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62 news posts in Children

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01 Nov 2023

Do mild depressive and anxiety symptoms in fathers predict behavioral and cognitive problems in their children?

by Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: Many people experience stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in their life. Times of transition, such as pregnancy and children starting school can be significant periods of stress and vulnerability within families. Studies have generally found that high levels of anxiety and depression in parents are linked to poorer behavioral and cognitive outcomes in children. Now, a team of researchers in Canada has examined if self-reported paternal anxious and depressive symptoms are associated with children’s cognitive functioning and behavior. They found that slightly higher, but mild anxious or depressive symptoms in fathers were associated with fewer behavioral difficulties in the first years of elementary school and better scores on a standardized IQ testing in their children. The results need to be confirmed by further studies, the researchers said. While the role of mothers’ stress, anxiety and depression on children’s behavioral and cognitive development is well established, less is known about the connection between fathers’ mental health and children’s development. Now, a team of researchers affiliated to different institutions across Quebec, Canada has examined if paternal anxious and depressive symptoms, measured during their partner’s pregnancy, and again six to eight years later, are associated […]

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24 Nov 2022

How you help a child go to sleep is related to their behavioral development, finds new study

By Suzanna Burgelman, Frontiers science writer Image: yamasan0708/ A group of international researchers examined parental methods to help toddlers sleep across 14 cultures and found that these methods are related to the development of a child’s temperament. The researchers suggested focusing on better sleep-related parenting practices to support positive behavioral development across cultures. The importance of good sleep during childhood development has been extensively researched. Bad sleep quality and behaviors are detrimental to neurobehavioral functioning, emotional reactivity and regulation, and can pose a risk for future psychopathology. “Parental sleeping techniques are correlated with children’s sleep quality, and the importance of cultural context in child development has been long recognized,” said corresponding author Ms Christie Pham, of Washington State University. “We wanted to examine whether cross-cultural differences in parental sleep-supporting strategies account for differences in toddler temperament.” In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Pham and her colleagues studied the effect of different parental sleep-supporting techniques on child temperament across 14 cultures. They hypothesized that passive ways of helping a child fall asleep (eg, cuddling, singing, and reading), but not active methods (eg, walking, car rides, and playing), would be positively related to a child’s temperament. ► Read original article► Download original […]

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23 Aug 2022

Skipping breakfast at home may increase chance of kids and teens developing psychosocial health problems

By K.E.D Coan, science writer Image: Eating breakfast at home is linked with fewer behavioral problems in young people, reports a new nationwide study from Spain. Previous research has supported the importance of children and teens eating a healthy breakfast, but this is the first study to show that eating at home can have a positive effect as well. Young people who eat healthy breakfasts at home have better psychosocial health, shows a recent study in Frontiers in Nutrition. While previous research has reported the important role of a nutritious breakfast, this is the first study to look at the reported effects of whether kids eat breakfast, as well as where and what they eat. These results provide valuable insights and recommendations for parents and their children. “Our results suggest that it is not only important to eat breakfast, but it’s also important where young people eat breakfast and what they eat,” said first author Dr José Francisco López-Gil of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca, Spain. “Skipping breakfast or eating breakfast away from home is associated with increased likelihood of psychosocial behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Similarly, consumption of certain foods/drinks are associated with higher (eg, […]

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25 Feb 2022

Children may instinctively know how to do division even before hitting the books, study finds

By Peter Rejcek, science writer Image: Fizkes/ Beginning at an early age, children can perform simple mathematical calculations using an intuitive ability to compare and estimate sets of objects. A new study published to Frontiers suggests this approximate number system extends to division. We often think of multiplication and division as calculations that need to be taught in school. But a large body of research suggests that, even before children begin formal education, they possess intuitive arithmetic abilities. A new study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience argues that this ability to do approximate calculations even extends to that most dreaded basic math problem – true division – with implications for how students are taught mathematical concepts in the future. The foundation for the study is the approximate number system (ANS), a well-established theory that says people (and even nonhuman primates) from an early age have an intuitive ability to compare and estimate large sets of objects without relying upon language or symbols. For instance, under this non-symbolic system, a child can recognize that a group of 20 dots is bigger than a group of four dots, even when the four dots take up more space on a page. The […]

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05 Nov 2021

Infographic: How grid cells in the brain help us navigate the world

Image: Corona Borealis Studio/ Have you ever asked yourself what is it in our brains that actually helps us navigate in the world? Helping us answer that question, Prof May-Britt Moser won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014 for the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. When you think about navigation, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the well-known GPS system in your cellphone? An underwater journey of a submarine to its destination? Or perhaps a team assignment in the scouts, to find your way back to the camp at night? Would you be surprised to know that our brains have a built-in navigation system responsible for representing our location in the environment and for orienting us so that we can successfully get from one place to another? This mental representation of the environment is often called a cognitive map and was the focus on a Nobel prize-winning paper published by Prof May-Britt Moser. ► Read and download (pdf) of original article While navigation in the environment appears seamless and automatic, the brain’s navigation system is actually quite complex, composed of several brain regions and various cells types. […]