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Ethiopian parents can't make up for effects of life shocks on children by spending more on education
Ethiopian parents try to level out the life chances least-advantaged children affected by early life shocks such as famine and low rainfall levels by investing more in their education. (2019-10-07)

Having an elder brother is associated with slower language development
Several studies had already demonstrated that children who have an elder sibling have poorer linguistic performance than those who have none. Now a research team at the CNRS, Hôpital Robert-Debré AP-HP, the EHESS, the ENS and the INSERM has reported a more specific result: this only concerns children who have an elder brother. This work was published on August 14, 2019 in Psychological Science. (2019-09-05)

Kids in neighbourhoods with larger households less likely to be killed in house fires
There is safety in numbers. That's one of the key findings of a study published today in CMAJ Open that found a child's risk of death or injury in a residential fire was greatly reduced in neighborhoods with larger than average households. (2019-09-04)

Kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods more likely to be obese as adults
Children who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods are nearly one-third more likely to experience obesity as adults, according to new research from Cornell University. (2019-08-27)

Multiple-birth infants have higher risk of medical mixups in NICU
Multiple-birth infants had a significantly higher risk of wrong-patient order errors compared with singletons in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The higher error rate was due to misidentification between siblings within sets of twins, triplets, or quadruplets. (2019-08-26)

Mayo Clinic study calls for screening of family members of celiac disease patients
Parents, siblings and children of people with celiac disease are at high risk of also having the disease, according to a Mayo Clinic study. This study calls for screening of all first-degree relatives of patients -- not just those who show symptoms. (2019-08-22)

Is childhood-onset of IBD associated with risk of psychiatric disorders, suicide attempt?
Data from Swedish national registers were used to examine the risk of psychiatric disorders and suicide attempt in individuals diagnosed as children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared with people in the general population and with siblings of patients with IBD. (2019-08-19)

Increased risk of psychiatric disorders in children with IBD
Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) run a greater risk of psychiatric disorders, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers claim that more psychological support and longer follow-up is needed for the children affected and their parents. (2019-08-19)

Students with a greater sense of school belonging are less likely to become bullies
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that students who feel a greater sense of belonging with their peers, family and school community are less likely to become bullies. (2019-07-30)

Study finds children with autism more likely to be bullied at home and at school
A major new study has found children with autism are more likely to be bullied by both their siblings and their peers, meaning that when they return from school, they have no respite from victimization. (2019-07-21)

Loneliness heightened among gay men in certain age group in China
Gay men in China ages 25-29 are eight times more likely to feel criticized and rejected compared with men in that country ages 20 or younger, new research shows. The study is part of a recent effort among international public health researchers to develop a better understanding of the mental health of the LGBTQ community. (2019-07-10)

Solitude breeds aggression in spiders (rather than vice versa)
Spiders start out social but later turn aggressive after dispersing and becoming solitary, according to a study publishing July 2 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Raphael Jeanson of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, and colleagues. (2019-07-02)

MS patients at a greater risk of cancer, new study suggests
New results of a 65-year follow-up study of nearly 7,000 Norwegian patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suggest that patients may have a greater overall risk of developing cancer than the general population, with an especially high risk of cancer in respiratory organs, urinary organs and the central nervous system. (2019-06-29)

Survivors of childhood brain tumors experience lasting cognitive and socioeconomic burdens
Survivors of childhood brain tumors who received radiotherapy and were very young at the time of diagnosis may experience cognitive and socioeconomic burdens decades after treatment, according to a study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Interventions such as cognitive therapies and educational and occupational services may be needed to mitigate such long-term effects. (2019-06-24)

Farm-like indoor microbiota may protect children from asthma also in urban homes
A child's risk of developing asthma is the lower the more the microbiota of the child's home resembles that of a farm house. This was shown by a study conducted by the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare that analysed indoor microbiota from 400 Finnish and 1,000 German homes. (2019-06-17)

Sexual-orientation study
A new study from Professor Doug VanderLaan's lab in UofT Mississauga's Department of Psychology looking at biological mechanisms that are often thought to influence male sexual orientation was published in the latest edition of PNAS. (2019-06-10)

Fathers aid development of larger brains
The bigger the brain, the more intelligent a mammalian species is. Developing a large brain, though, requires a huge energy input. The females of many large-brained animal species are therefore reliant on the help of other group members to care for their young. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now demonstrated that larger brains particularly develop in animal species in which fathers assist mothers, for only the help of fathers is dependable. (2019-06-03)

Surprisingly, inbred isle royale wolves dwindle because of fewer harmful genes
The tiny, isolated gray wolf population on Isle Royale has withered to near-extinction, but not because each animal carries a large number of harmful genes, according to a new genetic analysis. Instead, each one has been more likely to inherit the same harmful recessive alleles from both parents. This pattern enables expression of related genes as physical deformities, (2019-05-29)

Infants later diagnosed with autism seldom initiate joint attention
A new study published in Biological Psychiatry shows that infants who are later diagnosed with autism react adequately when others initiate joint attention, but seldom actively seek to establish such episodes themselves. This finding provides support for the view that children with autism have reduced social motivation already as infants. (2019-05-22)

Bacteria use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'
Scientists discovered that cells can distinguish themselves from closely related competitors through the use of a virus, and the harboring of phage in bacterial genomes benefits host cells when facing competitors in the environment. (2019-04-22)

Resolving sex differences in psychiatric disorder risk
Male and female rats whose mother experienced a simulated viral infection during pregnancy display autism- and schizophrenia-like behaviors, according to a new follow-up study published in eNeuro. The researchers extended findings of their previous study of male animals to their female siblings. (2019-04-15)

Stress-related disorders linked to heightened risk of cardiovascular disease
Stress-related disorders -- conditions triggered by a significant life event or trauma -- may be linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), finds a large Swedish study published in The BMJ today. (2019-04-10)

Milk or no milk? Study fills long-time knowledge gap on babies with genetic disorder
A new study co-authored by a Washington State University researcher finally brings clarity to parents of children with Duarte galactosemia, a milder variant of a genetic disorder that impairs the body's ability to process a milk sugar known as galactose. Published in the journal PEDIATRICS, the study found that children with Duarte galactosemia are at no greater risk of long-term developmental abnormalities than their unaffected siblings, regardless of their exposure to milk as infants. (2019-03-19)

Nature hits rewind
The study of evolution is revealing new complexities, showing how the traits most beneficial to the fitness of individual plants and animals are not always the ones we see in nature. Instead, new research by McMaster behavioural scientists shows that in certain cases evolution works in the opposite direction, reversing individual improvements to benefit related members of the same group. (2019-03-19)

Mysterious males: Asexual female nematodes produce males for sperm, not genes
Getting at why nematodes engaged in a unique female-favoring reproduction strategy produce males at all, researchers report that the asexual females produce limited numbers of male offspring to exploit them for their sperm in order to make more males, and in a ratio meaning the resultant sons are more likely to mate with their sisters. (2019-03-14)

Having great-grandparents, cousins with Alzheimer's linked to higher risk
Having a parent with Alzheimer's disease has been known to raise a person's risk of developing the disease, but new research suggests that having second- and third-degree relatives who have had Alzheimer's may also increase risk. The study is published in the March 13, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (2019-03-13)

Early life stress alters helping behavior of meerkat offspring
Parents make sacrifices to allow their children to have better lives than they did, but this isn't the case for Kalahari meerkat mothers, according to a new University of Michigan study. (2019-02-25)

Some personal beliefs and morals may stem from genetics
Penn State researchers found that while parents can help encourage their children to develop into responsible, conscientious adults, there is an underlying genetic factor that influences these traits, as well. (2019-02-25)

'Old' sperm produces healthier offspring
Research shows that sperm that live for longer before fertilising an egg produce healthier offspring. What's more, these offspring go on to have longer, healthier lifespans -- and in turn produce more and healthier offspring themselves. It was assumed that it doesn't matter which sperm fertilises an egg. But this shows that there are massive differences between sperm and how they affect offspring. The research was carried out in zebrafish but may have implications for human fertility. (2019-02-14)

The more the merrier? Children with multiple siblings more susceptible to bullying
A child with more than one brother or sister is more likely to be the victim of sibling bullying than those with only one sibling, and firstborn children and older brothers tend to be the perpetrators, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. (2019-02-14)

Study examines association between birth weight, risk of developing psychiatric disorders in adulthood
It is unclear if the associations between fetal growth as indicated by birth weight and later mental health conditions remain after taking into account family-related factors that could affect these conditions. This study included more than 500,000 pairs of siblings who were part of a register in Sweden since birth and were followed up to an average age of 27 years. (2019-02-06)

Imperceptible movements guide juvenile zebra finch song development
New research from Cornell University shows zebra finches engage in socially guided vocal learning, where they learn their songs by watching their mothers' reactions to their immature songs. (2019-01-31)

Medically assisted reproduction does not raise risk of preterm birth and low birth weight
Study shows that couples can decide about using medically assisted reproduction free from concerns about increasing the health risks to their baby. (2019-01-14)

Fighting another virus? Blame your parents
Genetics may play a bigger role in the body's disease-fighting ability than scientists previously thought, according to the results from a new study of twins in Queensland, Australia. (2019-01-08)

Study examines development of physical aggression in children as they age
Children can exhibit physical aggression when they are very young but that behavior typically declines before and during elementary school. However, a small proportion of children have atypically high physical aggression problems into adolescence, which may put them at increased risk for violent crime, social maladjustment, and alcohol and drug abuse. This observational study of 2,223 boys and girls used information from mothers, teachers and the children to trace the development of physical aggression problems from infancy to adolescence. (2018-12-28)

High survival rate among children who have suffered from growth restriction
Almost all children live to see their eighteenth birthday despite a severe growth restriction, as long as they have survived their first month during infancy. This is indicated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which is published in the journal PLOS Medicine. (2018-12-18)

Noncoding mutations contribute to autism risk
A whole-genome sequencing study of nearly 2,000 families has implicated mutations in 'promoter regions' of the genome -- regions that precede the start of a gene -- in autism. The study is the first genome-wide analysis to uncover a role for mutations in the noncoding portion of the genome in any human condition. (2018-12-13)

Parents, kids spend more time discussing how to use mobile technology
Most parents would agree that one of the of the biggest modern parenting challenges is monitoring a child's online activity. (2018-12-11)

Siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders
Later-born siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at elevated risk for both disorders, a new study led by Meghan Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has concluded. The findings appear today in JAMA Pediatrics. (2018-12-10)

Estimates of ASD, ADHD risk in siblings born after older children with those disorders
Siblings born in a family after other children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were more likely to be diagnosed with the same disorder or the other disorder. (2018-12-10)

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