Family Stressors

Parenting and Salience Network Connectivity Among African Americans: A Protective Pathway for Health-Risk Behaviors

Supportive parenting during childhood has been associated with many positive developmental outcomes for offspring in adulthood, including fewer health-risk behaviors. Little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying these associations. The present study followed rural African Americans (n = 91, 52% female) from late childhood (ages 11-13) to emerging adulthood (age 25). Parent-child communication was assessed at ages 11, 12, and 13. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used at age 25 to measure resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the ...

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Youth and New Media: The Appeal and Educational Ramifications of Digital Game Play for Children and Adolescents

The prevalence of digital media use among children and adolescents is indisputable. One medium to which children and adolescents dedicate a sizeable portion of their time is that of the digital game. Accordingly, digital game play continues to grow as a context for cognitive development. We showcase new research and practice addressing the impact of this very popular activity on children’s and adolescents’ learning. Our goal is to stimulate new research and interest in examining the positive ramifications of digital ...

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Early-Life Adversity and Physical and Emotional Health Across the Lifespan: A Neuroimmune Network Hypothesis

Children who experience chronic stressors are vulnerable to emotional and physical health problems across the lifespan. This phenomenon raises questions for scientists and clinicians alike. How does adversity get under the skin of the developing child? Through what mechanisms does it confer vulnerability to a heterogeneous set of mental and physical illnesses? And how does it instantiate risk across different life stages, engendering vulnerability to conditions that develop shortly after stressor exposure—like depression—and conditions that manifest decades later, like heart ...

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Paths to Positive Development: a Model of Outcomes in the New Zealand Youth Transitions Study

This study examined predictors of positive developmental outcomes, including: life satisfaction; optimism; educational achievement; civic engagement; and positive peer influence; in a sample of young people comprised of a study group (n = 593) facing significant challenges and a comparison group (n = 778) who were progressing more normatively. The study modelled the demographic, risk, and resource predictors of positive outcomes across both groups, and compared the fit of the model across groups using integrative data analysis techniques. Results suggested ...

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Parenting stress and child behavior problems within families of children with developmental disabilities: Transactional relations across 15 years

Parents of children with developmental disabilities (DD) are at increased risk of experiencing psychological stress compared to other parents. Children’s high levels of internalizing and externalizing problems have been found to contribute to this elevated level of stress. Few studies have considered the reverse direction of effects, however, in families where a child has a DD. The present study investigated transactional relations between child behavior problems and maternal stress within 176 families raising a child with early diagnosed DD. There ...

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Child and Family Resilience: A Call for Integrated Science, Practice, and Professional Training

Science and practice focused on child resilience and family resilience have deep and intertwined roots, yet there have been surprisingly few efforts to systematically integrate the theory, findings, and implications of these two traditions of work. In this article, the authors discuss parallels in concepts and processes that link the sciences of child and family resilience and the potential of relational developmental systems theory to provide an integrative framework for understanding and promoting resilience in children and families. The authors ...

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Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools

Physical activity (PA) provides numerous physiological and psychosocial benefits. However, lifestyle changes, including reduced PA opportunities in multiple settings, have resulted in an escalation of overweight and obesity and related health problems. Poor physical and mental health, including metabolic and cardiovascular problems is seen in progressively younger ages, and the systematic decline in school PA has contributed to this trend. Of note, the crowded school curriculum with an intense focus on academic achievement, lack of school leadership support, funding and ...

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Defining and strengthening child well-being in child protection

Although the goals of safety and permanency for children continue as critically important mandates in child protection, the field has witnessed an increased focus on child well-being in recent years. Whereas safety and permanency have been well operationalized, child well-being appears to be a much more complex and daunting concept to define and measure. Current federal guidelines require child protective agencies to improve outcomes in the area of child well-being, and although federal regulations offer some direction on interpreting this ...

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Adverse Childhood Experiences and Mental Health, Chronic Medical Conditions, and Development in Young Children

This cross-sectional study used a nationally representative sample of children investigated by child welfare (National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II) from 2008 to 2009. Our analysis included caregiver interviews and caseworker reports about children aged 18 to 71 months who were not in out-of-home care (n = 912). We examined the associations between ACEs and mental health (measured by the Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL]), reported chronic medical conditions, and social development (measured by the Vineland Socialization Scale) in ...

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Contribution of snacks to dietary intakes of young children in the United States

Nutritional quality of children’s diets is a public health priority in the fight against childhood obesity and chronic diseases. The main purpose of this study was to determine contribution of snacks to energy and nutrient intakes and to identify leading snack food sources of energy, total fat, and added sugars amongst young children in the United States. Using the 2005–2012 NHANES data, dietary intakes of 2- to 5-year-old children were analysed from a parent-reported 24-hour dietary recall (n = 3,429). Snacking occasions ...

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Effect of a Text Messaging Intervention on Influenza Vaccination in an Urban, Low-Income Pediatric and Adolescent Population

Influenza infection results in substantial costs, morbidity, and mortality. Vaccination against influenza is particularly important in children and adolescents who are a significant source of transmission to other high-risk populations, yet pediatric and adolescent vaccine coverage remains low. Traditional vaccine reminders have had a limited effect on low-income populations; however, text messaging is a novel, scalable approach to promote influenza vaccination.

Among children and adolescents in a low-income, urban population, a text messaging intervention compared with usual care was associated with ...

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Adolescent impulsivity phenotypes characterized by distinct brain networks

The impulsive behavior that is often characteristic of adolescence may reflect underlying neurodevelopmental processes. Moreover, impulsivity is a multi-dimensional construct, and it is plausible that distinct brain networks contribute to its different cognitive, clinical and behavioral aspects. As these networks have not yet been described, we identified distinct cortical and subcortical networks underlying successful inhibitions and inhibition failures in a large sample (n = 1,896) of 14-year-old adolescents. Different networks were associated with drug use (n = 1,593) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ...

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