According to a study in the “Journal of Human Capital”, there is evidence breast-fed babies are more likely to do well in high school and go on to college than bottle-fed babies. Comparing 126 siblings in 59 families allowed researchers to account for such variables as parental intelligence, home environment and socioeconomic status. The researchers concluded an additional month of breast-feeding was linked to an increase in high school grade point averages of .019 points and an increase in college attendance of .014 points. This is information that parents – especially mothers – should stay abreast of.
According to a study done in the Netherlands, children who are overweight at age 6 to 7 have an increased risk of having asthma symptoms when they’re 8 years old. Each year until their children were 8 years old, parents of 3,756 children reported their children’s weight, instances of breathing difficulties and use of steroid inhalers. Children who were overweight between the ages of 6 to 7 were 68% more likely to have asthma symptoms at age 8. However, children who developed normal weight by this age didn’t experience increased risk. This study puts more weight on parents’ – shoulders.
According to a study done at Florida State University, boys who have the “warrior gene” – variants of a specific MAOA gene – are more likely to join gangs. Previous research linked low-activity MAOA variants with a range of antisocial and violent behavior. In fact, variants of this gene can predict which gang members are more likely to act violently and use weapons. The MAOA gene affects levels of neurotransmitters - such as dopamine and serotonin - that are related to mood and behavior; and unfortunately, those variants related to violence are hereditary. They represent a violent cry for more DNA research.
According to a study published in “Child Development”, the more parents know about their teenagers’ friends and activities, the less likely their teens are to have sexual activity. Researchers surveyed 3,206 teenagers yearly for 4 years. All were ages 13 to 18 and from 2-parent families. The researchers asked about sexual and parental relationships. On a 5-point scale, each point higher of personal knowledge for mothers equaled a 3% lower rate of teenage sexual activity. Each point higher of personal knowledge for fathers equaled a 7% lower rate of this activity. However, one extra family activity a week equaled a 9% lower rate. Parenting requires “twogetherness”.