Posts made in December, 2013

Poverty Hinders Kids’ Early Brain Development

»Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

A new study shows that poverty may have a direct impact on the early development of the brain, with children from poor families lagging behind in two key regions of the brain. The study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that, by age 4, children in families living with incomes under 200 percent of the federal poverty line have less gray matter than kids growing up in families with higher incomes. Gray matter is brain tissue critical for processing information and execution of actions. “This is an important link between poverty and biology. We’re watching how poverty gets under the skin,” said Dr. Barbara Wolfe, a professor of economics, population health sciences and public affairs and one of the authors of the study, published in...

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Does Peer Pressure Influence Teens Sexting?

»Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

A new study reviews the beliefs, social pressures and predictors of sexting among adolescents. In the paper, psychologist Dr. Michel Walrave and graduate students Wannes Heirman and Lara Hallam discovered friends and romantic partners are the main source of social pressure, outweighing adolescents’ own attitudes. The paper is found in the journal Behavior & Information Technology, published by Taylor & Francis. Sexting is defined as the sharing of sexually explicit text messages or naked/semi-naked self-pictures using mobile phones. Researchers surveyed 498 adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years and discovered that 26 percent of the teens surveyed had engaged in sexting in the two months preceding the survey. Investigators analyzed survey responses...

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Teens with Deployed Family Member Face Greater Risk of Depression

»Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Teens who experience the military deployment of a parent or sibling face a greater risk for depression, according to a new study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The findings reveal that ninth- and 11-grade students who had experienced two or more family member deployments over the past decade were 56 percent more likely to feel sad or hopeless and 34 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared with their peers. The study is one of very few that compare students from military families to their non-military peers, said study leader Julie Cederbaum, Ph.D., an assistant professor of social work at USC. Less than one percent of the U.S. population has been on active duty at any point in time since the attacks of September 11,...

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