Tag Archive: Pennsylvania Department of Health


Health And Wellness Report

The Human Mind- Children – Medical Research

 

Image : Creative Commons http://www.aspergersphere.com

 

Researchers Investigate Aggression Among Kindergartners

ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2012) — Not all aggressive children are aggressive for the same reasons, according to Penn State researchers, who found that some kindergartners who are aggressive show low verbal abilities while others are more easily physiologically aroused. The findings suggest that different types of treatments may be needed to help kids with different underlying causes for problem behavior.


“Aggressive responses to being frustrated are a normal part of early childhood, but children are increasingly expected to manage their emotions and control their behavior when they enter school,” said Lisa Gatzke-Kopp, assistant professor of human development and family studies. “Kids who don’t do this well, who hit their classmates when they are frustrated or cause other types of disturbances in the classroom, are at especially high risk for long-term consequences including delinquency, violence, dropping out of school, abusing substances and even suicide. Research tells us that the earlier we can intervene, the better the chances of getting these children back on track.”

Gatzke-Kopp and her colleagues, who include Mark Greenberg, professor of human development and family studies and of psychology, asked each of the kindergarten teachers in all 10 of the elementary schools in Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg School District to rate the aggressive behaviors of their students on a six-point scale with items such as “gets in many fights” and “cruelty, bullying or meanness to others.” Using these data, the team recruited a group of high-risk children (207 children) and a group of low-risk children (132 children) to undergo a range of neurobiological measures aimed at understanding how aggressive children experience and manage emotions differently than their non-aggressive classmates.

The team assessed all of the children’s cognitive and academic skills using standardized tests that identified the children’s developmental level of vocabulary, spatial reasoning and memory. In addition, the team asked teachers to provide ratings of each child’s behaviors, including their levels of aggression, disobedience and sadness, as well as their social skills and level of self-control in the classroom.

The researchers also assessed the children’s brain functioning using a mobile research laboratory they brought to the schools. Within the mobile lab, the team measured the children’s heart rate and skin conductance activity during tasks designed to elicit emotional responses, including showing the children short video clips of a cartoon character in a variety of situations depicting fear, sadness, happiness and anger. The researchers wanted to understand how emotional and physical arousal to different types of emotions differed between children who engage in aggressive behavior and children who don’t engage in aggressive behavior, as well as how different children who engage in aggressive behavior react.

According to Gatzke-Kopp, the assessments enabled the researchers to understand how cognitive and emotional processing may contribute to the development of aggressive tendencies. Specifically, the team found that 90 percent of the aggressive kids in the study could be characterized as either low in verbal ability or more easily physiologically aroused. The results will appear in the August 2012 issue of Development and Psychopathology.

“What we may be seeing is that there are at least two different routes through which a child may act aggressively,” Gatzke-Kopp said. “Because these are very different processes, these children may need different approaches to changing their behavior.”

The first group of kids was characterized by lower verbal ability, lower levels of cognitive functioning and fewer executive function skills.

According to Gatzke-Kopp, children need verbal skills to understand the feelings of others and guidance from adults, and to express feelings without hitting. They also need adequate cognitive and executive-function abilities to manipulate information and to think of alternatives to hitting and fighting.

“This group of kids may be functioning at a cognitive level that is more akin to a preschooler than a kindergartner,” Gatzke-Kopp said. “They have a harder time extracting what other people are feeling. They don’t have a nuanced sense of emotions; everything is either happy or sad to them. So they might not be as good at recognizing how their behavior is making another child feel. They may literally have a hard time ‘using their words,’ so hitting becomes an easier solution when they are frustrated.”

The second group of kids had good verbal and cognitive functioning, but they were more physiologically aroused. They were more emotionally reactive, and tended to have more stressors in their lives.

“These children may be able to tell you that if somebody pushed them on the playground they would go get a teacher, but the push happens and they kind of lose it and it doesn’t matter what they should do, they just act on impulse,” Greenberg said. “One possibility is that the threshold for managing frustration is quite low for these kids. So what we might consider a minor annoyance to them is a major threat. When they are calm they function very well, but when they lose control of their emotions, they can’t control their behavior.”

In the future, the team plans to examine how these different types of children respond to an intervention delivered over the second half of kindergarten and the first half of first grade.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health funded this research. Other authors of the paper include Christine Fortunato, postdoctoral fellow, and Michael Coccia, statistical consultant, both in the Penn State Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development.

Food Safety

Health Advocates: Science on Antibiotic Resistance Is Clear

By Helena Bottemiller

Citing an increased incidence of foodborne illness outbreaks caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens, public health advocates are again ratcheting up pressure on Congress to limit routine, subtherapeutic antibiotic use in agriculture. At back to back briefings on Capitol Hill late last…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/health-advocates-science-on-antibiotic-resistance-is-clear/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

55 Congress Members Ask FDA to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

By James Andrews

On Monday, 45 U.S. representatives and 10 U.S. senators signed a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in support of a legal petition that asks the FDA to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.The petition, filed by…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/55-congress-members-ask-fda-to-label-genetically-engineered-foods/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

‘The Lunch Tray’ Responds to Beef Industry Defenses of ‘Pink Slime’

By Bettina Elias Siegel

Lunch Tray readers following the astonishing progress of the Change.org petition launched here last week to get “Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings” (BLBT) out of school food (175,000 at present count) will hardly be surprised that the beef industry has started…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/the-lunch-tray-responds-to-beef-industry-defenses-of-pink-slime/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

USDA to Meet on Ground Beef Safety for Nutrition Programs

By News Desk

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) is set to hold a meeting via conference call to discuss food safety questions from the department’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/usda-to-meet-on-ground-beef-safety-for-nutrition-programs/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

UK Food Standards Agency Considers Revising Raw Milk Rules

By Dan Flynn

Growing concern about the potential risk of Internet and vending machine sales of unpasteurized milk has the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) thinking about revising the rules.The FSA Board will decide March 20 whether the agency should review its…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/uk-food-standards-agency-asked-to-re-work-raw-milk-rules/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

Health

 

CBO: Obama’s health law to cost less, cover fewer people than first thought

By Julian Pecquet

President Obama’s healthcare reform law coverage provisons will cost less but cover fewer people than first thought, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/215795-cbo-health-law-to-cost-less-cover-fewer-people-than-first-thought

 

New Finding: Consuming Trans Fats Linked To Aggression

In the first human study of its kind researchers have linked trans fatty acid consumption to increased aggression. Published in the Public Library of Science’s own journal, PLoS, March 5th 2012, researchers at the Dept. of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, reported: ?

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/new-finding-consuming-trans-fats-linked.html

 

Pennsylvania Lake Water Sickened 18 Last Summer

By News Desk

An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 last August, traced to a lake at Cowan’s Gap State Park in Pennsylvania, sickened at least 18 people and may have sickened as many as 42, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports in the…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/pennsylvania-lake-water-sickened-18-last-summer/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early

The Department of Health was last night urged to review its guidance on red meat after a study found that eating almost half the daily recommended amount can significantly increase the risk of dying early from cancer and heart disease.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9138230/Red-meat-is-blamed-for-one-in-10-early-deaths.html

 

Holistic Health

 

The “Safe” Garden Product that Can Destroy Your DNA

By Dr. Mercola

Have you ever used Roundup to kill weeds in your lawn or garden? As the most widely used herbicide in the United States, there’s a good chance you have.

In fact, millions of pounds are used every year on U.S. gardens, lawns and, extensively on farms growing genetically modified (GM) “Roundup Ready” crops.

You may forget about the herbicide soon after you spray it — and may never give it a second thought when consuming corn chips or countless processed foods that contain GM Roundup Ready corn and soy — but it doesn’t just magically disappear.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/13/active-ingredient-glyphosate-in-roundup-herbicides-found-in-peoples-urine.aspx?e_cid=20120313_DNL_art_1

 

Allergen Allerts

 

Allergen Alert: Sulfites in Macaroon Cookie Mix

By Julia Thomas

Farmer John’s Herbs is recalling its “Mud Pie” Macaroon Cookie Mix due to undeclared sulfite allergens.The recalled cookie mix was sold in 400 g packages labeled “Mud Pie” Macaroon Cookie Mix with UPC 7 73353 60077 6 in stores in Alberta,…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/allergen-alert-sulfites-in-macaroon-cookie-mix/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313

 

Allergen Alert: Stew Seasoning Packaging Error

By Olivia Marler

McCormick & Company has notified Publix Super Markets that it is recalling a single lot code of Publix Beef Stew Seasoning Mix because it may have been packaged in error with brown gravy and may contain undeclared milk.People with an…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/allergen-alert-beef-stew-seasoning-with-milk/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120313