Why Some Do Not Care About Politics Or Bother Voting (M)

The study may help to explain the weakening interest in politics in democracies around the world.

The study may help to explain the weakening interest in politics in democracies around the world.

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How Modern Parenting Has Ruined Children’s Play (M)

Parents are now expected continuously to watch, notice and respond to their children — which has changed how they play.

Parents are now expected continuously to watch, notice and respond to their children -- which has changed how they play.

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The Shocking Effect Of ‘Hidden’ Sibling Bullying On Adult Depression (M)

Around half of children were bullied by a sibling, sometimes with serious consequences, a study finds.

Around half of children were bullied by a sibling, sometimes with serious consequences, a study finds.

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What Happens When Parents Favour One Child Over The Others (M)

How parental favouritism affects cohesion within the family.

How parental favouritism affects cohesion within the family.

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An Early Sign Of Lower IQ

The brain is very sensitive in early childhood.

The brain is very sensitive in early childhood.

Exposure to maltreatment or trauma early in life is linked to lower IQ, research finds.

Being abused, physically or emotionally, neglected or witnessing domestic violence, was linked to an IQ score 7 points lower, on average.

Abuse that occurs before the age of two-years-old is particularly damaging to intellectual development.

The brain is very sensitive in this early period, neuroscience has revealed.

Trauma and adversity early in life has repeatedly been linked to changes in the structure and circuitry of the brain.

The conclusions come from a study of 206 US children enrolled in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

The study started in 1975 and tracked the children from birth.

Children and mothers were assessed and interviewed at regular intervals and the children were given IQ tests.

The study revealed that one in three children had been maltreated and/or seen their mothers subject to violence.

This happened in infancy to 5 percent of children, in the pre-school period to 13 percent and in both periods to 19 percent.

Maltreatment — including witnessing violence and being neglected — was linked to lower intelligence scores every time it was measured.

The study’s authors write:

“The results suggest that [maltreatment and witnessing domestic violence] in early childhood, particularly during the first two years, has significant and enduring effects on cognitive development, even after adjusting for [other risk factors].

Because early brain organisation frames later neurological development, changes in early development may have lifelong consequences.”

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (Enlow et al., 2012).

Depressed And Anxious People Are Raised By Parents Who Do This

Higher risk of depression and anxiety from this parental behaviour.

Higher risk of depression and anxiety from this parental behaviour.

People with critical parents pay less attention to the emotions on other people’s faces, researchers have found.

Looking at and reading emotional expression in other people’s faces helps us build rewarding relationships.

Avoiding these expressions could help to explain how critical parenting can lead to depression and anxiety in later life, since relationships are so critical to well-being.

Ms Kiera James, the study’s first author, said:

“These findings suggest that children with a critical parent might avoid paying attention to faces expressing any type of emotion.

This behavior might affect their relationships with others and could be one reason why children exposed to high levels of criticism are at risk for things like depression and anxiety.”

The results come from a study in which parents talked to their 7 to 11-year-old children for five minutes.

The researchers looked to see how much criticism there was in this segment.

Subsequently, children subject to more criticism avoided looking at pictures of faces showing any type of emotional expression.

Ms James said:

“We know from previous research that people have a tendency to avoid things that make them uncomfortable, anxious, or sad because such feelings are aversive.

We also know that children with a critical parent are more likely to use avoidant coping strategies when they are in distress than children without a critical parent.

Given this research, and our findings that children with a critical parent pay less attention to all emotional facial expressions than children without a critical parent, one possible explanation is that the children with a critical parent avoid looking at any facial expressions of emotion.

This may help them avoid exposure to critical expressions, and, by extension, the aversive feelings they might associate with parental criticism.

That said, it may also prevent them from seeing positive expressions from others.”

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (James et al., 2018).

The Worst Thing About Childhood Abuse Is The Memories (M)

What people do with their memories of childhood trauma determines how well they recover — or fail to.

What people do with their memories of childhood trauma determines how well they recover -- or fail to.

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How Reading For Pleasure Affects Your IQ (M)

Around half the children in the study had little or no experience of reading for pleasure or did not pick up the habit until later on.

Around half the children in the study had little or no experience of reading for pleasure or did not pick up the habit until later on.

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Childhood Memories Before This Age Are Fictional

Older people are more likely to have these fictional early memories.

Older people are more likely to have these fictional early memories.

Almost 40 percent of people’s first memories are fictional, the largest ever survey on the subject finds.

Most people’s real, verifiable earliest memories date from around three-and-a-half years of age, scientists have found.

However, almost 40 percent of people claim to have memories from age two or younger, which is probably not possible.

Older people are more likely to have these fictional early memories.

Professor Martin Conway, study co-author, said:

“In our study we asked people to recall the very first memory that they actually remembered, asking them to be sure that it wasn’t related to a family story or photograph.

When we looked through the responses from participants we found that a lot of these first ‘memories’ were frequently related to infancy, and a typical example would be a memory based around a pram.

For this person, this type of memory could have resulted from someone saying something like ‘mother had a large green pram’.

The person then imagines what it would have looked like.

Over time these fragments then becomes a memory and often the person will start to add things in such as a string of toys along the top.

Crucially, the person remembering them doesn’t know this is fictional.

In fact when people are told that their memories are false they often don’t believe it.

This partly due to the fact that the systems that allow us to remember things are very complex, and it’s not until we’re five or six that we form adult-like memories due to the way that the brain develops and due to our maturing understanding of the world.”

The results come from a survey of 6,641 people.

Almost one-sixth claimed to have memories from their first year of life, which is virtually impossible.

Dr Shazia Akhtar, the study’s first author, said:

“We suggest that what a rememberer has in mind when recalling fictional improbably early memories is an episodic-memory-like mental representation consisting of remembered fragments of early experience and some facts or knowledge about their own infancy/childhood.

Additionally, further details may be non-consciously inferred or added, e.g. that one was wearing nappy when standing in the cot.

Such episodic-memory-like mental representations come, over time, to be recollectively experienced when they come to mind and so for the individual they quite simply are ‘memories’ which particularly point to infancy.”

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Akhtar et al., 2018).

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