Depression is passed down to children by more than just genetics.
Schizophrenia may occur on a spectrum, like autism, with some people experiencing transient symptoms.
The study provides fuel for optimists in the debate about whether humans are fundamentally ‘good’ or ‘evil’.
One parent has more influence than the other in some areas of child development.
The right methods can help boost children’s IQ.
Parents can boost their children’s IQ, psychological research finds, as long as they use tried and tested methods.
After examining almost every available intervention, Dr John Protzko and colleagues found that just four had a real chance of working:
- Omega-3 supplementation,
- reading to children interactively,
- enrolling children in early educational interventions,
- and sending children to a quality preschool.
The results come from a meta-analysis, a type of study that collects together the results of many other studies.
In doing so, the researchers created a “Database of Raising Intelligence”.
Dr John Protzko, the study’s first author, explained:
“Our aim in creating this database is to learn what works and what doesn’t work to raise people’s intelligence.
For too long, findings have been disconnected and scattered throughout a wide variety of journals.
The broad consensus about what works is founded on only two or three very high-profile studies.”
Supplementation with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, like those in foods rich in omega-3, was linked to an IQ boost of 3.5 points, on average.
Preschools were linked to an increase of 7 IQ points.
They may boost IQ by providing the child with a cognitively stimulating environment.
In addition, it could be the extra exposure to language that provides the boost.
Dr Protzko said:
“Our current findings strengthen earlier conclusions that complex environments build intelligence, but do cast doubt on others, including evidence that earlier interventions are always most effective.
Overall, identifying the link between essential fatty acids and intelligence gives rise to tantalizing new questions for future research and we look forward to exploring this finding.”
Teaching parents how to read interactively with their children was linked to a 6 point IQ increase.
This is likely from the boost to language development.
The study was published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science (Protzko et al., 2013).
A parasite called Toxoplasma gondii is thought to be responsible for the increase in risk of mental illness.
Children brought up like this tend to be happier as adults.
People who were out in nature more as children have better mental health as adults, research finds.
Playing in the backyard, hiking and just being in nature as a child are all linked to lower depression and anxiety later on.
Growing up experiencing the natural environment helps people understand its benefit.
Those not exposed to nature as children are less likely to appreciate its benefits as an adult, the study also found.
Being in nature has been linked to both better mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, 73 percent of Europeans live in urban areas with little access to green spaces.
As populations worldwide continue to urbanise, the number of people who can easily get out into nature is likely to decrease.
The study included 3,585 people of all ages in four European cities.
All were asked how often they were out in nature as children, whether for purposeful activities like hiking or just playing in the backyard.
Those who had not enjoyed nature as children did not appear to understand its benefits, said Ms Myriam Preuss, the study’s first author:
“In general, participants with lower childhood exposure to nature gave a lower importance to natural environments.”
The main result showed that being in nature more as a child was linked to better mental health as an adult.
Dr Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, study co-author, said:
“Many children in Europe lead an indoors lifestyle, so it would be desirable to make natural outdoor environments available, attractive and safe for them to play in.
We make a call on policymakers to improve availability of natural spaces for children and green school yards,”
The study was published in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health (Preuss et al., 2019).
The more of these experiences students had suffered, the higher their levels of suicidal ideation, meaning they were thinking about ending their lives.
Perfectionism is a problematic personality trait that is on the rise.
The astounding power of the unconscious to store information we’ve consciously forgotten.