• Study: Parental Depression Is Associated With Worse Childhood Mental Health
    According to a new study, children who live with a parent who has depression are more likely to develop depression and do not achieve educational milestones. The findings of the study were published in the open-access journal ‘PLOS ONE’. Maternal depression is a known risk factor for depression in children and is associated with a range of adverse child health and educational outcomes including poorer academic attainment. To date, however, risk factors associated with paternal depression have been less well examined. Understanding the effects of timing of both maternal and paternal depression of offspring outcomes has implications for prevention and early intervention. In the new study, Brophy and colleagues used data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank assembled as part of the Born in Wales Study funded by the Welsh Government. Information on children born in Wales from 1987 to 2018, as well as their mothers and fathers — or stable, adult male figure in the same household — was used in the study. Both parental and child diagnosis of depression was attained from general practitioner records in the SAIL databank. Overall, 34.5 per cent of mothers and 18 per cent of fathers/stable men had a diagnosis of depression. In offspring, 4.34 per cent of all children, 2.85 per cent of boys, and 5.89 per cent of girls were diagnosed with depression. Children were more likely to develop depression if their mother […]
  • Study: Talking To Kids While Watching Tv Increases Their Curiosity Levels
    Increased television watching is associated with poorer development in your younger ones. However, according to a new study, talking to your kids while watching TV is a new way to counter its negative effects. The findings of the study were published in the ‘PLOS ONE Journal’ The more parents engaged in conversation with preschoolers during shared TV time, the more likely those children were to have higher curiosity levels when they reached kindergarten, the new study suggested. This was particularly true for children with socioeconomic disadvantages. “Our findings reinforce the importance of parent conversation to promote early childhood development and curiosity, especially for children from under-resourced families,” said lead author Prachi Shah, M.D. M.S., a developmental and behavioural paediatrician at University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “We know that more frequent parent-child conversation is promotive of several areas of early child development, and this could be true for promoting a child’s curiosity as well,” Shah added. Sitting in front of the TV alone or while parents are on their phones? Perhaps not so beneficial. But watching a show, movie, or other content with parents while talking together could be associated with fostering a preschoolers’ curiosity, Shah said. Researchers assessed hours of daily television exposure and frequency of parent screen-time conversation among 1,500 preschoolers and then measured early childhood curiosity in kindergarten. The study specifically focused on curiosity levels, which Shah’s previous research […]
  • Study: Giving Support To Family & Friends As Important As Receiving, Boosts Health
    According to new research, the willingness to give social support to your family and friends is as important as receiving assistance as it’s good for your health. The study was published in the ‘Brain, Behavior and Immunity Journal’. While researchers have long thought that receiving social support from others is a key to health, results from studies have shown mixed results. So, the researchers from the Ohio State University decided to see if giving support may also play an important role in health. They found that on one important measure of health — chronic inflammation — indicators of positive social relationships were associated with lower inflammation only among people who said they were available to provide social support to family and friends. In other words, having friends to lean on may not help your health unless you also said that you’re available to help them when they needed it. “Positive relationships may be associated with lower inflammation only for those who believe they can give more support in those relationships,” said Tao Jiang, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at Ohio State. Preliminary evidence in the study suggested that the link between health and the willingness to help others may be especially important for women. Jiang conducted the research with Jennifer Crocker, professor; Baldwin Way, associate professor; and Syamil Yakin, research assistant, all in psychology at Ohio State. “The […]
  • Study: Games Might Reflect Aspects Of Human Cultures
    Humans all over the world play games, but games are not played equally throughout the world’s cultures. Humans might use games to store and teach cultural-specific information to community members. For example, if you think of the last game that you played, was it a cooperative game, a competitive game, or a game that you played by yourself? “If you live in Germany, chances are high that you played a competitive game,” says Sarah Leisterer-Peoples, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Sarah added, “We think that games might reflect aspects of human cultures, such as how competitive and cooperative the cultures are.” Previous research suggests that in socially hierarchical cultures, or those with differences in status and wealth, competitive games are played frequently. And the opposite has also been suggested–in egalitarian cultures, or those with little or no differences in status and wealth, games tend to be more cooperative. However, previous studies have investigated this relationship in only a small handful of cultures, thus limiting the breadth of this claim. In a new study making use of historical data, researchers from Germany (Leipzig, Jena, Gera) and Australia aimed to answer the question whether the games cultures play correspond to how cooperative they are. In a first step, the research team sorted through a database on historical games played by cultures located in the Pacific. “The cultures in our […]
  • How To Save Yourself From Being Love-Bombed
    Over-the-top displays of affection, romantic gifts, constant compliments, hours of ‘our future together’ talks in a new relationship might make you feel on top of the world. But are these gestures authentic or do they originate from something sinister? It could very much be that you have been love-bombed. “Love bombing is when things are too much too soon. When someone is being too intense way too soon, there is a hidden agenda to this avalanche of love and care. When their love and attention seems too good to be true. It probably is. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But when someone gives you the idea that it’s perfect. It is because they want you to see that it is,” says Sheelaa M Bajaj, life coach facilitator. In the beginning, it all seems perfect, but soon it turns to abuse. “Acts of love bombing are not sexual in nature, but rather manipulative. Love bombers exaggerate how they feel which is different from complimenting someone with thoughtful expressions of love and care,” says Chandini Tugnait, psychotherapist. Bajaj feels when people function from lack of self love, they attract toxic partners who fill that void and ultimately end up in this toxic pattern. “It stems from lack of love and low self worth.” “Love bombing is a control tactic and hence trust your instinct if you spot any red flags because what […]
  • How Active Listening Helps You Build Relationships
    In our everyday lives we might hear people, but how often do we intently listen? Listening can be deeply therapeutic and magical. There’s a concept called Active Listening, which can help you build relationships and connect well with people. Well, it’s time we kick aside these shallow talks. Let active listening take you deeper into people’s worlds and form meaningful relationships. This is how you can practise it. Be Present And Attentive Keep aside your phone, bring your mind to the present and be attentive. When you’re fully engaged in a conversation, you offer respect to the one talking. Unfortunately, with our busy schedules and busier mind, this isn’t very common. Being in the present can encourage an honest bond between you and them, where they feel safe and acknowledged.Be Non-Judgemental Every preconceived notion, every judgment, it’s time to keep it all aside. When you listen in a non-judgemental way, you make the other person feel accepted. Due to societal rules, beauty standards, societal constructs of right or wrong, all of us have at least once felt unaccepted or rejected. By offering a non-judgemental space, you make them feel accepted for who they are rather than who they should be.Ask Open-Ended Questions Open-ended questions are the questions that open many doors. These questions do not have a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as the answer. By doing so, you get to know the person well. […]
  • Signs You’re In A Forced Relationship
    Relationships can test you at times. Be it distance or routine, you have to put in effort for it to work and make your relationship more exciting every day. Putting effort into your relationship is never a bad thing, but when it seems like you are giving more than your partner, you can sense a problem. A relationship is a two-way street and it should be fair to both of the people in it. Here are 5 signs which can help you find out if yours is a “forced” relationship. They Don’t Ask You About Your Day While you keenly ask your partner about their day and how it was, they don’t ask you about yours. When you are in a healthy relationship, you are interested in knowing what is going on in each other’s life. If you feel that this conversation is one-sided, even after you tell them about your day and they don’t seem interested, then you have a problem. You End Up Taking The Responsibility Most Times  This is when you are trying to make the best out of the time you want to spend with your partner, after the fight. However, do you take the blame on yourself even though it isn’t your fault? You are the most understanding one in the relationship, even acting as a peacemaker. If during such situations you find them take the blame off themselves and they […]
  • Study: Well-Being Programmes Can Improve The Quality Of Work Relationships
    According to a new study, participation in workplace health and welfare programmes can improve the quality of work relationships and reduce bullying. The findings of the research have been published in the ‘British Journal of Management’. Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), working in collaboration with insurance and investments company Vitality, found that the more employees engage with health and wellbeing programmes (HWPs) the better the quality of co-worker relationships, the less they experience bullying over time, and the better their longer-term wellbeing and job satisfaction. Unexpectedly, the results suggested that even when senior managers are not committed to these initiatives, employee engagement with HWPs is associated with better relationships at work and the same subsequent positive benefits. The researchers said the findings are particularly relevant given the new patterns of working which have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisations are increasingly adopting HWPs, yet further understanding is required of the underlying processes or conditions that may influence their effect on employee outcomes, such as wellbeing and job satisfaction. Programmes vary in scope and comprehensiveness but can include a broad range of information, health screening and activities that attempt to reduce health risks, prevent chronic disease, support healthy behaviours or attempt to identify and change potential health-related problems. This three-year study used data from 7,785 UK employees at 64 organisations. Lead authors Dr Roberta Fida and Dr Annilee Game, […]
  • Study Finds Ways To Make Waiting Less Arduous For Toddlers
    When toddlers have to wait, it is often difficult for them, as they can’t yet regulate their emotions. A new study has found that left to their own devices, children prefer activities that correspond to their temperament. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Child Development’. Toddlers were able to learn to distract themselves by observing a stranger and generalising the observed behaviour. When their mother wants to finish typing an email or their father is on the phone, toddlers can get restless very quickly: at this age, waiting is not something they are good at. How can parents teach their children to cope better with such waiting situations? This question was the starting point for the study that involved 96 toddlers aged two and their parents. A previous study had shown that children can learn through observation to distract themselves with a toy while waiting. The current work focused on the role of a child’s temperament. Therefore, the researchers made the toddlers in the study wait for three minutes for a small gift or candy. The coveted object was put out of reach, but within sight and the study leader left the room. While waiting, the parents interfered as little as possible with the child, leaving them to their own devices. A stack of cups and, as a more active toy, a toy lawnmower were available. On the experimenter’s return, […]
  • Study: The Way People Laugh Can Reveal Their Cultural Group
    Can we infer someone’s cultural group from their laugher? A new study by researchers from the University of Amsterdam with international colleagues shows that our laughter gives us away. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Philosophical Transactions B’. The study included Dutch and Japanese producers of laughter and listeners. Listeners could detect whether a laughing person is from their own or another cultural group by only hearing a brief laughter segment. Spontaneous laughter was rated as most positive by both groups. Laughter is a strong nonverbal vocalisation, which is frequently used to signal affiliation, reward, or cooperative intent, and often helps to maintain and strengthen social bonds. An important distinction is between spontaneous and voluntary laughter. Spontaneous laughter is typically an uncontrolled reaction, for instance to hilarious jokes, and includes hard-to-fake acoustic features. Voluntary laughter is produced by purposefully modulating vocal output, for instance for a preening boss, reflecting a more deliberate communicative act like conveying polite agreement. Recent research suggests that we are better able to identify individual speakers based on voluntary laughter than on spontaneous laughter. Voluntary laughter, being produced with greater vocal control, would encode more reliable information about the producer. Furthermore, emotional expressive styles like laughter systematically differ across cultural groups. These differences are notable to listeners, making perceivers more accurate in recognising emotions from vocal expressions produced by individuals from their own cultural group as […]
  • Students Who Repeat Grade Experience More Bullying: Study
    According to a new study of nearly half a million subjects, students who have repeated a grade have higher risks of being victims of bullying in countries around the world. The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine by Xiayun Zuo of Fudan University, China. It was a part of the PLOS Medicine Special Issue on Global Child Health. Addressing and preventing school violence, including bullying, is a specific target of the United National Sustainable Development Goals. Few studies involving large samples have examined the association between grade repetition and bullying victimization. In the new study, researchers used data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PIA) 2018, which included information on 465,146 students aged 15 and 16 from 74 countries/economies. Overall, 12.25 per cent of included students had repeated a grade and 30.32 per cent of students reported having experienced bullying at least a few times a month during the previous year. Students who had repeated a grade were more likely to have been the victim of bullying compared to their peers (OR 95 per cent CI 1.32-1.52, p<0.001). The association was observed for students in 46 different countries/economies and in students of both sexes. Compared to boys, however, girls who repeated a grade had higher risks of being made fun of, being threatened, having possessions taken away, and being pushed around. The authors note that while the findings support a relationship […]
  • Study: Best Way To Avoid Procrastination
    New research from the University of Otago has found that no deadline or shorter deadlines work better to avoid procrastinating a task. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Economic Inquiry’. Professor Stephen Knowles, from the Otago Business School, Department of Economics, and his co-authors tested the effect of deadline length on task completion. Participants were invited to complete an online survey in which a donation goes to charity. They were given either one week, one month, or no deadline to respond. Professor Knowles said the research began because he and his team — Dr Murat Genc, from Otago’s Department of Economics, Dr Trudy Sullivan, from Otago’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, and Professor Maros Servatka, from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management — were interested in helping charities raise more money. However, the results are applicable to any situation where someone asks another person for help. This could be asking a colleague for help at work or asking your partner to do something for you, Professor Knowles said. The study found responses to the survey were lowest for the one-month deadline and highest when no deadline was specified. No deadline and the one-week deadline led to many early responses, while a long deadline appeared to give people permission to procrastinate, and then forget. Professor Knowles wasn’t surprised to find that specifying a shorter deadline increased the chances of receiving […]
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