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Alcohol abuse, eating disorders share genetic link
Part of the risk for alcohol dependence is genetic. The same is true for eating disorders. Now researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that some of the same genes likely are involved in both. They report that people with alcohol dependence may be more genetically susceptible to certain types of eating disorders and vice versa. (2013-08-21)

Alcoholism could be linked to a hyper-active brain dopamine system
Research from McGill University suggests that people who are vulnerable to developing alcoholism exhibit a distinctive brain response when drinking alcohol, according to a new study by professor Marco Leyton, of McGill University's Department of Psychiatry. Compared to people at low risk for alcohol-use problems, those at high risk showed a greater dopamine response in a brain pathway that increases desire for rewards. (2013-08-09)

What do people expect from sexting?
As many as 20 percent of adolescents and 44 percent of young adults have shared nude or semi-nude photos of themselves via cell phone or social networking sites, a behavior known as sexting. Sexting behavior and what results people expect may differ depending on a person's gender, relationship status, and sexual identity, are explored in a study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. (2013-08-08)

Improving teamwork in operating room can boost patient safety
Improving communication and strengthening teamwork among cardiac surgery teams are among recommendations for reducing preventable mistakes in the cardiac operating room, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. (2013-08-05)

Early school engagement helps youths avoid problem behaviors and eventual dropout
School engagement helps youths avoid problem behaviors and eventual dropout. Researchers surveyed 1,300 youths in seventh through eleventh grades over a seven-year period on topics including problem behaviors, school engagement, and relationships with parents and teachers. Findings suggest that behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement may help students cope with stressors, setbacks, and difficulties in school. Researchers also highlighted the importance of a supportive learning environment that allows students to feel competent and autonomous. (2013-07-30)

Preventing the 'Freshman 15' via the Web
A new study published in the July/August 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior evaluated the motivational effects of Project WebHealth, a web-based health promotion intervention developed to prevent excessive weight gain in college students. Researchers found that specific procedures and components of Project WebHealth successfully motivated students to improve their weight-related health behaviors and that the level of motivation differed by gender. (2013-07-30)

Novel nanometer scaffolds regulate the biological behaviors of neural stem cells
Novel nanometer scaffolds regulate the biological behaviors of neural stem cells. (2013-07-24)

Study: No link between mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors
The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain -- specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy -- has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (2013-07-23)

Teen eating disorders increase suicide risk
Is binge eating a tell-tale sign of suicidal thoughts? According to a new study of African American girls published in Springer's journal Prevention Science, those who experience depressive and anxious symptoms are often dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to display binge eating behaviors. These behaviors put them at higher risk for turning their emotions inward, in other words, displaying internalizing symptoms such as suicide. (2013-07-22)

An 'obesity-risk' allele alters hunger-stimulating hormone production
Rachel Batterham and colleagues at University College London identify a link between FTO and the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. Subjects homozygous for the (2013-07-15)

Tots who sleep less have more behavior problems, says study
Four-year-olds with shorter than average sleep times have increased rates of (2013-07-10)

After the shooting, political violence lives on in kids' behavior problems
Even short-term exposure to political violence may have long-lasting effects on children's adjustment and behavior, says a new study by a team of researchers from Kenya, Italy and the United States. (2013-07-01)

Social networks shape monkey 'culture' too
Of course Twitter and Facebook are all the rage, but the power of social networks didn't start just in the digital age. A new study on squirrel monkeys reported in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on June 27 finds that monkeys with the strongest social networks catch on fastest to the latest in foraging crazes. They are monkey trendsters. (2013-06-27)

Conversations with teens about weight linked with increased risk of unhealthy eating behaviors
Conversations between parents and adolescents that focus on weight and size are associated with an increased risk for unhealthy adolescent weight-control behaviors, according to a study published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication. (2013-06-24)

A bit of good luck: A new species of burying beetle from the Solomon Islands Archipelago
Scientists discovered a new species of burying beetle from the Solomon Islands Archipelago. Nicrophorus efferens was discovered when one of the authors, Tonya Mousseau, decided to look through the local museum collections during a holiday in Hawaii. The lucky find is a type of burying beetle, a group of beetles famous among naturalists for their peculiar reproductive habits. The study was published in the open access journal Zookeys. (2013-06-21)

Bullying and suicide among youth is a public health problem
Recent studies linking bullying and depression, coupled with extensive media coverage of bullying-related suicide among young people, led to a CDC-assembled expert panel to synthesize the latest research about the complex relationship between youth involvement in bullying and suicide-related behaviors: 1) Bullying among youth is a significant public health problem, with widespread and often harmful results; 2) There is a strong association between bullying and suicide-related behaviors; and 3) Public health strategies can be applied to prevent bullying and suicide. (2013-06-19)

Parenting and home environment influence children's exercise and eating habits
Kids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well, and model those healthy behaviors themselves, are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to researchers at Duke Medicine. (2013-06-18)

CWRU study finds babies witnessing violence show aggression later in school
Aggression in school-age children may have its origins in children 3 years old and younger who witnessed violence between their mothers and partners, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study. (2013-06-17)

Down the wrong path: Book details psychiatry's lack of objective science
Psychiatry -- which uses well-intentioned coercion, unscientific diagnoses and psychoactive drugs that do as much harm as good -- is a science that is off course, according to a new book co-written by Tomi Gomory, an associate professor in the Florida State University College of Social Work. (2013-06-12)

IU studies find workplace and financial stress lead to poor health choices
Two studies from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington highlight the negative impact workplace and financial stress can have on health behaviors. (2013-06-11)

Mice give new clues to origins of OCD
Columbia Psychiatry researchers have identified what they think may be a mechanism underlying the development of compulsive behaviors. The finding suggests possible approaches to treating or preventing certain characteristics of OCD. (2013-06-09)

Rural living presents health challenges for cancer survivors
Cancer survivors who live in rural areas aren't as healthy as their urban counterparts, according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2013-06-05)

PROSPER prevention programs dramatically cut substance abuse among teens
Prevention is often the best medicine, not only for physical health, but also public health, according to researchers at Penn State and Iowa State University. (2013-06-04)

Healthy lifestyle choices mean fewer memory complaints, poll by UCLA and Gallup finds
To examine the impact of these lifestyle choices on memory throughout adult life, UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization collaborated on a nationwide poll of more than 18,500 individuals between the ages of 18 and 99. As expected, problems with memory were found to increase with age, but researchers were surprised by the percentage of younger adults who also reported memory difficulties. (2013-05-30)

Childhood abuse linked with food addiction in adult women
Women who experienced severe physical or sexual abuse during childhood are much more likely to have a food addiction as adults than women who did not experience such abuse, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity. The study's findings provide valuable new information regarding potential causes and treatments for food addiction and obesity. (2013-05-29)

Men, women lie about sex to match gender expectations
People will lie about their sexual behavior to match cultural expectations about how men or women should act -- even though they wouldn't distort other gender-related behaviors. (2013-05-28)

Waiting for a sign? Researchers find potential brain 'switch' for new behavior
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when your bag appears? (2013-05-21)

Students' diet and physical activity improve with parent communications
College students eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more on days when they communicate more with their parents, according to researchers at Penn State. (2013-05-16)

Learning to recycle: Does political ideology matter?
Some targeted messages based on political orientation are more effective at persuading consumers to recycle, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. (2013-05-14)

Study finds link between sexual harassment and 'purging' -- in men
Men who experience high levels of sexual harassment are much more likely than women to induce vomiting and take laxatives and diuretics in an attempt to control their weight, according to a surprising finding by Michigan State University researchers. (2013-05-09)

Promising strategies to reduce use of indoor tanning devices and prevent skin cancer
Preventing skin cancer by reducing use of indoor tanning devices requires a coordinated approach at the national, state, and local levels suggests a pair of papers by CDC authors in a special theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Evidence has shown that use of indoor tanning devices increases the risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma, and these papers discuss approaches that could help reduce use of indoor tanning devices and prevent future incidence of skin cancers. (2013-05-07)

Don't txt n drive: Teens not getting msg
Teens can get hundreds of text messages a day, but one message they aren't getting is that they shouldn't text and drive. Nearly 43 percent of high school students of driving age who were surveyed in 2011 reported texting while driving at least once in the past 30 days, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 4, at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington, DC. (2013-05-04)

Fossil of great ape sheds light on evolution
A University of Missouri integrative anatomy expert says the shape of an 11.8-million-year-old specimen's pelvis indicates that it lived near the beginning of the great ape evolution, after the lesser apes had started to develop separately but before the great ape species began to diversify. (2013-05-01)

Sexually explicit material affects behavior in young people less than thought
Viewing sexually explicit material through media such as the Internet, videos, and magazines may be directly linked with the sexual behavior of adolescents and young adults, but only to a very small extent. That is the conclusion of a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The findings suggest that the practice is just one of many factors that may influence the sexual behaviors of young people. (2013-04-25)

Drivers education for older drivers remains for 2 years, HF/E researcher finds
In seeming contrast to the notion that the elderly often have memory problems, a new study from an HF/E researcher finds driver retraining to be an effective strategy for improving the safe-driving habits of older drivers over the long term. Participants who received simulator training and video critiques of their driving performance two years prior increased their likelihood of scanning while negotiating an intersection by 100 percent. (2013-04-25)

Hasbro Children's Hospital physician receives $3.2 million grant to study teen alcohol use
Hasbro Children's Hospital emergency medicine physician James Linakis, M.D., Ph.D, was recently awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health to validate a more efficient test to screen teenagers for future alcohol abuse and other risk behaviors. (2013-04-22)

Starting with 2 health behaviors may be better than 1
The increase in obesity levels suggests that methods of motivating people to eat healthier and get more exercise are not successful. A study by Abby King and colleagues from the Stanford School of Medicine, California looks at the timing of giving exercise and nutrition advice. The researchers found that a higher success rate might be possible when the advice is given at the same time. Their study is published in Springer's Annals of Behavioral Medicine. (2013-04-21)

Learned helplessness in flies and the roots of depression
When faced with impossible circumstances beyond their control, animals, including humans, often hunker down as they develop sleep or eating disorders, ulcers, and other physical manifestations of depression. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 18 show that the same kind of thing happens to flies. (2013-04-18)

Preventing obesity in young children
More than 12 percent of preschoolers are obese. Evidence has shown that interventions that address families' dietary choices, mealtime behaviors, and patterns of physical activity have the highest likelihood of success early in life. The Society for Research in Child Development will host a symposium during its Biennial Meeting that brings together researchers to examine health promotion and obesity prevention initiatives -- from those that focus on individual behaviors to national nutrition assistance policies. (2013-04-18)

Vanderbilt study finds lack of exercise not a factor in health disparities
Health disparities between white and black adults in the South are not connected to a lack of exercise but more likely related to other factors such as access to health care, socioeconomic status and perhaps genetics, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the journal PLOS ONE. (2013-04-18)

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