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December 2003

Picture of Health
Scientists have long known that as the brain matures though adolescence, it loses gray matter -- the collection of brain cells and their connections that are linked with intelligence.
Stressed to Kill: The Defense of Brainwashing
As sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo stands trial this week, his insanity defense relies on a controversial claim rarely heard in courtrooms: The defendant was brainwashed to kill.
After 75, Many Suffer Mental Decline
More than one in five people aged 75 and older experience mild cognitive impairment, new studies show.
Why Do We Trust Who We Trust? Brain Hormone
That "gut" feeling that moves one person to trust another is governed by a brain hormone most noted for its role in the mother-child bond.
Job strain and insecurity linked to poor health
Job strain and job insecurity show strong links with poor health, particularly mental health, according to researchers from Australia.
Affluent in the US, Australia and Japan Have the Highest Stress in The World
NEW YORK, Nov 20, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex/ -- High-income consumers in the US, Australia, and Japan are the most stressed out, while those in Hong Kong and Brazil are the most laid back.
Study Urges Screening of Newborns
CHICAGO (AP) - Technology that allows the screening of newborns for several rare genetic diseases at once can help prevent mental retardation and other complications more effectively than conventional tests done after symptoms develop, researchers say.
Middle-Schoolers Still Lighting Up
Tobacco use by teenagers fell dramatically between 2000 and 2002, but a range of anti-smoking efforts did little to deter middle school students from taking up the habit, according to data released yesterday by the federal government.
Family's income, education influence depression and obesity in teens
About a third of depression and obesity among U.S. teenagers can be attributed to being from families with low incomes or having parents with low educational levels, according to a new analysis of more than 15,000 young people.
Bullied Children Get More Depressed
AWICHITA, Kan., Nov 12, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Young children bullied at school show signs of antisocial and depressive behavior, according to a Kansas study published in Child Development.


November 2003

Is Obesity A Disease?
The rising number of Americans who are seriously overweight has triggered intense debate
Pill May Help People Overcome Fears
Scientists say a pill may help people overcome their worst phobias.
Alcohol's sight and smell cues increase consumption
The scent and sight cues generated from a mug of beer increase a drinker's likelihood of wanting more beer
Social factors influence men's poor health habits
American men--especially minority and poor men--are sicker and more death-prone than women across the life span
Stereotyping depends on contextual cues
Do you like Mike? Your answer may depend on the context in which the question--referring to Michael Jordan in this case--is framed
Creativity killers
Creativity, like a plant's growth, can easily be thwarted by an inhospitable environment.
The many faces of perfectionism
The need for perfection comes in different flavors, each associated with its own set of problems
Creativity on the clock
Recent research suggests that supportive management, innovative co-workers and in some cases bad moods can contribute to on-the-job creativity.
Inspiring the masses through creative leadership
A closer look at history's great innovators reveals that creativity and leadership go hand-in-hand.
dreams offer ordinary people creative solutions to everyday problems2003-11
If properly heeded, dreams offer ordinary people creative solutions to everyday problems.
What exactly is creativity?
Not all creative people are alike, which makes defining creativity a challenge and assessing it a monumental undertaking.
Obesity tied to kids' bad behavior
Parents have yet another reason to be mindful of their children's weight.
Murine genetic model may aid study of antisocial behavior in humans
A murine genetic model may aid the study of antisocial personality disorders.


October 2003

Study Links TV Habits to Reading Trouble
Children who live in homes where the television is on most of the time may have more trouble learning to read than other kids, a study says.
Genes explain sex differences in brains
Differences in male and female brains are the result of genes -- not just hormones, a UCLA study indicates.
Forgiveness could be balm for the body, too
The ability to forgive just might improve your marriage, your health and your outlook on life.
Qualities that drive young to succeed also lead to high blood pressure Impatience, hostility make unhealthy mix
Young adults with two of the three traits that make up a type-A, go-getter's personality are more likely to get high blood pressure later in life, a major new study reports today.
Scientists Pinpoint Puberty Starter Gene
Scientists have discovered a gene needed to start puberty, zeroing in on it by studying families in which cousins had married each other.
Genetic Difference Discovered in People with Depression and Completed Suicide
After a pioneering seven-year study, Canadian scientists have discovered a new genetic difference in people suffering from severe depression and in those who have committed suicide.
Bruised Ego Said to Cause Physical Pain
A rejected lover's broken heart may cause as much distress in a pain center of the brain as an actual physical injury, according to new research.
Sleep May Help Restore Memories
In a finding that backs up motherly advice to get a good night's sleep, scientists have found that peaceful slumber apparently restores memories that were lost during a hectic day.
Penn Study Shows Genes May Influence Smoking Cessation
Smokers with a specific combination of two genetic variants may be more likely to remain abstinent and less prone to relapse when trying to quit smoking
Changes in television or magazine exposure affect young girls' eating habits
Changes in television or magazine exposure affect young girls' eating habits.
Affectivity model provides best expanation of genetic influence on job satisfaction
Genetic influences on job satisfaction are best explained using the affectivity model of disposition.
Kids and Teens with Stress and Trauma
Washington The American Psychological Association (APA) is kicking off a national campaign to help children and teens deal with stress and trauma.
Understanding compulsive sexual behavior
A person often engages in risky sex, has a lot of sexual partners and often mixes sex with drugs or alcohol.
Compulsive cybersex can jeopardize marriage, rest of life
A man in St. Louis and a woman in Seattle enter an online chat room titled "Married, but Lonely," flirt and then switch to a private "electronic bedroom" where their virtual exchange turns erotic.
Help the media prevent copycat suicides
Psychologists can help newspaper and television reporters report on suicides in a responsible manner, preventing suicide "contagion"--the proliferation of copycat suicides
Boys' emotional development addressed
Relationships with male mentors may help adolescent boys learn when and how to rely on others in times of stress
Sexual harassment too often leads to humiliation for victims
Victims of sexual harassment still face an unfair judicial process, and Congress and clinicians can pave the way to improving that system
How 'emotional intelligence' emerged
Psychologist Peter Salovey outlined how we use our emotional smarts to solve problems.
Training young minds not to wander
New research suggests that, beyond genes, experience affects a specific brain network involved in attention.
A primer on teaching positive psychology
It's easy to connect positive psychology to students' lives, whether you're teaching one unit or a whole course.
Teaching children about resilience
The institute, titled "Resilience: inoculating children from the inside out," was a feature of the latest focus on children and teenagers
A matter of life and death
Improving HIV/AIDS patients' medication compliance boosts longevity, psychologists say.


September 2003

Community violence can affect kids' aggressive behavior
Elementary school students exposed to high levels of neighborhood violence are more likely to behave and think aggressively
Love Gone Wrong Can Trigger Depression
A combination of serious loss and humiliation -- especially involving marriage or romantic breakups -- may increase a person's risk for major depression
Cellular Problem Discovered Behind Syndrome of Obesity, Learning Disabilities
A research team led by Johns Hopkins scientists has discovered a potential new contributor to obesity -- faulty cilia.
Hypertension Tied To Memory Lapses
High blood pressure, a well-known player in heart attacks and stroke, also might contribute to the memory lapses that many people experience as they get older, a study released Tuesday suggests.
Pleasing Partners Prolong Pain
It may seem surprising, but attentive, helpful spouses might actually prolong recovery from chronic pain.
Study Links Teen Use of Tobacco and Pot
Youngsters who smoke cigarettes are more likely to use marijuana than those who don't smoke, according to a study released Tuesday.
A woman's dissatisfaction with her body can stem from several variables
According to a study from Canada, "the relationship between past body size and current body dissatisfaction among 933 middle-aged women from a prospective birth cohort study was examined.
WHO regional talks concentrate on youth and psychological problems
The regional committee for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) opened a four-day conference on Monday concentrating on psychological problems, and the health of young people and children.
Report Cites Harm to Bullies and Victims
Bullying shouldn't be dismissed as a harmless schoolyard rite of passage, according to a report that found bullies and their victims often develop behavioral and emotional problems later in life.
Parents' relocation after divorce may affect children long-term
Children whose parents move more than a one-hour drive away after divorce are significantly less well-off than children whose parents do not relocate
'War on terrorism' should better address psychological consequences
The nation's public health infrastructure would be ill-prepared to meet people's psychological needs after a terrorist attack
Study offers clues on why women choose medicine over engineering
Young women's beliefs and values about working with and for people may be keeping them from careers in physics, engineering, astronomy and information technology
Teen depression can affect adult happiness
Adults who experienced even a single bout of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescence are likely to demonstrate pervasive psychosocial impairment
Study finds a dark side to forgetting false information
When evidence in a criminal trial is improperly presented, judges can instruct jurors to "disregard" or intentionally forget it.
When talent masks learning disability
The possibility of no longer using intelligence tests to identify children with learning disabilities won't just affect low-performing students, argue some psychologists.
Molding effective teachers
Psychologists' research is shedding light on the ingredients of quality teaching.
Understanding children's atypical gender behavior
A model support group helps parents learn to accept and affirm their gender-variant children.
Babies' Brains Are Fragile Indeed
An American study that says babies are more vulnerable to serious brain injuries when they fall than previously believed may help child abuse investigators distinguish between accidental and intentional injury.
Mental health risk for younger children in school year
Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London, conducted a survey of over 10,000 school children in England, Scotland and Wales.
Teen Substance Abuse Factors Examined
A survey of American children and parents released Tuesday found a mix of three ingredients in abundance for many kids can lead to substance abuse: boredom, stress and extra money.
Teen's Brains Explain Mood Swings
It's the hope of just about every exasperated parent - to one day understand the adolescent brain. Now some scientists are doing cutting-edge research that may bring that day closer.


August 2003

Examining Internet Abuse
University of Florida psychiatrists have come up with guidelines to help doctors determine how much time on the Internet is enough to be unhealthy.
Twins may have lower risk of suicide
A team from the University of Southern Denmark looked at 21,653 same-sex twins born between 1870 and 1930 and established cause of death in the years between 1943 and 1993.
One Good Yawn Is Worth Another But Psychologists Are Still Baffled
ONE of the most enduring and elusive mysteries of the human body is why yawning is so contagious.
Media can affect society's attitudes
A Kansas State University psychology professor has determined that the way we see people on TV colors how we see people in real life.
Self-Help Groups OK Despite Web Inroads
The rapid growth of online support groups apparently hasn't wiped out Americans' appetite for the face-to-face kind
New study finds money can't buy parental happiness
More money doesn't mean more happiness, according to a study released this month.
Teasing about weight takes its toll on kids
Sticks and stones may break kids' bones, but teasing words about their bodies will break their hearts, according a study published today.
1 in 5 elite male athletes has bad body image
One in five elite male athletes suffers from body-image problems, according to a study released Friday.
Study of Bush's psyche touches a nerve
A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity".
Sex, violence dilute ad material
Advertising on TV shows which have violent or sexual content is bad business, according to a new University of Michigan study.
How to Spot Internet Addiction
In this week's Cybershake, we take a look at researchers' latest work in how to spot Internet addiction. Plus, we note what some are saying about the quality of computer technical support.
Children With Bowel Disease Prone to Emotional Problems
According to a new study, more than one-third of children with mild inflammatory bowel disease also suffered from psychological problems, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Back-to-School Anxiety: Not Just for Poor Achievers
In the pantheon of parental worries, a child who performs well in school and has good academic focus isn't usually a cause for concern.
College Students Get Better Grades When They Take Courses That Use Psychological Principles to Teach Study Skills
Students at Ohio State University who took a psychology-based study skills program had higher grade point averages and were more likely to return for their next year of college than a group of similar students who didn't take the class
You Are What You Hear
What's in a CD collection? Two psychologists say, a lot.
Doctors reminded of responsibilities to children
In a landmark case, the Court of Appeal yesterday (31/07/03) ruled that children wrongly diagnosed as suffering from child abuse could sue doctors or social workers. 


July 2003

Children Who Spend More Time Online Do Better in School
Internet use has no negative effect on users' social involvement or psychological well-being, and it increases children's grade point averages and standardized test scores
Fifteen ways to leave your lover
Following an Islamic court decision last week that allowed a Malaysian man to serve a divorce on his wife by text message, we review some of the strangest - and cruellest - ways to get shot of that special someone
Lack of consensus on gender identity disorders
And the researchers also found disagreement as to the minimum age at which gender reassignment therapy is considered safe.
Conflicted feelings may be health risk
A new study says people who involved in conflicted relationships seem to have the most trouble controlling their blood pressure.
Happy People More Immune to Common Cold
Don't worry, be happy and, according to new research, you will also be healthy.
Nodding boosts confidence
Nodding or shaking the head not only signals how you're feeling about something, but also can influence how you feel about a subject, researchers have found.
Anorexia Rare Among Black Women
The eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which has been studied mostly in white women, appears to be extremely rare among black women in the United States, new research has found.
So How Do You Spot a Liar
LIE detection is crucial for most people who come into contact with the public.
Childhood sexual abuse impacts sexuality development
The sexual attitudes and activities of 77 sexually abused and 89 comparison women (mean age = 20.41, SD = 3.38) were assessed 10 years after disclosure in a longitudinal, prospective study of the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse
Anger link to heart disease after menopause
A team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says that the two forms of distress are associated with impaired artery function in this group.
Studies tie sleep disorders to brain chemical imbalance
Sleep disorders may be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, two studies published today say.The findings may help researchers better understand the causes of sleep problems.
New hope for sex offender treatment
Research suggests psychological treatment helps reduce recidivism among convicted sex offenders.
A voice for women in prison
From 1994 to 2000, psychologist Angela Browne spent countless hours interviewing women at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility about their experiences with family and other violence over their lives.
Helping inmates cope with prison life
This psychologist's passion is ensuring that incarcerated men get mental health help.
Girls use a different kind of weapon
Psychologists in the juvenile justice system say they commonly see 'relational aggression' in girls.
People Seek Selves in Seeking Mate
People like people like themselves. That's the conclusion of a study by Cornell University researchers, who asked 978 people what qualities they valued most in a potential mate, and then asked them to rate themselves on the same qualities.
Pitt Researchers Single Out Genes for Major Depression
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have completed the first survey of the entire human genome for genes that affect the susceptibility of individuals to developing clinical depression.


June 2003

Creative People Remember More Dreams
New research shows people who are creative, imaginative, and prone to fantasy are more likely to have vivid dreams at night and to remember them.
It' s not always good to talk
Britain's touchy-feely society may think it's good to talk - but new research suggests discussing traumatic events can worsen stress and hinder recovery.
Envy Eats Away at Everyone
Whether their partner commits sexual or emotional infidelity, men and women have much the same jealous reaction.
Bad Bosses Do Make Your Blood Boil
Got high blood pressure? You could blame it on your boss.
Noise in the home thought to cause learning disorders in children
Noisy homes could be putting the mental development of babies at risk, scientists warn.
New research looks inside the brain to catch liars in the act
In the quest to build a better lie detector, scientists are seeking to go beyond the body's indirect signals to the very seat of deceit: the brain.
Youngsters Drawn to Sound More Than Pictures
Sound seems to resonate more than pictures when it comes to attracting the attention of young children.
Scientists Find Manic-Depression Gene
Scientists say they've identified a flawed gene that appears to promote manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, a finding that could eventually help guide scientists to new treatments.
Being grateful is linked to well-being
Count your blessings. You may find yourself sleeping better and exercising more.
The eye may help diagnose mental illness
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago say they are studying subtle abnormalities in eye movements that may one day be used to diagnose psychiatric disease.
Tendency to Be Shy May Be Inherited
A tendency to be shy may be an inherited characteristic that is marked by a specific reaction in the brain to the presence of strangers or novel objects, a study suggests.
Social responsibility during conflict and war
Peace psychologists re-examine ethics and best practices in the world's conflict zones.
Man of many roles
When school psychologist Gib Condie, PhD, advises couples against inappropriate displays of affection in the high school hallways, he knows his reminder of the school rules won't likely be brushed aside.
Maintaining ethics in a rural setting
Psychologist Dan Goodkind, PhD, traded in his suburban life for a rural one after he graduated from University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1997 and started a practice in Vernal, Utah
Teaching self-sufficiency for rural practice
Historically, few doctoral programs have paid much attention to the unique challenges rural psychologists encounter on the job.
NIMH to raise awareness of depression in men
The National Institute of Mental Health has tapped the true stories of six men in a campaign to reduce the stigma of men seeking help for depression.
Are younger people more troubled
When it comes to the elderly, the writers of "The Simpsons" pull no punches. Bart Simpson's grandfather and his cohort of elderly nursing-home residents are pathetic figures, often confused, lonely, depressed and mistreated.
Condoms Don't Increase Teen Sex
Teenagers at high schools where condoms were available were no more likely to have sex than other teens, a study says.
People Underrate Their Attractiveness
Men and women see themselves as less appealing than members of the opposite sex do, conclude psychologists Jennifer Siciliani of the University of Missouri and Ryan Pride of St. Louis University.
Best Strategy for Last-minute Study
OK, so the project's due tomorrow morning, or the big test is looming. You know you've got to burn the candle late, but still get enough sleep to function efficiently the next day.