New UC Davis research suggests parents should limit screen media for preschoolers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devices also limit interaction time

Researchers voiced other reasons for cautious use of mobile devices by young children. “The portable nature of mobile devices allows them to be used in any location, such as while waiting for appointments, or in line at a grocery store. The screen use, then, could interfere with sensitive and responsive interactions with parents or practicing self-soothing behaviors that support optimal development,” said Lawrence.

The research team recruited participants by handing out flyers at preschools and community events. Data were collected between July 1, 2016, and Jan. 11, 2019. During individual 90-minute visits to an on-campus research laboratory, children were asked to complete 10 tasks to evaluate their ability to self-regulate. Tasks were as varied as walking a line slowly, taking turns with the researcher in building a tower out of blocks, and delaying gratification — for example, being asked to hold off unwrapping a gift while the researcher briefly left the room. Parents were asked about screen use using a novel survey designed by Lawrence, and researchers calculated the children’s reported age at first use of screen media and average time spent per week on each device.

Other findings include:

  • There was substantial variation in the amount of time children spent with screen media devices in the average week in this community sample. Screen time for traditional devices (television, computers) ranged from 0 to 68 hours per week, and 0 to 14 hours per week for mobile devices (tablets, smartphones).
  • Children’s screen time in the average week was not related to their family’s income in this sample, but children growing up in higher-income households started using mobile devices at a younger age than lower-income households.
  • Screen time also did not differ by racial/ethnic minority status in this sample.

Additionally, children’s exposure to what the researchers consider traditional screen devices (televisions, computers) in the average week was not related to their self-regulation, in contrast to most previous research. Lawrence speculates that messaging about providing child-directed, educational content and cautioning parents to monitor children’s viewing has reached parents and has been effective, at least among some groups.

This is a small study, but the beginning of a long-term longitudinal study of children’s development of self-regulation and looking at all screen media devices over multiple years with more children and parents, researchers said.

Link Original: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200331134623.htm





Giving children the skills they need to tackle life’s toughest challenges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental health and suicide are not just adult issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have tripled over the last 15 years among girls 10 to 14 years of age in the United States. More detailed analyses of the data only paint a bleaker picture for some minority populations. Asian American and Pacific Islanders, 15 to 24 years old, are the only racial/ethnic group in which suicide is the number one cause of death. “As a mother of two daughters in their pre-teens, these are alarming statistics that cannot be ignored,” says pediatrician and researcher Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Finds

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s been a lot of discussion about what kinds of mental activities are actually capable of changing the brain. Some promises of bolstered IQ and enhanced brain function via specially-designed “brain games” have fizzled out. Meanwhile, meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behavior and moment-to-moment experience.

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Global Health Consequences of Eating Too Much Sugar

Story at-a-glance

  • Our evolutionary history doesn’t support a high-carb diet, yet the majority of foods we eat are loaded with added sugar
  • On average, Americans consume about 23 teaspoons of sugar per day
  • Sugar threatens to wipe out some of the oldest communities on Earth

There is increasingly compelling research showing your biology is not optimized for a high carb diet. Consuming excessive sugar just doesn’t bode well for you. Yet the majority of foods eaten in the U.S. and around the world (including in some previously unaffected aborigine communities) contain significant amounts of sugar.

However, this has not always been the case. Historically — and as recently as the 20th century — sugar was viewed as a treat. It was a delicacy enjoyed only on occasion, such as with a cup of coffee or tea. Fast-forward to the 21st century and added sugar is found in just about everything we eat, including many non-junk food items such as pasta sauce, salad dressing, crackers, fruit juices, yogurt, energy drinks and many other foods.

 

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This is What Happens in your Brain when you Quit Sugar

Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a huge sweet tooth. I always have. My friend and fellow graduate student Andrew is equally afflicted, and living in Hershey, Pennsylvania – the “Chocolate Capital of the World” – doesn’t help either of us.

But Andrew is braver than I am. Last year, he gave up sweets for Lent. I can’t say that I’m following in his footsteps this year, but if you are abstaining from sweets for Lent this year, here’s what you can expect over the next 40 days.

 

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