Archive Page 2

Depression linked to teens who drop out of school

An article in Reuters presents a review of this first of its kind recent research from the University of Montreal, in which high school aged students were screened for depression.  The author states that “older teens struggling with depression are more than twice as likely to drop out of high school as peers without that mental illness or those who recovered from a bout of depression earlier in life.”  Clearly there is an important role for school psychologists in early identification and accessing treatment for these students.


The cultural connection to diagnoses of autism

An interesting article in Scientific American examines cultural differences in prevalence rates, identification tools, and access to services for children from non-middle class, ethnically different societies.  There is a lot more to look for when your tools and understanding of the culture/language don’t match the child’s and his parents.

Screen time linked to suicide risk in teens

New research from Florida State University, reported in EurekAlert, has found a compelling relationship between the amount of time teens spend with their electronic devices and the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts, especially among teen girls.  Recommendations include encouraging parents to monitor and limit screen time while at the same time encouraging sports and social activities for their teens.  Taking the screens away clearly is not a solution!

Children’s vocabulary depth differs by family’s socioeconomic status

New research from the University of Texas, reported in EurekAlert, looked at the depth and quality of vocabulary in children from low socioeconomic families as opposed to those from higher socioeconomic status.  Not surprisingly, the children from the lower group had more limited vocabularies, however what was surprising, was that the gap continued and broadened even after the children had entered school.  Given the link between vocabulary and reading and verbal comprehension, this initial delay posed a serious academic threat to these children’s academic progress.  Some suggestions were made to address the problem early in the school context.

The importance of the right amount of sleep for teens’ mental health

A recent article in ScienceNewsforStudents looks at the link between adequate sleep and teens’ moods.  The article includes a daily diary, developed at the University of California, to use with teens, as well as a number of side-bar articles on the factors threatening adequate sleep for teens.  Having done high school workshops on this topic, these resources provide material for school psychologists to open the topic with teens and mental health issues.

Parent training really can modify ADHD symptoms

Research from Ohio State University, cited in HealthDay and published in Clinical Psychology Science, demonstrated that a program teaching calm and responsive parenting of preschoolers resulted in physiological and behavioural changes in the hyperactivity and impulsiveness of their children.  None of the children were medicated for their ADHD symptoms, adding more significance to the possibilities of behavioural change interventions, and the changes which were evident only 2 months after training, were still evident a year later at reevaluation, suggesting more positive parent-child relationships.  Imagine the implications for these children’s school entry!

Education’s role in eliminating “hate” in society

An article in ASCD’s EDUCATION UPDATE suggests that changing attitudes towards racism and other social “hate” issues begins in the classroom – with honest discussions of how these attitudes began and understanding how they can be reframed towards a healthier society.  In a time when “safe spaces” and “political correctness” are rampant, this is a refreshing read!


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