• By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Saturday 08th December, 2007

TUESDAY success 4 all

Answering the question that launched the Success for All programme in 1987 involved a return first principles. We wanted to discover if it would be possible to design a primary school in such a way that every child who went there would be successful from their very first day…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Friday 07th December, 2007

How do you measure what's been tailor-made?

Mental illness might appear to be the most private of struggles. However, the US government is investing over $1 billion in making these interior problems a more public concern and it is marshaling community resources to provide better care for children with mental health problems.The 125 communities receiving the federal funds are developing co-ordinated “systems of care”. They can involve a…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 06th December, 2007

Results of treating postpartum depression are – in a word – depressing

Postpartum depression is not rare; nor is it trivial for being so common. Nearly one in five women experience major or minor depression in the first three months after giving birth. And their children are at greater risk for developing emotional or behavior problems than other children. Therapy can help those who struggle. What isn’t clear is whether their children benefit from the therapy too.…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Wednesday 05th December, 2007

Treating the sins of the fathers benefits the children

Children are not generally immune to their parents’ problems. Children with alcoholic or drug-abusing parents often develop behavior or emotional problems of their own, which commonly dissipate if and when their parents get effective treatment. Interested in this good side-effect of substance abuse treatment programs, researchers Michelle L. Kelley and William Fals-Stewart wondered whether certa…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Monday 03rd December, 2007

Passing down trauma from generation to generation

Does trauma linger in families? Are the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors likely to have been scarred by stressful family environments, guilt, and poor parenting? Or will they have learned resilience from their parents and grandparents? The research on these matters is not clear. Some studies suggest that the offspring of Holocaust survivors are more prone to psychological problems…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Friday 30th November, 2007

Residential treatment nothing to write home about

Americans aren’t sure how they feel about children who commit crimes. Sometimes popular sentiment goes along with the argument for keeping juvenile offenders at home and helping them to work out their problems. Or, as has happened recently, the pendulum swings in the other direction, meting out harsher penalties, including locking up children in residential treatment institutions. The problem w…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 29th November, 2007

Adopted children defy gloomy Leiden logic

Some adopted children have good reasons for being down on themselves. They might have been neglected, abused, or malnourished in institutions before adoption. They might feel shame about being adopted. And if their race or original nationality is different from that of their adoptive parents, they might feel less integrated into their families than non-adopted children. For all these reasons, Femm…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Wednesday 28th November, 2007

Can parents be the anti-drug?

The 'anti-drug' is what the US National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign calls parents, and many more programs designed to curb or prevent substance use among teenagers give at least give lip service to the importance of parents in any such effort. In pursuit of hard evidence that parents are the key to keeping kids straight and sober, Jane Petrie of the Dacorum Primary Health Care Trust in Hertford…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Tuesday 27th November, 2007

Sometimes it can be better to be in with the out-crowd

If you’re a child with behavior problems, and you don’t have a lot of friends – particularly better behaved friends – your bad behavior is likely to continue into your teens. But here’s the surprising part: lacking friends might prevent you from drinking and using drugs. These are the conclusions from a recent Canadian study.Conducted by Frank Vitaro of the University of Montreal and his…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Monday 26th November, 2007

Untangling program design the Tanglewood way

When evaluators of prevention programs try to answer the question, ‘What works?’ they will often give surprisingly short shrift to the ‘what’ part of their enquiry. Read almost any journal article about an intervention, and you'll find a great deal of attention given to assessing outcomes – participants were better behaved, more sober and the like – but much less to how the program acc…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Friday 23rd November, 2007

The rich get richer (and the poor get the blame)

Whether it's a question of academic performance or being good at games, children who do well tend to be confident about their abilities. And children who are confident about their abilities in either quarter, tend to do well. It seems to be that simple: the rich get richer.Over the past 20 years a number of research studies have proved the point: an ego boost is not only the prize of a good perfor…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 22nd November, 2007

Benefit of school mental health programs too much in the mind

It stands to reason that improving the school learning environment could have a number of benefits for students. Clear rules, efficient use of learning time, and a seamless flow between activities can prevent behavior problems and boost students’ motivation. Kimberly E. Hoagwood and her Columbia University colleagues note that many programs designed to improve children’s behavior and overall m…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Wednesday 21st November, 2007

Turning the tide in the lives of teen mothers

It’s a decision that can greatly diminish a young woman’s prospects. Teenagers who decide to have children are more likely to do badly at school and to earn less at work than those who wait. And once they start down this road, it’s difficult to change direction or to turn back. The effects of programs designed to increase teen mothers' self-sufficiency and prevent additional pregnancies have…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Tuesday 20th November, 2007

Corporal punishment hurts over the long run

The statistics add up to a worrisome conclusion. Ninety percent of US children experience corporal punishment at least once in their lives. And the evidence is mounting that using physical means to impose discipline does more harm than good, by making it more likely that a child will become aggressive or depressed. Yet few parents are getting the message. One study found that only fifty percent of…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Monday 19th November, 2007

Stop and think now; cope better later?

It is a common failing among prevention programs that they will demonstrate an immediate impact on children’s behavior around the time they are being applied, but any beneficial effect soon fades. A few years afterwards many of the children who participated will have lapsed into their old, problematic ways. Much rarer – and more sought after, perhaps because they resemble the elegance of inocu…

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