Child Development / Family Research

Gender Ideology, Children, Objective Sexual Abuse, Comprehensive Sex Education: 3 Articles

The War on Abstinence and Fidelity A recent comment in The Lancet makes the case that when it comes to international HIV/AIDS prevention, abstinence and fidelity should be abandoned in favor of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). Titled “A farewell to abstinence and fidelity?”, the brief article was written by authors from UNAIDS, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, and University College, London. Discussing the High-Level Meeting on Ending Aids held in June, they wrote: “Many socially conservative Member States, in alliance with the Holy See, argued against the deletion of abstinence and fidelity as core components of effective HIV prevention. They were urged on by actors on the margins who provided delegates with misinformation and spurious arguments in opposition to comprehensive sexuality education.” Proponents of CSE will not tolerate even the inclusion of abstinence and fidelity alongside other measures; only deletion will do. What nobody disputes is that abstinence and fidelity, when practiced consistently, are effective in preventing HIV, crisis pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections, not to mention the emotional and psychological consequences of sex outside marriage. While CSE advocates frequently claim that abstinence education is ineffective in changing behavior—certainly a disputable claim—they show little interest in coming up with more effective abstinence-based curricula. Rather, they seek to impose a set of values around human sexuality that are highly controversial and, in many parts of the world, utterly unacceptable. Particularly when it comes to young adolescents, sexual activity can have devastating consequences, and brings no benefits. The fastest-growing health risk for adolescents around the world is “unsafe” sexual activity—but it isn’t as if “safe” sexual activity is beneficial to...

Grandparents Who Babysit One Day Per Week Are Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s

Most grandparents will already know that the addition of grandchildren to the family add a source of much joy and love. It has however now been scientifically shown that grandparents who babysit their grandkids have a reduced chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study which was published by the Journal of the North American Menopause Society followed 120 grandparents in Australia and found that those that babysat one day each week scored higher on a range of cognitive tests [ http://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Citation/2014/10000/Role_of_grandparenting_in_postmenopausal_women_s.7.aspx ] They did however find that too much babysitting led to poor results. Those that babysat for five days per week or more struggled with the tests, so before you call mom and dad to ask them to babysit more, remember it is everything in moderation. A wider body of research shows that regal interaction of any type with other human beings leads to a happier state of mind. Many grandparents who babysit once or a few times each week report increased levels of life satisfaction which is linked to the increased feeling of purpose and more importantly, the receiving of love. [January 18, 2016, http://www.redhotawesome.com/breaking-grandparents-who-babysit-are-less-likely-to-develop-alzheimers/ ] Menopause: October 2014 – Volume 21 – Issue 10 – p 1069–1074, doi: 10.1097/GME Abstract Objective: Preserving aging cognition improves quality of life and delays dementia onset. Previous studies have shown that social engagement can maintain cognition; however, none has examined the effects of grandparenting, an important role among postmenopausal women. This study aims to examine the role of grandparenting in cognition among postmenopausal women. Methods: Participants were 186 Australian women from the longitudinal prospective Women’s Healthy Aging Project....

Study Shows that Dads Matter (2012)

Study Shows that Dads Matter    Ronald P. Rohner from the University of Connecticut conducted a major study on the importance of the role of a father in children's lives. The study showed that children need love from fathers as much as mothers. In Rohner's analysis of the cultural perspective on the role of fathers, he stated, "In the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe, we have assumed for the past 300 years that all children need for normal healthy development is a loving relationship with their mother, and that dads are there as support for the mother and to support the family financially but are not required for the healthy development of the children. But that belief is fundamentally wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realize the dad's influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother's." [http://www.abstinence.net/library/parents-corner/study-shows-dads-matter/] http://psr.sagepub.com/content/16/2/103.full.pdf+html Personality and Social Psychology Review 16(2) 103–115 sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1088868311418986 'Trans-national Relations Between Perceived Parental Acceptance and Personality Dispositions of Children and Adults: A Meta-Analytic Review' Abstract Three questions drawn from parental acceptance–rejection theory were addressed: (a) Are children’s perceptions of parental acceptance trans-nationally associated with specific personality dispositions? (b) Are adults’ remembrances of parental acceptance in childhood trans-nationally associated with these personality dispositions? and (c) Do relations between parental acceptance and offspring’s personality dispositions vary by gender of parents? All studies used the child and adult versions of the Parental Acceptance–Rejection Questionnaires (PARQ) for Mothers and for Fathers, as well as the child and adult versions of the Personality Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ). Results showed that both maternal and paternal acceptance in childhood correlated significantly...

Uncovering the Pain Behind Your Child's Anger (2012)

Uncovering the Pain Behind Your Child's Anger: Learn how to recognize the reasons for anger, and whether it's appropriate or not   Author Shana Schutte explains the causes of anger in children and how you as a parent can help them deal with their anger in a healthy, character-building way. Anger is a normal human reaction when pain exists. Children should not be told to suppress their anger, but should be encouraged to deal with it in an appropriate manner. "The most important thing to remember while helping your child deal with anger is that he is a person with real emotions – just like you," wrote Schutte. As an elementary public school teacher, I was appalled when one of my first grade students stood on a chair, threw his arms up and screamed, "I hate you!" followed by numerous expletives describing his feelings about me. Because I'd been a compliant child, I didn't understand why so many of my students were angry and I didn't know what to do. Perhaps you're at the end of your rope like I was. Not because you're a teacher with angry students, but because the sweet baby you birthed is now an irritated four-to-seven year old who is pitching fits, screaming, yelling and throwing things. You're not alone. Parents everywhere are wringing their hands in desperation because one — or more — of their elementary-aged children are out of control with anger. Many people believe that kids are like little rubber people — trouble bounces off and nothing bothers them long term. However, anger is a sign that children feel deeply and...

Study: Women With More Kids Live Longer (2012)

Study:  Women With More Kids Live Longer Women can expect to live longer with each child they bear, a pattern especially noticeable for those with many children, according to Australian researchers, who nonetheless said that women shouldn’t have too many children because large families are bad for the environment. [Ed. Seriously? How?] The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday reported the results of a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales, which analyzed 1,200 women over the age of 60 since 1988. Women with six or more children were found to be 40 percent less likely to die during the 16-year follow-up period than women with no children, an expectancy that increased predictably with each child they bore. Researchers said that, although it was not known exactly why children increased life expectancy, the results corresponded to the findings of studies in other countries as well. ‘‘I’m not advocating for you to have six or 14 kids, but it does seem having a few children is good for survival,” he said. The study also found that men with more children were less likely to die earlier, although the link was not as clear as with women. Scientists in recent decades have shed light on the healing properties of pregnancy, particularly fetal cell microchimerism, a phenomenon that has been shown to provide unique health benefits to a mother thanks to her unborn child. In a book on pregnancy science released last year, science writer Jena Pinctott outlined how fetal cells have been shown to penetrate a mother’s body, including stem cells that migrate to the mother’s injuries to spur...

Fatherhood Begins in the Womb: Importance of Father's Presence (2011)

Study: Father’s Presence Makes Children Happier, More Intelligent Commentary: Fatherhood… Study: Father’s Presence Makes Children Happier, More Intelligent Research at Montreal’s Concordia University has shown that fathers who actively engage in raising their children make important contributions to their children’s cognitive abilities and behavioral functioning. The study carried out by Erin Pougnet, a PhD candidate in the Concordia University Department of Psychology, and associates, used data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, an intergenerational longitudinal data set collected in inner city areas of Montreal. “This topic is particularly relevant in Québec, a demographically and culturally unique province in which female lone parenthood is relatively common,” Pougnet explains in the preface to the report. According to recent Statistics Canada figures, 22 per cent of Quebec families are comprised of households where biological fathers are absent, compared to a national average of 13 per cent. “This pattern is related to socioeconomic disadvantages that predict negative cognitive and behavioural outcomes in youth,” the researchers state. One hundred and thirty-eight children and their parents from lower to middle income backgrounds participated in two waves of data collection: at ages 3 to 5, and again at 9 to 13 years old. The children were given IQ tests, while their mothers completed questionnaires on spousal conflict and the home environment. The children’s teachers contributed to the research by observing and reporting the child’s behavior at school. “Teachers were a somewhat more independent source of information than mothers, fathers or children themselves,” Pougnet said in a press release from Concordia University, “because a father’s absence can result in home conflict, maternal distress and child distress.” The...

Study Measures Benefits of More Involved Fathers

Children face greater risk when agencies focus only on moms, overlook dads Family service agencies are missing huge opportunities to help children by focusing only on mothers and ignoring fathers, according to a groundbreaking study by some top U.S. family and child development researchers. The scientific study, which is being published [10Aug09] in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, found that when mothers and fathers enrolled together in 16-week sessions to work on their relationships as parents and partners, their children were much less likely to show signs of depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. “The vast majority of family services — from parenting classes to home visits — are really aimed at mothers, while fathers are almost completely overlooked,” explained Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and a co-author of the study. “The research is clear that the best way to create a healthy environment for children is to engage dads and moms together.” An executive summary of the research and the full research paper are available for the public. According to the most recent census statistics, one in three children grow up without fathers. For low-income families, that percentage is even greater. Previous research has found that kids with absent fathers are more likely to suffer from psychological problems, drug addiction or incarceration in their lifetime. The new study is especially relevant at a time when the president is calling on fathers to take more responsibility and when economic distress is expected to put more pressure on young fathers and their families. The Supporting Father Involvement study represents the first randomized,...

Study Shows Home Schoolers Excel Academically

Homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests Today, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) released a new study: the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics, conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, which surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students for the 2007-08 academic school year. The results were consistent with previous studies on homeschool academic achievement and showed that homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests. “These results validate the dedication of hundreds of thousands of homeschool parents who are giving their children the best education possible,” said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA. The Progress Report drew homeschoolers from 15 independent testing services and is the most comprehensive study of homeschool academic achievement ever completed. While the academic results are impressive, the study also showed that the achievement gaps common to public schools were not found in the homeschool community. Homeschooled boys (87th percentile) and girls (88th percentile) scored equally well; the income level of parents did not appreciably affect the results (household income under $35,000: 85th percentile – household income over $70,000: 89th percentile); and while parent education level did have some impact, even children whose parents did not have college degrees scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average for public school students. Homeschooled children whose parents both had college degrees scored in the 90th percentile. “Because of the one-on-one instruction homeschoolers receive, we are prepared academically to be productive and contributing members of today’s society,” said Smith. The average public...

What Makes Men Become Better Husbands and Fathers (2008)

WHAT MAKES MEN BECOME BETTER HUSBANDS & FATHERS?  In a research brief this month, Bradford Wilcox, a sociology professor at the University of Virginia, analyzed three national studies in order to discover if "there is any evidence that religion is playing a role in encouraging a strong family orientation among contemporary American men?"   His research led him to conclude that men who regularly attend Christian services are engaged in happier and stronger marriages and are more involved in the lives of their children than men who do not. "70 percent of husbands who attend church regularly report they are 'very happy' in their marriages, compared to 59 percent of husbands who rarely or never attend church," explained Wilcox, who also said that the studies indicated that wives experienced more marital happiness when their husbands attended regular religious services. This is likely one significant reason why the studies showed that married couples who attended regular Christian services were approximately 35 percent less likely to divorce then those couples who did not.  Wilcox's research also looked at the effect religion has on the relationships between fathers and their children. Fathers who attended regular Christian services spent an average of two more hours a week engaged in youth-activities with their children than fathers who did not attend regular services.  Christian fathers also spent more one-on-one time with their children and were 65 percent more likely to hug and praise their children. The studies also found that children born inside of wedlock had much more "involved, affectionate, and consistent relationships" with their fathers.  This is an important statistic given Wilcox's findings that church...

The Hidden Costs of Co-Education (2008)

With boys’ scores dropping further and further, it’s time to try something new. An all-girls class of fourth-graders at Foley Intermediate School, in New York City – New York Times The four schools of the Parents for Education Foundation in Sydney are, to my knowledge, the only single-sex schools to have commenced in Australia since 1980, public or private. Given the renewed interest over the past 15 years in single-sex education in both the United States and Europe, this is surprising.   Escalating support for single-sex schooling is evident particularly in the United States. A major feature, "Teaching boys and girls separately", appeared earlier this month in the New York Times. Author Elizabeth Weil outlined the dramatic increase in public schools offering single-sex classes, from some dozen schools in 2002, to more than 360 schools currently in cities right across the State. In the past three years alone, some 30 single-sex schools, not just schools with some single-sex classes, have opened. She attributes the new commitment to single-sex schooling primarily to interest in the work of Leonard Sax, and she also refers to a number of new schools that have drawn inspiration from the Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem (TYWLS), regarded by some as the birthplace of the current single-sex public school movement in the US.   A surge of support for single-sex schooling is also evident in Europe. Last year the European Association of Single-Sex Education (EASSE) held a major international conference in Barcelona with an impressive array of international speakers.   Matt Aldous, a young history teacher working in a Sydney school, attended. After hearing about...

20 Year Review Study: Active Fathers Essential for Well-Adjusted Children (AP, 2/08) update

Massive Study Finds Active Fathers are Essential for Well Adjusted Children: 20-year review finds children have fewer psychological and behavioral problems Active father figures play a key role in reducing behaviour problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, according to a review published in the February issue of the peer-reviewed journal Acta Paediatrica. Swedish researchers also found that regular positive contact reduces criminal behaviour among children in low-income families and enhances cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language development. Children who lived with both a mother and father figure also had less behavioural problems than those who just lived with their mother. The researchers are urging healthcare professionals to increase fathers' involvement in their children's healthcare and calling on policy makers to ensure that fathers have the chance to play an active role in their upbringing. The review looked at 24 papers published between 1987 and 2007, covering 22,300 individual sets of data from 16 studies. 18 of the 24 papers also covered the social economic status of the families studied. "Our detailed 20-year review shows that overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure" says Dr Anna Sarkadi from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University, Sweden. "For example, we found various studies that showed that children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes. "Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental...

Child Care – Behavior – Divorce – Porn – Alcohol

Child Study Finds Early Child Care Linked to Aggression & Disobedience Study Shows Family Instability Has Negative Effect on Children's Behavior Marital Breakdown and Divorce Increases Rate of Depression US Prison Bureau Suppresses Study Strongly Linking Child Porn to Child Molesters Study Finds 49% of US College Students Are Abusing Drugs or Alcohol   LARGEST US CHILD STUDY FINDS EARLY CHILD CARE LINKED TO AGGRESSION AND DISOBEDIENCE: Results proved true regardless of quality of center-based care they received. Analysis of the largest, longest running, and most comprehensive study of child care in the USA has found that the more time children spent in center-based care before kindergarten, the more likely their teachers were to report such problem behaviors as "gets in many fights," "disobedient at school," and "argues a lot." The study confirms research published last year which was undertaken in Canada which found that children in daycare were 17 times more hostile than children raised at home, and almost three times more anxious. The Canadian study also found negative effects on parents. A 2005 study from England demonstrated that a mother's care was best for toddlers' development, with nursery care linked to "higher levels of aggression." An Australian study published in 2006 confirmed prior research finding that daycare seems to damage babies' brain chemistry and affect their "social and emotional development." The current study, which appears in the March/April 2007 issue of Child Development, found that children with more experience in child care centers showed in early grades through sixth grade, a greater frequency of what the researchers termed teacher-reported externalizing problem behavior. Teachers reported more frequent problem...

British Study Finds Pre-School & Early Child Education Initiatives Show No Benefit (8/07 EARLI Conf)

STUDY FINDS PRE-SCHOOL & EARLY CHILD EDUCATION INITIATIVES SHOW NO BENEFIT Other studies found marked negative effects from preschool including brain chemistry damage, aggression, negative social and emotional development, illness. A six year comparison of almost 35,000 children has shown that there has been no change in developmental levels of pupils entering primary school in this period, despite the introduction of several new early years' initiatives over the past decade, new research from Durham University's Curriculum, Evaluation and Management (CEM) Centre reveals. The research, presented Tuesday at the biennial European Association for Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference, shows that although there have been massive changes in early years education in the last few years, children's development and skills at the start of school are no different now than they were before the introduction of the early childhood curriculum, the Sure Start programme, free nursery education for all three year olds and the more recent introduction of the Children's Act 2002 and the Every Child Matters initiative. The research used the CEM Centre's Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) assessment to measure the cognitive development of almost 35,000 children on entry into primary school between 2001 and 2006 and the authors believe it reveals potential policy implications for how future early years initiatives are introduced and monitored. Dr Christine Merrell, PIPS Projects Manager at Durham University's CEM Centre explains: "Our aim with this study is to provide a single perspective on the changing profiles of children starting school in England during a time of rapid change. While the PIPS assessments, used in the study do not measure how many children...

Massive Study Suggests Pre-School and Early Child Education Initiatives Show No Benefit

Other studies found marked negative effects from preschool including brain chemistry damage, aggression, negative social and emotional development, illness. A six year comparison of almost 35,000 children has shown that there has been no change in developmental levels of pupils entering primary school in this period, despite the introduction of several new early years’ initiatives over the past decade, new research from Durham University’s Curriculum, Evaluation and Management (CEM) Centre reveals. The research, presented Tuesday at the biennial European Association for Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference, shows that although there have been massive changes in early years education in the last few years, children’s development and skills at the start of school are no different now than they were before the introduction of the early childhood curriculum, the Sure Start programme, free nursery education for all three year olds and the more recent introduction of the Children’s Act 2002 and the Every Child Matters initiative. The research used the CEM Centre’s Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) assessment to measure the cognitive development of almost 35,000 children on entry into primary school between 2001 and 2006 and the authors believe it reveals potential policy implications for how future early years initiatives are introduced and monitored. Dr Christine Merrell, PIPS Projects Manager at Durham University’s CEM Centre explains: “Our aim with this study is to provide a single perspective on the changing profiles of children starting school in England during a time of rapid change. While the PIPS assessments, used in the study do not measure how many children were involved in national initiatives, one would have expected that the...

Study Shows Family Instability Has Negative Effect on Children’s Behavior

Family make-up –whether raised in a two-parent or a single parent environment — is also linked to behavioral problems A new sociology study from John Hopkins University [Maryland] confirms what pro-family groups have been saying for decades – family instability has a direct correlation to bad behavior in children. According to a Hopkins press release about the new study, “children who go through frequent transitions are more likely to have behavioral problems than children raised in stable two-parent families and maybe even more than those in stable single-parent families.” Entitled “Family Instability and Child Well-Being”, the study was authored by Hopkins sociologists Paula Fomby and Andrew Cherlin and will be published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. The data used for the Fomby and Cherlin paper was gathered from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data which is comprised of a 21-year project focusing on women and their children. The children studied in the test were between 5 and 14 years old in 2000. Data researchers utilized a cognitive achievement test, a mother-reported log of behavioral problems and, in the older age group of 10 to 14 years, a self-reported log of behavioral problems. Fomby and Cherlin took the NLSY data and correspondently applied the number of marital and co-habitational alterations the children had respectively undergone. Using a scoring process similar to that used for a standard IQ test, the study authors determined that a child who endured three family living alterations would be likely to have a behavioral problem score approximately 6 points higher than a child who had experienced no such alterations. Multiple...

Child Study Finds Early Child Care Linked to Aggression & Disobedience

Results proved true regardless of quality of center-based care they received. Analysis of the largest, longest running, and most comprehensive study of child care in the USA has found that the more time children spent in center-based care before kindergarten, the more likely their teachers were to report such problem behaviors as “gets in many fights,” “disobedient at school,” and “argues a lot.” The study confirms research published last year which was undertaken in Canada which found that children in daycare were 17 times more hostile than children raised at home, and almost three times more anxious. The Canadian study also found negative effects on parents. A 2005 study from England demonstrated that a mother’s care was best for toddlers’ development, with nursery care linked to “higher levels of aggression.” An Australian study published in 2006 confirmed prior research finding that daycare seems to damage babies’ brain chemistry and affect their “social and emotional development.” The current study, which appears in the March/April 2007 issue of Child Development, found that children with more experience in child care centers showed in early grades through sixth grade, a greater frequency of what the researchers termed teacher-reported externalizing problem behavior. Teachers reported more frequent problem behaviors such as: child demands a lot of attention; argues a lot; bragging and boasting; cruelty, bullying or meanness to others; destroys things belonging to others; disobedient at school; gets into many fights; lying or cheating; screams a lot. The study, led by Jay Belsky, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues and Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck University of...

British 12 Year Old Pregnant Schoolgirl Wants to Keep Her Child

About to become Britain’s youngest mum, the girl is pleading with social work bosses to let her keep her baby. The girl, who was aged just 11 when she became pregnant, fears the infant may be taken into care when it is born. The West Lothian youngster is due to give birth in a few weeks, breaking the record set by Jenny Teague, of Dorset, who had a baby aged 12 years and nine months in 1997. But she told the Scottish Sun that social workers had warned her she may not be allowed to keep her baby. The paper has reported that they told her the house she shares with her mother and five brothers and sisters may be too small, and needed decorating. Now she is hoping to get the chance to look after her child. She told the newspaper: “I just need the chance to prove myself – I know I can be a good mum… I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep my baby, I don’t know how I’d cope if I lost it.” And she added: “I feel like I’m being picked on because of my age but I love kids and I think being a mum will come naturally. If they take my baby away from me and my family I’ll end up really depressed.” The news that the youngster is to become the UK’s youngest mum led to calls for better sex education [by some]. [13 May 2006, ...

Stats Canada Child Care Survey Shows Parents Prefer Children Raised at Home, Not Daycare

Statistics Canada reveals that Canadians prefer to raise their children at home and that their preference is for childcare by a relative in the child’s home and not in daycare. The numbers released show a shift away from outside childcare and lend support for the Conservative Party’s $1200 per child annual child care payment. The Conservative party relied heavily during the election on Canadian opposition to the former Liberal government’s plan to create a massive state-funded universal childcare system. The study shows that the proportion of children cared for outside the home by a non-relative (the most common form of child care in 1994-1995) fell in 2002-03 from 43% to 30%. The proportion of children cared for by a relative either inside or outside the child’s home rose from 22% to nearly 30%. Only in Quebec was there a significant jump in the use of daycare centres from 25% to 52%. The Conservative Party’s ‘Choice in Childcare’ program was the cornerstone of Stephen Harper’s election campaign and polls have shown that it was popular with the majority of Canadian voters weary of huge and expensive social programs. Overall, StatsCan shows that care by a non-relative outside the home — the proposed universal system pushed by the Liberal government and backed by the NDP and Bloc — is down in all provinces. Childcare by a relative in the child’s home rose from 8% in 1994-1995 to 14% in 2002-2003. In British Columbia and Alberta this type of care almost tripled from 8% to 21% and 6% to 17%, respectively, during the eight-year period. A coalition of leftists and Opposition MPs...