alone.

Christine E. Carmichael & Maureen H. McDonough (2019) Community Stories: Explaining Resistance to Street Tree-Planting Programs in Detroit, Michigan, USA, Society & Natural Resources, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1550229

Here is the press release from the University of Vermont:

Why People Reject City Trees
Study explains why thousands of Detroit residents rejected city’s tree planting efforts
Trees are a hallmark of vibrant neighborhoods. So why did nearly one-quarter of eligible residents in Detroit, Michigan, turn down free street trees? That’s the mystery University of Vermont researcher Christine Carmichael solves in one of the first studies to explore opposition to city tree planting programs.
As cities from New York to L.A. embark on major tree planting initiatives, the research helps to explain why more than 1,800 of 7,425 eligible Detroit residents – roughly 25% – submitted “no-tree requests” between 2011 and 2014 alone.
“This research shows how local government actions can cause residents to reject environmental efforts – in this case, street trees – that would otherwise be in people’s interests,” says Carmichael, a postdoctoral researcher at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
The study was published January 7 by Society and Natural Resources journal.
Carmichael found that the opposition in Detroit resulted primarily from negative past experiences with street trees, particularly in low-income neighborhoods grappling with blight from vacant properties. In 2014 alone, the city had an estimated 20,000 dead or hazardous trees, following the contraction of Detroit’s once-massive tree maintenance program from budget cuts and population decline.
For many long-term residents, wariness of the new trees was driven by past experiences of caring for vacant properties in their neighborhood. They believed responsibility for maintaining the trees would eventually fall to them. “Even though it’s city property, we’re gonna end up having to care for it and raking leaves and God knows whatever else we might have to do,” said one woman interviewed for the study.
Carmichael also found that skepticism of the program was tied to wider distrust of the city government and outside groups in parts of Detroit. As a result, residents wanted greater decision-making power in selecting which trees to plant in particular locations, adds Carmichael who completed the three-year study for her PhD with co-author Maureen McDonough of Michigan State University.
Greening Detroit
Urban greening projects offer health benefits to residents, from improved air quality to decreased crime, and seek to boost the typically lower amount of tree cover in low-income neighborhoods, Carmichael says.
For these reasons, many cities have launched major tree planting initiatives in recent years, including MillionTreesNYC, Grow Boston Greener, The Chicago Tree Initiative, and The Greening of Detroit.
To avoid past mistakes in the city’s tree planting and maintenance approach, staff at The Greening of Detroit, a non-profit contracted by the city to plant trees, selected tree species that could survive in urban environments and guaranteed maintenance of trees for three years after planting.
However, the group relied primarily on educating residents about the benefits of trees and their program, which failed to address people’s concerns. “By not giving residents a say in the tree planting program, they were re-creating the same conflicts that had been happening in the city for a long time,” says Carmichael.
Carmichael says simple steps, such as allowing residents a choice over which kind of tree will be planted in front of their home, can reduce tensions. Investing more effort in follow-up communication with residents who receive trees would also help to ensure that trees are cared for, and residents do not feel overburdened with tree maintenance.
One man interviewed for the study said, “I’ve left several messages. My tree was planted last August. My wife loved it. I was told that they would come back out and either water it or fertilize it. Haven’t seen anyone. So, I’ve been doing the best that I can. Where do I go from here?”
Lessons for non-profits
Monica Tabares of The Greening of Detroit says that increased spending by the City of Detroit’s forestry department, as well as a change in the organization’s leadership, has led the group to focus more on community engagement.
Since Carmichael presented her findings to The Greening of Detroit, the organization has instituted community engagement training for the youth they hire to water street trees and interact with residents. “As a result of our refined focus, [our program] has brought thousands of residents together to not only plant trees, but gain a greater understanding of the benefits of trees in their communities,” says Tabares.
Carmichael’s study is gaining attention from city planners across North America hoping to learn Detroit’s lessons. Local governments and non-profits in Austin, Denver, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Toronto and Vermont have reached out for help implementing her research.
The study also offers lessons for how non-profits and donors measure successful outcomes, Carmichael says.
With limited resources and watchful donors, some non-profits often focus on narrow outcomes — such as the number of trees planted per year – without also prioritizing deeper community engagement, which might slow the immediate work of planting trees, but create more a sustainable outcome.
“We need to broaden the measurable outcomes that we can gauge success by,” says Carmichael. “Healthy urban forests cannot be measured just by the number of trees planted. We also have to capture who is involved, and how that involvement affects the well-being of people and trees in the long-term.”

The Royal Parks of the United Kingdom summarized the benefits of urban trees.

The Royal Parks wrote in Why are trees so important?

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.
Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they give us a link between the past, present and future.
It’s critical that woodlands, rainforests and trees in urban settings, such as parks, are preserved and sustainably managed across the world….
Trees benefit health
The canopies of trees act as a physical filter, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants from the air. Each individual tree removes up to 1.7 kilos every year. They also provide shade from solar radiation and reduce noise….
Trees benefit the environment
Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and the carbon that they store in their wood helps slow the rate of global warming.
They reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C.
Trees also help prevent flooding and soil erosion, absorbing thousands of litres of stormwater.
Trees boost wildlife
Trees host complex microhabitats. When young, they offer habitation and food to amazing communities of birds, insects, lichen and fungi. When ancient, their trunks also provide the hollow cover needed by species such as bats, woodboring beetles, tawny owls and woodpeckers.
One mature oak can be home to as many as 500 different species. Richmond Park is full of such trees, which is one of the reasons it has been designated a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Trees strengthen communities
Trees strengthen the distinctive character of a place and encourage local pride. Urban woodland can be used as an educational resource and to bring groups together for activities like walking and bird-watching. Trees are also invaluable for children to play in and discover their sense of adventure.
Trees grow the economy
People are attracted to live, work and invest in green surroundings. Research shows that average house prices are 5-18% higher when properties are close to mature trees. Companies benefit from a healthier, happier workforce if there are parks and trees nearby.
Trees protect the future
Soon, for the first time in history, the number of people with homes in cities will outstrip those living in the countryside. Parks and trees will become an even more vital component of urban life. We must respect them and protect them for the future…. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/things-to-see-and-do/gardens-and-landscapes/tree-map/why-trees-are-important

See, Envisioning a Great Green City: Nature needs cities. Cities need nature. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/envisioning-a-great-green-city/

Resources:

Urban Forestry & Energy Conservation Bibliography https://articles.extension.org/pages/71120/urban-forestry-energy-conservation-bibliography

Urban Forestry Bibliography Created by the Forest Service … https://www.milliontreesnyc.org/downloads/pdf/urban_tree_bib.pdf

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