Mom Psych

Mom Psych Home

Rate this Site for Psych Central:

Find Mom Psych on Google

mom psych audio and video




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

teen friendships and adult health




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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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.
(Full story . . . )

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?
(Full story . . . )

Significant Reduction in Serious Crimes After Juvenile Offenders Given Emotional Awareness Training

July 3, 2015—Scientists believe that a simple two-hour emotional awareness course aimed at making young offenders less aggressive could hold the key to significantly reducing the seriousness of their future crimes. In the first ever study of its kind, psychologists from Cardiff University recorded a 44% drop in the severity of crimes committed by persistent reoffenders, six months following the completion of a course designed to improve their ability to recognise other people's emotions. The findings are published today in PLOS ONE journal.
(Full story . . . )

New Study Explores Bystander Intervention in Cyberbullying

July 2, 2015—Cyberbullying is drawing increasing attention, with online activity soaring and a larger number of bullying cases resulting in tragedy. “Bystander Intervention in Cyberbullying” a new study published in the National Communication Association’s Communication Monographs reveals specific online conditions under which witnesses to cyberbullying are likely (or unlikely) to intervene in defense of a victim.   
(Full story . . . )

"Foodies" May Have a Health Advantage over Less Adventurous Eaters


Profiling the Adventurous Eater

July 2, 2015—Think you're a foodie? Adventurous eaters, known as "foodies," are often associated with indulgence and excess. However, a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study shows just the opposite —adventurous eaters weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.
(Full story . . . )

Doing Good Deeds Helps Socially Anxious People Relax


Being busy with acts of kindness helps socially anxious people to not shy away from others

July 1, 2015—Being busy with acts of kindness can help people who suffer from social anxiety to mingle more easily. This is the opinion of Canadian researchers Jennifer Trew of Simon Fraser University and Lynn Alden of the University of British Columbia, in a study published in Springer's journal Motivation and Emotion.
(Full story . . . )

Children from High Conflict Homes Process Emotion Differently, Could Face Social Challenges

June 29, 2015— Children of parents who are frequently in conflict process emotion differently and may face more social challenges later in life compared with children from low conflict homes, according to the author of a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
(Full story . . . )

As Siblings Learn How to Resolve Conflict, Parents Pick up a Few Tips of Their Own

URBANA, IL; June 25, 2015— When children participated in a program designed to reduce sibling conflict, both parents benefited from a lessening of hostilities on the home front. But mothers experienced a more direct reward. As they viewed the children's sessions in real time on a video monitor and coached the kids at home to respond as they'd been taught, moms found that, like their kids, they were better able to manage their own emotions during stressful moments.
(Full story . . . )

Resiliency Training Program Helps Teens Deal with Today's Stresses

Study documents successful application of Benson-Henry Institute program at Boston high school

June 22, 2015—Amid reports that rank today's teens as the most stressed generation in the country, a new study offers hope for helping them effectively manage stress and build long-term resiliency. A pilot study, published in the spring issue of the journal Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, describes how a stress-reduction/resiliency-building curriculum developed by the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) helped a group of Boston-area high school students significantly reduce their anxiety levels, increase productivity and effectively manage stress over time.
(Full story . . . )

Research with Thieving Puppets Demonstrates Toddlers' Caring Sides

June 18, 2015—An experiment conducted by the University of Manchester has shown that three and five-year-old children will intervene to protect others from theft and distress, even when not personally affected.
(Full story . . . )

Nearly Half of African-American Women Know Someone in Prison

June 12, 2015—African-American adults—particularly women—are much more likely to know or be related to someone behind bars than whites, according to the first national estimates of Americans' ties to prisoners.
(Full story . . . )

Some Forms of Cyberbullying Less Emotionally Harmful than Face-to-Face Harassment, Study Finds


Bullying and harassment that occurs both in-person and online takes highest toll

WASHINGTON; June 3, 2015—While online bullying is often accompanied by face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying that starts and stays online is no more emotionally harmful to youngsters than harassment that only occurs in-person and may actually be less disturbing because it's likelier to be of shorter duration and not involve significant power imbalances, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.
(Full story . . . )

Extra Love and Support Doesn't Make up for Being a Helicopter Parent

June 1, 2015—It's time for helicopter parents to land and stay grounded. New research by professors at Brigham Young University revealed that parental warmth cannot neutralize the consequences of helicopter parenting. Additionally, a lack of warmth makes the negative effects worse.
(Full story . . . )

How We Make Emotional Decisions

Cambridge, MA; May 28, 2015—Some decisions arouse far more anxiety than others. Among the most anxiety-provoking are those that involve options with both positive and negative elements, such choosing to take a higher-paying job in a city far from family and friends, versus choosing to stay put with less pay. MIT researchers have now identified a neural circuit that appears to underlie decision-making in this type of situation, which is known as approach-avoidance conflict. The findings could help researchers to discover new ways to treat psychiatric disorders that feature impaired decision-making, such as depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.
(Full story . . . )

Sharing Doesn't Hurt

May 19, 2015—Preschoolers already recognize what it feels like to be left out when goodies are being shared. In a new study, Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich show that 3-year-olds can anticipate negative feelings in others, and adjust their own behavior in response.
(Full story . . . )

Awe May Promote Altruistic Behavior


Sense of something greater than the self encourages cooperative behavior, study says

May 19, 2015—Inducing a sense of awe in people can promote altruistic, helpful and positive social behavior acording to research published by the American Psychological Association.
(Full story . . . )

Stable Overall Suicide Rate Among Young Children Obscures Racial Differences

May 18, 2015—The overall suicide rate among children ages 5 to 11 was stable during the 20 years from 1993 to 2012 but that obscures racial differences that show an increase in suicide among black children and a decrease among white children, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
(Full story . . . )

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Accelerated Aging

May 8, 2015—In recent years, public health concerns about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have risen significantly, driven in part by affected military veterans returning from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. PTSD is associated with number of psychological maladies, among them chronic depression, anger, insomnia, eating disorders and substance abuse.
(Full story . . . )

Online Training Can Teach Psychotherapists Evidence-Based Treatments, Study Finds


Approach could speed adoption of new treatments

May 5, 2015—Employing online training programs to teach psychotherapists how to use newer evidence-based treatments can be as successful as in-person instruction, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
(Full story . . . )

How Our View of What Makes Us Happy Has Changed in 80 Years

May 4, 2015—Our view of what makes us happy has changed markedly since 1938. That is the conclusion of the psychologist Sandie McHugh from the Univeristy of Bolton who has recreated a famous study of happiness conducted in Bolton in 1938. She will present her study today, Tuesday, 5 May 2015, to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society in Liverpool.
(Full story . . . )

Can a Parent's Concerns Predict Autism


Researchers find many parents notice signs of autism spectrum disorder in their young children far before an official diagnosis

Edmonton; April 23, 2015—As co-director of the University of Alberta's Autism Research Centre, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum has devoted much of his career to understanding how to identify autism as early as possible. But despite his years of experience, Zwaigenbaum says many physicians like him would do well to seek other expert advice when working with children not yet diagnosed—that of the parents of these young patients.
(Full story . . . )

New Super-Fast MRI Technique Views Images at 100 Frames per Second


Demonstrated with Song 'If I Only Had a Brain'

April 21, 2015—In order to sing or speak, around one hundred different muscles in our chest, neck, jaw, tongue, and lips must work together to produce sound. Beckman researchers investigate how all these mechanisms effortlessly work together—and how they change over time.
(Full story . . . )

Mentally Stepping Back from Problems Helps Youth Deal with Negative Emotions

April 15, 2015—Adolescence is a time of frequent and intense emotional experiences, but some youth handle their emotions better than others. Why do some young people react adaptively while others ruminate? A new study of adolescents shows that youth who mentally take a step back from their own point of view when thinking about something troubling can deal with negative emotions more effectively and become less upset by them.
(Full story . . . )

Children Who Understand Others' Perspectives Found to Be More Popular Among Peers

April 15, 2015—Preschoolers and school-age children who are good at identifying what others want, think, and feel are more popular in school than their peers who aren't as socially adept. That's the conclusion of a new meta-analysis--a type of study that looks at the results of many different studies--out of Australia.
(Full story . . . )

Childhood Self-Control Linked to Enhanced Job Prospects Throughout Life

April 14, 2015—Parents who work to instill self-control in their children will see them reap the benefits not only in the short-term but throughout their working life, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(Full story . . . )

Civic Engagement May Stave off Brain Atrophy, Improve Memory


Meaningful activities experienced with others may reverse the normal brain shrinkage associated with the aging process

April 14, 2015—Instead of shrinking as expected, as part of the normal aging process, the memory center in the brains of seniors maintained their size and, in men, grew modestly after two years in a program that engaged them in meaningful and social activities, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests. At the same time, those with larger increases in the brain's volume over two years also saw the greatest improvements on memory tests, showing a direct correlation between brain volume and the reversal of a type of cognitive decline linked to increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.
(Full story . . . )

Children of Holocaust Survivors More Anxious About Iranian Nuclear Threat than Their Peers


Same group also found to possess more ominous outlook on the world in general, Bar-Ilan University study finds

April 14, 2015—As preparations are made to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day (Thursday, April 16), a new Bar-Ilan University study reveals that the adult children of Holocaust survivors are more preoccupied with the threat of a nuclear Iran than their peers whose parents are not Holocaust survivors.
(Full story . . . )

Personalized Computer Feedback Can Mitigate Problem Gambling Behaviors in College-Aged Adults

COLUMBIA, MO; April 13, 2015 ­—More than 1.6 million college-aged adults meet the criteria for problem gambling. This can lead to difficulties at work, school or home, and with relationships, personal finances, and mental and physical health. Counseling for problem gamblers can be expensive and time consuming; but a new study from the University of Missouri has found that college-aged adults who were diagnosed as problem gamblers significantly changed their behaviors after receiving personalized feedback from computers.
(Full story . . . )

Research Debunks Commonly Held Belief About Narcissism

Overuse of 'I' and 'me' not associated with pathology, study finds

WASHINGTON; April 6, 2015—Contrary to popular belief, excessive use of first-person singular pronouns such as "I" and "me" does not necessarily indicate a narcissistic tendency, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
(Full story . . . )

Cold, Callous and Untreatable? Not All Psychopaths Fit the Stereotype


Many mask unmanageable emotion, can be helped with right therapy

April 6, 2015—Movie villains from Norman Bates to Hannibal Lecter have popularized the notion of the psychopath as cold, cruel, lacking in empathy and beyond the reach of treatment. A new study in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology suggests that this monolithic view, shared by some treatment professionals, is not only wrong but prevents many diagnosed with psychopathy, or precursors of it, from receiving therapies that could help them live happier, more productive lives.
(Full story . . . )

Element of Surprise Helps Babies Learn

April 2, 2015—Infants have innate knowledge about the world and when their expectations are defied, they learn best, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found.
(Full story . . . )

Bystander Effect Can be Seen in Preschoolers


Like adults, children are less likely to come to the rescue when others are available

March 24, 2015—Children as young as 5 years old are less likely to help a person in need when other children are present and available to help, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(Full story . . . )

Project to Reduce Violence in Panama City with Improved Parenting

March 23, 2015—University of Manchester researchers have piloted a parenting trial aimed at improving child behaviour in Panama City, which has the eighth-highest murder rate in the world.  As part of this process, the researchers from the University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences tested a parenting intervention in six primary schools in low income neighbourhoods in the city. Anilena Mejia led the pilot study: "We felt that a lack of resources shouldn't mean that children and parents in poorer areas receive less help than those in wealthier countries," she said. "The idea behind this pilot was to establish if a simple level of support could make a difference."
(Full story . . . )

PTSD in the Family: Dressing Invisible Wounds

March 16, 2015—What image comes to mind when you hear the termposttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD? If you conjure up the face of a soldier, you’re certainly not alone. This is the common theme in media reports on the subject; and certainly, high percentages of military veterans do experience posttraumatic symptoms.
(Full story . . . )

Family Support during Deployment Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Veterans

Boston, MA; March 16, 2015—Family support during deployment is an important protective factor against post-deployment suicidal ideation according to a new study in the journal Anxiety, Stress and Coping. Suicidal ideation includes thoughts that can range from fleeting consideration of suicide to the development of a specific plan for killing oneself. Research on suicidal ideation in veterans who served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq has revealed a number of important predictors of suicidal ideation.
(Full story . . . )

Prescription for Living Longer: Spend Less Time Alone


New study finds isolation a risk factor for all ages, incomes

March 11, 2015—Ask people what it takes to live a long life, and they'll say things like exercise, take Omega-3s, and see your doctor regularly. Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity.
(Full story . . . )

Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder Studied in UK Twins

March 4, 2015—Substantial genetic and moderate environmental influences were associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and broader autism traits in a study of twins in the United Kingdom, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
(Full story . . . )

Marriage More Likely to End in Divorce When Wives Get Sick, According to ISU Study

AMES, IA; March 4, 2015—Countless couples have recited the words, 'in sickness and in health' on their wedding day with the intention of honoring those vows. But as it turns out, that may be easier said than done. A new Iowa State University study analyzed the divorce rate for couples in which either spouse was diagnosed with a serious illness. The study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found a 6 percent higher probability of divorce for couples in which wives got sick compared to marriages in which wives remained healthy. However, a husband's illness did not increase the risk for divorce.
(Full story . . . )

Men Tend to Be More Narcissistic than Women

BUFFALO, NY; March 4, 2015—With three decades of data from more than 475,000 participants, a new study on narcissism from the University at Buffalo School of Management reveals that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women. Forthcoming in the journal Psychological Bulletin, the study compiled 31 years of narcissism research and found that men consistently scored higher in narcissism across multiple generations and regardless of age.
(Full story . . . )

Oxytocin May Enhance Social Function in Psychiatric Disorders

March 4, 2015—Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown inducing the release of brain oxytocin may be a viable therapeutic option for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The study results are published today in the advance online edition of Neuropsychopharmacology.
(Full story . . . )

Losing a Spouse Often Too Hastily Linked to Depression

March 3, 2015—A new study by researchers at KU Leuven, in Belgium, has found that loneliness brought about by the death of a spouse can trigger a wider network of depression-like symptoms - but that doctors are often too quick to attribute these symptoms to depression.
(Full story . . . )

Predicting Consumer Preferences? Do NOT Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

February 25, 2015—Salespeople have long believed that by imagining themselves as the customer, they can steer clear of their own personal preferences and make decisions that will appeal to consumers in general. According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing Research, the reality is exactly the opposite. "Ironically, putting oneself in the customer's shoes makes managers even more likely let their own feelings get in the way," write authors Johannes D. Hattula (Imperial College London), Walter Herzog (Otto Beisheim School of Management), Darren W. Dahl (University of British Columbia), and Sven Reinecke (University of St. Gallen). "Envisioning oneself as a consumer who is making personal choices causes the manager's true personal preferences to kick in."
(Full story . . . )

Cyberbystanders: Most Don't Try to Stop Online Bullies


While most don't directly intervene, many take indirect measures

COLUMBUS, OH; February 24, 2015—In a new study, 221 college students participated in an online chat room in which they watched a fellow student get “bullied” right before their eyes. Only 10 percent of the students who noticed the abuse directly intervened, either by confronting the bully online or helping the victim.
(Full story . . . )

Growth Hormone Improves Social Impairments in Those with Autism-Linked Disorder

February 19, 2015—A growth hormone can significantly improve the social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in patients with a related genetic syndrome, according to a pilot study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published yesterday on Pub Med, a public database of biomedical topics maintained by the National Institutes of Health (study originally published in the December 12 issue of the journal Molecular Autism).
(Full story . . . )

Workplace Bullying a Vicious Circle

February 17, 2015—Bullying at work grinds victims down and makes them an 'easy target' for further abuse according to new research from the University of East Anglia. A study published today reveals a 'spiral' of abuse in which the victims of bullying become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment. The research suggests that employers should not only crack down on workplace bullies, but also help victims gain the skills to cope with difficult situations.
(Full story . . . )

Schizophrenia: Impaired Activity of the Selective Dopamine Neurons


German-American team of researchers finds neurophysiological correlates for cognitive and emotional symptoms in a schizophrenia mouse model.

February 17, 2015—Schizophrenia is not only associated with positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but also with negative symptoms e.g. cognitive deficits and impairments of the emotional drive. Until now, the underlying mechanisms for these negative symptoms have not been well characterized. In the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) a German-American team of researchers, with the cooperation of the Goethe University, reports that a selective dopamine midbrain population that is crucial for emotional and cognitive processing shows reduced electrical in vivo activity in a disease mouse model.
(Full story . . . )

The Neural Basis of 'Being in the Mood'


Researchers discover neurons that combine social information with hormonal state in female mice.

January 11, 2015—What determines receptivity or rejection towards potential sexual partners? For people, there are many factors that play a part, appearance, culture, age, are all taken into account. But what part does the internal state of the individual play?
(Full story . . . )

Can't Sing? Do It More Often


Regular practice may be as crucial to singing on pitch as it is for learning an instrument

February 9, 2015—If you've ever been told that you're "tone deaf" or "can't carry a tune," don't give up. New research out of Northwestern University suggests that singing accurately is not so much a talent as a learned skill that can decline over time if not used.
(Full story . . . )

Early Help is Crucial in Anorexia Nervosa


New research underlines the importance of getting help before chronicity sets in

Montreal; February 7, 2015— A study led by Howard Steiger, PhD, head of Montreal's Douglas Mental Health University Institute Eating Disorders Program (EDP), in collaboration with Linda Booij, a researcher with Sainte-Justine Hospital and an assistant professor at Queen's University, is the first to observe effects suggesting that the longer one suffers from active anorexia nervosa (AN), the more likely they are to show disorder-relevant alterations in DNA methylation.
(Full story . . . )

Brain Scans Predict Effectiveness of Talk Therapy to Treat Depression


Researchers lead first brain connectivity study pointing toward a new image-based diagnostic model

CHAPEL HILL, NC; February 4, 2015—UNC School of Medicine researchers have shown that brain scans can predict which patients with clinical depression are most likely to benefit from a specific kind of talk therapy.
(Full story . . . )

Compound Found in Grapes, Red Wine May Help Prevent Memory Loss

February 4, 2015—A compound found in common foods such as red grapes and peanuts may help prevent age-related decline in memory, according to new research published by a faculty member in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
(Full story . . . )

The Brain's Social Network: Nerve Cells Interact like Friends on Facebook

February 4, 2015—Neurons in the brain are wired like a social network, report researchers from Biozentrum, University of Basel. Each nerve cell has links with many others, but the strongest bonds form between the few cells most similar to each other. The results are published in the journal Nature.
(Full story . . . )

There Is Not a Single Type of Schizophrenia, as Thought, but 8 Different Genetic Diseases


Researchers break new ground in what could be an important first step towards better diagnosis and treatment of this disease

February 3, 2015—Scientists from the universities of Granada (Spain) and Washington in St Louis (US) have found that there is not a single type of schizophrenia, but that it consists of a group made up of eight genetically different types of diseases, each of which presents its own set of symptoms.
(Full story . . . )

Concentrating on Word Sounds Helps Reading Instruction and Intervention


Study findings point to the value of word sounds over visual processing during reading instruction or when diagnosing and treating reading disorders

BUFFALO, NY; January 28, 2015—A neuroimaging study by a University at Buffalo psychologist suggests that phonics, a method of learning to read using knowledge of word sounds, shouldn't be overlooked in favor of a whole-language technique that focuses on visually memorizing word patterns, a finding that could help improve treatment and diagnosis of common reading disorders such as dyslexia.
(Full story . . . )

Impaired Brain Activity Linked to Emotion Regulation Challenges in Autism


UNC researchers find that the bigger the differences in brain activity related to emotion regulation, the more severe the autism

CHAPEL HILL, NC; January 27, 2015—Tantrums, irritability, self-injury, depression, anxiety. These symptoms are associated with autism, but they're not considered core symptoms of the disorder. Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine are challenging this assertion. They have used functional MRI to show that—when it comes to the ability to regulate emotions—brain activity in autistic people is significantly different than brain activity in people without autism.
(Full story . . . )

Job Seekers with 'Learning' Attitude Have More Success

COLUMBIA, MO; January 21, 2015—Many New Year's resolutions often involve finding a different career path. A new joint study by University of Missouri and Lehigh University researchers found that job seekers with attitudes focused on "learning" from the job-seeking process will have more success finding their dream jobs.
(Full story . . . )

Connection between Childhood Adversity and Psychiatric Disorders Seen at Cellular Level

PROVIDENCE, RI; January 20, 2015—In a new study published online in Biological Psychiatry, researchers from Butler Hospital identify an association between biological changes on the cellular level and both childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders. These changes in the form of telomere shortening and alterations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), are important in the aging process, and this new research provides evidence that psychosocial factors—specifically childhood adversity and psychiatric disorders—may also influence these cellular changes and could lead to accelerated aging.
(Full story . . . )

Researchers Discover 'Idiosyncratic' Brain Patterns in Autism

PITTSBURGH; January 19, 2015—Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been studied for many years, but there are still many more questions than answers. For example, some research into the brain functions of individuals with autism spectrum have found a lack of synchronization ('connectivity') between different parts of the brain that normally work in tandem. But other studies have found the exact opposite—over-synchronization in the brains of those with ASD.
(Full story . . . )

A New Neural Circuit Controls Fear in the Brain


Researchers discover a pathway in that mouse brain that regulates fear memory and behavior

Cold Spring Harbor, NY; January 19, 2015—Some people have no fear, like that 17-year-old kid who drives like a maniac. But for the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, an overabundance of fear rules their lives. Debilitating anxiety prevents them from participating in life's most mundane moments, from driving a car to riding in an elevator. Today, a team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) describes a new pathway that controls fear memories and behavior in the mouse brain, offering mechanistic insight into how anxiety disorders may arise.
(Full story . . . )

The Secret of Empathy


Stress from the presence of strangers prevents empathy, in both mice and humans

January 15, 2015—The ability to express empathy—the capacity to share and feel another's emotions—is limited by the stress of being around strangers, according to a new study published today in the journal Current Biology.
(Full story . . . )

People Can Be Convinced They Committed a Crime That Never Happened

January 15, 2015—Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn't actually commit. New research provides lab-based evidence for this phenomenon, showing that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years.
(Full story . . . )

Shoulder to the Wheel: Parental Intervention Improves Teen Driving

January 14, 2015—Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teenage death in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven 16- to 19-year-olds die every day as a result of injuries incurred from road crashes. But attempts to address the problem through legislation and technological innovation have yielded limited results.
(Full story . . . )

Advanced 3-D Facial Imaging May Aid in Early Detection of Autism


Screening could lead to further genetic analysis and advancements in the study and treatment of the disorders

COLUMBIA, MO; January 14, 2015—Autism is a spectrum of closely related disorders diagnosed in patients who exhibit a shared core of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interact socially. Early detection of autism in children is the key for treatments to be most effective and produce the best outcomes.
(Full story . . . )

Just Like Mom and Dad: Sleep Boosts Memory Consolidation in Infants

January 13, 2015—Sleep facilitates memory consolidation—not just in adults, but also in infants during their first year of life. A new study using a new experimental design that assesses declarative memories (i.e. memories for facts and events) has revealed that napping helps infants to develop their memory and retain new behaviours they have learnt.
(Full story . . . )

The Recess Swap


Holding recess before lunch increases fruit and veggie consumption and decreases waste

January 13, 2015—Students participating in the National School Lunch Program are required to select a fruit and a vegetable side. This regulation is intended to get students to eat more fruits and vegetables; however, just because an apple and green beans made it on to the tray doesn't mean that they will be eaten. Many schools have reported that fruits and vegetables are feeding trash cans rather than students. This new study published in Preventive Medicine shows that one simple no-cost change, holding recess before lunchtime, can increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 54%. "
(Full story . . . )

iPhone Separation Linked to Physiological Anxiety, Poor Cognitive Performance

COLUMBIA, MO; January 8, 2015—Cell phone use has become a common part of life as mobile devices have become one of the most popular ways to communicate. Even so, very little research exists on the impact of cell phone usage and specifically what happens when people are separated from their phones. Now, research from the University of Missouri has found that cell phone separation can have serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests.
(Full story . . . )

Withdrawal or Expecting Your Lover to Mind-Read Hurts Relationships, but in Different Ways

January 8, 2015—When you have a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you withdraw like a turtle into its shell? Or perhaps you expect your partner to be a mind reader about what ticks you off? Those are two of the most common types of disengagement in relationships, and both can be harmful, but in different ways and for different reasons, says researcher Keith Sanford, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences.
(Full story . . . )

Families with Mentally Ill Members All Need Help

January 7, 2015—Listening to older sisters of mentally ill siblings discuss their mothers' difficult caregiving experiences made Case Western Reserve University co-investigator M. Jane Suresky wonder if something important about families was missed in a prior study that focused on women caregivers of mentally ill family members.
(Full story . . . )

Chapman University Publishes Research on Jealousy


Impact of sexual vs. emotional infidelity

ORANGE, CA; January 7, 2015—In the largest study to date on infidelity, Chapman University has learned men and women are different when it comes to feeling jealous. In a poll of nearly 64,000 Americans this study provides the first large-scale examination of gender and sexual orientation differences in response to potential sexual versus emotional infidelity in U.S. adults.
(Full story . . . )

Hey, Guys: Posting a Lot of Selfies Doesn’t Send a Good Message

Posting more online photos of yourself may suggest anti-social traits

COLUMBUS, OH; January 6, 2015—The picture isn’t pretty for guys who post a lot of selfies on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
(Full story . . . )

The Surprising Influence of Human Speech on Young Infants


Listening to human speech has consequences for infants that go beyond learning words

EVANSTON, IL; January 5, 2015—America's preoccupation with the "word gap"—the idea that parents in impoverished homes speak less to their children, which, in turn, predicts outcomes like school achievement and income later in life—has skyrocketed in recent years, leading to a rise in educational initiatives aiming to narrow the achievement gap by teaching young children more words.
(Full story . . . )

Children with Autism Who Live with Pets Are More Assertive


Dogs, cats and other animals may improve social skills of children with autism

COLUMBIA, MO; December 30, 2014—Dogs and other pets play an important role in individuals' social lives, and they can act as catalysts for social interaction, previous research has shown. Although much media attention has focused on how dogs can improve the social skills of children with autism, a University of Missouri researcher recently found that children with autism have stronger social skills when any kind of pet lived in the home.
(Full story . . . )

Physical Violence Linked to Disruption of Stress Hormone in Women


Findings may explain why these women develop health-related problems, say UO and Oregon Social Learning Center scientists

EUGENE, OR; December 22, 2014—A new study links physical violence against women by male partners to a disruption of a key steroid hormone that opens the door potentially to a variety of negative health effects.
(Full story . . . )

OCD Patients' Brains Light up to Reveal How Compulsive Habits Develop

December 19, 2014—Misfiring of the brain's control system might underpin compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), according to researchers at the University of Cambridge, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
(Full story . . . )

Helping Parents Understand Infant Sleep Patterns

December 19, 2014—Most parents are not surprised by the irregularity of a newborn infant's sleep patterns, but by six months or so many parents wonder if something is wrong with their baby or their sleeping arrangements if the baby is not sleeping through the night. Healthcare providers, specifically nurse practitioners, can help parents understand what "normal" sleep patterns are for their child, according to researchers.
(Full story . . . )

Hugs Help Protect against Stress and Infection, Says Study

PITTSBURGH; December 17, 2014—Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? According to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, that may not be that far-fetched of an idea.
(Full story . . . )

Certain Parenting Tactics Could Lead to Materialistic Attitudes in Adulthood

COLUMBIA, MO; December 16, 2014—With the holiday season in full swing, many parents may be tempted to give children all the toys and gadgets they ask for or use the expectation of gifts to manage children’s behavior. Now, a new study from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that parents who overuse material goods as part of their parenting strategy may be setting children up for difficulties later in adulthood.
(Full story . . . )

Social Connections Keep Workers on Board

December 15, 2014—Contrary to popular belief, new research suggests that some employees adapt well to pressures caused by changes in the workplace, but only if they are well connected at work socially and are a good fit for the organization.
(Full story . . . )

Study Sheds New Light on Relationship between Personality and Health

December 11, 2014— Researchers have found new evidence that explains how some aspects of our personality may affect our health and wellbeing, supporting long-observed associations between aspects of human character, physical health and longevity.
(Full story . . . )

The Ups and Downs of Support from Friends When Teens Experience Peer Victimization


New study looks at depressive symptoms and delinquency among harassed youth

December 10, 2014—There are pros and cons to the support that victimized teenagers get from their friends. Depending on the type of aggression they are exposed to, such support may reduce youth’s risk for depressive symptoms. On the other hand, it may make some young people follow the delinquent example of their friends, says a team of researchers from the University of Kansas in the US, led by John Cooley. Their findings are published in Springer’s Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.
(Full story . . . )

Half of US Kids Exposed to Traumatic Social or Family Experiences during Childhood


Adverse childhood experiences impact child health and school outcomes

December 8, 2014—Nearly half of all children in the United States are exposed to at least one social or family experience that can lead to traumatic stress and impact their healthy development—be it having their parents divorce, a parent die or living with someone who abuses alcohol or drugs—increasing the risk of negative long-term health consequences or of falling behind in school, suggests new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
(Full story . . . )

Evidence for ‘Bilingual Advantage’ May Be Less Conclusive Than Previously Thought

December 5, 2014—Study results that challenge the idea that bilingual speakers have a cognitive advantage are less likely to be published than those that support the bilingual-advantage theory, according to new research published inPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. This research suggests that a publication bias in favor of positive results may skew the overall literature on bilingualism and cognitive function.
(Full story . . . )

Brain Research Reveals New Hope for Patients with Anorexia Nervosa


Dresdner neuroimaging study of anorexia nervosa uncovers a positive side effect of weight restoration therapy: Brain shrinkage is reversible

December 3, 2014—Researchers from TU Dresden have uncovered good news for anorexia sufferers. Their novel findings obtained by measuring "cortical thickness" for the first time in the eating disorder are now published in the renowned journal "Biological Psychiatry."
(Full story . . . )

Girls, Boys Affected Differently by Witnessing Parental Violence

December 2, 2014—Witnessing violence by parents or a parent’s intimate partner can trigger for some children a chain of negative behaviors that follows them from preschool to kindergarten and beyond, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University.
(Full story . . . )

Brain Representations of Social Thoughts Accurately Predict Autism Diagnosis


New findings from Carnegie Mellon identify altered 'thought-markers' of autism

PITTSBURGH, PA; December 2, 2014—Psychiatric disorders—including autism—are characterized and diagnosed based on a clinical assessment of verbal and physical behavior. However, brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience are poised to provide a powerful advanced new tool. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created brain-reading techniques to use neural representations of social thoughts to predict autism diagnoses with 97 percent accuracy. This establishes the first biologically based diagnostic tool that measures a person's thoughts to detect the disorder that affects many children and adults worldwide.
(Full story . . . )

Perceptions, Referrals by Medical Providers Affect Mental-Health Treatment Disparities

December 2, 2014—Disparities in mental-health treatment are known to be associated with patients' racial and ethnic backgrounds. Now, a large study by researchers with UC Davis has found one possible reason for those disparities: Some racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to be assessed and referred for treatment by their medical providers.
(Full story . . . )

How Early Trauma Influences Behaviour

Traumatic and stressful events during childhood increase the risk to develop psychiatric disorders, but to a certain extent, they can also help better deal with difficult situations later in life. Researchers have studied this phenomenon in mice to learn how these effects could be transmitted to the next generation.

December 1, 2014—Traumatic events leave their mark. People exposed to a traumatic experience early in life are more likely to be affected by illnesses such as borderline personality disorder or depression. However such experience can also have positive effects in certain circumstances. Thus, moderate stress in childhood may help a person develop strategies to better cope with stress in adulthood.
(Full story . . . )

Fathers' Engagement with Baby Depends on Mother


When moms are well-prepared for parenthood, fathers less involved

COLUMBUS, OH; November 19, 2014—Fathers’ involvement with their newborns depends on mothers’ preparation for parenthood, even for fathers who show the most parenting skills, a new study suggests.
(Full story . . . )

Childhood Adversity Hinders Genetic Protection against Problem Drinking in White Men

November 18, 2014—While the influence of heritable factors on the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) has been documented in family pedigree and twin studies for decades, identification of specific genetic variants that influence AUDs continues to be challenging. The ADH1B gene has consistently been implicated in problem drinking, but rarely incorporated into gene/environment investigations of alcohol phenotypes. A study examining the joint effects of variation in ADH1B and childhood adversity on heaviness of alcohol consumption and AUD symptoms has found that, under conditions of childhood adversity, the genetic variant on the ADH1B allele that typically protects against problem drinking does not exert its protective effects in European-American men.
(Full story . . . )

Mother's Soothing Presence Makes Pain Go Away—and Changes Gene Activity in Infant Brain


Research led by NYU Langone Medical Center offers insight into short-term effects of maternal caregiving on a developing brain

November 18, 2014—A mother's "TLC" not only can help soothe pain in infants, but it may also impact early brain development by altering gene activity in a part of the brain involved in emotions, according to new study from NYU Langone Medical Center.
(Full story . . . )

Pain from Rejection and Physical Pain Show Some Differences

November 18, 2014—Over the last decade, neuroscientists have largely come to believe that physical pain and social pain are processed by the brain in much the same way. But a new study led by the University of Colorado shows that the two kinds of pain actually use distinct neural circuits, a finding that could lead to more targeted treatments and a better understanding of how the two kinds of pain interact.
(Full story . . . )

Fatigue, Irritability, and Demoralization Can Affect Your Heart Health


Mount Sinai study shows vital exhaustion may raise risk of cardiovascular disease

November 17, 2014—Fatigue, increased irritability, and feeling demoralized, may raise a healthy man or woman's risk of first-time cardiovascular disease by 36 percent, according to a study led by researchers at Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai Roosevelt hospitals presented on Nov. 17 at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014 in Chicago, IL.
(Full story . . . )

Oxytocin Helps in Overcoming Fear


Researchers at the University of Bonn Hospital show that the bonding hormone inhibits the fear center in the brain

November 13, 2014—Frightening experiences do not quickly fade from memory. A team of researchers under the guidance of the University of Bonn Hospital has now been able to demonstrate in a study that the bonding hormone oxytocin inhibits the fear center in the brain and allows fear stimuli to subside more easily. This basic research could also usher in a new era in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The study has been published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
(Full story . . . )

Facial Motion a Clue to Difficulties in Social Interaction among Autistic Adults


People with ASD struggle to recognise changing facial expressions

November 13, 2014—People on the autistic spectrum may struggle to recognise social cues, unfamiliar people or even someone's gender because of an inability to interpret changing facial expressions, new research has found.
(Full story . . . )


How Does the Brain Develop in Individuals with Autism?


New mouse model for autism: Mutated gene causes parts of the brain to degenerate, leading to behavioral deficits, geneticists from Heidelberg publish study in Molecular Psychiatry, better understanding can help deal with disease

November 12, 2014—Geneticists at Heidelberg University Hospital's Department of Molecular Human Genetics have used a new mouse model to demonstrate the way a certain genetic mutation is linked to a type of autism in humans and affects brain development and behavior.
(Full story . . .)

Federal Legislation Ignores PTSD Toll on Civilians

November 11, 2014— Federal laws explicitly addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have overwhelmingly focused on the needs of military personnel and veterans, according to a new analysis published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.
(Full story . . . )

Progress in Understanding Bipolar Disorder


Experts review advances in understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder

November 11, 2014—Several lines of research have opened exciting new frontiers in scientific understanding and clinical management of bipolar disorder (formerly referred to as manic-depression). Recent advances in bipolar disorder research are described in this month's special issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
(Full story . . . )

Skin-to-Skin Contact between Mothers and Infants Is Important after Cesarean Birth


Skin-to-skin contact supports breastfeeding, bonding and better health outcomes

November 11, 2014—Research during the past 30 years has found many benefits of skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns immediately after birth, particularly with aiding breastfeeding. However, in some hospitals, skin-to-skin contact following cesarean birth is not implemented, due to practices around the surgery. A recent Quality Improvement (QI) project demonstrated that women's birth experiences were improved by implementing skin-to-skin contact after cesarean surgery.
(Full story . . . )

Why 'I'm so Happy I Could Cry' Makes Sense

New Haven, CT; November 11, 2014—The phrase "tears of joy" never made much sense to Yale psychologist Oriana Aragon. But after conducting a series of studies of such seemingly incongruous expressions, she now understands better why people cry when they are happy.
(Full story . . . )

Reminders of Emotional Support Silence the Brain's Response to Threat

November 7, 2014—Being shown pictures of others being loved and cared for reduces the brain's response to threat, new research from the University of Exeter has found.
(Full story . . . )

Sense of Meaning and Purpose in Life Linked to Longer Lifespan

November 6, 2014—A UCL-led study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest wellbeing were 30% less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least wellbeing.
(Full story . . . )

New Knowledge about the Human Brain's Plasticity

November 6, 2014—The brain's plasticity and its adaptability to new situations do not function the way researchers previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Cell. Earlier theories are based on laboratory animals, but now researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied the human brain. The results show that a type of support cell, the oligodendrocyte, which plays an important role in the cell-cell communication in the nervous system, is more sophisticated in humans than in rats and mice—a fact that may contribute to the superior plasticity of the human brain.
(Full story . . . )

Compensation and Punishment: "Justice" Depends on Whether or Not We're a Victim

October 28, 2014—We’re more likely to punish wrongdoing as a third party to a non-violent offense than when we’re victimized by it, according to a new study by New York University psychology researchers. The findings, which appear in the journal Nature Communications, may offer insights into how juries differ from plaintiffs in seeking to restore justice.
(Full story . . . )

Menopausal Symptoms May Be Lessened with Young Children in the House

BLOOMINGTON, IN; October 27, 2014—A new study by researchers at The Kinsey Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that the timeless, multicultural tradition of grandmothering might have an unexpected benefit: helping some women temper their hot flashes and night sweats during menopause.
(Full story . . . )

Receiving Gossip about Others Promotes Self-Reflection and Growth

October 24, 2014—Gossip is pervasive in our society, and our penchant for gossip can be found in most of our everyday conversations. Why are individuals interested in hearing gossip about others' achievements and failures? Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands studied the effect positive and negative gossip has on how the recipient evaluates him or herself. The study is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
(Full story . . . )

Relationships Benefit When Parents, Adult Children Connect through Multiple Channels

LAWRENCE, KS; October 24, 2014—"Call your mother" may be the familiar refrain, but research from the University of Kansas shows that being able to text, email and 'Facebook' dad may be just as important for young adults.  
(Full story . . . )

Two Days Later: Adolescents' Conflicts Spill Over between Home and School

October 23, 2014—The lives of adolescents at home and at school may seem quite separate, but recent research has highlighted important connections. Family conflict and problems at school tend to occur together on the same day and sometimes even spill over in both directions to the next day, with family conflict increasing the likelihood of problems at school and vice versa. Now a new study has found that conflicts at home spill over to school and school problems influence problems at home up to two days later, and that negative mood and psychological symptoms are important factors in the process.
(Full story . . . )

Daydreaming Can Help Boost Mental Performance

October 23, 2014—New research led by Cornell University neuroscientist Nathan Spreng shows for the first time that engaging brain areas linked to so-called “off-task” mental activities (such as mind-wandering and reminiscing) can actually boost performance on some challenging mental tasks. The results advance our understanding of how externally and internally focused neural networks interact to facilitate complex thought, the authors say.
(Full story . . . )

Teens Whose Parents Exert More Psychological Control Have Trouble with Closeness, Independence

October 23, 2014—For teenagers, learning to establish a healthy degree of autonomy and closeness in relationships (rather than easily giving in to peer pressure) is an important task. A new longitudinal study has found one reason adolescents struggle with balancing autonomy and closeness in relationships: parents' psychological control. Teens whose parents exerted more psychological control over them when they were 13 had more problems establishing friendships and romantic relationships that balanced closeness and independence, both in adolescence and into early adulthood.
(Full story . . . )

Association between Air Toxicants and Childhood Autism

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 22, 2014 – Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxicants during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children without the condition, according to the preliminary findings of a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health investigation of children in southwestern Pennsylvania.
(Full story . . . )

Bullying in Schools Is Still Prevalent, American Report Says

CLEMSON; October 22, 2014—Despite a dramatic increase in public awareness and anti-bullying legislation nationwide, the prevalence of bullying is still one of the most pressing issues facing American youth, according to a report by researchers from Clemson University and Professional Data Analysts Inc., and published by the Hazelden Foundation.
(Full story . . . )

Might versus Right: Bullies, Allies and Victims

October 21, 2014—Every year when the World Day of Bullying Prevention peeks over the October horizon, the year’s bullying research gets a thorough going-over by school administrators, parents and politicians. It isn’t that no one cares the rest of the year; rather, having an “awareness day” gives everyone a chance to take stock. How far have we come? What have we learned? Are we all on the same page?
(Full story . . . )

Even Depressed People Believe That Life Gets Better

October 21, 2014—Adults typically believe that life gets better—today is better than yesterday was and tomorrow will be even better than today. A new study shows that even depressed individuals believe in a brighter future, but this optimistic belief may not lead to better outcomes. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(Full story . . . )

Siblings of Children with Autism Can Show Signs at 18 Months

October 20, 2014—About 20% of younger siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will develop the condition by age 3. A new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found that 57% of these younger siblings who later develop the condition already showed symptoms at age 18 months.
(Full story . . . )

Orphanage Care Linked to Thinner Brain Tissue in Regions Related to ADHD

October 14, 2014—Under the rule of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, thousands of Romanian children were placed in overcrowded orphanages with bleak conditions and minimal human contact. Even after the 1989 revolution, the legacy of institutionalization continued. Only recently has research and public concern over early childhood environments caused changes in policies.
(Full story . . . )

Not Playing Politics: How to Stay Friends When Your Views Differ

October 13, 2014—As the political posturing amps up in advance of the midterm elections, you know you can always turn off the TV or the radio when you don’t agree with the viewpoint on Obamacare, gun control or policy in the Middle East.
(Full story . . . )

Trying to Share Our 'Epic' Moments May Leave Us Feeling Left Out

October 6, 2014—We might love to reminisce and tell others about our extraordinary experiences—that time we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, got to taste a rare wine, or ran into a celebrity on the street—but new research suggests that sharing these extraordinary experiences may come at a social cost. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(Full story . . . )

How Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning

October 2, 2014—The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic. New research publishing online October 2 in the Cell Press journal Neuron provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity is piqued. The findings could help scientists find ways to enhance overall learning and memory in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions.
(Full story . . . )

Support from Grandparents Reduces Behavioral Problems, But May Lead to Children's Weight Gain


Overall, Grandparents' support linked to parents' willingness to have additional children and child well-being

October 2, 2014—Grandparents can significantly influence parents' decisions to have additional children and the well-being of grandchildren, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland.
(Full story . . . )

Bullying Prevention: An Interview with Researcher Dieter Wolke

October 1, 2014—Dieter Wolke is professor of developmental psychology and individual differences at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. He is the principal investigator of the precursors and consequences of peer bullying; the goal of his research is to understand why and how some children develop psychological problems while others are more resilient to adverse influences. In this interview, Wolke discusses some of his team’s most recent findings, and the role parents can play in preventing the problem.
(Full story . . . )

Who Are the Men and Boys Suffering from Anorexia?

September 29, 2014—A new study by researchers from the University of Montreal reveals the current state of knowledge about anorexia in men and boys. "Most of the knowledge about anorexia pertains to females. However, about 10% of persons affected are males, and we believe this figure is underestimated," says Laurence Corbeil-Serre, lead author of the study. "Our results show that there appear to be similarities between the behavioural symptoms of males and females, but certain particularities can be identified in males, especially related to personality, gender identity, and sexual orientation."
(Full story . . . )

How Empathy Can Spark Aggression

September 26, 2014—Empathy is typically seen as eliciting warmth and compassion—a generally positive state that makes people do good things to others. However, empathy may also motivate aggression on behalf of the vulnerable other. Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo, examined whether assessed or elicited empathy would lead to situation-specific aggression on behalf of another person, and to explore the potential role of two neurohormones in explaining a connection between empathy and aggression. The study is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
(Full story . . . )

Talk Therapy, Not Medication, Best for Social Anxiety Disorder, Large Study Finds


But many lack access to trained therapists, choose medication or nothing at all to treat the common mental illness

September 25, 2014—While antidepressants are the most commonly used treatment for social anxiety disorder, new research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective and, unlike medication, can have lasting effects long after treatment has stopped.
(Full story . . . )

Family-Based Therapies Can Treat Anorexia in Teens, Study Finds

September 24, 2014—Two different family-based therapies are both effective at combating anorexia nervosa in teenagers, according to the largest study ever to compare two such treatments for the life-threatening eating disorder.
(Full story . . . )

Hold On, Tiger Mom


Research by a UC Riverside assistant professor refutes the idea that the traditional, strict 'Chinese' upbringing, advocated for in the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, is superior

September 22, 2014—Less supportive and punitive parenting techniques used by some Chinese parents might lead to the development of skewed self-understanding and school adjustment difficulties in their children and leave them vulnerable to depression and problem behaviors, according to a paper recently published by a University of California, Riverside assistant professor and other researchers.
(Full story . . . )

Fighting Parents Hurt Children’s Ability to Recognize and Regulate Emotions

September 17, 2014—Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child’s ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study led by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
(Full story . . . )

Evidence of Genetic Link to PTSD in Soldiers Exposed to Childhood Trauma

September 16, 2014—While abnormalities in the adrenergic and noradrenergic systems, both integral in the fight-or-flight response, are thought to play a role in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), until now there has been no genetic evidence of this connection. A collaborative study just released by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the University of Michigan found an interaction between the ADRB2 gene and childhood adversity. For individuals with two or more experiences of childhood trauma, such as abuse, genotype was associated with risk for adult PTSD symptoms. These findings are significant for the study of the physiology of PTSD, for the treatment and prevention of stress-related illnesses, and may have implications for treating pain, which has also been linked to the ADRB2 gene.
(Full story . . . )

A Wife’s Happiness is More Crucial than Her Husband’s in Keeping Marriage on Track


Rutgers Study Finds Research offers insight into link between marital quality and well-being later in life

September 12, 2014—When it comes to a happy marriage, a new Rutgers study finds that the more content the wife is with the long-term union, the happier the husband is with his life no matter how he feels about their nuptials.
(Full story . . . )

World Suicide Prevention Day: Young People Who Have Attempted Suicide Disadvantaged on the Job Market

September 8, 2014—People who have attempted suicide when young are less likely to have a successful professional career later in life. This was discovered in a joint study by the Swedish Karolinska Institutet and MedUni Vienna. The prospect of long-term unemployment later in life threatens many people who have attempted suicide once or more. However, they make up an even larger proportion of the statistics for long-term sick leave and disability pensions.
(Full story . . . )

Stigma as a Barrier to Mental Health Care

September 5, 2014—Over 60 million Americans are thought to experience mental illness in a given year, and the impacts of mental illness are undoubtedly felt by millions more in the form of family members, friends, and coworkers. Despite the availability of effective evidence-based treatment, about 40% of individuals with serious mental illness do not receive care and many who begin an intervention fail to complete it. A new report, published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates stigma as a significant barrier to care for many individuals with mental illness.While stigma is one of many factors that may influence care seeking, it is one that has profound effects for those who suffer from mental illness:
(Full story . . . )

Reacting to Personal Setbacks: Do You Bounce Back or Give Up?


Rutgers researchers find the ability to persist may depend on how the news is delivered

September 4, 2014—Sometimes when people get upsetting news—such as a failing exam grade or a negative job review—they decide instantly to do better the next time. In other situations that are equally disappointing, the same people may feel inclined to just give up.
(Full story . . . )

Dad Is Important for His Children's Development

September 3, 2014—A sensitive and attentive father has a positive influence on his child’s development, but only if he spends a considerable amount of time with the child during its first year.
(Full story . . . )

Experiences Make You Happier than Possessions: Before and After

September 2, 2014—To get the most enjoyment out of our dollar, science tells us to focus our discretionary spending on experiences such as travel over material goods. A new Cornell University study shows that the enjoyment we derive from experiential purchases may begin even before we buy.
(Full story . . . )

Rediscovering Our Mundane Moments Brings Us Unexpected Pleasure

September 2, 2014—We like to document the exciting and momentous occasions in our lives, but new research suggests there is value in capturing our more mundane, everyday experiences, which can bring us unexpected joy in the future.
(Full story . . .)

Why Plants in the Office Make Us More Productive

August 31, 2014—'Green' offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than 'lean' designs stripped of greenery, new research shows.
(Full story . . . )

Meaningful Relationships Can Help You Thrive

August 29, 2014—Deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in overall well-being, says new research. Past studies have shown that individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health, higher levels of subjective well-being and lower rates of morbidity and mortality. A paper published in Personality and Social Psychology Review provides an important perspective on thriving through relationships.
(Full story . . . )

Warm Thanks: Gratitude Can Win You New Friends

August 28, 2014—Parents have long told their children to mind their Ps and Qs, and remember to say thank you. Now the evidence is in on why it matters. But a new UNSW Australia-led study has shown for the first time that thanking a new acquaintance for their help makes them more likely to seek an ongoing social relationship with you.
(Full story . . . )

Outsourcing Parenthood? It Takes a Village and the Marketplace to Raise a Child

August 26, 2014—Ask any parent raising kids in today's fast-paced society and chances are they would agree that there are only so many hours in the day. Recognizing a need for help, many businesses now offer traditional caregiving services ranging from planning birthday parties to teaching children how to ride a bike. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, by outsourcing traditional parental duties, modern-day parents feel they are ultimately protecting parenthood.
(Full story . . . )

How Parents of Anxious Children Can Avoid the 'Protection Trap'


Anxiety in kids one of the most common disorders

Tempe, AZ; Aug. 25, 2014—Parents naturally comfort their children when they are scared, but new research shows that some reactions may actually reinforce their children's feelings of anxiety.
(Full story . . . )

Learning by Watching, Toddlers Show Intuitive Understanding of Probability

August 25, 2014— Most people know children learn many skills simply by watching people around them. Without explicit instructions youngsters know to do things like press a button to operate the television and twist a knob to open a door. Now researchers have taken this further, finding that children as young as age 2 intuitively use mathematical concepts such as probability to help make sense of the world around them.
(Full story . . . )







More Research News>>

More Articles from Mom Psych Contributers>>

Django Productions About Us |Privacy Policy |Submission Policy | Contact Us | ©2003 Mom Psych