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Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development

Communication with parents boosts child's brain development

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Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development.
Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development. Pixabay
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Good communication with parents promotes in a child the development of a brain network involved in the processing of rewards and other stimuli that, in turn, protects against the over consumption of food, alcohol and drugs, says a study.

The findings of the 14-year study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggest that robust parent-child communication has an impact on health behaviour in adulthood.

“These findings highlight the value of prevention and intervention efforts targeting parenting skills in childhood as a means to foster long-term, adaptive neurocognitive development,” said study co-author Allen Barton from the University of Georgia in the US.

In 2001, the research team began a longitudinal study involving rural US families with a child 11 years of age.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Between the ages of 11 and 13 years, participants reported on interactions with their parents, including the frequency of discussions and arguing.

When the participants reached 25 years of age, a sub-sample of nearly 100 participants was recruited from the larger study to take part in a neuroimaging session that measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Specifically, the researchers used fMRI to study a network of brain connections called the anterior salience network (ASN). The participants also answered questions about harmful alcohol use and emotional eating at age 25.

Also Read: YouTube Overhauls Children’s App After Complaints About Content

Greater parent-child communication in early adolescence predicted greater connectivity of the ASN at age 25, the researcher said.

Greater ASN connectivity was, in turn, associated with lower harmful alcohol use and emotional eating at age 25, they added.  (IANS)

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Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period.

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A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published Friday.

Children at 1 in 3 schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries.

Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93 percent of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday.

toilets, students
Students arrive for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, April 20, 2012. VOA

“The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,” WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If there’s no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.”

Diarrhea, infection risk

A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 children younger than 5 a year, WaterAid said.

But some regions have started to clean up their act, notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved.

More than half the schools in Bangladesh now have access to decent toilets, while students in 73 percent of schools in India and 76 percent of those in Bhutan can access basic sanitation.

Akramul Islam, director of water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, said the country’s once-high levels of open defecation — using open ground rather than toilets — were now less than 1 percent.

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India’s plight in sanitation has not improved much since ages.
Pixabay

“Today, schools have separate toilets for girls and boys and the issue of menstrual hygiene is also being addressed,” he said. “This has happened because of initiatives taken by both the government, the NGOs and other stakeholders.”

Also Read: 3 HIV+ Students Banned From School in Indonesia

Improvement needed

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period, WaterAid said, urging greater investment in basic sanitation.

“If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now,” said Chief Executive Tim Wainwright. (VOA)