Mom Psych

Family and Parenting


Anger in Disputes is More About the Climate of the Marriage than the Heat of the Moment

Three Perfectionist Thoughts That Can Hurt Your Family Life

Feeling Tired? 'Social Jetlag' Poses Obesity Health Hazard

Debunking the Parenting Wars

Family Life Study Reveals Key Events That Can Trigger Eating Disorders

Worrying Can Impact Interpersonal Relationships, Study Finds

On Feminists, Attachment Parents, Tiger Moms and Wise French Mothers. Oh, and Dads

Aunt Psych's Blog

Series: Core Competencies for Kids

What Self-Esteem Really Means

The Crucial Role of Self-Control

Decision-Making Skills

Prosocial Skills

Moral Intelligence

Bye-Bye Boot Camp: Positive Parenting for Challenging Kids


How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

When we say our heart is broken, we usually intend it as a metaphor for the pain we feel at the loss of an important relationship. But in recent years we’ve been told that the heart can quite literally be damaged by negative interactions.

One 2007 study by researchers at University College in London, in fact, found a correlation between negative relationships and coronary heart disease (CHD). "Negative interactions increase the risk of incident CHD," says Psychologist Roberto De Vogli. "The effect is independent of sociodemographic characteristics, biological factors, pychosocial factors and health-related behaviors."
(Full story . . . )

Grand Cultures: How Important Is Grandparenting?

According to Candace Kemp, a professor at Georgia State University’s Gerontology Institute, grand cultures are “patterns of relating between grandparents and grandchildren within families across and within generations.” But as Kemp found in her 2007 study of grandparent-grandchild ties, social changes over the last century have dramatically changed relationships to the point that many families have no particular grand culture at all. In fact, this was true of fully half of the families she examined. How important is grandparenting, and how can families maintain grandparent-grandchild ties across the miles?
(Full story . . . )

Sibling Relationships: A Bully In the Family

What is sibling violence? Don’t all children quarrel and even fight occasionally? Isn’t it an overreaction to classify aggressive behavior between siblings as violence? Where is the line between “normal” sibling conflict and abusive behavior, and how and when should parents intervene?
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Sibling Rivalry: Playing Favorites

When parents are surveyed on the subject of favoritism, nearly all respondents say that despite their best efforts to the contrary, they have favored one child over another at least occasionally. They also typically admit that they know favoritism is hurtful to children and that they try to avoid it as much as possible. Some parents, however, remain blissfully unaware of the possibility that they sometimes act in ways that reveal a bias toward or against one of their children, even though it may be blatantly obvious to others.
(Full story . . . )

Resilient Families, Resilient Communities

Communities would love to know how to prepare families for psychologically stressful events and to increase the potential for recovery. But is it really possible to affect psychological resilience? Aren’t some personalities naturally just more optimistic than others? Is there anything that can be done on the individual level to promote robust emotional health for communities in an increasingly turbulent world? Yes there is. And it begins with families.
(Full story . . . )

Shane Gomes: Teaching Alternatives to Family Violence

Shane Gomes is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses in human violence, child maltreatment and family violence, In his clinical practice, he works with parents, children and adolescents as individuals, but he also works with couples and whole-family units. Through his practice, Gomes has regularly seen the effects of family violence and child maltreatment firsthand.
(Full story . . . )

Book Review: Single but Not Solitary: Shattering the Myths of Singlehood

“Tell new acquaintances that you are single and often they think they already know quite a lot about you,” says social psychologist Bella DePaulo. From knowing nothing more about you than your status as a single person, other people sometimes think they already know all about your family: You don’t have one. They also know about the important person or persons in your life: You don’t have anyone. In fact, they know all about your life: You don’t have a life.” Published in 2006, DePaulo’s book, Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, uses humor and often very well-aimed satire to explain (to singles as well as couples) that singles can be just as happy as their married friends.
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Like Father, Like . . . Daughter

Baseball hard-hitter Harmon Killebrew tells a story that hints at the importance of fathers to boys: “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard,” he says on his Web site. “Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’”  Obviously, Killebrew’s father was tuned in to the needs of his sons, an admirable quality that seems only natural in a man. We accept that every boy needs a father as easily as we accept the notion that he needs a dog. But while society is beginning to acknowledge that a father is more beneficial than a dog to a boy’s well-being, the question of how fathers contribute to the well-being of their daughters has all but been ignored. 
(Full story . . . )

Stork Realities

As parents and teachers know (but many teens don’t), parenthood is not all fun and games and cuddly babies who chortle happily in their prams.

A study published in the March 2004 issue of Pediatrics suggests that this is one reality parents need to explain to teens. In considering “a racially diverse group of 340 inadequately contracepting” teens who had never yet been pregnant, the researchers hoped to test the hypothesis that teen girls who take home pregnancy tests are less likely to use contraceptives and, if this is true, to find out why.
(Full story . . . )

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