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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Jim Liebelt

Jim Liebelt's Blog

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by eMarketer.

Poor school attendance impacts a child's future, not just through their educational achievement but also socially and developmentally.

Pupils with mental and neurodevelopmental disorders or who self-harm are more likely to miss school through absenteeism and exclusion than their classmates.

Now researchers say these absences are potential indicators of current or future poor mental health and could be used to target vital assessment and potentially life-changing early intervention.

A study led by Swansea University's Professor Ann John, highlighted the importance of integrated school-based and healthcare strategies to support young people's engagement with education.

Professor John said: "Children with poor mental health, who are neurodiverse or who self-harm often struggle at school.

"Health and educational professionals, services, and policymakers should be aware that children with poor attendance may be experiencing emotional ill health, whether this is diagnosed in school or early adulthood.

"Absences and exclusions may provide a useful tool to identify those who require additional support. Early intervention will not only reduce immediate distress and difficulties for the young person but also may also interrupt poor life trajectories and improve outcomes in later life."

The new study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, examined the association between attendance (absences and exclusions) and neurodiversity, mental health, and self-harm in 437,412 Welsh school pupils aged from seven to 16 between 2009 and 2013, found that children and young people with a neurodevelopmental disorder, mental disorder, or who self-harm diagnosed and recorded before the age of 24 are much more likely to miss school than their peers.

If absence results in social isolation and poorer academic performance, this could go on to exacerbate mental health and attendance issues.

Professor John said, "Attendance and exclusion data could provide useful information about where to focus limited resources. School-based mental health prevention strategies may also help build resilience, enabling pupils to develop strategies for managing and improving their mental health and wellbeing as well as to understand when and how to seek additional help."

Source: MedicalXpress
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-school-crucial-role-mental-health.html

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by eMarketer.

Gen Zers in the U.S. make heavy use of many social networks to create connections, consume multimedia, play games, and share content.

The social networks with the most monthly Gen Z users are Snapchat (42.0 million), TikTok (37.3 million), and Instagram (33.3 million). These remain the most popular among Gen Z over the next four years, according to our estimates.

This pecking order will persist through 2025, but the top three platforms will grow at different rates. TikTok will pass Instagram to claim the No. 2 spot in 2021 and continue to close the gap with Snapchat over our forecast period.

FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Reddit also have relatively large followings. Their reach will continue to grow steadily as Gen Z ages out of popular teen platforms.

Source: eMarketer
https://www.emarketer.com/content/gen-z-preferred-social-platforms?ecid=NL1001

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

A new study is highlighting yet another consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: It has likely made it even harder for kids with obesity to manage their weight.

The findings, researchers said, are no surprise. Many adults, faced with normal life being upended during the pandemic, have seen changes on the bathroom scale.

It's also clear kids have not been spared, either. A recent government study found that during the first nine months of the pandemic, U.S. children and teenagers gained weight at twice the rate they had in the two years prior.

And while COVID restrictions have eased, life is not back to "normal," said Bradley Appelhans, the lead researcher on the new study.

"Kids are back in school now, but some activities are still curtailed," said Appelhans, an associate professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

For the study, Appelhans and his team tracked 230 children from urban, low-income families who were enrolled in a clinical trial testing an obesity treatment program — either before or during the pandemic.

Over one year, these kids typically saw an increase in their body mass index (BMI) — a measure of weight in relation to height. That stood in contrast to children in the program pre-pandemic: They typically showed a decrease in BMI that was sustained over one year.

The researchers suspect the findings reflect the conditions of the pandemic, rather than an ineffectiveness of tele-sessions.

"Even though families were getting support, kids were still stuck at home, with nothing but the refrigerator and video games for distractions," Appelhans said.

School, he noted, gives kids outlets for exercise and free or reduced-cost meals, as well as a general structure for the day.

That lack of daily structure could be one of the major reasons for kids' weight gain during the pandemic, said Amanda Staiano, a researcher who was not involved in the study.

The findings were recently published online in the journal Obesity.

Source: HealthDay
https://consumer.healthday.com/11-18-pandemic-curbed-kids-efforts-to-lose-excess-weight-2655746224.html

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