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Stressed Parents Could Mean More Self-Harm by Kids

Teens have a higher risk of self-injury -- deliberately cutting or burning themselves -- if they have a fraught relationship with a struggling parent, a new study shows.

Teenagers were nearly five times more likely to self-injure if, when they were 6, their moms and dads reported stress and discomfort in their role as parents, researchers found.

Teens also had a nearly doubled risk ...

How to Calm Your Child After a Nightmare

Most parents have experienced it: Your young child wakes up distraught, sure that the nightmare they've just suffered through is real.

Dr. Anis Rehman, an internal medicine specialist and consultant to the Sleep Foundation, says that...

More Kids, Teens May Be Taking Multiple Psychiatric Meds

A study of mental health care in Maryland finds an increasing number of children and teens covered by Medicaid are taking multiple psychiatric meds.

This trend towards "polypharmacy" might be happening elsewhere, prior research suggests.

In the new study, Maryland kids ages 17 or younger experienced "a 4% increased odds of psychotropic polypharmacy per year from 2015 to 2020," repor...

Even 'White Lies' From Parents Encourage Lying by Kids

Kids are more likely to lie to their parents if their parents have been lying to them -- even with positive “white” lies, a new study shows.

But researchers found a difference between encouraging white lies and “instrumental” lies that involve false threats or promises.

Any sort of instrumental lie -- “Behave or I'll call the police” or “Finish your homework and we'll ...

Holidays Can Be Tough on Kids With ADHD, Anxiety: Some Tips for Parents

Kids with emotional problems or ADHD can find the holidays a very challenging time, as all the routines that provide a sense of order are jumbled in a whirl of activities.

The kids are home from school and restless, their parents are hauling them along to Christmas shopping and holiday gatherings, and they're eating lots of heavy meals and sugary treats.

But there are ways to limit ...

Better Grades, Less Time on Phones: Poll Shows Kids', Parents' Resolutions for 2024

More patience. Less time on phones. Healthier habits. Better grades.

Parents and kids alike are making resolutions for the New Year, setting personal goals for themselves in 2024, a new poll has found.

Nearly three in four parents say they will adopt a resolution or personal goal in the coming year, and over half say their tween or teen child will do the same, according to the Unive...

Mom's Mental Health in Pregnancy Could Affect That of Her Child

A pregnant woman's mental health might have profound effects on the mind of her unborn child, a new evidence review warns.

Children appear to be at higher risk for mental health and behavior issues if their moms were highly stressed, anxious or depressed during pregnancy, researchers report.

In particular, children were more likely to have ADHD symptoms or exhibit aggressive or host...

As Atrocities in Gaza and Israel Unfold, Psychiatrists Give Advice on Coping

Whether or not you have loved ones in the Middle East, the horrors of the violence and suffering in Israel and Gaza are heart-wrenching and difficult to bear.

“It's important to be informed, but don't stress yourself out," said Dr. Gary Small, chair of psychi...

Think You're Not a 'Helicopter' Parent? New Poll Finds Many Are

As kids grow up, their desire to venture out on their own and gain some independence is natural.

And a new national poll suggests that most parents say they're fine with that.

The problem? The poll highlights a pretty big gap between what parents say and what they actually allow, with many choosing to keep their kids on a pretty short leash.

“We wanted to see if par...

Climate Change Will Harm Children's Mental Health: Report

Raging wildfires, droughts, floods and record-breaking heat brought on by climate change are taking a toll on kids' already fragile mental health.

This is the main message from a new report by the American Psychological Association and the climate advocacy organization ecoAme...

Want Your Child to Have Empathy? Stay Close

Young children who are close to their parents are more likely to grow up to be kind, caring and considerate. These kids may also have fewer mental health problems during early childhood and adolescence, a new study finds.

By contrast, children whose early relationships with their parents are emotionally strained or abusive are less likely to become thoughtful and generous.

“Taking...

1 in 4 Teens With Autism May Be Undiagnosed

As many as 1 in 4 teens with autism may be undiagnosed, new research suggests.

“Autism is much more prevalent than people assume,” said lead researcher Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

The

  • Sarah D. Collins HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 6, 2023
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  • Spending on Kids' Mental Health Keeps Rising

    In yet another reminder of the psychic toll the pandemic has taken on young people, new research shows spending on mental health services for U.S. children and adolescents has risen sharply since 2020.

    It climbed 26% for youths aged 19 and younger between March 2020 and August 2022, the RAND Corp. study found. Among a large group whose families had employer-provided insurance, use of ment...

    Kids' ER Visits for Mental Health Crises Rise When School Term Begins

    While the start of the school year can give kids and teens the chance to reconnect with friends and enjoy school sports and activities, it can also trigger stressors that send many to the emergency room for mental health woes, a new report shows.

    Among children aged 5 to 17, emergency department visits for depression, suicidal thoughts, stress and substance abuse increased significantly i...

    Kids Have Already 'Normalized' Gender Roles by Preschool, Study Finds

    So much for the powerful feminist messaging in the new Barbie movie.

    Director Greta Gerwig's feminist interpretation of Barbie depicted the fashion dolls as judges, surgeons, naval officers, astronauts and U.S. Presidents in Barbie World, and it resonated. The Barbie movie broke box office records this summer.

    But new research shows most people are not living in this re-imagined Bar...

    Boosting Their Creativity Helps Kids Face Life's Challenges, Study Finds

    Just like adults, kids face daily stressors.

    Luckily, a new study suggests that teaching them creative thinking can help them manage it all.

    Researchers found that when school-age children learned some "narrative creativity" techniques -- such as shifting your perspective and imagining "what if" scenarios -- they quickly became better problem-solvers.

    After a week-long creativ...

    Childhood Trauma Can Affect a Woman's Adult Sex Life, Study Finds

    A stressful or traumatic childhood experience — anything from parents divorcing to a sibling's drug problem — may have long-term effects on a woman's sexual health.

    These adverse childhood experiences may be linked to sexual inactivity and dysfunction in women later in life, a

    Better Sleep, Less Stress-Linked 'Acting Out' in Kids

    If your child is acting out and you're looking for solutions, researchers at the University of Georgia's Youth Development Institute suggest better sleep might be the answer.

    Getting more hours of slumber could reduce impulsive behavior in kids, their new study showed.

    “Stressful environments are shown to make adolescents seek immediate rewards rather than delayed rewards, but the...

    Social Media Is Parents' Top Concern as Kids Head Back to School: Poll

    When U.S. parents express their concerns about their school-aged children, social media use and the internet are at the top of the list.

    Mental health issues are another top worry, according to the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

    “Parents still view problems di...

    Do Short Kids Need Growth Hormone to Boost Self-Esteem? Maybe Not

    Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Erin Okawa works in a wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood and sees many parents worried about their kids' height.

    “I have a clinic in Manhattan Beach, which was apparently settled by ex-volleyball players and ex-soccer players,” she said. “So there are a lot of very tall parents ...

    Fewer Kids Are Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Meds

    The use of antipsychotic medication in children is continuing to plummet, likely because of better policies and education, new research shows.

    The study found a 43% drop in antipsychotic prescriptions for Medicaid-enrolled children in 45 states, a stark contrast from the sharp rise in the 2000s.

    “The decline we observed likely reflects the convergence of multiple state safer-use p...

    Kids Who Read for Pleasure Grow Into Better-Adjusted Teens: Study

    Young children may be fascinated by electronic devices, but a new study suggests that old-fashioned reading may help them grow into better adjusted middle schoolers.

    The study, of more than 10,000 U.S. "tweens," found that those who'd begun reading for fun early in childhood tended to be faring better in several ways: They scored higher on tests of skills like memory and speech developmen...

    Loving, Supportive Daycare Tied to Better Grades Years Later

    Could high-quality child care for young children translate into better grades in math and science?

    Yes, says new research that found children with caregivers who provided both warmth and mental stimulation go on to do better in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in high school.

    “Our results suggest that caregiving quality in early childhood can build a strong foundat...

    Nearly 15% of School-Age Children in U.S. Have Received Mental Health Treatment

    About one in every seven American kids aged 5 to 17 underwent some form of mental health treatment in 2021, the latest year for which statistics are available.

    So finds a new report from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which pegs the percentage of kids who got mental he...

    Kids With ADHD, Behavior Issues Have Poorer Trajectories as Adults

    Kids with poor impulse control — a common characteristic of ADHD — may be at higher risk for health, social and criminal problems as adults, a new study indicates.

    Researchers found that having attention and behavior problems in childhood was linked to less money, lower educational achievement and poorer health in adulthood when compared to those who could regulate their behavior as ...

    Many Kids Wait Too Long for Mental Health Care After Gun Injury

    U.S. gun deaths and injuries in children have risen at astronomical rates. Yet, among kids on Medicaid, only about two of every five children who get shot receive mental health care within six months of these traumatic incidents, researchers say.

    The need is great, given that more than 11,250 U.S. kids experienced nonfatal firearm injuries in 2020.

    “There are many thing...

    Does Your Kid Need a Summer Vacation From Smartphones?

    Summer vacation has begun for some families and screen use may already feel like too much.

    A psychiatrist from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston offers some tips for making sure smartphones and tablets are put to good use and not used to excess.

    Dr. Laurel Williams, a professor in the dep...

    Helping Others as Volunteers Helps Kids 'Flourish': Study

    Kids who devote some of their free time to volunteer work may not only help others, but also themselves.

    That's according to a new study that found U.S. kids who spend time in community service are often thriving, physically and mentally.

    Overall, kids who'd volunteered in the past year were in better physical health, had a more positive outlook on life, and were less likely to have...

    Child Development Stages and Milestones: What to Expect

    From their first smile to their first step to the first day of school, children go through a remarkable transformation on their way to adulthood.

    Here, experts explore the five developmental stages, from infancy to adulthood, and take a deeper look at the developmental milestones acquired along the way. Understanding each stage's developmental milestones can help create an environment tha...

    Authoritative Parenting: What It Is, Techniques & Discipline

    Children's personalities and moods can be as diverse as the cosmos, so figuring out the best parenting style can be challenging.

    To help, experts here take a deep dive into authoritative parenting, including what it's like, examples of authoritative parenting style, its disciplinary strategies and how it compares to authoritarian parenting.

    What is authoritative parenting?

    Gentle Parenting: What It Is, Techniques & Discipline

    There's a lot of buzz about "gentle parenting" right now, but what exactly is this style of child-rearing?

    Here, the creator of the concept breaks down gentle parenting, including what it is, the mindset that underpins it, some gentle parenting examples and what gentle parenting discipline looks like.

    What is gentle parenting?

    Psychologist and parenting expert...

    'Secure Attachment Style': Parents, Here's What to Know

    Picture this: A child running towards their parent, arms outstretched, with an infectious smile stretching from ear to ear. That deep, unbreakable bond built on trust, love and security is an outgrowth of a secure attachment style, which forms the foundation for healthy relationships.

    This article will explore the characteristics of a secure attachment style, highlighting key differences ...

    What Is 'Permissive Parenting'?

    Parenting styles play a significant role in children's development and well-being. Permissive parenting, as a distinct contrast to authoritative or authoritarian styles, has gained attention for its impact on children.

    This article delves into permissive parenting, examining its definition, traits, techniques employed by permissive parents and discipline within this style.

    ...

    For Kids With Mental Health Issues, Pediatricians Are Often Only Source for Care

    With so many American kids and teens dealing with depression or anxiety, pediatricians are increasingly stepping in as mental health care providers. Now, a new study suggests they are doing a decent job -- but too few kids are being referred for talk therapy.

    Researchers found that in cases where a pediatrician prescribed medication for a child's depression or anxiety, it was by and lar...

    'Toxic Fandom:' When Your Child's Celebrity Worship Goes Too Far

    It's not new for young people to develop an interest in their favorite pop singer or actor, but it can be problematic if that adoration turns toxic.

    It's easier than ever to get lost in a celebrity's carefully curated image via social media posts, according to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, which offers some tips for when fandom goes too far.

    “Artists may do things that e...

    How Much Do Kids Worry About Stuff? Survey Gives Answers

    Life isn't all fun and games for kids. They do a fair amount of worrying, too.

    In fact, according to a survey of kids ages 9 to 13, a striking number, 86%, say they worry. More than one-third worry at least once a week.

    School and friendship...

    'Harsh' Parenting Can Bring Mental Health Harms to Kids: Study

    Parents who harshly discipline their young children may be putting them on a path toward lasting mental health symptoms, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that among 7,500 children followed from age 3 to 9, about 10% fell into a "high risk" group where mental health symptoms -- ranging from persistent sadness to acting out -- worsened over the years.

    And children whose parents...

    Talking to Your Kids About School Shootings: Experts Offer Guidance

    Children should feel safe at school, but learning of a mass shooting — like this week's tragedy at Covenant School in Nashville — can threaten their sense of security.

    For parents, it can be challenging to know what to tell them.

    Two children's mental health experts from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas offer some advice.

    Just as important as what's said is what n...

    Too Much Time Online Might Raise Kids' Odds for Mental Health Woes: Study

    Children's screen use could be altering their developing brains as they enter adolescence and increasing their risk for mood disorders, a major new study finds.

    Children ages 9 and 10 who spend more time on smartphones, tablets, video games and TV exhibited higher levels of depression and anxiety by the time they were 11 and 12, researchers found.

    Further, the investigators linked s...

    Could Melatonin Ease Self-Harm in Kids?

    For depressed or anxious children, taking melatonin may afford a good night's sleep and, as a result, lower the odds they will harm themselves, new research suggests.

    The risk of self-harm increased before melatonin was prescribed and decreased by about half after kids started taking the supplement,

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 27, 2023
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  • Did 'Helicopter' Parents Cause the Mental Health Crisis in Today's Young?

    Kids and teens are struggling with their mental health in America, and one new report suggests the overinvolvement of parents may be partly to blame.

    Kids don't get to roam any more. They've lost time for free play and risk-taking amid parents' fears about the dangers of the world, said report co-author David Bjorklund<...

    How to Help Your Child Deal With Separation Anxiety

    For some children, it can be hard when mom or dad leave them at daycare, school or even just with the other parent.

    It's normal for small children to feel some separation anxiety.

    But it can be more concerning when a child doesn't outgrow these feelings or feels them very intensely. This significant fear is known as Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD).

    “It's rare that separ...

    Exercise, Sports: A Natural Antidepressant for Teens

    An antidote to teenage depression might be found in school gymnasiums and on sports fields, a major new review argues.

    Supervised exercise programs are associated with significant reductions in symptoms of depression among children and teenagers, according to the analysis of data from 21 studies involving more than 2,400 kids.

    “This is the first time that we've been able to put en...

    For Kids, Mental Trauma From Gun Injury Far Exceeds That of Car Crashes

    Firearm injuries traumatize children, saddling them with mental health issues that include stress disorders and drug or alcohol use, according to a new study.

    In all, 35% of kids injured by firearms receive a new mental health diagnosis in the following year, the

    As Kids' Obesity Rises, Brain Health Declines: Study

    Kids who are overweight or obese often struggle with school work, and now new research provides clues on how excess weight may harm the developing brain.

    “The main takeaway is to raise awareness about brain health consequences of obesity besides physical health consequences, especially since obesity rates are very high and continue to rise,” said study author

  • Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 29, 2022
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  • Mental Health Care Shortage Could Play Role in U.S. Youth Suicides

    The kids aren't alright.

    Up to 1 in 5 children in the United States has a mental health condition, but only about half of those who need mental health care are now receiving it. What's more, suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. kids and teens, and youth suicide rates have been rising over the last decade.

    Now, about one year after the U.S. Surgeon General cit...

    Time Spent in Day Care Won't Harm Child's Development

    Millions of parents drop their toddlers off at day care centers so they can go to work, but some are racked with guilt about it.

    One of their main concerns? Time spent in group day care could encourage their toddler to start acting out.

    Now, a large, new study suggests that parents can breathe a sigh of relief: Kids who spend long hours in day care centers aren't any more likel...

    No Sign That Anesthesia in Pregnancy Affects Child's Later Development

    Moms who have had emergency surgery during pregnancy can rest assured that exposure to anesthesia is not linked to developmental issues in their children, a new study reveals.

    While surgery and anesthesia are typically avoided during pregnancy, up to 1% of pregnant women may require it for unexpected health

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 28, 2022
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  • Quieter ORs May Make for Happier Kids After Surgery

    The key to better child behavior after surgery may be a more peaceful operating room.

    “The period before, during and after surgery is a particularly unpredictable time for parents,” explained Nguyen Tram, a research scientist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

    "By implementing some small measures in the OR, we found we were able to markedly improve some of thi...

    Video Games May Bring Cognitive Benefits to Kids: Study

    School-age kids who spend hours a day playing video games may outperform their peers on certain tests of mental agility, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that compared with children who never played video games, those who regularly spent hours gaming had higher scores on two standard cognitive tests: one measuring short-term memory and another gauging impulse control.

    Experts...