Kindergartens Ringing the Bell for Play Inside the Classroom
Concerned that kindergarten has become overly academic in recent years, a school district in Maryland is developing a new curriculum for 5-year-olds that emphasizes play as an important tool for learning.
Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers
Anxiety has now surpassed depression as the most common mental health diagnosis among college students, and schools are working to meet the growing need for mental health services.
Teen Researchers Defend Media Multitasking
Two high-school seniors analyzed more than 400 adolescents and found that although most teens perform better when focusing on a single task, those who are “high media multitaskers” performed better when working with distractions like music and e-mail.
How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found exercise improved children’s executive functions, which help control mental multitasking, maintain concentration, and inhibit inappropriate responses to mental stimuli.
Cool at 13, Adrift at 23
A new study that followed risk-taking, socially precocious cool kids from age 13 found that in high school their social status often plummeted, and they began struggling in many ways.
Little Children and Already Acting Mean
Relational aggression in very young children is discussed; it is a relatively new term in psychology, devised to distinguish it from physical aggression.
Early Treatment Is Found to Clear H.I.V. in a 2nd Baby
A second child born with AIDS and treated with three powerful antivirals has been declared HIV negative, sparking the launch of a clinical trial in which 50 babies who are born infected will be put on drugs within 48 hours.
Raising Children With an Attitude of Gratitude
A field of research on gratitude in kids is emerging, and early findings show that kids who literally count their blessings show concrete benefits.
The Tests That Babies Need
There are now more than 50 disorders that can be picked up through phenylketonuria, or PKU, screening, 31 of which comprise the “core conditions” of the government’s Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, including critical congenital heart disorder.
What Science Hopes to Learn From a Baby’s Cries
Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital in Providence have devised a computer program to help analyze a baby’s cries for clues to later developmental and neurological conditions.
ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Kids’ Grades
A growing body of research finds that in the long run, achievement scores, grade-point averages or the likelihood of repeating a grade generally aren’t any different in kids with ADHD who take medication compared with those who don’t.
Robot Aids in Therapy for Autistic Children
Results from a new study found that kids improved their conversation skills more when interacting with a two-foot tall-robot therapist, compared with sessions with a human therapist alone.
Children on Track for a Heart Attack
With more and more children suffering from accelerated aging caused by hardening arteries, new study suggests there is a simple way to assess a child’s arterial health with a calculation based on the ratio of triglycerides to HDL, or good cholesterol.
Study Ties Autism Risk to Creases in Placenta
A new study, which analyzed placentas from 217 births, found that in families at high genetic risk for having an autistic child, placentas were significantly more likely to have abnormal folds and creases.
Playing for All Kinds of Possibilities
In the last 25 years or so, researchers have developed the notion that childhood play is tied to both neuroscience and human evolution – it is essential not just to individual development, but to humanity’s unusual ability to inhabit, exploit and change the environment.
Live Music’s Charms, Soothing Premature Hearts
Research led by Beth Israel Medical Center found that live music, played or sung, helped to slow infants’ heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behaviors important for feeding, aid sleep and promote states of quiet alertness.
The Power of Talking to Your Baby
With new evidence supporting the notion that success in school starts before kindergarten, consensus is gathering on the idea that the key to early learning is talking — specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3.
New Guidelines Call for Broad Changes in Science Education
New voluntary guidelines known as the Next Generation Science Standards call for more science in middle school, more hands-on learning opportunities, and commitments to teach evolution and global warming
Tough Calls on Prenatal Tests
Four companies, including a unit of Illumina, are vying for a booming market for tests that examine traces of fetal DNA in the mother’s bloodstream for signs of Down syndrome, but their rapid rollout has raised fears that poorly understood results could lead to confusion in high-risk pregnancies.
The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind
While little is known about the effects on children who grow up using smart phones and tablets, scientists suggest that too much childhood interaction with the touch screen could hinder the development of certain interpersonal communications skills.
Tougher Rules Advised for Athletes After Concussion
Amid mounting evidence about risks of long-term damage to the brain after concussion, the American Academy of Neurology released new guidelines calling for athletes to be removed from play immediately if a concussion is suspected—and kept out until they have been assessed by a medical expert and symptoms are gone.
Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School
Two forthcoming studies found that while learning from a teacher may help children get to a specific answer more quickly, it also makes them less likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution.
The Stories That Bind Us
Myth-shattering research has reshaped our understanding of what makes a happy, effective, resilient family, and reveals that the single most important thing we can do may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.
Why Are Our Kids Useless? Because We’re Smart
Humans have a much larger brain than other primates, and the amount of time it takes to train them lies at the root of why childhood lasts so long and children are far more helpless on their own in comparison to their ape cousins.)
Finding the Just-Right Level of Self-Esteem for a Child
A wave of recent research has pointed to the risks of overpraising a child, and psychologists are creating a deeper and more nuanced understanding of self-esteem where it can actually be good for kids to have low self-esteem, at least temporarily.
Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart?
Scientists think bouts of panic in stressful situations can be traced to genetics. But don’t freak out. Biology is not necessarily destiny.
The Psych Approach
There are strong links between our childhood experiences and adult lives. The emotional basis of success should have a bigger role in education.
Why Fathers Really Matter
Modern biology is making it clearer by the day that a man’s health and well-being have a measurable impact on his future children’s health and happiness.
Father’s Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia
Random genetic mutations in children that become more numerous with advancing paternal age may account for as many as 30 percent of autism cases, researchers reported.
Even A Few Years Of Music Training Benefits The Brain
Keep up those piano lessons! Researchers found that even just a few years of musical training in childhood can benefit the brain in terms of sound perception and production, which can also affect foreign language learning.
Opinion: Raising Successful Children
Madeline Levine, author of the new book “Teach Your Children Well,” explores how unecessary intervention makes your child feel bad about himself (if he’s young) or angry at you (if he’s a teenager.)
Flummoxed by Failure—or Focused?
Many people think of intelligence as static: you are born with lots of brains, very few, or somewhere in between, and that quantum of intelligence largely determines how well you do in school and in life. A study by psychologists from Columbia and Stanford supports a different point of view.
Mom Was Right: Go Outside
Young children are increasingly shunning outdoor recreation, even as scientists outline the mental benefits of spending time in natural settings, writes Jonah Lehrer.
How to Handle Little Liars
Lying is a milestone of normal child development and starts as early as age 2. Researchers are taking a new interest in children's lying, using experimental techniques to explore its role in cognitive and moral development and applying the knowledge to court cases and investigations of bullying and other problems.
TV On in the Background? It's Still Bad for Kids
"Too much television can be detrimental for kids’ development, even when they’re not plopped directly in front of the screen. And your kids might be getting more exposure to such background TV than you think, a new study finds."
Puberty Before Age 10: A New ‘Normal’?
In recent years, parents and researchers have noticed that an increasing number of young girls are developing the first signs of puberty at younger and younger ages, sparking debate over the definition of “normal” puberty the health implications of such changes.
What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind?
Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later, resulting in profound biological and chemical changes in adolescence; research from B.J. Casey’s lab at Cornell University suggests that the reward centers of the adolescent brain are much more active than those of either children or adults.
The Two Year Window
The new science of babies and brains—and how it could revolutionize the fight against poverty. P&S Faculty Advisor, Bruce McEwen, is quoted.
At Elite Schools, Easing Up a Bit on Homework
Armed with neuroscience, self-analysis and common sense, some of New York City’s most competitive high schools, famed for their Marine-like mentality when it comes to homework, have begun to lighten the load to address student stress.
As Brain Changes, So Can IQ
A new study suggests that a young person's intelligence measure isn't as fixed as once thought; a teenager’s IQ can rise or fall as many as 20 points in just a few years.
Occupy the Classroom
Want to close the equality gap? Providing early childhood education would be a great place to start, and it might even pay for itself.
A scientific look into the teen brain tries to explain, in terms of evolutionary theory, why unique features of adolescent thinking and behavior have persisted throughout history. Past P&S presenter, B.J. Casey, is quoted.
Well: School Curriculum Falls Short on Bigger Lessons
Many child development experts worry that the ever-growing emphasis on academic performance means many children aren’t developing life skills like motivation, focus and resilience, predictors of long-term success.
Link in Autism, Brain Size
Children with autism have larger brains than children without the disorder, and the growth appears to occur before age 2, according to a new study.
Is Sugar Toxic?
Robert Lustig, a former Rockefeller Postdoctoral fellow, specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and leading expert in childhood obesity, focuses on sugar as a possible cause of metabolic syndrome, which is linked to heart disease, cancer, and other disorders.
As Little Girls and Boys Grow, They Think Alike
Although boys' and girls' brains show differences around age 10, during puberty key parts of their brains become more similar, according to recent research.
The Poverty Clinic: Can a stressful childhood make you a sick adult?
Dr. Nadine Burke, head of a free clinic in San Francisco, conducts research on the effect that adverse childhood experiences and traumatic social factors have on adult health. Rockefeller scientist, Bruce McEwen, and his research on the physiological effects of stress are mentioned
Small Child, Big Worries
Depression is not just for grownups. Scientists are discovering that infants and toddlers can develop some very adult mental illnesses.
On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers
The riddle of why about 10 percent of people are born with the left-dominant variety of this essentially human asymmetry remains.
Germ Exposure Reduces Asthma Risk
Recent studies indicate that children living on farms may have a lower risk of asthma than children who don't because they are surrounded by a greater variety of germs.
The Case for Play
An in depth exploration of the science of play and its potential short- and long-term benefits to the developing mind.
Monkey Behavior May Provide Clues to Autism
A chance discovery of a macaque behavior may lead to new insights into a link between infant behavioral imitation and autism. Bruce McEwen of RU is quoted.
Study: Sleep Off Those Extra Pounds, Kids
A new study has shown that a lack of shuteye over the weekend could be piling extra weight on American children, a sixth of whom are already obese. Bruce McEwen is quoted, and his research – separate from the study – is discussed.
To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test
Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.