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Articles of Interest

Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm

Smithsonian, July 26, 2018

As sperm traverse the male reproductive system, they jettison and acquire non-genetic cargo that fundamentally alters sperm before ejaculation. These modifications not only communicate the father’s current state of wellbeing, but can also have drastic consequences on the viability of future offspring.

When We Eat, or Don’t Eat, May Be Critical for Health

The New York Times, July 24, 2018

A growing body of research suggests that our bodies function optimally when we align our eating patterns with our circadian rhythms.

What Babies Know About Their Bodies and Themselves

The New York Times, July 9, 2018

How infants’ brains respond to touch may indicate their understanding of their bodies, researchers say.

When Children Lose Control

The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2018

They may be small, but they have big emotions: techniques to help children master their feelings.

Video Game Addiction Tries to Move From Basement to Doctor’s Office

The New York Times, June 17, 2018

On Monday, “gaming disorder” will appear in a new draft of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, the highly regarded compendium of medical conditions. Concerns about the influence of video games are dovetailing with increasing scrutiny over the harmful aspects of technology, as consumers look for ways to scale back consumption of social media and online entertainment.

How You Can Raise Robot-Proof Children

The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2018

With the pacing of technology making jobs look more scarce in the future, education can adapt to offer children better chances of employment.

Should We Speak to Little Boys as We Do Little Dogs?

The New York Times, April 10, 2018

We speak to our little dogs much more lovingly than we do to our little boys. How can we change that?

To Raise Resilient Kids, Be a Resilient Parent

The New York Times, March 28, 2018

Parents who don’t fear emotions like anger have a greater capacity to absorb challenging interactions with their children, experts say.

How to Spot Teenage Depression

The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2018

New guidelines focus on helping better identify teens who may be struggling with depression, as rates for the disorder climb.

To Help Children Sleep, Go Dark

The New York Times, March 5, 2018

A new study suggests that exposure to bright light before bedtime can throw children’s body clocks out of whack.

How to Spot Teenage Depression

The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2018

New guidelines focus on helping better identify teens who may be struggling with depression, as rates for the disorder climb.

When a Child’s Grumpiness Is a Problem

The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2018

Every child is crabby sometimes. But for some children, the problem is a lot greater than occasional crabbiness.

Using Art to Tackle Obesity and Diabetes in Youth

The New York Times, February 14, 2018

Public health experts and arts educators have teamed up to try a novel approach to preventing the disease in young people. The campaign, called The Bigger Picture, aims to get teenagers and young adults to view the diabetes crises in their community not just as a medical problem, but as a social justice problem tied to stress, poverty, violence and limited access to healthy and affordable foods.

Why Teens Need a Sense of Purpose

The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2018

Teens with a sense of purpose do better in school, are more resilient and healthier. They are also a minority. About 20% of teens are considered purposeful.

What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn

The New York Times, February 7, 2018

American adolescents watch much more pornography than their parents know — and it’s shaping their ideas about pleasure, power and intimacy. Can they be taught to see it more critically?

The Importance of Infants’ Exposure to Micro-Organisms

The New York Times, February 5, 2018

Research indicates that cesarean deliveries and limited breast-feeding can distort the population of micro-organisms in a baby’s gut, and may explain the unchecked rise of worrisome health problems.

Hits to the Head May Result in Immediate Brain Damage

The New York Times, January 31, 2018

New findings show that a teenage brain hit in the head can begin to show signs, within days, of the kind of damage associated with degenerative brain disease.

In Birds’ Songs, Brains and Genes, He Finds Clues to Speech

Quanta Magazine, January 30, 2018

The neuroscientist Erich Jarvis discovered that songbirds’ vocal skills and humans’ spoken language are both rooted in neural pathways for controlling learned movements.

Schools ‘Should Help Children With Social Media Risk’

BBC News, January 4, 2018

Schools should play a bigger role in preparing children for social media’s emotional demands as they move from primary to secondary school, England’s children’s commissioner says.

The Right Way for Parents to Help Anxious Children

The Wall Street Journal,December 8, 2017

Anxiety disorders are common in childhood, and many parents naturally want to shield their youngsters from distress. But that is often the exact opposite of what they should do.

How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds

The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2017

Research suggests that as the brain grows dependent on phone technology, the intellect weakens.

New Tools Detect Autism Disorders Earlier in Lives

The Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2017

Susan Pinker on methods that can flag disorders on the autism spectrum earlier than before. They show that aside from genetics, any parental contribution to the disorder is probably nil.

If Your Child Acts Up at School, Do You Want to Know in Real Time?

The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2017

As more schools use ClassDojo and other tools to give parents report cards throughout the day, parents wonder how much detail is necessary.

Playing Tackle Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later

The New York Times, September 19, 2017

The Boston University study links cognitive and behavioral problems later in life — among all players, not just in the N.F.L. — to playing tackle at a young age.

Children Need Close Pals, Not Popularity

The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2017

Research suggests that intimate friendships have long-term benefits, such as higher self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Pressure Grows to Fund Children’s Health Program

The Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2017

State officials worry that turbulent health-care politics could threaten federal funding of Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Teaching Kids Coding, by the Book

The New York Times, August 21, 2017

The growing emphasis on teaching kids computer literacy and programming skills has started to shape children’s fiction.

What Happens to Creativity as We Age?

The New York Times, August 19, 2017

When we’re older, we know more. But that’s not always an advantage.

Before You Study, Ask for Help

The Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017

New research shows that students who excel at both classroom and standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT aren’t necessarily those who study longest. Instead, they study smart—planning ahead, quizzing themselves on the material and actively seeking out help when they don’t understand it.

How to Thrive in an Empty Nest

The New York Times, August 2, 2017

The transition to college can be an opportunity for growth for parents as well as students.

6 Things Parents Should Know About Sending Kids Back to School

The New York Times, August 2, 2017

A time to explore mixed emotions as we say goodbye to summer and say hello to new expectations.

Study of How We Look at Faces May Offer Insight Into Autism

The New York Times Magazine, July 12, 2017

A new study of twins found that genetics underlie how children seek out formative social experiences like making eye contact or observing facial expressions, which may also provide a road map for scientists searching for genes linked to autism.

On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus

The New York Times, June 24, 2017

Campuses across the country are establishing initiatives aimed at helping high achieving students learn to cope with basic setbacks.

Losing Fat, Gaining Brain Power, on the Playground

The New York Times Magazine, June 16, 2017

A study of 8-to-10-year-olds found that exercising children who lost weight, even if they remained overweight, showed significant improvements in a test measuring their ability to pay attention, process information, and avoid being impulsive.

For Children with Autism, No More Being Hushed

The New York Times, June 14, 2017

A program called ASD Nest, now in 39 elementary, middle, and high schools in NYC, aims to help autistic students understand the school environment and their own needs so they can function both in and out of school.

A Traumatic Experience Can Reshape Your Microbiome

New York Magazine, June 1, 2017

A study of students with irritable bowel syndrome suggests that anxiety, depression, and a history of early life trauma may result in longer-lasting symptoms of IBS.

Advice on Helping Teen Girls Thrive

The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2017

Questions about helping teen girls thrive are a source of interest for psychologists and neuroscientists, sparking more than three dozen studies in the past year. Here’s a guide to the findings.

When Can My Child Mow the Lawn?

The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2017

Assigning new jobs for children as they mature will develop their work ethic, and assigning an allowance to chores will teach them to equate hard work to cash. The article outlines several chores children should learn to master by certain ages.

Good News for Older Mothers

The New York Times, April 3, 2017

Children born to the 35- to 39-year-olds did significantly better on cognitive testing than children born to the younger mothers, which researchers attributed to the social and economic characteristics of older mothers, who tend to be better educated and more well-off.

Paternal Love Can Look a Lot Like Entrepreneurial Love

The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2017

Researchers in Finland found that a group of male entrepreneurs and a group of dads demonstrated comparable patterns of brain activity when the entrepreneurs were shown photos of their businesses and the fathers were shown photos of their children.

Does Your Child Need Therapy?

The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2017

A Q&A with Jacqueline Sperling, director of training and research at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program in Cambridge, MA, who recommends parents seek therapy for their children at the first sign of behaviors that disrupt their social, academic or home environments.

Two-Thirds of All Cancer Mutations Are Unavoidable, Scientists Claim

Gizmodo, March 23, 2017

New research from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggests that between 60 and 66 percent of all cancer-causing mutations are the result of random DNA copying errors, making them essentially unavoidable.

What Does It Take to Climb Up the Ladder?

The New York Times, March 23, 2017

Several charts illustrate that noncognitive character strengths — “perseverance, industriousness, grit, resilience, curiosity, application” and “self-control, future orientation, self-discipline, impulse control, delay of gratification” — make significant contributions to success in adulthood and upward mobility, and tend to favor upper-class children from educated and continuously married, two-parent households.

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

The New York Times, March 13, 2017

American teenagers are growing less likely to try or regularly use drugs, including alcohol, but researchers are starting to ponder whether this is in part because they are stimulated and entertained by computers and phones.

The Secret to Getting Your Teen to Talk

The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2017

Journals are being used as a way for parents and children—often in awkward adolescence—to communicate and deepen relationships, which can help parenting during some of the toughest years.

An Expert Take on Performing Under Pressure

The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2017

Psychology professor Sian Beilock studies how people think in stressful situations—and why they choke.

School of the Future

NOVA, September 14, 2016

How can the science of learning help us rethink the future of education for all children?
Aired September 14, 2016 on PBS

What Teens Need Most From Their Parents

The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2016

A flood of new research and analysis of brain imaging data are changing scientists’ views on the role parents play during their children’s adolescence, who have identified four stages of development most teens experience at certain ages.

To Stem Obesity, Start Before Birth

The New York Times, July 11, 2016

The overwhelming majority of babies are lean at birth, but by the time they reach kindergarten, many have acquired excess body fat that sets the stage for a lifelong weight problem.

The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity

The New York Times, July 5, 2016

Two new studies found links between childhood obesity and the occurrence of colon cancer, strokes and other diseases that strike adults later in life.

The Limits of “Grit”

The New Yorker, June 21, 2016

In her best-selling book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” Angela Duckworth celebrates grit as the single trait in our complex and wavering nature which accounts for success.

For More Children, Puberty Signs Start at 8

The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2016

Puberty appears to be starting earlier in healthy girls, and possibly even boys, introducing a host of health and social implications for their parents.

Good News Hidden in the Data: Today’s Children Are Healthier

The New York Times, June 17, 2016

Recent research reveals that the health of American children is improving sharply, and the health gap between the rich and the poor among children and young adults is shrinking. The research suggests that future generations of Americans may not reach old age with the same ailments and inequalities as today’s older Americans.

An Interview with Jeanne Garbarino of Rockefeller: A Teacher Collaboration

MfA, June 8,2016

Jeanne Garbarino, Director of Science Outreach at Rockefeller University, has collaborated with Math for America over the past few years to lead workshops at Rockefeller University laboratories that focus on high-level scientific content.

How Kids Learn Resilience

The Atlantic, June, 2016

Paul Tough discusses how to teach students grit in an adapted excerpt from his new book “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why.”

To Help Kids Thrive, Coach Their Parents

The New York Times, May 21, 2016

In this Op-Ed article, Paul Tough discusses research on why children whose parents were counseled to play more with them as part of a study did better throughout childhood on tests of I.Q., aggressive behavior and self-control.

The New Performance Enhancer in High School Sports? Nutrition

The New York Times, May 12, 2016

Schools are starting to bring in dietitians to discuss the importance of nutrition with young athletes, long a standard part of professional and college athletics programs.

Can You Sleep Train Your Baby at 2 Months?

The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2016

Tribeca Pediatrics, which is among the most ardent proponents of the sleep-training practice known as extinction, says babies as young as two months old can be taught to sleep through the night by being left to cry.

Angela Duckworth on Passion, Grit and Success

The New York Times, April 8, 2016

A Q&A with Angela Duckworth, who has an upcoming book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” available in May.

More to Science: Working as the Director of Science Outreach

BioMed Central, March 10, 2016

There’s more to science than being a scientist! Jeanne Garbarino tells of her experiences which have led her to where she is today – the Director of Science Outreach at Rockefeller University.

More Support for Early Exposure to Peanuts to Prevent Allergies

The New York Times, March 4, 2016

Evidence is accumulating that food allergies in children might be prevented by feeding peanuts and other allergenic food to infants in their first year of life.

Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure Students’ Emotional Skills

The New York Times, March 1, 2016

The race to test for social-emotional skills has raised alarms even among the biggest proponents of teaching them, who warn that the definitions are unclear and the tests faulty. Angela Duckworth is quoted and Paul Tough is mentioned.

Research Hints at Promise and Difficulty of Helping People With A.D.H.D. Learn

The New York Times, February 15, 2016

Two new studies explore the effectiveness of the so-called testing effect for people with attention-deficit problems, giving hope to the promise of outfoxing learning deficits with cognitive science while acknowledging the difficulties involved.