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Parents who are worried about their kids being materialistic can curb these tendencies, according to new research. And that's good news, as materialism has been linked to a variety of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, as well as selfish attitudes and behaviors. “Our findings show that it is possible to reduce materialism among young consumers, as well as one of its most common negative consequences — non-generosity — using a simple strategy: Fostering gratitude for the things and people in their lives,” said researcher Dr. Lan Nguyen Chaplin, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and coauthor of the study. After studying a nationwide sample of more than 900 adolescents between the ages of 11 and 17, Chaplin's research team found a link between fostering gratitude and its effects on materialism. This suggests that expressing gratitude may decrease materialism and increase generosity among adolescents, the researchers noted. The researchers first surveyed 870 adolescents, asking them to complete an online eight-item measure of materialism that assessed the value placed on money and material goods, as well as a four-item measure of gratitude assessing how thankful they are for people and possessions in their lives. The researchers then conducted an experiment with 61 adolescents, asking them to complete the same four-item gratitude measure from the first study and an eight-item materialism measure. The adolescents were then asked to keep a daily journal for two weeks. One group was asked to record who and what they were thankful for each day by keeping a gratitude journal, while the control group was asked to record their daily activities. After two weeks, the journals were collected and the participants completed the same gratitude and materialism measures as before. The kids were then given 10 $1 bills for participating and told they could keep all the money or donate some or all of it to charity. Results showed that participants who were encouraged to keep a gratitude journal showed a significant decrease in materialism and increase in gratitude. The control group, which kept the daily activity journal, retained their pre-journal levels of gratitude and materialism. In addition, the group that kept a gratitude journal was more generous than the control group. Those kids donated more than two-thirds of their earnings. Those who were in the control group and simply wrote about their daily activities donated less than half of their earnings. “The results of this survey study indicate that [...]
Sat, Oct 20, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Our bodies can work in mysterious ways, which sometimes give rise to strange medical conditions. In this Spotlight we look at five of these rare diseases. [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
Dogs may have 'a neural representation for the meaning of words they have been taught,' finds a new study, which placed dogs inside a brain scanner. [...]
Fri, Oct 19, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Men experience low energy levels for many reasons, including diet, sleep quality, and exercise patterns, or an underlying medical condition. In this article, we discuss the causes and treatments for low energy in men. [...]
Thu, Oct 18, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression
Feeling tired after eating is usually a natural biological response. Certain types of food and the size and timing of meals can all affect a person's energy levels. Learn more here. [...]
Thu, Oct 18, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
Doctors, sports officials, or employers may request a urine drug screen to check if a person has recently used illegal or prescription drugs. Urine tests can detect many substances, including alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana. The detection times differ, depending on the drug. Learn more here. [...]
Thu, Oct 18, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
A postmortem study of brain tissue tests and interviews of those close to the deceased ties some psychiatric symptoms to early Alzheimer's disease. [...]
Wed, Oct 17, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A new study investigates whether psychopathic traits really do enhance your career prospects. Along the way, it uncovers an interesting sex difference. [...]
Wed, Oct 17, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
The link between alcohol and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unclear. While smoking is the biggest cause and risk factor for COPD, alcohol may also play a role. Whether a person with COPD can drink alcohol safely may depend on factors such as the severity of symptoms. Learn more here. [...]
Wed, Oct 17, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
German researchers have found that laughter, whether it is shared or is directed at the significant other, has an important impact on relationship happiness. If partners handle laughter or being laughed at in a similar way, they tend to be quite content with their relationship. People who are afraid of being laughed at, on the other hand, are often less happy in their relationship. This experience also affects their partner and their sexuality, according to psychologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The study appears in the Journal of Research in Personality. “Earlier studies have shown that people are looking for a partner with a sense of humor and who enjoys a laugh,” said psychologist Professor René Proyer from MLU, who conducted the new study together with Kay Brauer. How people react to being laughed at differs widely: some people are afraid of being laughed at. “They tend to interpret the laughter as something negative or derogative,” Proyer said. However, others enjoy being the center of attention and intentionally provoke situations that make others laugh about them. For many people, being laughed at is an expression of appreciation. Another characteristic is enjoying laughing about others and intentionally making them the butt of jokes. “These three characteristics are personality traits that can occur at the same time, to varying degrees and in different combinations. They can range, for example, from making harmless jokes to ridiculing others. “All of these characteristics are normal, up to a certain point — including being afraid of being laughed at,” Proyer said. For the current study, the psychologists from MLU conducted online interviews with 154 heterosexual couples. The participants separately answered questions about their relationship, for example about how satisfied the partners were with their relationship overall, whether the couple often argued and how satisfied both partners were with their sex life. The researchers also investigated how the study participants handle being laughed at and whether they like to laugh at others. For the subsequent analysis, the researchers first compared the statements made by each person: “We found that partners are often alike with regard to their individual characteristics and also their profiles,” said Brauer. Indeed, if couples have similar thoughts about laughter, they are usually more content in their relationship than others. The researchers observed that provoking others to laugh at you primarily has positive effects: “Women reported more often that they tended to be satisfied with their relationship and felt more attracted to their partner. [...]
Wed, Oct 17, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
Using machine-learning technology, scientists may soon be able to accurately predict a diagnosis of depression by examining Facebook posts. [...]
Wed, Oct 17, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression
While childbirth pain has been linked to postpartum depression, the culprit may be the pain experienced by the mother following childbirth, rather than during the labor and delivery process, according to a new study. Previous research has demonstrated the pain associated with giving birth may increase the risk of postpartum depression but has not specified which part of the labor process — before, during or after delivery — may be the source of the problem. According to the researchers behind the new study, it is the first to differentiate postpartum pain from labor and delivery pain and identify it as a significant risk factor for postpartum depression. “For many years, we have been concerned about how to manage labor pain, but recovery pain after labor and delivery often is overlooked,” said Jie Zhou, M.D., M.B.A., lead author of the study and assistant professor of anesthesia at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Our research suggests we need to focus more on helping new mothers manage pain after the baby is born.” Symptoms of postpartum depression, including extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleep or eating patterns, affect about 1 in 9 women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Postpartum depression can lead to lower rates of breastfeeding and poor bonding with the baby. In the study, Zhou's research group reviewed pain scores from the start of labor to hospital discharge for 4,327 first-time mothers delivering a single child vaginally or by cesarean delivery (C-section) at Brigham and Women's Hospital between June 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2017. They then compared pain scores to the mothers' Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) scores one week after delivery. The researchers found postpartum depression was significantly associated with higher postpartum pain scores. Mothers with postpartum depression demonstrated more pain-related complaints during recovery and often needed additional pain medication, according to the study's findings. Women in the postpartum depression group were more likely to have delivered by C-section, the researchers noted. They also had more reports of inadequate postpartum pain control. “While ibuprofen and similar pain medications are considered adequate for pain control after childbirth, clearly some women need additional help managing pain,” said Zhou. “We need to do a better job identifying who is at risk for postpartum pain and ensure they have adequate postpartum care.” The study was presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2018 annual meeting. Source: The American Society of Anesthesiologists [...]
Tue, Oct 16, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
As well as carrying out a physical examination and gathering a person's medical history, doctors typically order one or more tests to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These tests may include pulmonary function tests, blood tests, and imaging tests. Learn more here. [...]
Mon, Oct 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
The findings of a new study suggest that some antidepressants may block the growth of toxic plaques in the brain, thus helping to treat dementia. [...]
Mon, Oct 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may experience breathlessness. This physical symptom can trigger anxiety and panic in some people. Breathing exercises, medication, and other techniques can help people control these psychological symptoms. Learn more about COPD and anxiety here. [...]
Mon, Oct 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Depression
The first literature review and meta-analysis to investigate omega-3 supplements and anxiety concludes that they could benefit some people. [...]
Mon, Oct 15, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Diabetes can severely impact a person's mental health. This may be why people with this condition are more at risk of death by suicide or due to alcohol. [...]
Sat, Oct 13, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Clonazepam and Xanax both belong to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. As a result, they are quite similar, but doctors may prescribe them for different reasons. Learn more about the differences in their uses, effects, and dosages here. [...]
Fri, Oct 12, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Although the evidence is preliminary, a unique study suggests consumption of fast foods may be linked to depression. In a new review, Australian researchers studied Torres Strait Islanders, indigenous people living on islands in the area of the Torres Strait. In a natural experiment, James Cook University researchers found that among the Islander people, the amount of fish and processed food eaten is related to depression. A JCU research team led by Professors Zoltan Sarnyai and Robyn McDermott looked at the link between depression and diet on a Torres Strait island, where fast food is available, and on a more isolated island, which has no fast food outlets. Dr. Maximus Berger, the lead author of the study, said the team interviewed about 100 people on both islands. “We asked them about their diet, screened them for their levels of depression and took blood samples. As you'd expect, people on the more isolated island with no fast food outlets reported significantly higher seafood consumption and lower take-away food consumption compared with people on the other island,” he said. The researchers identified 19 people as having moderate to severe depressive symptoms: 16 were from the island where fast food is readily available, but only three from the other island. “People with major depressive symptoms were both younger and had higher take-away food consumption,” said Berger. The researchers analyzed the blood samples in collaboration with researchers at the University of Adelaide and found differences between the levels of two fatty acids in people who lived on the respective islands. “The level of the fatty acid associated with depression and found in many take-away foods was higher in people living on the island with ready access to fast food, the level of the fatty acid associated with protection against depression and found in seafood was higher on the other island,” said Berger. Berger explains that the concentration and type of fatty acids is an important variable. Contemporary Western diets have an abundance of the depression-linked fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) and a relative lack of the depression-fighting fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA). “In countries with a traditional diet, the ratio of n-6 to n-3 is 1:1, in industrialized countries it's 20:1,” he said. Sarnyai shares that depression affects about one in seven people at some point in their lives. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by psychological distress and mental ill-health compared with the general population. “Depression is complex, it's also linked to social and [...]
Thu, Oct 11, 2018
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Belly fat, or excess fat around the abdomen, has causes that include lack of exercise, poor diet, and stress. Being more active, improving nutrition, getting better sleep, and cutting alcohol intake can all help people to shed belly fat. Learn more about the causes of belly fat, and how best to lose it, here. [...]
Wed, Oct 10, 2018
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs

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