When Are Teens Comfortable Talking With Their Moms About Sex?

Parents are a useful resource for teenagers to learn about sex and sexual health. Of course, that doesn’t mean teens are going to go out of their way to engage their parents in discussions about sex. A new study from researchers at University of New Brunswick sheds light on what factors play into adolescents’ willingness…

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What Friendships Can Do for Mental Health in Old Age

It seems self-evident that having rewarding social connections should be able to help with healthy aging, but framing that intuition in a scientific way turns out to be surprisingly complicated. There are a couple reasons why that’s the case. The first is that loneliness influences and is influenced by other aspects of our behavior in…

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Short Interval Between Children Ups Risk of Divorce

We all like a fairytale love story, but psychologists are just as interested in stories about marriages that fall apart. That much is clear from a study I wrote about last year, in which researchers surveyed a couple thousand residents of Denmark about their reasons for divorce. Participants found a whole range of shortcomings in…

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Do Children Imitate Differently Across Cultures?

Children have a lot to learn, and one of the ways they meet that formidable challenge is by imitating others. They’ll imitate the good things see. They’ll imitate the bad things they see. As I’ve written about before, they’ll even imitate robots. What’s less clear is whether children in different cultures practice the art of…

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What Happens When College Students Disclose Mental Health Problems?

To disclose or not to disclose? For people with mental health conditions, it’s a common question. On one hand, disclosing your mental health condition is a step toward obtaining accommodations or support in your everyday life. On the other hand, with disclosure comes the risk of running into mental health stigma. A recently published study…

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In Neighborhoods With Faster Internet, Children Feel Worse About Their Lives

Who wouldn’t want a faster internet connection? Kids who want to feel good about their lives, maybe. A new analysis of data from 6,300 children carried about by researchers at University of Sheffield has come up with the finding that in neighborhoods with faster broadband speed, children and teenagers report feeling worse about their lives.…

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Older People Are More Attentive to Positive Information. What About Older Dogs?

Being able to focus on the positive is something we can all benefit from, and it may be a skill that becomes easier with age. Psychology researchers have found that older adults tend to remember positive information better than negative information relative to younger adults. This phenomenon has become known as the “positivity effect,” a…

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School Cafeteria Setup Can Promote Healthy Eating Habits

The idea of “nudges” often comes up in research on the psychology of dietary choices. The theory being that certain cues can “nudge” people toward healthier eating habits. I wrote about this topic a few months ago in relation to a study suggesting that using certain types of plates might encourage children to eat more…

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Can a Cartoon Character Fight Stigma Against Autism?

Cartoons might seem like nothing more than a fun way to pass the time. Presumably, though, children who watch cartoons are integrating the things they see into how they view the world, as they do with more or less everything they encounter. That realization that cartoons can shape children’s attitudes is probably part of the…

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Breakfast Habits and School Performance

“Dear diary, today I had cereal and orange juice for breakfast.” That kind of diary entry might make for fairly boring reading, but it’s exactly what the authors of a recent study on nutrition habits and school performance were interested in. In the study, 294 British teenagers kept food diaries for a week, reporting the…

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