A new, one-of-a-kind, study — by researchers at the University of New Brunswick — suggests that war has distinct negative effects on youths from military families.
The study, lead by University of New Brunswick researcher Deborah Harrison, delves into the minds of adolescents attending Oromocto High School. The small town of Oromocto, N.B. was chosen for its close proximity to the Canadian Forces Base of Gagetown—which is one of the largest military training facilities in Canada.
Dr. Harrison and her team discovered that students from military families were not only more susceptible physiological stress, but were also more inclined to take on the emotional burden that the remaining parent was feeling.
“We found that family life was almost always negatively affected by an injured parent’s symptoms of anger and depression,” said Dr. Harrison. Students also “reported feeling very isolated,” with the results showing that “adolescent girls in particular . . . → Read More: Think of the children: Unrealized repercussions on adolescents of military families
YouTube has exposed the world to the light-hearted likes of Justin Bieber, the Evolution of Dance and the “leave Britney alone” guy—but could this seemingly blithe medium carry hidden dangers for Canada’s youth? In an era of omnipresent online video where kids can—quite literally—carry the Internet with them in their pockets, a University of Guelph study purports that YouTube videos depicting self-harm can negatively impact some youth by making destructive behaviors seem normal.
Professor Stephen Lewis (Credit: Universit of Guelph)
The researchers, led by University of Guelph psychology professor Stephen Lewis, studied the top 50 YouTube videos showing a person engaging in an act of self-harm. These videos–which had a combined total of over two million views—contained both live acts as well as graphic photographs and text. The most common form of self-harm depicted was cutting.
According to Lewis, between 14 to 24 per cent of youth . . . → Read More: YouTube Youth: Guelph Study Finds Danger in Catching it on Video
When the word “eating disorder” is brought up, anorexia or bulimia often spring to mind. However binge eating, although a less well-known disorder, is currently affecting many Canadians in a serious way. As such, researchers at the University of Calgary are working on a unique new project that aims to help binge eaters help themselves.
Binge eating disorder is a mental condition that occurs when you cannot control what—or how much—you eat in a short period of time. Victims of the disorder often feel depressed and guilty as they eat, but are unable to stop.
PhD candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Calgary Phil Masson has developed a self-help manual that aims “to help people stop binge eating by learning healthy ways to cope with stressful situations, and giving them new strategies for controlling their emotions that don’t include food.” While self-help manuals are a common part . . . → Read More: Helping You Help Yourself: University of Calgary Researchers Try Self-Help Manual to Treat Binge Eating
Photo Credit: Danny Abriel/Dalhousie University
While party-goers may love the convenient allure of mixing energy-boosting drinks with alcohol—which is a natural depressant—a new study from Dalhousie University shows that this popular combination can be more dangerous than practical.
In a recent study published in Drug and Alcohol Review, researcher Sean Barrett found that consuming energy drinks—such as Red Bull or Rockstar—led people to drink twice the amount of alcohol. According to Barrett, those studied reported that “if they had an average of four drinks when they weren’t mixing with energy drinks, they would have around eight if they were.”
While the exact cause of this occurrence still requires further research, there may be a variety of social and physiological factors at play. For one, many people consuming drinks mixing hard liquor and energy beverages are in a social situation—and people tend to drink more in a social environment. . . . → Read More: Skip the Red Bull at that Holiday Party: Study Shows People Drink Double the Alcohol When Also Consuming Energy Drinks
Photo Credit: killrbeez
It’s officially late-December and, as a result, it’s difficult to go anywhere without being slapped in the face with the red-and-green sparkling garnishes that come along with the holiday season. Unfortunately, as researchers from Simon Fraser University attest, this public Christmas-décor mania has emotional consequences for those that don’t celebrate the holiday.
Led by Simon Fraser University professors Michael Schmitt and Stephen Wright, researchers conducted a series of experiments involving self-reported data from university students.
In both experiments, participants were asked to complete questionnaires about their moods; the trick was that the students filled out their questionnaires in one of two rooms—one of which had a 12-inch Christmas tree displayed on the desk.
In the first study, those who had previously reported celebrating the Christmas showed more positive moods in the company of the tree, while those that previously reported not celebrating the holiday responded . . . → Read More: Lights, Trees, Santa! — Christmas Displays Not So Merry for Everybody
Drop in on any sandbox or teddy bear tea party—it’s no secret that kids have pretty big imaginations. But, according to new research conducted at the University of Waterloo, youngsters’ mental representations may be even more vibrant than were previously understood.
In a series of studies published in Cognition, led by psychology scholar Agnieszka Fecica, researchers have discovered that preschool-aged children mentally simulate character experiences when listening to stories being read out loud.
Lead author Agnieszka Fecica (University of Waterloo)
The researchers asked four- and five-year-olds to listen to a story, one sentence at a time, on a computer; using this method, the researchers found that the children took varying amounts of time to process each sentence depending on what the character in the story was doing. That is, the children altered the time it takes them to process parts of a story based on their perceived ideas . . . → Read More: Imagination as Creation: Narrative Comprehension in Preschoolers
Stressed out? Forget that yoga class or meditation session. According to a new study, seeing meat could calm you down.
Studying ideas of priming and aggression, McGill University researcher Frank Kachanoff exposed a cohort of male subjects to an experiment in which they were able to respond with varying levels of aggression to either pictures of meat or pictures of neutral content. Kachanoff found that viewing images of ready-to-eat meat significantly reduced aggression in participants.
Kachanoff’s findings seem to go against longstanding caveman-like ideas of primal fighting over meat on the table. But, Kachanoff asserts that the results, while surprising, make sense from an evolutionary perspective. Our ancestors probably passed down this mealtime tranquility, as prepared meat likely signified feelings of being encircled by family and friends.
Still, as participants in this study were limited to men, it might be interesting to see if . . . → Read More: Seeing Steak for Stress Relief