• 30 Dec
    eWellness Expert

    Breastfeeding linked to better childhood behavior: study


    WASHINGTON:  Children breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life have an easier time behaving as primary school students, according to new research.

    Carried out in South Africa, the study assessed more than 1,500 children and found a strong link between how long they were breastfed and signs of behavioral disorders between the ages of seven and 11.


    Children fed only breast milk for their first six months -- as recommended by the World Health Organization -- were 56 percent less likely to exhibit such disorders than those breastfed for less than one month, found the study published in the PLOS medical journal.

    "The duration of exclusive breastfeeding of an infant has greater importance than previously realized in several areas of development," said Tamsen Rochat of the Human Science Research Council in Durban, a lead author of the Canadian government-financed study.

    Rochat emphasized that childhood conduct disorders are associated with social problems -- including violence and crime -- later in life, as well as poor long-term mental health and low academic achievement.

    The research also found that young children who attended daycare for at least one year were 74 percent more likely to achieve higher executive functions, enabling them to plan, concentrate and remember instructions.

    The brain needs these skills to prioritize tasks, filter out distractions and achieve goals, noted study authors.

    Young children who received stimulation only at home were just 36 percent more likely to achieve high executive functions.

    The study also analyzed a number of environmental factors that could influence child development, and found that children were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop behavioral problems if their mothers showed signs of mental health issues or severe parenting stress.

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  • 29 Dec
    eWellness Expert

    Loneliness can affect your wisdom, study finds


    TORONTO: Our level of wisdom varies dramatically according to the situations and is affected by factors like loneliness and togetherness, a new study has found.

    The study defines wise reasoning as a combination of such abilities as intellectual humility, consideration of others' perspective and looking for compromise.

    "This research does not dismiss that there is a personality component to wisdom, but that is not the whole picture," said Igor Grossmann from University of Waterloo in Canada. "Situations in daily life affect our personality and ability to reason wisely," said Grossmann.

    The observation that wise reasoning varies dramatically across situations in daily life suggests that while it fluctuates, wisdom may not be as rare as we think, researchers said.

     Further, for different individuals, only certain situations may promote this quality.

    "There are many examples where people known for their critical acumen or expertise in ethics seem to fall prey to lack of such acumen or morals. The present findings suggest that those examples are not an anomaly," said Grossmann.

     "We cannot always be at the top of our game in terms of wisdom-related tendencies, and it can be dangerous to generalise based on whether people show wisdom in their personal life or when teaching others in the classroom," he said.
     The findings were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.