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Researchers Identify Gene Linked to PTSD

The Compassionate Mind

Violence: An American Archetype

Alone: The Mental Health Effects of Solitary Confinement

People See Sexy Pictures of Women as Objects, Not People

Children in U.S. and U.K. Share Risk Factors for Behavior Problems

Kudzu May Curb Binge Drinking, New Study Suggests

The Pain of Social Rejection: As far as the brain is concerned, a broken heart may not be so different from a broken arm.

Foul-Mouthed Characters in Teen Books Have It All Trust

ptsd awareness

Photo courtesy Joshua Brown, UVM


Exercise Reduces Suicide Attempts by 23 Percent among Bullied Teens


Findings show importance of exercise for all teens as high schools cut physical education and sports programs

September 21, 2015—As high schools across the country continue to reduce physical education, recess, and athletic programs, a new study shows that regular exercise significantly reduces both suicidal thoughts and attempts among students who are bullied.
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Teens with Bulimia Recover Faster When Parents Are Included in Treatment


Findings of largest randomized clinical trial challenge old belief to only treat patients individually

September 18, 2015—Involving parents in the treatment of adolescents with bulimia nervosa is more effective than treating the patient individually, according to a newly-published study.
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Research on Attractiveness and Mating Challenges Some Commonly-Held Beliefs


Researchers look at what people find 'desirable' and 'essential' in a long-term partner based on 2 of the largest national studies of mate preferences ever conducted

September 16, 2015—Chapman University has published research on what people find "desirable" and "essential" in a long-term partner based on two of the largest national studies of mate preferences ever conducted. This research supports the long-held belief that people with desirable traits have a stronger "bargaining hand" and can be more selective when choosing romantic partners, but it also challenges other commonly held mating beliefs.
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To Email or Not to Email? For Those in Love, It's Better than Leaving a Voice Message

September 1, 2015—In her hit single, Carly Rae Jepsen may have sung, "Here's my number, so call me maybe." But according to a new research study from Indiana University, she might be more successful in finding love if she asked him to send her an email. The research, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, suggests that, in this digital age, an email can be more effective in expressing romantic feelings than leaving a voicemail message.
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Close Friendships in Adolescence Predict Health in Adulthood

August 31, 2015—Teens are often warned to beware the undue influence of peer pressure, but new research suggests that following the pack in adolescence may have some unexpected benefits for physical health in early adulthood.

The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Psychological scientists Joseph P. Allen, Bert N. Uchino, and Christopher A. Hafen found that physical health in adulthood could be predicted based on the quality of close friendships in adolescence. In addition, efforts to conform to peer norms were actually linked to higher quality health in adulthood.
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Stepchildren Who View Former Stepparents as Family Maintain Relationships after Divorce


Without legal or genetic ties, stepparent-stepchild relationships face uncertainty after breakups

COLUMBIA, MO; August 10, 2015—Remarriages often combine two families into one stepfamily unit. When that stepfamily unit dissolves after a divorce, little is known about the relationships between former stepparents and stepchildren. Now, researchers in the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences found stepchildren's views of former stepparents depended on emotional reactions to the divorce, patterns of support or resource exchanges, and parental encouragement or discouragement to continue step-relationships. Whether stepchildren maintained relationships with their former stepparents largely depended on whether stepchildren viewed their former stepparents as family.
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How Spiritual Beliefs Relate to Cancer Patients' Physical, Mental, and Social Well-Being

August 10, 2015—Research reveals that most individuals with cancer have religious and spiritual beliefs, or derive comfort from religious and spiritual experiences. But what impact does this have on patients' health? Recent analyses of all published studies on the topic--which included more than 44,000 patients--shed new light on the associations of religion and spirituality with cancer patients' mental, social, and physical well-being. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the analyses indicate that religion and spirituality have significant associations with patients' health, but there was wide variability among studies regarding how different dimensions of religion and spirituality relate to different aspects of health.
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Positive Reinforcement Plays Key Role in Cognitive Task Performance in ADHD Kids

BUFFALO, NY; July 30, 2015—A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—more so than it would for typically developing kids.

That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.
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Social Groups and Emotions


Study shows how social groups are represented in the brain

July 29, 2015—Politicians, children, teachers, Europeans . . . what do they have in common? As discovered in a study led by Luca Piretti and his colleagues from SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) of Trieste, they are all social groups, a special semantic category for the human brain that is closely linked with emotions. Until recently, most neuroscientists believed that the representation of knowledge in the brain was based on two distinct systems: one involved in representing animate objects (or, generally, anything organic), and the other for representing inanimate objects (artifacts). In recent years, however, a third category has been proposed: social groups.
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Why Alfred Hitchcock Grabs Your Attention

July 27, 2015—The movies of Alfred Hitchcock have made palms sweat and pulses race for more than 65 years. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have now learned how the Master of Suspense affects audiences' brains.
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Sex and Violence May Not Really Sell Products


Review of 53 studies suggests advertisers may be wasting money

COLUMBUS, OH; July 21, 2015—If there's one thing advertisers think they know, it is that sex and violence sell. A new analysis, however, provides some of the best evidence to date that this widely accepted adage just isn't true.
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Comparing Your Partner to Someone Else's? Find Yours Comes up Short?


University of Toronto psychologists explain what happens when people compare their partner to someone else's

TORONTO; July 21, 2015—When Julie compares her husband George to her friend's husband Sam, she can't help but notice that Sam is better at helping his children with homework. But rather than be upset about George's shortcomings in the children's homework arena, Julie reasons that since she enjoys doing homework with their children, it's not that important that George do it. What Julie has just done is protect her partner (and their relationship!) from the negative implications of her own comparison. But not all members of a couple engage in these justifying explanations of their partner's behaviours or characteristics.
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Massive Study: Birth Order Has No Meaningful Effect on Personality or IQ

CHAMPAIGN, IL; July 16, 2015—For those who believe that birth order influences traits like personality and intelligence, a study of 377,000 high school students offers some good news: Yes, the study found, first-borns do have higher IQs and consistently different personality traits than those born later in the family chronology. However, researchers say, the differences between first-borns and "later-borns" are so small that they have no practical relevance to people's lives.
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Strong Family Bonds Reduce Anxiety in Young People with Lived Experience of Domestic Violence

July 9, 2015—Strong relationships with other family members can help raise self-esteem and reduce anxiety for some young people who grow up in homes affected by parental domestic violence.
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Faster Weight Gain Can Be Safe for Hospitalized Anorexia Patients


New study challenges current standard recommendations.

July 8, 2015—A new study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers of patients hospitalized with anorexia nervosa shows that a faster weight gain during inpatient treatment—well beyond what national standards recommend—is safe and effective.
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Pupil Response Predicts Depression Risk in Kids

July 7, 2015—How much a child's pupil dilates in response to seeing an emotional image can predict his or her risk of depression over the next two years, according to new research from Binghamton University.
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Brain Imaging Shows How Children Inherit Their Parents' Anxiety

Madison, WI; July 6, 2015—In rhesus monkey families, just as in humans, anxious parents are more likely to have anxious offspring. And a new study in an extended family of monkeys provides important insights into how the risk of developing anxiety and depression is passed from parents to children.
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Restraint and Confinement Still an Everyday Practice in Mental Health Settings

July 6, 2015—Providers of mental-health services still rely on intervention techniques such as physical restraint and confinement to control some psychiatric hospital patients, a practice which can cause harm to both patients and care facilities, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
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Why Don't Men Live as Long as Women?

July 6, 2015—Across the entire world, women can expect to live longer than men. But why does this occur, and was this always the case?
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