• By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Thursday 16th June, 2016
  • Article type Archive

How disadvantage is inherited

The UK lags behind other EU members on social mobility, scoring lower than countries like Italy and Spain. Results from a study by the Office of National Statistics suggest that this may be the result of both “cycles of poverty” and “cycles of low education.”In the UK, there is a stronger link between the income of parents and that of their children than in many other devel…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Tuesday 15th March, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Finding better evidence for “evidence-based” programs

Demand for cost-effective services to improve children’s welfare and wellbeing has grown dramatically in the past twenty years. But how can commissioners select programs will benefit young people and, importantly, avoid those that might prove harmful? Registries of evidence-based programs, such as Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, provide a rigorously researched answer. In the U…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Friday 26th February, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Bullying “as bad or worse” than ill-treatment by parents for children’s long-term mental health

Researchers are calling for bullying prevention to be given priority alongside other child protection measures following new evidence that it harms young people’s mental health in ways similar to child abuse by parents. Their groundbreaking analysis of data gathered in Britain and the United States finds that the long-term impact of bullying in terms of anxiety, depression and self-harm can,…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Friday 19th February, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Muddy waters: Are we making medical decisions with biased evidence?

The results of many clinical trials never see the light of day. As the World Health Organization calls for all trials to be released into the public domain, physician and writer Ben Goldacre argues for practical steps to speed up change. But why should we care if some trials don’t publish their results? In How to Get All Trials Reported: Audit, Better Data and Individual Accountability, Gold…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Friday 12th February, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Putting the ‘play’ back in playground

Exercise is critically important for children’s health and development. But high levels of obesity in the United States and other Western societies provide worrying evidence that too many children are physically inactive. School programs that promote playground games can help raise activity levels – especially among girls.As every recess (playground) supervisor knows, girls and boys in element…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Thursday 04th February, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Outward bound on a quest to tackle truancy

Enthusiasts for Outward Bound courses and other “wilderness experiences” have long argued that they contribute to preventing youth disengagement and delinquency. In this article, Professor Roger Bullock, notes how conclusive evidence of lasting, positive effects remains scarce. But a recent study by researchers in Singapore has encouraged him to keep an open mind.Outdoor education programs aro…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Wednesday 27th January, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Thinking about thinking: one route to better parenting

Having children can be one of the most joyful experiences of life. But it comes with challenges, and when children display difficult behavior, often parents need extra help. A Belgian parenting program teaches mothers and fathers to be more aware of their own thoughts and choices as parents, with positive results.The program, called “Lou & Us,” is unusual among parenting programs. Most program…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Tuesday 19th January, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Should care placements be blamed for children’s poor achievement in school?

Children taken into care tend to do less well in school than classmates as they progress through school. But are their relatively low levels of educational attainment the result of pre-existing factors or a direct consequence of being placed in care? Oxford University analysts have sought to shed new light on a continuing controversy.No one questions the international evidence concerning low achie…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Thursday 14th January, 2016
  • Article type Archive

The pursuit of happiness

Public policies that aim to improve children’s outcomes usually focus first on their intellectual development, second on their conduct, and finally – if at all – on children’s emotional health. But as far as adult life satisfaction is concerned, these priorities may be exactly backward.Most of the time, researchers and governments are interested in easily-measured outcomes such as income…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Monday 04th January, 2016
  • Article type Archive

Training childcare professionals to reduce childhood sexual abuse

Teachers, daycare workers, and clergy are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the reports of sexual abuse to child protective services in the US. But programs that prepare these professionals to recognize and prevent abuse are rare. A brief training program called Stewards of Children aims to fill the gap.Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) can have life-long negative effects on all those involved. Mos…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Friday 18th December, 2015
  • Article type Archive

Text messages: an emerging tool for interventions

Millions of teenagers and young adults in the US smoke and drink – far too many to be reached by human-delivered interventions. And, given the stigma of treatment, many of those who want to curb their tobacco or alcohol use would not choose to see a provider even if one was available. Could text messages fill the unmet need?A recent meta-analysis looked at 14 text-based interventions designed…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Wednesday 09th December, 2015
  • Article type Archive

Playing catch-up: what trials of psychosocial interventions can learn from drugs trials

Over the last decade, medical clinicians and researchers have become more aware of the need to report financial conflicts of interest. So far, the focus has been on drug research funded by pharmaceutical companies. What about conflicts of interest associated with psychosocial interventions?A new study shows that in more than two-thirds of articles on four internationally disseminated psychosocial…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Tuesday 01st December, 2015
  • Article type Archive

Mentoring in China fosters hope among disadvantaged children learning English

Although popular in “western” countries as a way of improving the life chances of underprivileged children, mentoring has received scarce attention in China. Now a pioneering study conducted in Hong Kong suggests that strong support from an adult mentor can contribute to children’s academic attainment while fostering their hopes for the future.Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Univers…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Friday 02nd October, 2015
  • Article type Archive

Helping children to “roar” again – the Timid To Tiger approach to anxiety

While cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often the “go-to” treatment for phobias and other anxiety disorders among teenagers, there has been little to suggest it works well with younger children. Researchers in the UK are intent on changing that by merging CBT methods into a promising new program where parents get the intervention and over-anxious children get the benefits.Surveys suggest a…

Read more
  • By Laura Whybra
  • Posted on Monday 21st September, 2015
  • Article type Archive

Stop Me Smoking? Using SMS texting to prevent harmful substance use by youth

Advertisers decided years ago that phone texting provides a cheap and efficient way to find large audiences among young people. A review of research using text messages to combat substance use suggests prevention scientists might usefully follow their example.Despite recent progress in developing effective life-skills training and other programs for preventing substance misuse, there are limits on…

Read more

Twitter