Saturday January 25, 2020

Children Facing Behavioural Issues More Like to Be Anti-Social: Study

Behavioural issues in kids makes them anti-social

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Anti-social kids
A link between anti-social or aggressive behaviour and CU traits characterised by lack of empathy, guilt, and reduced sensitivity to others' emotions is already well known. Pixabay

Researcher have found that young children who exhibited less fear and desire for social connection and who engaged less frequently in a copycat behaviour called arbitrary imitation developed more callous-unemotional (CU) traits, which are known to lead to anti-social behaviour later.

A link between anti-social or aggressive behaviour and CU traits–characterised by lack of empathy, guilt, and reduced sensitivity to others’ emotions–is already well known, according to the study published in the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry.

This translates to a child who is “less compassionate, doesn’t care about breaking the rules, doesn’t change a behaviour when they’re told, ‘If you do X, this bad thing will happen’,” said study researcher Rebecca Waller from University of Pennsylvania in the US.

anti-social kids
Kids with behavioural issues develop callous-unemotional (CU) traits, which are known to lead to anti-social behaviour later. Pixabay

“They’re also more likely to be aggressive to get what they want because they don’t fear the consequences,” Waller added.

For the findings, the researchers used data from the Boston University Twin Project.

During two two-hour lab visits, at age 3 and again at age 5, children played out several scenarios, like offering a parent ‘candy’ from a canister that actually contained a stuffed snake, popping bubbles, or separating different-coloured beads into piles.

Analysis of the children’s behaviours showed that less fearful children who cared less about social connections at the first visit were more likely to develop callous-unemotional traits by the second.

“Fearlessness on its own is not the only ingredient, these children also don’t feel, to the same degree, that inherent motivation and reward from having positive social bonding with others,” said Waller.

The researchers also found that harsh parenting–which includes tactics like yelling and spanking–intensified the fearlessness and strengthened the link with later CU traits.

Anti social behaviour
Analysis of the children’s behaviours showed that less fearful children who cared less about social connections at the first visit were more likely to be anti-social. Pixabay

According to the researchers, the study conducted with a different set of two- and three-year-old BU Twin Study participants, compared instrumental and arbitrary imitation.

“Arbitrary imitation is intended to build bonds, to show another person that you’re in their group, that you accept their ways, that you can and will do what they’re doing,” said study researcher Nicholas Wagner from Boston University in the US.

For this work, the team built a pair of experiments. In the first, children had to free a stuffed bird from a hard-to-open cage.

An adult showed them how, interspersing necessary instruction with unneeded vocalisations like “Look, it’s a birdy!”

During a second task, children had to use a stick to liberate a cracker stuck in the middle of a clear tube. Again, an adult modelled the steps, mixing essential and arbitrary directions.

In both cases, researchers watched and coded which behaviours the children repeated and which they ignored.

Also Read- Families of Children With Autism Likely to Face Mental and Social Burdens: Study

They found that the two-year-olds who engaged in less arbitrary imitation overall–in other words, those who ignored more of the unneeded actions–were at greater risk for developing CU traits later.

“This says to us that these children are less motivated to make connections with other kids or adults. The same was not true for instrumental imitation,” Wagner said. (IANS)

Next Story

Full Vaccination of Children Reduces the Risk of Hospitalisation: Study

Full flu vaccination cuts child hospitalisations in half

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Hospitalisation
Researchers have found that fully vaccinated children reduced the risk of hospitalisation for complications associated with influenza by 54 per cent. Pixabay

According to a latest health news researchers have found that fully vaccinated children reduced the risk of hospitalisation for complications associated with influenza by 54 per cent.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, tested the effectiveness of childhood vaccination against influenza and risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications.

In Israel, as in the US, government guidelines recommend that children aged 8 or younger who have never been vaccinated, or who have only had one dose of flu vaccine previously, should receive two doses of vaccine.

“Children vaccinated according to government guidelines are much better protected from influenza than those who only receive one vaccine, said study lead author Hannah Segaloff from University of Michigan in the US.

According to the researchers, over half of our study population had underlying conditions that may put them at high risk for severe influenza-related complications, so preventing influenza in this group is critically important.

Hospitalisation
Young children who aren’t vaccinated are at high risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications. Pixabay

“Our results also showed that the vaccine was effective in three different seasons with different circulating viruses, reinforcing the importance of getting an influenza vaccine every year no matter what virus is circulating,” Hannah said.

The retrospective study used data from Clalit Health Services, the largest health fund in Israel, to review the vaccination data of 3,746 hospitalisations of children 6 months to 8 years old at six hospitals in Israel. They were tested for influenza over three winter seasons 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Not only do the findings reveal that the flu vaccine reduced hospitalizations associated with the flu by 54 per cent, but they show that giving two vaccine doses to children up to age 8 who have never been vaccinated or only received one dose previously is more effective than administering one dose, in accordance with the Israel Ministry of Health recommendations.

“Young children are at high risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications. Children with underlying illnesses such as asthma and heart disease have an even greater risk of getting the complications. It is important to prevent influenza infections in these populations,” said study co-author Mark Katz, from The Clalit Research Institute in Israel.

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The findings support health organisations’ recommendations to vaccinate children against influenza every year, preferably before the onset of winter or early childhood. Children under 5 are defined as having a high risk of influenza complications, the researchers said. (IANS)