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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 on Parentology.

The notion of helicopter parenting has become more prevalent and largely associated with parents of young children. A new Florida State University (FSU) study finds helicopter parenting continues well into young adulthood and can have devastating impacts on college students.

The FSU study surveyed over 400 college students and found a direct correlation between helicopter parenting and student burnout. Ross W. May, Ph.D. — co-author of the study, and a research assistant professor and associate director of The Florida State University Family Institute — defines it for Parentology as, “Helicopter parenting involves parenting behaviors considered overinvolved, overprotective, and overcontrolling in respect to their child’s age and ability.”

For children to successfully mature into young adulthood, they need to develop and utilize self-control. “Emerging adulthood is a time in which individuals assume more adult responsibilities, thus, helicopter parenting at this stage is likely to interfere with a healthy developmental trajectory,” May states.

Helicopter parenting essentially robs children of the opportunity to develop self-control and competently manage themselves and their emotions.

While most helicopter parents’ behavior begins as an attempt to ensure a child’s success, this research shows it may have the opposite effect. Students lacking self-control often feel overwhelmed by the demands and stresses associated with college, which can lead to burnout. Students suffering from burnout are more likely to have lower grades, drop out of school, and suffer from more severe conditions like anxiety or depression.

Source: Parentology

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.

A new Northwestern University study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes across a variety of sports—including football, soccer, and hockey—have healthier brains than non-athletes.

"No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physical fitness, but we don't always think of brain fitness and sports," said senior author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory (Brainvolts). "We're saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one's sensory environment."

Athletes have an enhanced ability to tamp down background electrical noise in their brain to better process external sounds, such as a teammate yelling a play or a coach calling to them from the sidelines, according to the study of nearly 1,000 participants, including approximately 500 Northwestern Division I athletes.

The study examined the brain health of 495 female and male Northwestern student athletes and 493 age- and sex-matched control subjects.

Kraus and her collaborators delivered speech syllables to study participants through earbuds and recorded the brain's activity with scalp electrodes. The team analyzed the ratio of background noise to the response to the speech sounds by looking at how big the response to sound was relative to the background noise. Athletes had larger responses to sound than non-athletes, the study showed.

Like athletes, musicians and those who can speak more than one language also have an enhanced ability to hear incoming sound signals, Kraus said. However, musicians' and multilinguals' brains do so by turning up the sound in their brains versus turning down the background noise in their brains.

The study was published in the journal Sports Health.

"A serious commitment to physical activity seems to track with a quieter nervous system," Kraus said. "And perhaps, if you have a healthier nervous system, you may be able to better handle injury or other health problems."

Source: MedicalXpress

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

An epidemic of vaping by American teenagers shows no signs of stopping, with 2019 data finding more than a quarter (27.5%) of high school students using e-cigarettes.

The rate was somewhat lower, but still troubling, among middle school kids -- about 1 in every 10 vaped, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And just as happens with traditional cigarettes, the nicotine found in e-cigarettes can hook teens for a lifetime, with uncertain results for their health.

"Our nation's youth are becoming increasingly exposed to nicotine, a drug that is highly addictive and can harm brain development," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an agency news release.

There was a small bit of good news from the new 2019 data: Only 5.8% of high school kids and 2.3% of middle school students smoke traditional cigarettes.

But when all sources of nicotine -- vaping, cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah and smokeless tobacco -- are added up, about 1 in every 3 high school students (4.7 million) and about 1 in 8 middle school students (1.5 million) use some kind of tobacco-derived product, the CDC said.

For the sixth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most widely used tobacco product among high school and middle school students, the report found.

But there was one glimmer of hope: The new report found that almost 58% of current middle and high school students who use tobacco products said they were seriously thinking about quitting all tobacco products, and 57.5% said they'd stopped using all tobacco products for one or more days because they were trying to quit.

The new data was published Dec. 5, 2019, in the CDC's journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.