Posts made in December, 2014

Teaching Children Gift Etiquette

»Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Jocey, one of the parents in my parent group, was mortified. Her mother-in-law had given her 8-year-old son a toy fire truck. Instead of saying “thank you,” the boy looked at it and said something like, “That’s for babies. I don’t like trucks” and tossed it back in the box. Her story reminded me of the time that my kids’ favorite uncle gave my then-3-year-old son a two-foot battery-driven robot with blazing red eyes. My son backed up warily as the thing jerked across the floor. Terrified, he burst into tears. My brother-in-law was hurt and upset. His extravagant gift had flopped. After some comforting and explaining by his uncle, my son saved the day by naming the monster “Bwent” and tying his beloved blanket around it to make it softer. Both...

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Coping With The Holidays

»Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

For many people, the holidays and Christmas can be not only a very happy and joyous time reuniting with family and friends, but also a very stressful time. Old patterns of behavior emerge, our stress levels go up, and our ability to cope flies out the window. No sooner have we put away the Thanksgiving turkey that we turn and find the presents we need to wrap for Christmas. The holidays start a few weeks of stress and constant motion for many, as well as feelings of being overwhelmed, depression and even loneliness for others. We can’t stop the world from turning, but perhaps the articles below will help you better cope with the holidays. As usual, our annual Holiday Coping Guide has been updated for 2013. We wish you a peaceful, stress-free and joyful...

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Nature, Nurture Both Figure Into Antisocial Behavior

»Posted by on Dec 14, 2014 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

If you happen to carry a particular variant for one of three common genes (whether you carry just one or all three), you may be more likely to engage in antisocial behavior, but only if you were exposed to an abusive or adverse environment in childhood, according to a new study. The findings confirm previous studies that show how negative experiences can influence how genetic variants affect the brain, and therefore promote negative behavior, according to a new study. “Evidence is accumulating to show that the effects of variants of many genes that are common in the population depend on environmental factors. Further, these genetic variants affect each other,” said researcher Sheilagh Hodgins, Ph.D., of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut...

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Data-Mining Twitter Posts for Mental Health Insights

»Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Emerging research suggests that posts on the social media site Twitter can be a quick and inexpensive source of health information. The posts have been used to map the outbreak of flu and now, a group of Johns Hopkins computers scientists say their techniques can gather important information about some common mental illnesses. The technique involves a review of tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis. Experts analyze the tweets with the intent of discovering language cues linked to certain disorders. From this examination, they’ve been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. In research presented at three scientific conferences...

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Examining Attachment, Social Isolation and Sexual Compulsivity as Predictors of Sexually Abusive Behaviors in Teenage Boys

»Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

The Question Might attachment style and relationship capacity be indicators of sexual risk in youth? The Research Until this research, there were too few studies to understand the role of attachment in sexual abusive perpetration by adolescents (Seto and Lalumiere, 2010). However in is most recent study, Michael Miner and his colleagues examined 325 adolescent males to explore the association between 1) insecure attachment, 2) social isolation, 3) sexuality, and 4) interpersonal adequacy in this population. Results indicated 1) a significant association between anxious attachment and sexual abuse perpetration and 2) support for the hypothesis that adolescents who have sexually abused had poor social involvement and anxiety interacting with female peers. Further,...

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