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Obesity Boosts Prostate Cancer Mortality

Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to die of the disease than their leaner peers, a new study shows.

Those are the findings of a new study conducted by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and published in the journal Child Development.

Although there is currently a focus on teaching specific content and factual information in pre-kindergarten and early elementary education, these findings indicate that without a simultaneous focus on promoting self-regulation skills, many children are likely to struggle to keep pace with the academic demands of the early elementary classroom.

The study examined the role of self-regulation in emerging academic ability in 141 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income homes who attended Head Start, the federal preschool program for children living in poverty. The researchers sought to determine the extent to which distinct but overlapping aspects of children's developing self-regulation (cognitive, social-emotional, and temperament-based) are associated with emerging math and literacy ability in kindergarten.

The researchers found that all aspects of children's self-regulation are uniquely related to their academic abilities, over and above their intelligence. They also found that one particular aspect of self-regulation--termed the inhibitory control aspect of brain function used in planning, problem solving, and goal-directed activity--is predictive of all academic outcomes but was particularly associated with early ability in math.

"Children's ability to regulate their thinking and behavior develops rapidly in the preschool years," according to Clancy Blair, associate professor of human development and family studies at the Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study. "By the time children start school, they are expected to be able to sufficiently regulate attention, impulsivity, and emotion so as to communicate effectively and to jointly engage in learning experiences with teachers and classmates.

"For some children, however, particularly children from low-income homes or facing early adversity, self-regulation abilities may be slow in developing, leading to problems in the transition to school and increased risk for early school failure. In the attempt to improve educational achievement and decrease inequities in educational progress associated with socioeconomic status, it is important to understand the nature of multiple influences on early progress in school."

The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Reference Source 89
March 30, 2007

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