Posts Tagged Medicine
Children whose fathers are more engaged with them at 3 months have fewer behavioral problems at 12 months, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Oxford studied 192 families recruited from two maternity units in the UK to see whether there was a link between father-child interactions in the early postnatal period and the child’s behavior.
“We found that children whose fathers were more engaged in the interactions had better outcomes, with fewer subsequent behavioral problems,” said Dr. Paul Ramchandani, who led the study.
“At the other end of the scale, children tended to have greater behavioral problems when their fathers were more remote and lost in their own thoughts, or when their fathers interacted less with them.”
The association tended to be stronger for boys than for girls, suggesting that boys may be more susceptible to the influence of their fathers from a very early age, he said.
“We don’t yet know whether the fathers being more remote and disengaged are actually causing the behavioral problems in the children, but it does raise the possibility that these early interactions are important,” he added.
The researchers believe there are a number of possible explanations for the link. The lack of engagement by the father could reflect wider problems in family relationships, with fathers who are in a more troubled relationship with their partners finding it more challenging to engage with their infants, they said.
Alternatively, it may reflect a lack of supervision and care for the infant, resulting in an increase in behavioral problems.
Another possibility is that the infant’s behavior represents its attempts to elicit a parental reaction in response to an earlier lack of parental engagement, the researchers said.
“Focusing on the infant’s first few months is important as this is a crucial period for development and the infant is very susceptible to environmental influences, such as the quality of parental care and interaction,” Ramchandani said.
“As every parent knows, raising a child is not an easy task. Our research adds to a growing body of evidence which suggests that intervening early to help parents can make a positive impact on how their infant develops.”
The research was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Source: Wellcome Trust
An issue that will likely come up in the U.S. health care reform debate has already raised its ugly head for our neighbors to the north.
The question, which has been partially reviewed in some progressive states, pertains to end of life care and personal freedoms. Specifically, is it legal for an individual to request medical assistance to die?
The topic is under investigation as a new report from Quebec that recommends medical assistance to die is expected to reignite the debate over euthanasia in Canada, say editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Advocates of this approach argue that medically assisted death is a patient’s right. It should therefore be considered as an end-of-life care option rather than a criminal act.
“Many physicians and patients will find this a shocking prospect to consider,” write Drs. Ken Flegel, Senior Associate Editor, CMAJ, and John Fletcher, CMAJ Editor-in-Chief. “Frail, dependent patients often feel a burden to their families or caregivers, and the unspoken possibility of a quick resolution to their predicament may complicate an already stressful situation,” they write.
Experts say that if Quebec decides to adopt the recommendations, legal safeguards must be built in to protect health care workers and patients from potential abuses once the changes are made.
Public consultation in Quebec as well as national discussion and involvement of federal lawmakers are needed if changes are to be made to the criminal code.
“The ethics of euthanasia are a familiar debate in Canada; one that may have been theoretical, until recently, because of the tacit assumption that doctors do not kill people. In Quebec, the debate is moving from theory toward practice. Which way will legislation go? Will the rest of Canada follow? Those who care about the answers to these questions must speak up now, and with conviction,” concluded the authors.
- Choosing when and how to die: Are we ready to perform therapeutic homicide? (eurekalert.org)
- Quebec Government Favors Euthanasia (medicalnewstoday.com)