Parents Forgo Booster Seats While Carpooling, Survey Finds
2/2/2012 11:09:41 AM
released in this month's edition of Pediatrics found that 76% of parents with children ages 4 to 8 used a safety seat when their child was in their own car. However, when children are riding in another's car, 21% of parents who use a safety seat in their own car do not ask the driver to use a safety seat. Additionally 55% of parents who use a booster seat in their own car do not always require their child to use a booster seat when driving other children who do not have boosters. Car crashes are the leading cause of death
for children ages 3 to 14, and NHTSA estimates that child safety seats have saved nearly 9,000 lives since 1975.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
recommends that all children ages 4 to 7 ride in a car seat until they outgrow the recommended weight or height limit, and then ride in a booster seat. Children ages 8 to 12 should also ride in a booster seat until they are tall enough to safely use a seat belt. Ohio law
requires that all children under age 4 or 40 pounds ride in a child safety seat and that all children ages 4 to 7 and below 4 feet 9 ride in a booster seat. University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Center
offers car seat inspections for parents wishing to to ensure that their child's car seat is safely installed. Other car seat inspection stations can be found by visiting NHTSA's website
.Read a NPR article on the survey.
Tags: Children, Health
Family Violence Changes Children's Brains
1/20/2012 7:31:10 AM
A recent study in Current Biology explores the ways in which exposure to family violence changes children's brains. Exposure to violence in the household includes physical abuse, which is experienced by between 4 and 16% of children, and intimate partner violence, which is witnessed by between 8 and 25% of children. The study used MRIs to compare the responses of children exposed to family violence with those of children not exposed to family violence when shown pictures of angry, neutral and sad faces.
When shown the angry face, children who had experienced family violence showed greater reactivity in both the amygdala, which moderates emotional responses and preparation for stress, and the anterior insula (AI), which works with the amygdala to anticipate pain, than children who had not experienced family violence. Although this heightened response may be beneficial when faced with an immediate threat, previous research links increased reactivity in these areas of the brain to several anxiety disorders.The authors suggest that this hypervigilance may limit a child's ability to master certain social skills and may even predispose children to future aggression. The study did not include children with symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders, implying that there are neurological consequences of family violence even in children without mental health symptoms.
Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates study violence and its effects on children. Daniel Flannery researches the effects of violence on children in Cuyahoga County. Read a policy brief on his work. Patrick Kanary studies youth violence prevention and childhood exposure to violence. Jeffrey Kretschmar studies violence and aggression. Judith Lipton studies inter-disciplinary strategies for addressing domestic violence and the rights of immigrant victims of family violence. Mark Singer studies youth violence and the community. James Spilsbury researches how family violence can affect children's sleep and health.
Read The Atlantic's summary of the study.
Tags: Children, Family, Health, Violence
Recent Studies Find Factors that Improve Outcomes for Teens Struggling with Substance Abuse
12/9/2011 9:57:43 AM
Tags: Adolescence, Health, Mental Health, Religion
Study Finds Secondhand Smoke Exposure Increases School Absenteeism
9/7/2011 10:20:12 AM
A study released in June from Massachusetts General Hospital found that children exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes missed significantly more days of school and reported significantly more ear infections and chest colds than children who do not live with smokers.
The study was an analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey. Fourteen percent of children surveyed lived with a smoker, representing 2.6 million children in the United States. Households without smokers were more likely to be higher educated, have a higher income and were more likely to be Hispanic than households with smokers. Households with one smoker had higher incomes and were more likely to be white than households with two or more smokers.
Children who lived with one smoker had on average one more day absent from school per year and children with two or more smokers one and a half more days absent than children without smokers in their homes. The authors found that eliminating smoking from the homes of children living with smokers could reduce their absenteeism by 24% to 34%. These data suggest that between one quarter and one third of missed school days are the result of secondhand smoke exposure. Additionally, this excess absenteeism resulted in caregivers losing $227 million per year in wages and household production while taking care of sick children.
Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates study the impact of low birth weight and prematurity, also associated with secondhand smoke exposure. Dr. H. Gerry Taylor studies the neurological implications of low birth weight. A policy brief on his recent talk on school progress in children with extreme prematurity can be downloaded here. Dr. Marilyn Lotas studies the health issues very low and low birth weight infants. Dr. Maureen Hack’s research interests include the outcome of very low birth weight children. Additionally, Dr. Scott Frank studies smoking cessation programs.
To read the study on Pediatrics website, click here.
To read a Science Daily article on the study, click here.
To read a CNN article on the study, click here.
Tags: Children, Education, Health, School
Children with Public Health Insurance Less Likely to Get Emergency Appointments with Dentists & Ohio Falls Behind in Important Dental Health Markers
5/24/2011 10:05:38 AM
A study published this week in Pediatrics found that children who have public health insurance are less likely than children with private health insurance to get an appointment in a dental emergency. The study had six research assistants call 85 Illinois dental practices twice pretending to be mothers of a 10-year-old boy with a fractured front tooth, with the only difference in the two calls being whether the child was enrolled in the public Medicaid and CHIP dental program or private Blue Cross dental coverage. Only 36.5% of calls regarding children in the Medicaid and CHIP program were able to obtain an appointment, compared to 95.4% of calls regarding children with private insurance. The difference remained even when only considering the 41 dental practices enrolled in the Medicaid program, as children with public insurance were 18.2 times more likely to not receive an appointment from Medicaid enrolled providers compared to children with private insurance. An article in US News on the study notes that Medicaid reimburses all emergency dental care, regardless of whether the provider seen is enrolled in a Medicaid program.
Ohio recently received a grade of “B” for access to dental care for children from the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign. An article in The Plain Dealer states that while Ohio scores better than the national standards in sealant programs in high-risk schools, fluoridated water access, dental care used by Medicaid-enrolled children, payment for preventative services and keeping records on children’s dental health, Ohio children lack access to primary dental care providers, and Ohio dentists are insufficiently reimbursed by Medicaid. Some policymakers suggest licensing a new type of dental care provider, called a dental therapist, to address the shortage of dentists in Ohio and other states.
Schubert Center Faculty Associate Dr. James Lalumandier directs the Healthy Smiles Sealant Program in conjunction with Cleveland Metropolitan School District to improve dental health and sealant coverage for second, third and sixth grade students. A policy brief on his work can be downloaded here. A video on the Healthy Smiles Sealant Program can be viewed here.
Tags: Children, Dental, Health, Health Insurance
U.S. Proposes Stricter Guidelines Limiting Unhealthy Food Advertising to Kids
5/10/2011 11:53:40 AM
The federal government released new guidelines April 28 pressuring food companies to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods to children by 2016. The guidelines aim to limit advertising tactics aimed at children, such as the use of cartoon characters, online video games, and free toys, for foods high in sugar, fat or salt.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control developed the guidelines, which were created at the request of Congress. The guidelines require that foods that advertise to children include healthful ingredients, like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, or low fat milk, and do not contain unhealthful amounts of sugar, saturated fat, trans fat and salt.
Although the guidelines are voluntary, experts suggest that companies will face significant pressure to adopt them. Margo Wooton, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “With all the concern about childhood obesity, I think there’s a lot of pressure on companies to do the right thing and follow these standards.”
Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates study childhood obesity and related health problems.
To read a New York Times article on the new guidelines, click here.
- Dr. Leona Cuttler of the Department of Pediatrics studies diabetes and childhood obesity.
- Dr. Elaine Borawski of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods studies various health behavior interventions aimed at obesity and diet modification.
- Dr. Marilyn Lotas of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing recently spoke at the Schubert Center on her research on childhood hypertension and obesity in Cleveland public schools. A policy brief on that study can be downloaded here.
To read a Washington Post article on the new guidelines, click here.
To read a Wall Street Journal article on the new guidelines, click here.
Tags: Children, Healthy Eating, Health, Obesity
Study Finds Parental Involvement Key in Reducing Childhood Obesity
3/29/2011 10:31:18 AM
A study released today in Pediatrics found that an obesity reduction program that combined twice-weekly exercise sessions for children with once-weekly nutrition and behavior modification classes for children and parents resulted in improvements in body weight, body composition, blood lipids and insulin that were sustained for 2 years after the intervention. To read a brief LA Times article on the study, click here.
The findings of this study are particularly noteworthy because the study specifically targeted ethnically diverse children with very high BMIs. The intervention took place in disadvantaged, inner-city areas and was offered in both Spanish and English. The study was the first to provide long-term results in a disadvantaged or minority population. The study also shows the importance of including parents in nutrition education programs in order to promote long-term adoption of healthier lifestyles.
Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates conduct research and other programs that aim to reduce the prevalence of obesity in children.
To read the study on Pediatrics's website, click here.
To download a policy brief on Dr. Lotas’s program to screen children in CMSD for hypertension and obesity, click here.
Tags: Children, Healthy Eating, Family, Health, Obesity
February is National Children's Dental Health Month
2/15/2011 2:13:36 PM
The American Dental Association has declared February National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year’s campaign includes posters reminding kids to brush and floss every day as well as a program planning guide for parents and teachers to promote kids’ oral health. Associated with National Children’s Dental Health Month is the Give Kids A Smile program, which so far this month has provided free oral health care for nearly 400,000 kids.
A recent survey from the Ohio Department of Health found that Ohio families of all income levels identify dental care as a top unmet health need for their children. Additionally, nearly 340,000 Ohio children have never visited a dentist and fifty percent of Ohio third graders have tooth decay. Poor dental health has been linked to adverse health outcomes such as respiratory infections, heart disease, obesity, preterm birth and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Schubert Center Faculty Associate and Professor in the School of Dental Medicine Dr. James Lalumandier works with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to improve oral health of local students. The Healthy Smiles Sealant Program, a joint initiative of the Saint Luke’s Foundation, Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, provides second, third, and sixth grade students with free, in-school dental examinations and sealants on key molars. Dental School students and local dentist volunteers examined 6,000 students during the 2009 to 2010 school year.
To see more resources from the ADA to promote kids’ oral health, click here.
To learn more about Give Kids A Smile, click here.
To read an article on the importance of dental care for Ohio children, click here.
Tags: Children, Dental, Health
We Run This City Youth Marathon Program Encourages Physical Activity
2/1/2011 10:31:21 AM
Reserve University’s Prevention Research Center for Health Neighborhoods have teamed up to help 650 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students prepare to run in the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon.
The program is targeted at all kids, not just athletes, and nearly 40% of this year’s participants are considered overweight. Program Director Tara Taylor has stated that, in addition to helping kids increase their physical activity, the program can help kids learn to set and achieve goals.
Starting in 2006 with just 81 middle school students, the program has grown to over 600 participating students in 2010. The program is offered for free to schools and lasts for 12-14 weeks, during which students run 25 miles with the final 1.2 run during the marathon itself. This year, YMCA staff, CMSD nurses, Case Western Reserve University students and other volunteers screened 650 students for BMI, blood pressures and a wide variety of body composition measures.
Schubert Center faculty associates Claudia Coulton, David Crampton, Dorr Dearborn, Scott Frank, and Carol Musil are also affiliated with the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods.
Click here to listen to an NPR article with comments from Program Director Tara Taylor.
Click here to read Case Western Reserve University’s The Daily’s article on how CWRU graduate student volunteers are helping with this year’s pre-program evaluations.
Click here to visit the YMCA’s We Run This City Youth Marathon Program’s official page.
Click here to learn more about the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods and their involvement in the program.
Tags: Children, Health, Neighborhoods, Obesity, School
Reductions in the Recommended Level of Fluoride in Drinking Water
1/11/2011 2:42:08 PM
Reductions in the Recommended Level of Fluoride in Drinking Water
On January 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the first reduction in the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water in 50 years, lowering the recommended level to 0.7 parts per million. This decision is prompted in part by recent data noting an increase in the level of fluorosis, a form of enamel damage and tooth discoloration due to too much fluoride. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that in 2004, 41 percent of children ages 12 to 15 have some level of fluorosis.
Many attribute the rise in fluorosis to increasing use of multiple products containing fluoride, such as toothpaste and fluoride-containing mouthwash. The addition of fluoride in drinking water has been controversial since its inception, in 1962 when the decision was described as a step toward Communism. Few countries outside of the US add fluoride to drinking water.
Several articles about the new recommendations stress the importance of giving children under 6 no more than a pea sized amount of toothpaste and make sure they spit it out after brushing. Toothpaste with fluoride is not recommended for children under 2.
Schubert Center faculty associate James Lalumandier, DDS, MPH teaches at the School of Dental Medicine. He works with the Health Smiles Sealant program to provide sealants and oral health care to children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. In October 2010, he gave a talk as part of the Schubert Center’s Conversations on Children in Research, Policy and Practice on how the program has increased sealant rates to 80% of all third graders in the district.
To read Cleveland.com’s article on the new recommendation, click here.
Tags: Children, Health
The Impact of Daycare on Children's Health
1/4/2011 11:46:57 AM
Many parents are apprehensive about placing their child in daycare for fear that exposure to large numbers of other children will negatively impact their child’s health. Indeed, research has repeatedly shown that children who attend daycare, and particularly large group daycare facilities, experience more frequent infections than children who remain at home.
However, a recent study from the University of Montreal provides new insight that may put parents’ minds at ease. The results of this study, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, suggest that although children who attend large daycare centers do experience more infections while in daycare, it may be keep them healthier later in life. Researchers tracked children’s health for eight years and compared the health of the children who did and did not attend daycare both in the period when they were attending daycare and through their first years of school. They found that children who attended large daycare facilities actually experienced fewer infections when they entered school when compared to children who had not attended daycare. These data suggest that experiencing infections in the first few years of life may provide a protective effect, strengthening a children’s immune systems and making them more resilient to infections upon entering school.
To access the original study from the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, click here.
Dr. Lolita McDavid, Schubert Center Faculty Associate and a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, was recently featured on News Channel 5 WEWS in Cleveland. Dr. McDavid explains the results of the study and gives advice for parents on keeping their children healthy.
To watch the video of Dr. McDavid discussing the study, click here.
Tags: Children, Health, School
Bed Rest: Good for Moms and Babies?
11/23/2010 2:07:43 PM
Preterm birth is a pervasive and persistent maternal and child health concern in developed countries. In the United States in particular, the rate of preterm birth has been rising, reaching 12.5% in 2005. This is significantly higher than other developed countries–the rate of preterm birth in European countries is only 5–7%. Preterm birth compromises the health of infants, putting him or her at high risk of early death. In 2005, infants born preterm accounted for 68.6% of all deaths of infants under one year of age.
Despite these concerning statistics, methods for prevention of preterm birth are not well understood. The most common strategies include prescribing bed rest and/or activity restriction for antepartum mothers at risk for preterm delivery. Though this strategy is widely used, however, the risks and benefits of this practice are still under research.
Dr. Judith Maloni, professor in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at CWRU, has been working with women on bed rest for over twenty years. She has recently published a critical review of the existing researcher examining the risks and benefits of bed rest for the health of both pregnant women and their infants. This review suggests that there is not sufficient scientific evidence that bed rest improves child outcomes. Furthermore, the article documents significant evidence of negative outcomes of bed rest for the mother, including bone density loss, muscle atrophy and depression. These data suggest that bed rest needs to be reexamined as a strategy for preventing preterm birth. Furthermore, Dr. Maloni advocates for the use of alternative strategies to prevent preterm birth, such as home-based care, for which there is scientific evidence to support efficacy.
To read Dr. Maloni’s recent article published in Biological Research for Nursing, click here.
To read a recent press release summarizing Dr. Maloni’s research, click here.
Tags: Children, Health, Infancy
Research on Childhood Obesity at CWRU
11/16/2010 8:55:00 AM
Childhood obesity is a widespread problem affecting children’s health. Obesity during childhood is associated with a range of health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint problems and sleep apnea. In addition, obese children are at greater risk for becoming obese adults, which affects their long-term health.
In Cleveland, approximately 40 percent of children are overweight or obese, a rate significantly higher than the national average, estimated at around 30 percent. These rates have been rising in recent years, despite increasing public awareness of the problem. This trend is due, at least in part, to the lack of obesity treatment interventions that are effective over the long term. While clinical interventions may be effective in treating obesity over the short term, their impact is rarely sustainable once the intervention is complete.
Schubert Center Faculty Associate Dr. Leona Cuttler
is on the front lines of the fight against childhood obesity. Cleveland has been chosen as one of four sites in the NIH-sponsored Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research initiative. Dr. Cuttler, together with her colleagues at CWRU and University Hospitals, will be collaborating with other local partners to recruit and follow more than 400 families to assess the effectiveness of various treatment interventions for obesity. The three treatment interventions include:
- “Usual Care,” a program including education on healthy lifestyles that will be used as a control group,
- “HealthyChange,” a program of additional interventions targeting variables associated with obesity such as TV watching and sleep habits,
- “SystemChange,” an even more intensive intervention designed to reconfigure the microdynamics of the family environment by mapping the families' daily behaviors and targeting unhealthy patterns.
Each family will receive one of these three intervention programs. The researchers will follow the families throughout the six month intervention and a six month follow-up period in order to determine the relative effectiveness of the different interventions. The most success intervention could provide a new model for treating childhood obesity nationally.
Tags: Children, Healthy Eating, Family, Health, Obesity
"Hyper-texting" and Teen Health
11/11/2010 9:17:15 AM
Recent research has found a new link between technology use and teen health. Dr. Scott Frank, Schubert Center Faculty Associate and director of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Master of Public Health Program, is the lead researcher on the project, which surveyed high school students on their cell phone and computer use habits and their health risk behaviors, including smoking, drinking and sexual activity. Dr. Frank and colleagues found that that “hyper-texting,” defined as texting more than 120 messages per school day, was associated with a number of health risk behaviors. Specifically, “hyper-texting” teens are:
An even stronger link to these risk behaviors were seen in teens who practiced “hyper-networking,” defined as spending more than three hours per school day on social networking websites. Hyper-networking was also found to be associated with poorer health outcomes for teens, including a higher odds ratios for stress, depression, suicide, and poor sleep.
- 41 percent more likely to have used illicit drugs,
- 2 times more likely to have tried alcohol,
- 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers,
- 40 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes,
- 55 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight,
- nearly 3.5 times more likely to have had sex,
- 90 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners.
Overall, 19.8 percent of teens in the sample were identified as "hyper-texters," and 11.5 percent were "hyper-networkers." Teens identified as hyper-texters and hyper-networkers were more likely to be female, minority, from lower socioeconomic status, and to have no father in the home. While Dr. Frank and colleagues emphasize that their results cannot be used to prove that excessive cell phone and computer causes these risky behaviors, the strength of the associations found suggest that hyper-texting and hyper-networking could be useful indicators of a teen’s risk for negative health outcomes.
Tags: Adolescence, Health
Patterns of Lead Exposure in Childhood
11/10/2010 1:10:51 PM
Though the incidence is declining, lead exposure remains one of the most common preventable poisonings affecting children. Exposure to lead has been linked to a number of neurological, behavioral, and developmental problems both in childhood and in later life. Children who experience lead exposure early in life often have difficulties with inattentiveness and hyperactivity, which can affect their performance in school and, ultimately, their educational achievement over the long term.
While almost all children are exposed to at least small amounts of lead, a child’s individual risk of exposure to harmful amounts of lead – particularly in urban areas – is closely linked to his or her neighborhood and socioeconomic status. Recent data published by researchers working in Rhode Island illustrates the importance of neighborhood in risk for lead exposure. The researchers mapped statewide data on incidence of childhood lead poisoning taken over a 12-year period. They found that in some census blocks, the risk for lead poisoning was almost 50 percent higher than in others. The highest rate of lead poisoning occurred in the state’s lowest income communities, in which many families also still live in older housing that is more likely to contain lead-based paint. Researchers hope that these findings may be used to improve the efficacy of clean-up efforts in the state.
Click here to read the Science Daily article on this research.
Lead poisoning is also a serious public health concern in Cleveland. As recently as 2007, rates of childhood lead poisoning were 16% in Cuyahoga County, 22% in Cleveland and 24% in East Cleveland. While these numbers are still unacceptably high, they have been declining in the last decade. This decline may be attributed in part to public health efforts to clean up lead-based paint, but a multidisciplinary team of researchers at CWRU, including Schubert Center Faculty Associate Dr. James Lalumandier, has offered an alternative explanation. A chemical analysis of the layers of teeth extracted from Cleveland residents has shown that lead levels are lower in the layers that were formed in later years. Furthermore, researchers estimate that this decline in lead levels in teeth occurred simultaneously with the decline in leaded gasoline use in the United States as a whole. This research provides a more comprehensive explanation for the declining levels of lead poisoning nationally. The researchers emphasize, however, that these findings do not undermine the importance of improving housing standards, including removal of lead-based paint, which is still essential to preventing childhood lead poisoning.
Click here to read a more detailed summary of the work of Dr. Lalumandier and colleagues.
Tags: Children, Development, Early Childhood, Health, Neighborhoods, Poverty
The Role of Video Games in Child Development
10/29/2010 1:47:47 PM
Research on video game use by children has illustrated the potential for serious harmful effects of overuse, including increased hostility and aggressive behaviors as well as decreased time spent on physical activity, interaction with family and completing schoolwork. While these negative effects are a real concern for parents, new research is illustrating the potential for video games to be used to improve children’s health and development. Research has suggested that playing video games may actually enhance children’s development of visual cognition by improving mental rotation skills and visual and spatial memory. Enhanced visual cognition may have a variety of benefits – further research indicates that surgeons who regularly played video games as children make significantly fewer errors in the operating room than other surgeons. When the surgeons were placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and given certain game-like tasks, it appeared that those who regularly played video games were able to access and utilize an entirely different part of the brain to complete these tasks. Though the full implications of such findings warrant further examination, they provide an interesting insight the effects of video games – and the environment as a whole – on a child’s developing brain.
Research also suggests that video games have the potential to provide an effective alternative form of education, and some schools have begun to incorporate video games as a teaching tool in the classroom. Quest To Learn, a new public middle school in New York City, centers its curriculum on the use of visual media, and video games in particular, as learning spaces for educating children. The school, which takes a “systems” approach to learning, uses technology as a tool for teaching standard middle-school curriculum, with additional classes on video game design. The “game-like” lessons are intended both to hold children’s attention and to teach them to apply knowledge on a certain topic (e.g. fractions) to other domains of thinking and learning.
To watch a New York Times video on Quest To Learn, click here.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are also integrating technology, games, and child development. Dr. Kiju Lee, Schubert Center Faculty Associate and Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been working with colleagues to develop sensor-integrated geometric blocks (SIG-Blocks), a technologically improved version of the basic geometric blocks children have been playing with for decades. While geometric blocks are already a commonly-used tool for assessing children’s cognitive and learning processes, SIG-blocks provide automated, computerized feedback mechanism for measuring fine motor skills and indicators of cognitive growth. These data may be used by parents and health professional to monitor an individual child’s development, and to conduct research to enhance our understand human cognitive development.
Tags: Children, Development, Education, Health, Play, School
The Impact of Prenatal Exposure on Later Development
10/22/2010 7:20:03 AM
Scientific research continues to provide evidence that the prenatal stage of human development can have significant effects on health and development in subsequent life stages. Exposure to toxic substances such as lead, alcohol, cocaine and other drugs has been linked to various problems, including low birth weight, delays in cognitive and neurological development, and later behavioral and learning disorders. These developmental disorders have a significant impact on not only the child, but also the family and community. Schubert Center Faculty Associates Dr. Maureen Hack and Dr. Lynn Singer are among a number of researchers conducting longitudinal research with low birth weight infants, many with a history of prenatal exposure to toxic substances, to examine the effects of these early exposure infants’ biological, psychological and behavioral development throughout their lives.
While there is clear evidence that fetal exposure may impact later development, the relationship is complex and warrants further investigation. For example, research has established a relatively clear connection between alcohol use during pregnancy and developmental disorders in childhood. However, a recent article published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggests that light alcohol use during pregnancy does not appear to negatively impact development. While alcohol use during pregnancy clearly can be detrimental, the mechanisms through which alcohol impacts development is still being explored.
To read more about Dr. Hack’s and Dr. Singer’s ongoing research projects, access the Schubert Center for Child Studies Policy Briefs :
The impact of prenatal exposures, both positive and negative, are also subject of a new popular book exploring the effects of various fetal exposures, including mother’s diet, nutrition, stress, trauma and drug exposure, on human development. In Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, author Annie Murphy Paul provides a personal account of her own attempts to sift through the growing body of scientific literature examining prenatal exposure as she makes decisions as an expectant mother. Though not intended as a scientific review of the literature on the topic, Paul provides an engaging survey of topics currently under investigation and insight into the ways in which these findings may shape parental behavior.
Tags: Children, Development, Early Childhood, Health, Infancy, Low Birth Weight, Parenthood
Family-Based Treatment for Anorexia
10/13/2010 7:41:28 AM
New research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry this month suggests that family-based treatment may be an effective long-term strategy for treating anorexia-nervosa in adolescents. As featured in the New York Times (Oct. 5th, 2010), these results are based on a longitudinal, randomized control trial involving 120 adolescents.
The adolescents involved received either traditional individual-based therapy for anorexia or family-based treatment. Family-based treatment is designed to give parents the tools to first help their child gain weight and then to address other mental health issues that may be associated with anorexia. This is different than traditional therapy both in the emphasis on the role of the family and in addressing weight gain as the first step in treatment.
In the study, both individual and family-based treatment strategies were effective in treating patients with anorexia in the short-term. However, adolescents receiving family-based therapy were far less likely to relapse. After one year of treatment, only 10 percent of patients receiving family-based treatment had experienced a relapse of anorexia, compared to 40 percent of those receiving traditional individual treatment. These results suggest that family-based treatment may be a more effective strategy for treating adolescents suffering from anorexia.
To read the New York Times article, click here.
To access the original article published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, .
Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at CWRU and a Schubert Center Faculty Associate, also conducts research on adolescent mental health, and has specifically examined the phenomenon of eating disorders in other cultural context. Click here to learn more about Dr. Anderson-Fye’s work.
Dr. Arin Connell, Assistant Professor of Psychology at CWRU and a Schubert Center Faculty Associate, also conducts research on adolescent mental health, and has specifically examined the role of family in treatment of adolescent mental health disorders. Click here to learn more about Dr. Connell’s work
Tags: Adolescence, Family, Girls, Health, Mental Health