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How to talk with kids about traumatic events

Medical X-Press – Betheny Gross

“When terrible events, such as the terrorist events days ago in New York and New Jersey, following the attacks in Nice, France, and Orlando, Florida, occur, children and adolescents can become emotionally unsettled. News reports, conversations between adults overheard and law enforcement activities witnessed firsthand, can impact youngsters’ attitudes, thoughts and behavior to the point that professional intervention may be needed, according to Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth (TLC), New Jersey’s primary youth suicide prevention program at Rutgers’ University Behavioral Health Care. TLC is funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Division of Family and Community Partnerships, Office of School Linked Services.”(more)

Sleep Habits Can Predict Teen Drinking, Marijuana Use, Study Says

Medical Daily – Mary Pascaline Dharshini

“A study has found that sleep quality and sleep duration in late childhood can predict alcohol and drug use later in adolescence. The study, published Monday in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, was led by researchers from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and the Pitt Department of Psychology. “Treating problems with drugs and alcohol once they exist and preventing them can be challenging, and we are always looking for modifiable risk factors,” lead author of the study Brant P. Hasler said in a statement. “Doing what we can to ensure sufficient sleep duration and improve sleep quality during late childhood may have benefits in terms of reducing the use of these substances later in life.” Researchers studied 186 boys from western Pennsylvania. They analyzed the responses to the Child Sleep Questionnaire that the boys’ mothers completed, which is also part of a larger research that looks into the vulnerability and resilience of low-income boys.”(more)

Teenage hormones ‘turn pupils off school for three years’

BBC – Judith Burns

“Adolescence and boredom can turn pupils off learning for three years in early secondary school, suggests a study. The overwhelming majority of pupils start secondary school with “initial enthusiasm” but this wanes during the first two years, figures suggest. The proportion who “feel good about school” falls 10 percentage points to 84% between ages seven and 14, suggests a GL Assessment poll of 32,000 pupils. Head teachers’ leaders said schools were working hard to address the issue.”(more)

Bullying Due to Obesity Carries Emotional Effects

Education News – Jace Harr

“A new study has found that discrimination against and bullying of overweight sixth graders can lead to emotional problems by the end of the eighth grade. Many anti-obesity programs, including the ones that are school-based, focus on personal responsibility for weight management, leading to cultural ideas that harm overweight people. Jaana Juvonen, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said…”(more)

Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated for Good?

The New York Times – Amanda Ripley

“The brains of adolescents are notoriously more receptive to short-term rewards and peer approval, which can lead to risky behavior. But researchers and educators are noticing that young people are also more sensitive to notions of social justice and autonomy. Teenage rebellion can be virtuous — even wholesome — depending on the situation. A new study out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that teenagers make wiser choices if they are encouraged to reimagine healthy behavior as an act of defiance. The researchers went to a middle school in New Braunfels, Tex., and randomly assigned 489 eighth graders to different groups. One group read the kind of article you’d find in any health class. It explained how the body processes food; recommended a diet low in sugar and fat; and featured colorful pictures of fresh foods.”(more)

Rewarding children with food could lead to emotional eating

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Parents who use very overly controlling feeding practices with their children, such as using food as a reward or a treat, could be unintentionally teaching their children to rely on food to deal with their emotions. These children may be more likely to ’emotionally eat’ later in childhood. These are the conclusions of a longitudinal study of parents and their children carried out by Dr Claire Farrow from Aston University and her colleagues at Loughborough and Birmingham universities. The study looked at how parents used food and the different feeding practices that they regularly used with children when they were aged three-to-five. The researchers then followed the children up when they were aged 5-7 to explore whether earlier feeding practices influenced the development of emotional eating in the children.”(more)