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Early Puberty in Girls Raises the Risk of Depression

People are sometimes surprised to learn that I give seminars on puberty to parents of kids as young as 2nd and 3rd grade. Puberty is starting earlier, and it helps for both parents and kids to know what is coming their way. Here is some interesting information from Dr. Perri Klass about early puberty in girls. I especially agree with her last paragraph: "Parents should keep in mind that the same protective factors that help children navigate other challenges of growing up are helpful here: All children do better when they have good relationships with their parents, and when they feel connected at school. And we should be talking about the changes to their bodies before they happen, and make

Boys and Body Image

Interesting presentations on Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphia and Self-Image by UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital this morning. I learned a new term, "BIGOREXIA", which turns out to be slang for a disorder I was familiar with-- Muscle Dysmorphia, a subtype of Body Dysmorphic Disorder in which (mostly men) obsessively worry about being underdeveloped or having inadequate muscle mass. While this is a psychiatric disorder, it got me thinking about the development of body image in otherwise healthy boys, and how the media doesn't stop with women when portraying unrealistic body types. Here's a great piece on the topic from Common Sense Media.

An Open Letter To the Athlete We Must Stop Recruiting

Parents, teachers, coaches and kids: this is a worthwhile read. D-1 NCAA coach Becky Carlson, has lots of meaningful messages about helicopter parenting, sportsmanship and teamwork that apply to life on and off the field.

This Is the Teenage Brain On Social Media

Check out this review of a cool new study out of UCLA, where researchers simulated Instagram and measured adolescents' behavior, using functional MRI's to see how teens' brains responded to "likes" on social media. As you might guess, their reward centers lit up when they saw photos with lots of "likes". Teens really are influenced by their peers, even when the peer group is a bunch of strangers on-line.

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