Author Archive | Gail Fernandez, MD

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Amount of Television Viewing in Early Childhood Negatively Impacts Later Functioning

A recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reports that early television exposure has negative effects on children’s functioning at follow-ups as late as fourth grade. Dr. Pagani and colleagues examined the influence of television exposure at 29 months and changes in exposure by 53 months on psychosocial, academic, and lifestyle characteristics in […]

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Doctor’s Notes Not Recommended for School Avoidance

In the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, child and adolescent psychiatrist Martin Knollmann and colleagues describe school avoidance due to emotional issues and compare it with true truancy. The truant child will skip school to engage in more preferred activities such as spending time with friends or using drugs, and parents are often unaware […]

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Importance of Family Time on Kids Mental Health and Adjustment to Life

The goal of every parent is to raise a happy and well-adjusted child. There are thousands of books which provide information and advice on raising children successfully. Experts in their respective fields strive to give parents the most up to date information whether it is about health, nutrition, child development, education, or parenting. However, one […]

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Adolescent Boys Who Practice Mindfulness Meditation Show Improved Mood and Contentment

Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-evaluative and non-judgmental approach to your inner experience. For example, a mindful approach to one’s inner experience is simply viewing “thoughts as thoughts” as opposed to evaluating certain thoughts as positive or negative. A new study […]

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Therapy Dogs Reduce Stress in Autistic Children

A new study by researchers at the Universite of Montreal published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reveals that Autistic children who are exposed to the presence of a therapy dog have reduced stress levels. “Our findings showed that the dogs had a clear impact on the children’s stress hormone levels,” says Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and […]

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Two and Three-Year-Old Children are Excellent Negotiators

Torgeir Alvestad, a researcher from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden, has written a fascinating thesis paper based on studying the play of two and three-year olds. He finds that children this age are able to negotiate during play. In these negotiations they demonstrated invention, creativity, enthusiasm, industry, involvement, activity and problem-solving strategies. The results show […]

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Binge Eating Severity Found to be Directly Related to Severity of Childhood Sexual or Emotional Abuse

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is an eating disorder in which an individual eats large quantities of food, usually very quickly. However, unlike Bulimia, the person does not “purge” the food by vomiting, use of laxatives, or excessive exercise. A recent study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders by clinical psychologist David M. Dunkley and […]

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Parental Suicide Increases Rate of Suicide and Psychiatric Disorders in Children

In the May 2010 issue of The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the results of a large study at John Hopkins Children’s Center reveals that the suicide rate in children and adolescents who have a parent who also commited suicide is much higher. These children and adolescents also have a much higher rate of suffering […]

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