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‘Young dads at risk of postpartum depression’

Researchers have said that young fathers are at an increased risk of depression.
 
Depressive symptoms increased on average by 68 per cent over the first five years of fatherhood for these young men, who were around 25 years old when they became fathers and lived in the same home as their children.
 
This study is the first to identify when young fathers are at increased risk of developing depressive symptoms.
 
Lead author Craig Garfield, MD, an associate professor in pediatrics and medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said it’s not just new moms who need to be screened for depression, dads are at risk, too, asserting parental depression has a detrimental effect on kids, especially during those first key years of parent-infant attachment.

This paper used data collected from 10,623 young men enrolled in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

It includes a nationally representative sample of adolescents in the US and follows them in several waves over nearly 20 years into young adulthood. 

Eating chocolate may help avoid fight with spouse
 
Researchers have suggested that lower levels of blood sugar may make married people angrier at their spouses and lash out aggressively.

In a 21-day study, researchers found that levels of blood glucose in married people, measured each night, predicted how angry they would be with their spouse that evening.
 
At the end of the 21 days, people who had generally lower levels of glucose were willing to blast their spouses at a higher volume and for a longer time than those who had higher glucose levels.
Blood glucose levels can be brought up most quickly by eating carbohydrates or sugary foods.
 
The study lead by Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, involved 107 married couples.

The study started with the couples completing a relationship satisfaction measure.
 
All participants were given a voodoo doll that they were told represented their spouse, along with 51 pins.

At the end of each day, for 21 consecutive days, the participants inserted 0 to 51 pins in the doll, depending on how angry they were with their spouse.
 
They did this alone, without their spouses being present, and recorded the number of pins they stuck in the doll.
 
Each person also used a blood glucose meter to measure glucose levels before breakfast and every evening before bed for the 21 days.
 
The result: The lower the participants’ evening blood glucose levels, the more pins they stuck in the doll representing their spouse. 

Having a dog helps families of autistic kids
 
Researchers have said that dog ownership may help families of children suffering from autism.

According to the study, the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.
 
Gretchen Carlisle, a research fellow at the Research Centre for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, said kids with autism spectrum disorders often struggle with interacting with others, which can make it difficult for them to form friendships.
 
Carlisle said children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and companionship to the children.
 
Carlisle interviewed 70 parents of children with autism. Nearly two-thirds of the parents in the study owned dogs, and of those parents, 94 percent reported their children with autism were bonded to their dogs. 
 
Even in families without dogs, 70 percent of parents said their children with autism liked dogs. Many dog-owning parents said they specifically chose to
 
“Dogs can help children with autism by acting as a social lubricant,” Carlisle said. “For example, children with autism may find it difficult to interact with other neighborhood children. If the children with autism invite their peers to play with their dogs, then the dogs can serve as bridges that help the children with autism communicate with their peers.”
 
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