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October 14, 2009, 7:17 AM CT

Self-esteem in overweight and underweight women

Self-esteem in overweight and underweight women
Overweight women's self-esteem plummets when they view photographs of models of any size, as per a newly released study in Journal of Consumer Research And underweight women's esteem increases, regardless of models' size.

Authors Dirk Smeesters (Erasmus University, the Netherlands), Thomas Mussweiler (University of Cologne, Gera number of), and Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) researched the ways individuals with different body mass indexes (BMIs) felt when they were exposed to thin or heavy media models.

"Our research confirms earlier research that observed that normal body mass index (BMI) females' self-esteem can shift upwards or downwards depending on the model they are exposed to," the authors write. "Normal BMI females (with BMIs between 18.5 and 25) have higher levels of self-esteem when exposed to moderately thin models (because they feel similar to these models) and extremely heavy models (because they feel dissimilar to these models). However, they have lower levels of self-esteem when exposed to moderately heavy models (because they feel similar) and extremely thin models (because they feel dissimilar)".

This research provides important new insights into how media exposure affects the self-esteem of overweight and underweight women. "Underweight women's self-esteem always increases, regardless of the model they look at," the authors explain. "Conversely, overweight women's self-esteem always decreases, regardless of the model they look at." Perhaps surprisingly, overweight and underweight women showed comparable levels of self-esteem when they weren't looking at models.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 14, 2009, 7:16 AM CT

Transcendental meditation reduces stress

Transcendental meditation reduces stress
Women with breast cancer reduced stress and improved their mental health and emotional well being through the Transcendental Meditation technique, as per a newly released study reported in the current issue of the peer-evaluated Integrative Cancer Therapies (Vol. 8, No. 3: September 2009).

"A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Quality of Life in Older Breast Cancer Patients" was a collaboration between the Center for Healthy Aging at Saint Joseph Hospital; the Institute for Health Services, Research and Policy Studies at Northwestern University; the Department of Psychology at Indiana State University; and the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management.

"It is wonderful that physicians now have a range of interventions to use, including Transcendental Meditation, to benefit their patients with cancer," said Rhoda Pomerantz, M.D., co-author of study and chief of gerontology, Saint Joseph Hospital. "I believe this approach should be appreciated and utilized more widely".

One hundred thirty women with breast cancer, 55 years and older, participated in the two-year study at Saint Joseph Hospital. The women were randomly assigned to either the Transcendental Meditation technique or to a usual care control group. Patients were administered quality of life measures, including the Functional Evaluation of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B), every six months for two years. The average intervention period was 18 months.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 13, 2009, 7:44 AM CT

How do people choose a name for their child?

How do people choose a name for their child?
How do people choose a name for their child? Scientists have long noted that the overall popularity of a name exerts a strong influence on people's preferencesmore popular names, such as Robert or Susan, are more frequent and, by their sheer ubiquity, drive more parents to adopt a similar choice. However, new research by psychology experts at New York University and Indiana University, Bloomington suggests that the change in popularity of a name over time increasingly influences naming decisions in the United States. Like momentum traders in the stock market, parents today appear to favor names that have recently risen in popularity relative to names that are on the decline.

The research, which is relevant to understanding how people's everyday decisions are influenced by aggregate cultural processes, was conducted by Todd Gureckis, an assistant professor of psychology at NYU, and Robert Goldstone, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University. It appears in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science (Wiley-Blackwell).

"Our results give support to the idea that individual naming choices are in a large part determined by the social environment that expecting parents experience," the authors wrote. "Like the stock market, cycles of boom and bust appear arise out of the interactions of a large set of agents who are continually influencing one another".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 12, 2009, 7:10 AM CT

Using imagination to reduce abdominal pain

Using imagination to reduce abdominal pain
Miranda van Tilburg, Ph.D. is a researcher at University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Credit: UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders

Children with functional abdominal pain who used audio recordings of guided imagery at home in addition to standard medical therapy were almost three times as likely to improve their pain problem, in comparison to children who received standard therapy alone.

And those benefits were maintained six months after therapy ended, a newly released study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center scientists has found.

The study is reported in the November 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics The main author is Miranda van Tilburg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders.

"What is particularly exciting about our study is that children can clearly reduce their abdominal pain a lot on their own with guidance from audio recordings, and they get much better results that way than from medical care alone," said van Tilburg. "Such self-administered therapy is, of course, very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other therapys, which potentially opens the door for easily enhancing therapy outcomes for a lot of children suffering from frequent stomach aches".

The study focused on functional abdominal pain, defined according tosistent pain with no identifiable underlying disease that interferes with activities. It is very common, affecting up to 20 percent of children. Previous studies have observed that behavioral treatment and guided imagery (a therapy method similar to self-hypnosis) are effective, when combined with regular medical care, to reduce pain and improve quality of life. But for a number of children behavioral treatment is not available because it is costly, takes a lot of time and requires a highly trained therapist.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 7, 2009, 8:50 PM CT

While adolescents may reason as well as adults

While adolescents may reason as well as adults
A 16-year-old might be quite capable of making an informed decision about whether to end a pregnancy a decision likely to be made after due consideration and consultation with an adult but this same adolescent may not possess the maturity to be held to adult levels of responsibility if she commits a violent crime, as per new research into adolescent psychological development.

"Adolescents likely possess the necessary intellectual skills to make informed choices about terminating a pregnancy but may lack the social and emotional maturity to control impulses, resist peer pressure and fully appreciate the riskiness of dangerous decisions," said Laurence Steinberg, PhD, a professor of developmental psychology at Temple University and main author of the study. "This immaturity mitigates their criminal responsibility".

The findings are reported in the recent issue of American Psychology expert, published by the American Psychological Association.

Steinberg and his co-authors address this seeming contradiction in a study showing that cognitive and emotional abilities mature at different rates. They recruited 935 10- to 30- year-olds to examine age differences in a variety of cognitive and psychosocial capacities.

The participants took different tests measuring psychosocial maturity and cognitive ability to examine age patterns in numerous factors that affect judgment and decision-making. The maturity measures included tests of impulse control, sensation-seeking, resistance to peer influence, future orientation and risk perception. The cognitive battery included measures of basic intellectual abilities.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 7, 2009, 7:58 PM CT

Autism Speaks' genetic resource exchange

Autism Speaks' genetic resource exchange
Autism Speaks' Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and the Autism Tissue Program (ATP) continue to play an integral role in continuing genetic research and new findings in the complex autism inheritance and causation puzzle. As per a research findings reported in the October 7, edition of the journal Nature, an extensive research team of more than 75 research institutions identified semaphoring 5A, a gene implicated in the growth of neurons to form proper contacts and connections with other neurons. Prior studies have reported lower levels of this protein in blood samples from individuals with autism as in comparison to controls. In this study, the scientists were also able to extend that observation to the brain tissue of individuals with autism vs. control brains.

"Taken as a whole, results from this study are consistent with reports from the past few years implicating gene/molecules involved with cell to cell contact and communication," explained Andy Shih, Ph.D., Autism Speaks vice president of scientific affairs. "If this finding holds and is further supported with additional research such as a functional study of the variant semaphorin 5A, this molecule could represent another biological target for pharmaceutical intervention in the future and possible therapy for some individuals with autism".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 7, 2009, 7:06 AM CT

Many children are exposed to violence and abuse

Many children are exposed to violence and abuse
A newly released study from the University of New Hampshire finds that U.S. children are routinely exposed to even more violence and abuse than has been previously recognized, with nearly half experiencing a physical assault in the study year.

"Children experience far more violence, abuse and crime than do adults," said David Finkelhor, director of the UNH Crimes against Children Research Center and the study director. "If life were this dangerous for ordinary grown-ups, we'd never tolerate it".

The research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The research results are presented in the journal Pediatrics and an Office of Justice Programs/OJJDP bulletin titled "Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey".

UNH scientists asked a national sample of U.S. children and their caregivers about a far broader range of exposures than has been done in the past.

As per the research, three out of five children were exposed to violence, abuse or a criminal victimization in the last year, including 46 percent who had been physically assaulted, 10 percent who had been maltreated by a caregiver, 6 percent who had been sexually victimized, and 10 percent who had witnessed an assault within their family.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 6, 2009, 8:02 AM CT

Body posture affects confidence

Body posture affects confidence
Sitting up straight in your chair isn't just good for your posture it also gives you more confidence in your own thoughts, as per a newly released study.

Scientists observed that people who were told to sit up straight were more likely to believe thoughts they wrote down while in that posture concerning whether they were qualified for a job.

Conversely, those who were slumped over their desks were less likely to accept these written-down feelings about their own qualifications.

The results show how our body posture can affect not only what others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves, said Richard Petty, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

"Most of us were taught that sitting up straight gives a good impression to other people," Petty said. "But it turns out that our posture can also affect how we think about ourselves. If you sit up straight, you end up convincing yourself by the posture you're in".

Petty conducted the study with Pablo Briol, a former postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State now at the Universidad Autnoma de Madrid in Spain, and Benjamin Wagner, a current graduate student at Ohio State. The research appears in the October 2009 issue of the European Journal of Social Psychology........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 6, 2009, 7:41 AM CT

Violent upbringing begets domestic violence

Violent upbringing begets domestic violence
A recent study from the latest issue of Personal Relationships shows that individuals who have experienced violence at an early age may have trouble adjusting to healthy, adult romantic relationships and are at a higher risk to experience marital difficulties. The research reveals that early exposure to a violent environment is likely to lead to domestic violence situations during the later part of life. Feelings of insecurity, abandonment anxiety, and intimacy issues are also likely to plague these romantic connections.

Additionally, the dynamics of the way couples react and communicate with each other is also correlation to the likelihood of domestic violence within a relationship. For example, men tend to use violence towards their partner as a means to exert a desire for personal space or avoidance of emotional issues in response to the "clingy" or intrusive behavior of his female partner.

This research highlights the importance of domestic violence prevention efforts starting at the childhood level, within family environments as well as school and community based settings. Moreover, prevention efforts allow the victim to relate long-harbored painful childhood violent experiences and rectify internal representations of self that cause long-term damage to valuable inter-personal relationships and families.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 1, 2009, 6:50 AM CT

Don't let him eat sweet everyday

Don't let him eat sweet everyday
Children who eat sweets and chocolate every day are more likely to be violent as adults, as per new research.

A study of almost 17,500 participants in the 1970 British Cohort Study observed that 10-year-olds who ate confectionary daily were significantly more likely to have been convicted for violence at age 34 years.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, is the first to examine the long-term effects of childhood diet on adult violence.

Scientists from Cardiff University observed that 69 per cent of the participants who were violent at the age of 34 had eaten sweets and chocolate nearly every day during childhood, in comparison to 42% who were non-violent.

This link between confectionary consumption and violence remained after controlling for other factors.

The scientists put forward several explanations for the link. Lead researcher Dr Simon Moore said: "Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want. Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards more impulsive behaviour, which is strongly linked to delinquency."

The scientists concluded: "This association between confectionary consumption and violence needs further attention. Targeting resources at improving children's diet may improve health and reduce aggression".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

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