Children

Averting disaster with a voluntary ignition interlock device

You love your son and feel guilty the alcoholic gene runs as long in your family as the mustache of a Kung Fu master. Over the course of junior high you discover he’s got an alcohol abuse problem. You all agree to put him through detox quietly; no rehab for fear the community will alight, …

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The power of nurture: Early experiences impact brain development

Researchers have suggested that our vulnerability to developing problems such as substance abuse, mental illness and certain medical conditions derives from the interaction between our genes and the environment. Genetic factors underlie the development of certain mental disorders, including schizophrenia, alcoholism and depression, making it much more likely that children of parents with these psychiatric …

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Antidepressants double suicidal behavior in children and adolescents

Last month, a group of researchers published a startling find in the British Medical Journal: Children and adolescents who take antidepressants are twice as likely to exhibit suicidal behavior. The researchers warn that clinicians should be extra cautious when prescribing antidepressants to their younger patients. The study Lead author, Tarang Sharma, and her fellow researchers …

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Smartphone addiction among teens linked to controlling parents

Adolescent smartphone addiction is a growing problem worldwide. Many teens in Asian countries have smartphones and Internet addiction is common. Smartphones offer the ability to call, send text messages, and use the Internet while on the go, and have changed the way people communicate worldwide. Smartphones have advantages and disadvantages, some of which are unique …

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How dangerous drugs are marketed to children

The sentiments of drug dealers worldwide were summarized in the 1973 R.J. Reynolds tobacco company document entitled “Some Thoughts About New Brands of Cigarettes for the Youth Market,” which states: “Realistically, if our Company is to survive and prosper, over the long term, we must get our share of the youth market.” The goal of …

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Students with influence over peers can reduce bullying, study shows

The power of peer influence and social context (e.g., home, school, etc.) are important determinants of youth behaviors that are emphasized in a positive peer culture. Peers with social influence can reduce bullying and conflict behaviors among peers, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The …

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Handling a custody battle mindfully

Life happens. Sometimes life includes divorce. Although the old adage about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce is no longer accurate, divorces still happen for a variety of reasons, from the simple to the profound. Apart from the obvious acrimony in any failed relationship, divorces often require lengthy settlements where property and finances are …

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ADHD: Is preschool too early to diagnose?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, yet controversial mental illness. Prevalence rates and medication rates have been steadily increasing since the 1990s, and now children as young as 4 years of age are being diagnosed and treated for ADHD. What is ADHD? The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, …

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Back to school for the kid with issues Part 3: Parenting Pep-talk or wait and see?

Imagine if one could fast-forward a child’s life. One day he or she is going to kindergarten and a week later, it is time for freshman year of college. In reality, parenting may feel similar to that image. It is difficult to know when to give advice or encouragement. When to let them pave their …

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