Fighting perinatal mood and anxiety disorders on multiple levels

Over the past several decades, it’s become increasingly recognized that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), including postpartum depression, are more than just “baby blues.” They’re the most common complication of childbirth in the U.S., affecting about 14 percent of women in their lifetimes and up to 50 percent in some specific populations. PMADs can lead to a variety of adverse outcomes for both mothers and their babies, including poor breastfeeding rates, poor maternal-infant bonding, lower infant immunization rates and maternal suicides that account for up to 20 percent of postpartum deaths.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Managerialism in UK schools erodes teachers’ mental health and well-being

Performance targets, increased workload, curriculum changes and other bureaucratic changes are eroding teachers’ professional identity and harming their mental health, a new study finds.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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How bad will my postpartum depression be in 12 months?

A new study was able to successfully predict — with 72.8 percent accuracy — if a new mother would experience worsening depressive symptoms over the first year after giving birth. The scientists predicted this depression trajectory using four maternal characteristics that put the mother at risk. Identifying these factors early in the postpartum period will allow mothers to seek treatment earlier and improve their chance of a full recovery.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Wearable sensor can detect hidden anxiety, depression in young children

Anxiety and depression in young children are hard to detect and often go untreated, potentially leading to anxiety disorders and increased risk of suicide and drug abuse later. In a new study, researchers showed a wearable sensor detected these ‘internalizing disorders’ in children with 81 percent accuracy, reducing to 20 seconds what would take clinicians months to diagnose, opening the door to inexpensive screening that could be part of routine developmental assessments.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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A study analyzes the impact of targeted Facebook advertising on the election

Research has studied the effectiveness of micro-targeted political advertising on social media such as Facebook in the United States. The research concludes that it may have increased the number of Donald Trump voters by ten per cent in the 2016 presidential elections.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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How words get an emotional meaning

Everyday objects and people have an emotional meaning. A wool sock might have an emotional value if it was the last thing grandmother knitted before her death. The same applies to words. A stranger’s name has no emotional value, but if a loving relationship develops, the name suddenly has positive connotations. Researchers investigated how the brain processes such stimuli — positive or negative.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Risky decisions: Excessive social media use is comparable to drug addiction

Bad decision-making is a trait oftentimes associated with drug addicts and pathological gamblers, but what about people who excessively use social media? New research shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Kids: Connection to nature lessens distress, hyperactivity and behavioral problems

A new 16-item parent questionnaire (CNI-PPC) to measure ‘connectedness to nature’ in very young children has been developed by Dr. Sobko and her collaborator Professor Gavin Brown, Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit at the University of Auckland. The results revealed that parents who saw their child had a closer connection with nature had less distress, less hyperactivity, and fewer behavioral and emotional difficulties, and improved pro-social behavior.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Controlling children’s behavior with screen time leads to more screen time, study reveals

Researchers investigated the impact of parenting practices on the amount of time young children spend in front of screens. They found a majority of parents use screen time to control behavior, especially on weekends. This results in children spending an average of 20 minutes more a day on weekends in front of a screen. Researchers say this is likely because using it as a reward or punishment heightens a child’s attraction to the activity.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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In VR boys learn best when the teacher is a drone — girls lean better from virtual Marie

The teacher is just as important in a virtual learning environment as in a normal classroom, but a new study shows that boys and girls differ greatly in terms of how they learn best: Boys learn best when their virtual teacher comes in the form of a drone, while girls get more knowledge from VR-teaching when they are taught by a young, female researcher-type named Marie.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Caring for preterm babies in single family rooms may help prevent sepsis and improve exclusive breastfeeding

Caring for preterm babies in single family rooms appears to reduce the incidence of sepsis and improve exclusive breastfeeding rates compared with traditional open ward neonatal units, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
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Immigrant kids in U.S. deliberately build STEM skills

US immigrant children study more math and science in high school and college, which leads to their greater presence in STEM careers, according to new findings.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Retailers can manipulate consumer regret to beat competitors

Markdown retailers can survive the entry of an everyday low price retailer into a highly competitive market by manipulating price, product availability, and the regret consumers feel when they pay too much or wait until a product is unavailable to decide to buy it, according to a new study. The results explain why markdown pricing remains ubiquitous in spite of the simplicity and marketing and operational advantages of everyday low pricing.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Brain plasticity restored in adult mice through targeting specific nerve cell connections

Research in mice finds a new molecular mechanism that is essential for maturation of brain function and may be used to restore plasticity in aged brains. Unlike previous research that broadly manipulated brain plasticity and affected the entire brain, this work targets for the first time a specific molecule acting on a single type of neuronal connection to modulate brain function. The findings may advance treatment of human diseases such as autism and stroke.
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PAC1R mutation may be linked to severity of social deficits in autism

If the pilot findings are corroborated in larger, multi-center studies, the research represents the first step toward identifying a potential novel biomarker to guide interventions and better predict outcomes for children with autism.
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Work-family conflict hits home

Researchers have long known that sick children can affect a company’s bottom line, as employees are distracted or have to take time off to care for their children. Less is known about the impact a parent’s work life has on their children’s health. But now researchers have found that children’s health is less likely to be negatively affected when their parents feel a sense of control over their work lives.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Can a video game-based ‘digital medicine’ help children with autism and co-occurring ADHD?

Researchers evaluated a digital medicine tool designed as an investigational treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and co-occurring attention/deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Cost to walk away from Facebook for a year? More than $1,000, new study finds

Using a series of auctions in which people were paid to close their accounts for as little as one day or as long as one year, a new study finds that Facebook users would require an average of more than $ 1,000 to deactivate their account for one year.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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How socioeconomic status shapes developing brains

The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and brain anatomy is mostly stable from childhood to early adulthood, according to a longitudinal neuroimaging study of more than 600 healthy young people. This finding suggests interventions designed to mitigate the influence of low SES on brain and mental health may be most beneficial for children younger than age five.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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What are you looking at? How attention affects decision-making

Scientists using eye-tracking technology have found that what we look at helps guide our decisions when faced with two visible choices, such as snack food options. But it is not as easy as saying we simply choose what we look at the most, the research found. Instead, our gaze amplifies our desire for choices we already like.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Interpreting emotions: A matter of confidence

We are exposed to the facial expressions of the people. But do we interpret them correctly? And do we trust our own judgment? This trust is essential for avoiding potentially dangerous situations. Researchers have been testing how confident we feel when judging other people’s emotions, and what areas of the brain are used. These results demonstrate that beliefs of our own emotional interpretation stem directly from the experiences stored in our memory.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Intellectual curiosity and confidence help children take on math and reading

Children’s personalities may influence how they perform in math and reading, according to a new study.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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How a personality trait puts you at risk for cybercrime

Impulse online shopping, downloading music and compulsive email use are all signs of a certain personality trait that make you a target for malware attacks. New research examines the behaviors — both obvious and subtle — that lead someone to fall victim to cybercrime involving Trojans, viruses, and malware.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Passive exposure alone can enhance the learning of foreign speech sounds

Ability to understand and subsequently speak a new language requires the ability to accurately discriminate speech sounds of a given language. When we start to learn a new language the differences between speech sounds can be very difficult to perceive. With enough active practice the ability to discriminate the speech sounds enhances.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Children of problem drinkers more likely to marry someone with a drinking problem

Children of parents who have alcohol use disorder are more likely to get married under the age of 25, less likely to get married later in life, and more likely to marry a person who has alcohol use disorder themselves, according to a new study.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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School-based nutritional programs reduce student obesity

In-school nutrition policies and programs that promote healthier eating habits among middle school students limit increases in body mass index (BMI), a new study finds.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Gently stroking babies before medical procedures may reduce pain processing

Researchers found that gently stroking a baby seems to reduce activity in the infant brain associated with painful experiences. Their results suggest that lightly brushing an infant at a certain speed — of approximately 3 centimeters per second — could provide effective pain relief before clinically necessary medical procedures.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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How parents protect children from the long-term effects of stress

When young children experience violence or poverty, the effect can last well into adulthood. But new research suggests that a strong parental relationship could override some of these effects, by changing how children perceive the environmental cues that help them distinguish between what’s safe or dangerous.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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Parents’ brain activity ‘echoes’ their infant’s brain activity when they play together

Research shows for the first time that when adults are engaged in joint play together with their infant, the parents’ brains show bursts of high-frequency activity, which are linked to their baby’s attention patterns and not their own.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Widespread brain alterations in children with callousness

Children with elevated levels of callous traits — such as a lack of remorse and disregard for other people’s feelings — show widespread differences in brain structure compared with children with lower levels of the traits, according to a new study.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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How bullying affects the structure of the teen brain

The effects of constantly being bullied are more than just psychological. Research now shows that there may be physical structural differences in the brains of adolescents who are regularly victimized, and this could increase the chance that they suffer from mental illness.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Attention training improves intelligence and functioning of children’s brain

Being able to voluntarily regulate our attention is crucial for mental processes such as intelligence and learning in children. With this in mind, researchers have carried out a study in which they evaluated the influence of a computer-based attention-training intervention on intelligence scores and brain functioning on a group of pre-school age children.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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New study finds bias against women and girls when intellectual ability is sought

A new study finds bias against both women and girls for jobs or activities requiring intellectual ability. The research underscores the pervasiveness of gender bias, held even among females, in both adults and young children.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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The powerful impact of real-world learning experiences for kids

Real-world learning experiences, like summer camps, can significantly improve children’s knowledge in a matter of just days, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 4- to 9-year-old kids knew more about how animals are classified after a four-day camp at a zoo. It wasn’t that children who attended just knew more facts about animals, the researchers noted. The camp actually improved how they organized what they knew — a key component of learning.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Link between neonatal vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia confirmed

Newborns with vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, a team of researchers has reported. The discovery could help prevent some cases of the disease by treating vitamin D deficiency during the earliest stages of life. The study found newborns with vitamin D deficiency had a 44 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Mark Ronson on Miley, Lady Gaga and reaching wedding status

Shades on, the recognisable quiff a little less coiffed than usual but still present, Mark Ronson is sitting in the library room of a central London hotel, speaking to Sky News amid a whirlwind of promotion for his latest single.
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Media coverage of disasters can have lasting effects on children’s mental health

Disaster communication experts say disaster media coverage can have lasting effects on children’s mental health and suggest teachers and parents be prepared to respond to questions during and after a catastrophe.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Infections during childhood increase the risk of mental disorders

A new study shows that the infections children contract during their childhood are linked to an increase in the risk of mental disorders during childhood and adolescence. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role of the immune system in the development of mental disorders.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Family matters for future wealth

New research, for the first time using actual income numbers from two generations of Australians, reveals they do not easily move from low-income to high-income bands, however mobility is greater than the US. The analysis also suggests that family structure — who you’re married to, when you have children and how many you have — matters when it comes to income mobility.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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So cute you could crush it?

Until now, research exploring how and why cute aggression occurs has been the domain of behavioral psychology. But recently, a licensed clinical psychologist with a background in neuroscience has taken formal study of the phenomenon a few steps further. To her knowledge, the results of her latest study are the first to confirm a neural basis for cute aggression.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Mothers whose responses to infants’ facial cues increase report stronger bonds with babies

A new study examines whether pregnancy changes mothers’ neural sensitivity to infants’ facial cues, and whether such changes affect mother-infant bonding. The study finds that increases in cortical responses to infants’ faces from the prenatal to the postnatal period in individual mothers are associated with more positive relationships with the baby (as reported by the mothers) after birth.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Linguistic study finds ‘the I’s have it’ when it comes to education rates

“I learn,” “you learn,” “she learns,” “they learn,” yet, according to a surprising new linguistic study, in countries where the dominant language allows personal pronouns such as ‘I’ to be omitted, learning suffers.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Learning to read comes at a cost

Learning how to read may have some disadvantages for learning grammar. Children who cannot read yet often treat multiword phrases as wholes (‘how-are-you’). After learning to read, children notice individual words more, as these are separated by spaces in written language (‘how are you’).
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD

African-American children often are reported by parents and teachers to display behaviors of ADHD at a higher rate than children from other racial and ethnic groups. For the first time, researchers have found that African-American mothers in a study rated boys as displaying more frequent ADHD symptoms than Caucasian mothers did, regardless of child race.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Emotional suppression has negative outcomes on children

‘Not in front of the kids’ is an age-old plea for parents to avoid showing conflict and strong negative emotions around their children. But scientists now disagree, showing that it’s better to express negative emotions in a healthy way than to tamp them down.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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Babies kicking in the womb are creating a map of their bodies

The kicks a mother feels from her unborn child may allow the baby to ‘map’ their own body and enable them to eventually explore their surroundings, suggests new research. For the study, researchers measured brainwaves produced when newborns kick their limbs during rapid eye movement sleep, finding that fast brainwaves — a brainwave pattern typically seen in neonates — fire in the corresponding hemisphere.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Music supports the auditory skills of hearing-impaired children

Researchers have found evidence that children with hearing impairment and cochlear implants can benefit from hobbies involving music and especially singing.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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Children who start school a year early more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Children who enter elementary school younger than their peers are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Children born in August in states with a Sept. 1 cutoff birth date for school enrollment have a 30 percent higher risk for ADHD diagnosis than peers born in September, which may reflect over-diagnosis.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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When a city feels good, people take more risks

What makes people take risks? Not stunt women or Formula 1 drivers. Just ordinary people like you and me. Research suggests that unexpected improvements in everyday life (sunshine after many days of rain or a win by a local sports team) are correlated with a change in a city’s mood and an increased likelihood that it’s citizens will do risky things like gamble.
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Wriggly, giggle, puffball: What makes some words funny?

Upchuck, bubby, boff, wriggly, yaps, giggle, cooch, guffaw, puffball, and jiggly: the top 10 funniest words in the English language, according to a new study. The researchers determined that there are two main kinds of predictors of funniness in words: those related to the form of the word and those related to its meaning.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation

According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence. Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Brain responses to language in toddlers with Autism linked to altered gene expression

Scientists have identified a previously unknown, large-scale association between molecular gene expression activity in blood leukocyte cells and altered neural responses to speech in toddlers with autism as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Sequential imaging of Zika-exposed fetuses reveals most have normal brain development

Ultrasound (US) imaging performed during pregnancy and after childbirth revealed most Zika-related brain abnormalities experienced by infants exposed to the Zika virus during pregnancy. Some Zika-exposed infants whose imaging had been normal during pregnancy had mild brain abnormalities detected by US and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after they were born.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Traumatic brain injuries can lead to long-term neurological and psychiatric disorders

New research suggests that children who suffer traumatic brain injuries are at significantly increased risk of developing new post-traumatic neuropsychiatric disorders, and may benefit from ongoing outpatient follow-up to facilitate early detection and intervention.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Social media is affecting the way we view our bodies — and not in a good way

Young women who actively engage with social media images of friends who they think are more attractive than themselves report feeling worse about their own appearance afterward, a new study shows. It’s no secret that social media can blur the lines on what’s real and what’s fantasy, but new research now shows how young women interact with images online can affect how they feel about their own bodies.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Studies highlight lasting effects of early life stress on the genome, gut, and brain

Excessive stress during fetal development or early childhood can have long-term consequences for the brain, from increasing the likelihood of brain disorders and affecting an individual’s response to stress as an adult to changing the nutrients a mother may pass on to her babies in the womb. The new research suggests novel approaches to combat the effects of such stress, such as inhibiting stress hormone production or ‘resetting’ populations of immune cells in the brain.
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Slowed brainwaves linked to early signs of brain cells going haywire due to dementia

To turn back the clock on Alzheimer’s disease, many researchers are seeking ways to effectively diagnose the neurodegenerative disorder earlier. One potential way to do this is by tracking a person’s brainwave activity, which slows down in certain brain regions that are likely to be affected by the disease next, according to recent findings.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Kindergarten difficulties may predict academic achievement across primary grades

Identifying factors that predict academic difficulties during elementary school should help inform efforts to help children who may be at risk. New research suggests that children’s executive functions may be a particularly important risk factor for such difficulties.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Children’s sleep not significantly affected by screen time, new study finds

As young people spend an increasing amount of time on electronic devices, the effects of these digital activities has become a prevalent concern among parents, caregivers, and policy-makers. Research indicating that between 50 percent to 90 percent of school-age children might not be getting enough sleep has prompted calls that technology use may be to blame. However, new research has shown that screen time has very little practical effect on children’s sleep.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, ‘no, thanks’

The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new study that explores consumers’ perceptions of today’s transforming retail environment.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Sign language reveals the hidden logical structure, and limitations, of spoken language

Sign languages can help reveal hidden aspects of the logical structure of spoken language, but they also highlight its limitations because speech lacks the rich iconic resources that sign language uses on top of its sophisticated grammar.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Conversion ‘therapy’ begins at home

A new study finds that attempts by parents and religious leaders or therapists to change the sexual orientation of LGBT adolescents (‘conversion therapy’) contribute to multiple health and adjustment problems in young adulthood. These include higher levels of depression and suicidal behavior, as well as lower levels of self-esteem, social support and life satisfaction, and lower levels of education and income in young adulthood.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Parents put nature in the shopping basket

In a world of vast consumer choice, ambiguous product descriptions and self-appointed experts, parents face a minefield when picking out food, toys or other products for their children. A new qualitative study indicates that naturalness is the current benchmark for consumer choice among parents.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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Parents shouldn’t worry if their infant doesn’t sleep through the night by a year old

The authors of a study found that a large percentage of healthy babies don’t start sleeping through the night even at a year old. The research team also examined whether infants who didn’t sleep for six or eight consecutive hours were more likely to have problems with psychomotor and mental development, and found no association. The researchers also found no correlation between infants waking up at night and their mothers’ postnatal mood.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Why your number of romantic partners mirrors your mother

A new national study shows that people whose mothers had more partners — married or cohabiting — often follow the same path. Results suggest that mothers may pass on personality traits and relationship skills that make their children more or less likely to form stable relationships.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Developing instruments to detect language problems earlier

Using the Computerized Comprehension Task, the team measured concepts by asking children to touch images on a touch-sensitive screen that represented words they were learning. The team used a measure of vocabulary that focused on stable concepts, finding that it was superior to prior measures in predicting children’s general language ability at age 3. The team also identified individual children at risk for language problems a full two years earlier than prior studies.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Autism and zinc deficiency in early development

Autism has been associated with zinc deficiency in infancy. While it is not yet known whether zinc deficiency in early development causes autism, scientists have now found a mechanistic link. Their study connects zinc, autism risk genes and abnormal neuronal connections associated with autism spectrum disorders.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Wealthier people do less in the struggle against climate change

A collective-risk dilemma experiment with members of the public in Barcelona has shown that people are more or less likely to contribute money to fighting climate change depending on their how wealthy they are. And the results indicate that participants with fewer resources were prepared to contribute significantly more to the public good than wealthier people, sometimes up to twice as much.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

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Brain learns to recognize familiar faces regardless of where they are in the visual field

A new study finds that recognition of faces varies by where they appear in the visual field and this variability is reduced by learning familiar faces through social interactions. The findings suggest that repeated social interactions may tune populations of visual neurons in the face processing network to enable consistent and rapid recognition of familiar faces.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Mothers prefer daughters and fathers prefer sons

A research group has studied whether parents’ gender preferences and investment in offspring are affected by their status, wealth, education or childhood environment. Instead, parental preferences were best predicted by their sex. These results help to make sense of the often contradictory findings on offspring sex preferences.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Teachers and Trump: Response to 2016 election

Teachers felt immense pressure from school leaders and families to respond in a certain way — or not at all — in their classrooms following the 2016 presidential election, according to new research.
K-12 Education News — ScienceDaily

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