BE WELL: Bullying common on children’s shows
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Bullying common on children’s shows
Bullying incidents are commonly seen on popular children’s television programs, Indiana University researchers found. They analyzed three episodes each for 50 of the most popular television shows for children ages 2 to 11 between December 2006 and March 2007.
Some form of aggression was portrayed on 92 percent of the programs, most commonly verbal types such as insulting and teasing, but also nonverbal types such as eye rolling, finger pointing, and ignoring.
In the shows that displayed aggression, the researchers recorded an average of 14 incidents per hour. In most cases, those being socially aggressive were considered popular or attractive, and were not punished or rewarded for their behavior.
BOTTOM LINE: Bullying incidents are common on popular children’s television programs.
CAUTIONS: The study was not designed to look at the effects, if any, that bullying incidents portrayed on TV have on the children watching.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Journal of Communication, September
City and suburban infants get different respiratory infections
Infants living in the city may be exposed to different patterns of viral respiratory infections compared with infants living in the suburbs, which may be one reason asthma is more common among urban children, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
From 2005 to 2008, researchers collected nasal samples from 515 infants in Boston, New York, Baltimore, and St. Louis when they had a respiratory infection and when they didn’t. They compared them to samples of 285 infants from suburban Madison collected from 1998 to 2001. Infants in the study had at least one parent with asthma or allergies. Parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire about the child’s respiratory health every three months during the first year of the life.
Infants living in the suburbs were more likely to get the common cold while infants in the inner city were more likely to contract adenoviruses, which can lead to more persistent and longer-lasting respiratory symptoms and, the authors wrote, could affect development of the lungs and airways.
While city infants were less likely to contract a respiratory illness, those urban infants who contracted a respiratory illness most often were more likely to have another child in the home, to be exposed to mouse protein in dust in the infant’s bedroom, or to have eczema. The researchers suggest other environmental exposures may contribute to the development of asthma.
BOTTOM LINE: Infants in the city may be exposed to different patterns of viral respiratory infections compared with infants in the suburbs.
CAUTIONS: Infants in the city more often came from minority families with a lower socioeconomic status compared with suburban infants. The demographic differences may have contributed to the different patterns in respiratory illnesses.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Journal of Infectious Diseases, Sept. 26