Predictors of eating disorders vary

The June 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine published a study examining eating disorders in boys and girls aged 9 to 15 years. They found that a maternal history of disordered eating had an impact only on the younger girls. Frequent diets and attempts to look like models or celebrities was related to binge eating or purging behaviours in girls of all ages. Boys’ symptoms were associated with criticism of weight by fathers.

You can read more here.

Is there a teaching strategy that works best?

TeachingWalk through any elementary school, and you might see wide variations in the styles of the teachers there. You’ll probably find some that are more strict, some that are more friendly, and some that allow their students to call them by their first names! Some teaching styles work better for certain kids than others; students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder often work best in an environment with clear, consistent rules and expectations. Gifted students might prefer a more self-directed classroom. Since acting-out behaviours can have a major impact over the long term on kids’ learning, it is important to consider whether one kind of classroom will be better than another for disruptive students, and teaching style is an important part of the equation. But what’s the best way to define teaching style?

Cyberbullying is on the rise

A study published in the Journal of School Health suggests that 72% of youth have been bullied online in the past year, and most of them said that they would not tell a parent about it. Although the internet provides a degree of anonymity for bullies, the majority of their victims knew the perpetrator or believed that the bully was a peer from school. Kids who were bullied at school were far more likely to be bullied online, and they tended to retaliate at school. The researchers concluded that there are more similarities than differences between real-world and cyber-bullying.

You can read the complete study here.

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Foster Care versus Kinship Care

A new study in June 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests a relationship between behavioural problems and placement when children are removed from their homes because of maltreatment. Researchers examined behavioural difficulties 18 and 36 months after kids¬† had been removed from their homes. They found that the children who were placed with a family member (“kinship care”) soon after being removed from their home had significantly fewer behavioural problems 3 years later.

Although the researchers statistically controlled for many other factors that might also have affected behaviour, it’s tough to draw firm conclusions from the study. Placement in kinship care depended on other family members’ availability and willingness to take in the child; it’s possible that family members were less likely to take in kids with more severe problems, which could also explain the difference.

You can read more here.