Sunday August 19, 2018

Strong family relationships reduce anxiety in children: Study

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London: Strong relationships with other family members can help raise self-esteem and reduce anxiety in young children at homes where parental domestic violence exists, says a study.

“Given the secrecy that surrounds domestic violence, it is important that parents, the extended family and service providers understand the protective effects that strong family bonds can have,” said Catherine Naughton from the University of Limerick in Ireland.

family children

“This way, they can encourage young people affected to maintain the inherent sense of belonging within the extended family which, ultimately, can provide positive psychological support,” Naughton added.

The study involved 465 young people aged between 17 and 25 years. They completed an online survey which asked about their experiences of parental/caregivers’ domestic violence, family bonds and psychological well-being.

Analysis showed that exposure to parental/caregivers’ domestic violence was associated with reduced self-esteem, increased anxiety and weaker family bonds in young adults when compared to those who grew up in non-affected homes.

However, the presence of strong family bonds did have a buffering effect in that, despite growing up in a home affected by domestic violence, some young adults who described strong family bonds also showed increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety.

This buffering effect of family bonds was seen when the domestic violence between their parents/caregivers was reported as either physical or psychological violence.

The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Windsor.

(IANS)

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Frequency of Brain Tumours Increase in Children With Common Genetic Syndrome

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours.

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Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome
Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome, Pixabya

Parents, please take note. The frequency of brain tumours has been underestimated in children with the common genetic syndrome — neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a new study has found.

According to the researchers, this disorder is characterised by birthmarks on the skin and benign nerve tumours that develop in or on the skin. Brain tumours are also known to occur in children and adults with NF1.

They estimated that only 15-20 per cent of kids with NF1 develop brain tumours. But the study, published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice, found that the frequency of brain tumours in this population was more than three times higher.

brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern
Brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern. Wikimedia Commons

“I’m not delivering the message anymore that brain tumours are rare in NF1. This study has changed how I decide which children need more surveillance and when to let the neuro-oncologists know that we may have a problem,” said senior author David H. Gutmann from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of children with NF1 characteristically show bright spots that are absent in the scans of unaffected children. Unlike tumours, they are generally thought to disappear in teenage years, the researchers said.

Since brain tumours can be confused with harmless bright spots, it has never been clear whether finding these abnormalities via MRI should be a cause for concern, they added.

Representation of a Brain Tumour. Flickr
Representation of a Brain Tumor. Flickr

For the study, the team developed a set of criteria to distinguish tumours from other bright spots. The researchers then analysed scans from 68 NF1 patients and 46 children without NF1 for comparison.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too 

All but four (94 per cent) of the children with NF1 had bright spots, and none of the children without NF1 did. Further, in 57 per cent of the children with bright spots, at least one of the spots was deemed likely to be a tumour, the research team found.

Applying the new criteria to MRI scans will help physicians identify probable tumours, but that does not mean that all children with NF1 should be scanned regularly, the researchers cautioned. (IANS)