Thursday, January 31, 2019

Research Roundup

Several interesting research studies have come to our attention lately. All of them have to do with children -- their health, development, and school performance. And that's what "Mind, Brain, and Education" is all about. We hope you find them interesting too.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that what it calls "aversive disciplinary strategies", including all forms of corporal punishment, yelling at, and shaming children, are not effective in the long term in changing children's behavior. Perhaps even more important is that researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children. The AAP offers guidance in best practice for discipline. 

  • A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, which included more than 400,000 children throughout the U.S., found that rates of diagnosis and treatment of ADHD are higher among children born in August than among children born in September in states with a September 1 cutoff for kindergarten entry. In other words, it is the relative youth of these kindergarten children compared to their classmates, who can be almost a full year older, that can be the basis of an ADHD diagnosis. 

  • Much has been written about the dangers of e-cigarettes and youth, noting the fact that the flavored nicotine products in many of these devices are highly attractive to younger users and can rapidly lead to nicotine addiction. The Juul brand, with its appealing flavors and slim design has been especially criticized. However, individuals who are currently smoking cigarettes -- which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, included nearly 8 of every 100 high school students (7.6%)  in 2017 who reported that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days - a decrease from 15.8% in 2011) -- may find that e-cigarettes can help them quit, even more so than nicotine patches or gums, according to a new study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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