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Articles of Interest

The Secret of Being a Good Father

BBC News, June 12, 2019

Past child development research often ignored fathers. But new studies are finding that non-maternal caregivers play a crucial role in children’s behavior, happiness, even cognitive skills.

W.H.O. Says Limited or No Screen Time for Children Under 5

The New York Times, April 24, 2019

In a new set of guidelines, the World Health Organization said that infants under 1 year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and that children between the ages of 2 and 4 should not have more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” each day.

Why Videogames Trigger the Nightly Meltdown—and How to Help Your Child Cope

The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2019

Just because it’s hard for your kids to put down the game controllers doesn’t mean they’re addicts. Here’s what happens in their brains the second after the game shuts off.

Teens Need the Truth About Drugs

The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2019

Decades of scare tactics haven’t worked. What’s effective is clear information about risks and alternative ways to relieve stress.

Millennials Are the Therapy Generation

The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2019

People in their 20s and 30s seek mental-health help more often, and they are changing the nature of treatment.

What Can Science Tell Us About Dad Jokes?

The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2019

Humor that leads to groans and eye rolls may still help build stronger relationships between parents and children.

Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood

NPR, February 25, 2019

Research suggests the more of your childhood that is spent surrounded by green spaces, the lower your risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, whether in the city or the country.

Why Girls Beat Boys at School and Lose to Them at the Office

The New York Times, February 7, 2019

Hard work and discipline help girls outperform boys in class, but that advantage disappears in the work force. Is school the problem?

Let Children Get Bored Again

The New York Times, February 2, 2019

Boredom teaches us that life isn’t a parade of amusements. More important, it spawns creativity and self-sufficiency.

Inside the Growing Push for Social and Emotional Learning in K-12 Education

Inside Philanthropy, January 31, 2019

Philanthropies funding education are increasingly talking about social and emotional learning and other approaches that take the “whole child” into account.

Don’t Think the Worst About Your Teenager

The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2019

Parents fear that adolescents are prone to rebellion and moodiness, but research shows that expecting bad behavior can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Germs in Your Gut Are Talking to Your Brain. Scientists Want to Know What They’re Saying.

The New York Times, January 28, 2019

The body’s microbial community may influence the brain and behavior, perhaps even playing a role in dementia, autism and other disorders.

The Making of the Picky Eater

The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2019

Parents have fretted over children’s diets at least since the Victorian era, but mealtime fussiness is worse today. Blame snacking, unwholesome foods aimed at the young and contradictory signals from adults.

The Psychiatrist Can See Your Child Now, Virtually

The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2019

With a growing shortage of mental-health professionals for children and adolescents, more health-care providers are turning to technology.

Managing Teenage Acne

The New York Times, January 7, 2019

If the face a teenager presents to the world is marred by prominent lesions of acne, the ordinary stresses of adolescence can be that much more difficult to weather.

The Science Behind Making Your Child Smarter

The Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2018

We all have our assumptions about what works—here’s what the data really tells us about ways we can improve intelligence.

How to Be More Resilient

The New York Times, December 15, 2018

Some people are just genetically tougher. But you can train your brain to better handle stress.

Late to Launch: The Post-Collegiate Struggle

The New York Times, December 4, 2018

Despite a low unemployment rate, many young adults lack job prospects that mesh with their idealized vision of the post-college world.

A Reason to Think Twice About Your Child’s ADHD Diagnosis

The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2018

Research from around the world suggests younger children are more likely to get the diagnosis when they’re compared with older peers.

Your Lonely Child’s Path to a Happier Life

The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2018

New research shows that rejection has a deeper impact than previously thought on children, but parents can steer them toward resilience.

Helping Pediatricians Care for Transgender Children

The New York Times, October 15, 2018

A new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics tries to guide doctors and dispel myths about growing up with gender identity questions.

How Fathers Should Talk With Their Sons About Sex in the #MeToo Era

The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2018

A difficult conversation has become even more complex. But dads should persist. Here’s how.

How to Help a Child With an Anxiety Disorder

The New York Times, October 1, 2018

Anxiety disorders, the most common mental health problems in children and adolescents, often go untreated while children suffer, even though there are effective treatments available, according to a new report on anxiety in children and adolescents from the Child Mind Institute in New York.

How to Help Teenagers Embrace Stress

The New York Times, September 19, 2018

Stretching beyond familiar limits doesn’t always feel good, but growing and learning — the keys to school and much of life — can’t happen any other way.

Childhood Trauma And Its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Minorities

NPR, September 17, 2018

A new study confirms that adverse childhood experiences are universal, yet highlights some disparities among socioeconomic groups. People with low-income and educational attainment, people of color and people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual had significantly higher chance of having experienced adversity in childhood.

Many Ways to Be a Girl, but One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules

The New York Times, September 14, 2018

In a new poll, girls say they feel empowered, except when it comes to being judged on how they look. Boys still feel they have to be strong, athletic and stoic.

The Big Myth About Teenage Anxiety

The New York Times, September 7, 2018

Relax: The digital age is not wrecking your kid’s brain.

What Twins Can Teach Us About Nature vs. Nurture

The New York Times, August 20, 2018

The relative importance of nature and nurture has been debated for centuries, and has had strong — and sometimes misguided — influences on public policy.

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.