All Posts in “development”

Does Breastfeeding Contribute to School Readiness?

After examining a survey of 7500 children, researchers suggest that breastfeeding does not contribute to a child’s school readiness.

There is evidence that breastfeeding for three months or more is positively associated with a child’s reading skills. However,  this association seems to be because mothers who breastfeed are often more educated and exhibit behaviors that support a child’s cognitive development.  Instead of breastfeeding, reading to a child and being sensitive and supportive of a child’s development were more likely to predict a child’s success in math and reading.

While these researchers concede that breastfeeding aids development in other ways, they suggest that parental behaviors that support a child’s development are a more direct way of preparing the child for school.

Article: Breastfeeding, Parenting, and Early Cognitive Development, Journal of Pediatrics

The Adolescent Brain Can Still Be Helped By a Mother’s Love

For parents who feel that all influence is lost once their children become teenagers, there’s good news.  Researchers wondered what the effect of warm and supportive parenting would have on brain development of adolescents. To answer this question MRI scans of teenagers at the age of 12 and then 4 years later were collected.  During these four years researchers then measured the frequency of “positive maternal behavior” and how this correlated with brain development.  The conclusion:  warm and supportive parenting by mothers aids brain development in their teenage children.  The researchers conclude that this could have important implications for protecting against mental disorders that have a onset during adolescence.  Abstract: Positive parenting predicts the development of adolescent brain structure: A longitudinal studyDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience