Media Highlights
Current events, news topics, research articles, or other recent developments related to health, development, and behavior in children.

Friday, July 21, 2017

​A thoughful commentary in this journal regarding children who are undocumented in the United States: Who they are, how and why they got here, what they face as they grow up, and why it is important to develop realistic solutions that also respect them as fellow humans. Article​


Friday, July 21, 2017

​Early intervention programs under Part C of the Individuals with Disability Education Act serve a developmentally heterogeneous population of children ages birth to 36 months. Applying mixture modeling to developmental assessment data from 1513 children who participated in a large, urban early intervention program, we identified four subgroups of children with distinct developmental profiles. This study describes the identified subgroups and suggests implications for clinical practice and service planning. Video | Article​


Friday, July 21, 2017

A longitudinal study that followed very preterm/very low birth weight and full-term mother-infant dyads from birth to 18 months assessed both infant feeding problems and maternal sensitive parenting at term, 3 and 18 months and examined the direction of the associations between both. Results showed that the association between maternal sensitivity and feeding problems differed in very preterm and full-term mother-infant dyads. In full-term infants, there was a reciprocal association from 3 to 18 months; while in very preterm infants, higher feeding problems decreased maternal sensitivity over time. Video | Article​


Friday, July 21, 2017

Using a national probability sample and controlling for other forms of maltreatment and individual and family characteristics, analyses showed that children with a physical disability and parent-perceived children who are thinner than average and children who are overweight experienced more sibling victimization. Children with an internalizing disorder experienced less sibling victimization. This the first study to highlight the importance of screening for sibling victimization in families of children with a disability and/or non-normative weight status.​ Video | Article​

Friday, July 7, 2017

​Researchers from a collaborative of German universities compared the self-regulation abilities of 4-year-olds from German middle class families to those from the Nso ethnic group of rural Cameroon. In a two-part study, they found that Cameroonian children were far more successful on the Marshmallow test, a classic test of delayed gratification developed by psychologist Walter Mischel in the 1960s at Stanford University. Nearly 70% of the Nso children were able to wait the full 10 minutes of the test; versus only 28% of the German children. The German children employed more distraction behaviors to help them cope and expressed more negative emotions than the rural Nso children; who were more likely to be emotionally neutral and less behaviorally active (10.5% even fell asleep).

The second part of the study compared parenting style at 9 months (measured by observation of parent-child play interactions and questionnaire regarding socialization priorities) to performance on the Marshmallow test at 4 years. Nso parents were more likely to display a parenting style that emphasized conforming to societal expectations (i.e., obedience, respect for elders, maintaining social harmony, and sharing). Whereas German parents were more likely to emphasize self-discovering and individualism (i.e., development of personal interests, expression of own preferences, assertiveness, being different from others). The research group found that the former parenting style was more predictive of success on the Marshmallow test, and likely explained the cultural differences in self-regulation abilities.

It remains to be understood what is the long-term impact of these different parenting cultures within various cultural contexts. Article | NPR​

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

​NPR reposted an interesting story originally published last year. The author's of the book "Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children" ​discuss a model of learning that emphasizes key processes that facilitate lifelong-learning and critical thinking rather than just knowledge acquisition and recapitulation. NPR​


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

​We describe a qualitative study of breastfeeding women designed to better understand the decision-making process women undergo regarding infant feeding over time. We conducted interviews at 2 weeks and follow-up interviews at 6 months postpartum. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as a framework for understanding the decision-making process. We found that themes related to perceived insufficient milk supply were strongly related to the perceived behavioral control component of the TPB and that these themes evolved over time. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings with respect to promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and maternal perceptions of control. Click here to read the article​.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

In a new article published in Pediatrics, data from the Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) study found that early independent sleepers (infants who begin to sleep in their own room prior to 4 months of age) had better sleep consolidation and longer periods of night-time sleep than later independent sleepers (infants who moved to their own rooms between 4-9 months and those who moved after 9 months of age). These results contradict expert recommendations in the AAP's most recent guidelines for safe infant sleeping; updated last year (2016).

In this NPR​ follow-up story, the study's author, Ian Paul, sleep expert Jodi Mindell, and AAP guidelines lead author Rachel Moon debate the merits of the current recommendations that infants remain in their parent's room until between 6-12 months of age. The debate highlights the challenge of balancing what may be ideal for preventing SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and what may be developmentally appropriate and practical for families as a whole. NPR | AAP guideline | article​

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

​Today is World Bedwetting Day. Bedwetting impacts the lives of 5-10% of 7 year olds and up to 1% of adults. Though it may seem like a simple nuisance, bedwetting can have a serious impact on a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and day time functioning, including school and social performance​. But it's nobody's fault, and treatment requires that patients and their families feel that they can have an open discussion about the topic without feeling stigmatized with shame or guilt. Learn more a the World Bedwetting Day website​ and the Bedwetting Resource Centre​.


Friday, May 26, 2017

​Dr. Martin Stein presents a thoughtful discussion​ of this often controversial and incompletely understood diagnostic category. An educator, speech therapist, and audiologist present their 3 different ​perspectives. JDBP Published Ahead-of-Print​