Parents More Willing To Lets Kids Watch ‘Justified’ Violence on TV

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Crime Scene _MG_4847” by thierry ehrmann is licensed under CC BY 2.0Daniel Romer, PhD

Research Director Annenberg Public Policy Center and
Director of its Adolescent Communication Institute (ACI)
University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have been studying the steady increase in gun violence that has been occurring in popular PG-13 movies since the new rating was adopted in 1984.  It has recently even surpassed the amount of gun violence in R-rated movies.  Since these movies are open to the public at any age, we are concerned that they promote the use of guns and potentially socialize youth to believe that using guns to defend oneself is an appropriate way to handle threats and other conflicts.

We knew that the rating requires the omission of graphic consequences, such as blood and suffering, that can make the violence more acceptable.  But we also wondered whether the motivation for the violence might make a difference as well.  Many of the characters in PG-13 movies are seen as heroic (e.g., Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson).  Could that also be a factor that makes such films more acceptable to parents despite their concerns about their children seeing so much violence in the movies.  So, we conducted this experiment to see if parents are less upset by justified violence in PG-13 style movies.  Continue reading

Program Encouraging Shared Bookreading Improved Vocabulary, Memory and IQ

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adriana Weisleder, PhD Research scientist, Department of Pediatrics NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Weislander

Adriana Weisleder, PhD
Research scientist, Department of Pediatrics
NYU Langone Medical Center
New York 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: An estimated 250 million children in low- and middle-income countries do not reach their developmental potential due to poverty. Many programs in the US, such as Reach Out and Read and Video Interaction Project, have shown success in reducing poverty-related disparities in early child development by promoting parent-child interactions in cognitively stimulating activities such as shared bookreading.

This randomized study sought to determine whether a program focused on supporting parent-child shared bookreading would result in enhanced child development among 2- to 4-year-old children in a low-resource region in northern Brazil. Families in the program could borrow children’s books on a weekly basis and could participate in monthly parent workshops focused on reading aloud.

Findings showed that participating families exhibited higher quantity and quality of shared reading interactions than families in a control group, and children showed higher vocabularies, working memory, and IQ.

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Premature Babies Less Likely To Have Siblings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Premature baby” by Elin B is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Suvi Alenius, MD
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Helsinki and Oulu, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Parents of very or extremely low birth weight infants are less likely to have subsequent children after preterm birth. We assessed whether this phenomenon extends over the whole range of prematurity.

We now show that parents of preterm-born infants (gestational age less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) have fewer subsequent children than do parents of term born infants. This is not limited to the extreme group of parents of children born very preterm, but is even seen within the large groups of parents of infants born less preterm.

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Medical Tetrahydrocannabinol May Be Beneficial For Seizures and Chemotherapy Side Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Wong

Dr. Wong

Shane Shucheng Wong, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Medical cannabis is now legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and in those areas with active programs, children and adolescents can legally access medical cannabis with certification from their doctor and consent from a parent. This means that doctors and families need to understand what we know and what we don’t yet know about medical cannabis in order to make the best decision for the health of the individual child. Two synthetic cannabinoids – compounds that act on specific receptors in the brain – have been approved for medical use in the U.S., both of which mimic a form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for the “high” of recreational cannabis use. Dronabinol (Marinol) is approved to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in both children and adults, while the pediatric use of nabilone (Cesamet) carries a caution. A third cannabinoid, cannabidiol, is currently in phase 3 trials for treatment of seizures.

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How Does Fruit Juice Affect Weight Gain in Children?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brandon Auerbach, MD, MPH Acting Instructor Division of General Internal Medicine University of Washington

Dr. Auerbach

Brandon Auerbach, MD, MPH
Acting Instructor
Division of General Internal Medicine
University of Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The question of whether 100% fruit juice causes poor health outcomes in children, such as weight gain, has been a subject of controversy. On one hand, 100% fruit juice contains vitamins and nutrients that many children lack, is often cheaper than whole fruit, and may help kids with limited access to healthy food meet their daily fruit requirements.

On the other hand, leading nutrition experts have expressed concern that fruit juice contains amounts of sugar equal to or greater than those of sugary drinks like regular soda. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics warn that 100% juice can be a significant source of calories and contribute to obesity if consumed excessively.

Our main finding was that consuming 1 serving/day of 100% fruit juice was not associated with weight gain in children. Children ages 1 to 6 years gained a small amount of weight, but not enough to negatively impact health. Children ages 7 and older gained no weight. We did not study amounts of 100% fruit juice higher than 1 serving/day.

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Physically Active Children May Have Reduced Symptoms of Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lars Wichstrøm, PhD
NTNU Social Reseach, Trondheim, Norway; and
Department of Psychology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous research has linked physical activity, and particularly moderate to vigorous physical activity to less depression in adolescents and adults, but the potential prospective relationship between physical activity and depression in middle childhood has not yet been identified.

The main findings in this study support existing research by showing that physically active children have fewer symptoms of depression two years later compared to less physically active children, but there is no relationship between sedentary behavior and depressive symptoms in middle childhood.

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Parental Obesity Affects Early Childhood Development

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Edwina Yeung, Ph.D Investigator in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Developm

Dr. Edwina Yeung

Edwina Yeung, Ph.D
Investigator, Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: About 1 in 5 pregnant women in the United States is obese. Other studies have looked at mothers’ obesity in terms of children’s development, but no U.S. studies have looked at whether there might be a contribution from the father’s weight.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: One of the main findings of this study is that maternal obesity is associated with a delay in fine motor skill– the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Paternal obesity is associated with a delay in personal-social skills including the way the child interacts with others. Having both a mother and a father with severe obesity (BMI≥35) was associated with a delay in problem solving ability.

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Early Planned Birth Linked To Developmental Delays

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jason Bentley, MBiostat Doctoral Fellow Menzies Centre for Health Policy University of Sydney

Jason Bentley

Jason Bentley, MBiostat
Doctoral Fellow
Menzies Centre for Health Policy
University of Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Planned birth (labor induction or pre-labor caesarean section) is a decision to intervene and so determines a gestational age at birth that would have otherwise been later if pregnancy had progressed through to spontaneous labor. Significant changes in clinical practice have seen an increase in planned births before 39-40 completed week’s gestation from an increased use of primary and repeat cesarean section and a greater use of labor induction. At a population level this has resulted in a decrease in modal gestational age with planned birth accounting for almost half of births before 39-40 weeks.

Clinical research has indicated that the threshold for planned birth and the gestational age for intervening has reduced. Numerous reasons have been given as justification for this including litigation, patient and provider perception of safety versus risk, reduced perinatal mortality, increased fetal monitoring, maternal age, obesity and convenience. There has also been the clinical perception that birth just before the optimal date carries little significant morbidity, with a focus on short-term risks to mother or baby only rather than longer-term outcomes. It is of paramount importance to ensure there are no unintended harms from such a significant shift in clinical practice.

This study investigated whether the timing of planned birth was associated with poorer developmental outcomes at school age.

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Family-Centered Advanced Care Planning for Adolescents With HIV

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maureen E. Lyon PhD Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Center for Translational Science/Children’s Research Institute, Children’s National The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Washington, District of Columbia

Dr. Maureen E. Lyon

Maureen E. Lyon PhD
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine,
Center for Translational Science/Children’s Research Institute, Children’s National
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Washington, District of Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Despite policy recommendations to include adolescents with chronic and life-limiting conditions in decision-making about their own end-of-life care, barriers continue in clinical practice, including fear of distressing vulnerable adolescents and providers’ beliefs that these conversations are potentially harmful.

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Widespread Rotavirus Vaccination Has Greatly Reduced Infections in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Harvey Kaufman MD
Quest Diagnostics
Madison, New Jersey

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic information services, meaning we provide information and insights from our laboratory test services. This includes analyzing results of our laboratory test data in order to provide insights into health, wellness and disease to help providers, patients and health plans make better healthcare decisions.

A Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ study published in the Pediatrics evaluated 276,949 de-identified test results from children ages infant through 9 years over an 11-year period to determine trends in laboratory rotavirus detection and the impact of the rotavirus vaccine on rotavirus detection. Vaccination is recommended for infants. In the study, two patients groups were evaluated for rotavirus vaccine – likely vaccinated (children who were infants after vaccine availability) and unlikely vaccinated (children who were infants prior to vaccine availability).

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