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“Students who date in middle school have significantly worse study skills, are four times more likely to drop out of school and report twice as much alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use than their single classmates.” This according to a study by the University of Georgia that followed a group of 624 students over a seven-year period from sixth through twelfth grade.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, a sharp increase from the 2006 estimate of 1 in 110. Reasons for the increase are unclear.

This is interesting. A study done by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine administered an eye-tracking test to 7 month olds followed by a full clinical assessment of the same children at 25 months. The finding? Children who were slow to shift their gaze from one object to another at 7 months were more likely to develop autism later on.

The field of child development is fascinating. Why do children develop certain traits at certain times, and how much of that development is due to nurture vs. nature? A joint study by Harvard University and the University of Michigan revealed that, while children aged 3-6 are aware of unfairness, they’re still more likely to favor themselves in a sharing scenario.

Children’s behavioral issues can arise from a wide variety of sources, one of which is not getting enough sleep. When that happens, the assumption is often that the parents are responsible, but that might not be the case at all. This study of 263 kids between the ages of 6-11 revealed that 44 of them showed signs of sleep apnea either throughout the study (persistent) or at some point during (incident). These children are more likely to exhibit issues in the areas of “attention, disruptive behaviors, hyperactivity, social competency, self-care, and communication.”

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