Many studies have shown that smiling is ‘contagious’ in both humans and monkeys, to the extent that when presented by a smiling face some test subjects not only naturally smiled, but found it difficult to form a frown. This empathic and automatic social response offers many social and health benefits. Smiling releases endorphins, which can in turn reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure as well as giving us a feeling of well being. A recent study at the Wayne State University analysed the intensity of smiles of professional baseball players in a 1952 yearbook and compared their...
Several recent studies have undermined popular acceptance in the idea of their being five stages in our grieving for loved ones: a theory originating in the 1960s by the work of John Bowlby. A Yale University study highlights the greater importance of acceptance and depression and an overall lack of a recognisable sequence in these feelings. A Columbia University study of elderly, bereaved spouses surprisingly demonstrated that some of the sample showed a marked improvement in mental health and that 45% experienced little distress. Read more here
A new research study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing indicates that children whom regularly eat breakfast had “significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores.” The researchers suggested that this may be the combined effect of the brain’s fuel intake and the associated social interaction during this meal. The study was conducted on over 1250 Chinese children. Read more here
We thought that it might interest our members that, until the end of February 2013 every Routledge Psychology journal is absolutely free to access online! They are also giving a 20% discount on all their Psychology Press and Routledge Mental Health. Find them here
A recent study of 840,000 children in California has indicated a significant rise, of 24%, in the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr. Darios Getahun, researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group, confirmed that the instances of ADHD in boys within the study was three times as high as in girls and that it was more prevalent in higher income families: although that this might be accounted for by greater parental interest in their school performance. Dr Benjamin Lahey of the University of Chicago suggests that the study is more...
With divorce rates in the US heading for 40% researchers have identified 9 indicators for a successful union, from good humour and a healthy sex life to emotional separation from biological family. Read all nine here
Recent results from a massive study of female smokers by the University of Oxford highlights the dangers and showed that even light smoking doubled early female mortality rates. The good news was that when women give up smoking, they massively increase their chances of avoiding a premature death. Read more on this study Trying to quit? Take a look at the latest advice on the BBC
The recent storms to hit the US are a reminder to think about the psychological consequences of natural disasters and how they effect children and families. Survivors tend to look for leadership and stability in the wake of this sort of shocking change to their environment. Children need to understand the event and be returned to a reassuring routine. Read more about disasters in the school context here Read more from the American Psychology Association
A recent study, by biomedical ethicist Dr Ilina Singh, asking children how they feel about ADHD and possible treatment has identified that the children feel that their medication helps them control their reactions and gives them time in which to think before acting. The children also said that they wanted additional treatment options, however: long waiting lists for children’s behavioral treatments means that there is currently little alternative by rely on prescribing drug treatments. “One of the messages that children have is that they want more treatment options outside of medication,...
A recent study led by Gillian Einstein evaluated the results of 47 previous research projects into mood and menstrual cycle: “Taken together, these studies failed to provide clear evidence in support of the existence of a specific premenstrual negative mood syndrome in the general population.” The study did not look at those suffering with PMDD but highlights how negative mood may be falsely associated with the menstrual cycle whilst in fact having other causes. Read the report here