Some recent research and some of it is….freely accessible
Just wanted to share a brief overview on some research I found in my travels this week.
First, around the world. the WHO reports that though infant deaths have declined substantially, where you live is still a stark predictor of outcomes for children. 99% percent of these deaths occur developing nations with:
half of these deaths now happen in just five large countries – India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Democratic Republic of the Congo. India alone has more than 900,000 newborn deaths per year, nearly 28% of the global total. Nigeria, the world’s seventh most populous country, now ranks second in newborn deaths up from fifth in 1990.
I greatly admire Dr. Stephen Hwang, the physician-researcher at the St. Michael’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health who has done extensive research on homelessness in Canada. He has just had his longitudinal survey results published in the International Journal of Public Health . The health and housing in transition study: a longitudinal study of the health of homeless and vulnerably housed adults in three Canadian cities found 85 percent of study participants had health issues.
According to researchers inattention is a more important indicator than hyperactivity, and requires more proactive support. Côté and Pingault’s research will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on November 2011. Their research findings are no surprise to me, inattentive children have been long neglected in schools and mental health systems and my experience has been that applying the same treatments for ADHD to ADD is harmful. So I think this research is very good news.
You may have read the headline Mother And Son Bonds Influence Teen Behavior, well as you might expect, the researchers are much more circumspect in their predictions recognizing the implications of the study are very preliminary and that there is a complex interplay of factors involved in child development and relationships. PITT PARENTS AND CHILDREN LABORATORY has a great repository of free research and that includes this research paper.
This research on mother’s depression and child development is very important for social work:
Although this study cannot clarify the causes of enlarged amygdala, the researchers note that the adoption studies have also shown that children who were adopted earlier in life and into more affluent families than others, did not have enlarged amygdala. “This strongly suggests that the brain may be highly responsive to the environment during early development and confirms the importance of early intervention to help children facing adversity,” Lupien said. “Initiatives such as prenatal and infancy nurse home visits and enriched day care environments could mitigate the effects of parental care on the developing brain.” Séguin added that “future studies testing the effects of these preventive programs and observational studies involving children exposed to maternal depressive symptoms at different ages, and consequently for different lengths of time, should provide more insight into how this occurs, its long term consequences, and how it can be prevented.”
Social workers already know early intervention and enriched resources are key, but it is great to see it in the research! Have a great long weekend everyone.