Unit 1: Conception, Pregnancy and Prenatal Decisions
The Pregnant Avatar: Seeing Oneself in C-Sections, Surrogates, and Sonograms, Theadora Walsh, Afterimage, 2017
Picture a pregnant Minion or a pregnant Cinderella – now you can see them on your computer! Read about an online pregnancy game. Read about how pregnant woman are now being represented through avatars. This online pregnancy and childbirth, however, is devoid of any human emotion, physical pain or hormonal impact. Learn about the similarities between this game and a clinic for surrogacy in Gujarat, India where “bodies” are chosen to grow children for infertile couples.
Two Dads and a Little Lady: Surrogacy Brings Tennessee Couple the Love of Their Lives, Beverly Prince-Sayward, Gay Parent Magazine, 2016
Read about a homosexual couple’s search for a surrogate mother. Follow the story of Dell and Robert through disappointment and prejudice. Meet their daughter, Heiress, and read their parenting advice as they successfully navigate family life with their seven year old daughter.
The Islamic Republic of Baby-Making, Azadeh Moaveni, Foreign Policy, 2014
In Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sanctioned sperm and egg donations in 1999. This fatwa, or legal pronouncement, led to the opening of 70 fertility clinics nationwide. Shiite and Suni clerics disagree about how the Quran applies to the bioethics of fertility clinics and the reproductive technologies that are practiced there.
From Rubella to Zika: New Lessons from an Old Epidemic, Agnes R. Howard, Commonweal, 2016
The Zika virus is discussed as a modern day epidemic. Parallels are drawn to the Rubella epidemic in the 1960s. The responsibilities of public health officials to contain the spread of this virus are outlined along with the responsibilities of women of child bearing age.
Unit 2: Development during Infancy and Early Childhood
Vaccinations: Who Calls The Shots? Liza Greve, The New American, 2016
The vaccination industry is a 24 million dollar business but does it really prevent disease and should vaccinations be mandated by our government? The possibility of infection after vaccination is discussed in light of the measles outbreak at Disneyland in 2015.
Obesity Prevention in Children, Alvin N. Eden, Pediatrics for Parents, 2017
Based on a longitudinal study in the New England Journal of Medicine, 25 percent of kindergarten children are overweight or obese. Read about these children in early childhood then follow them as they age. Do they lose their “puppy fat” or do they tend to remain overweight? Learn about the consequences of obesity from a medical and psychological perspective. Read as the blame shifts from sugar to parents to technology.
Good News, Bad News, Tom Curry, Exceptional Parent (EP) Magazine, 2014
Suggestions for parents and students to combat intimidation and bullying in the sports arena. Proactive advice includes positive reinforcement, seeking out good leadership and verbalizing concerns.
Unit 3: Development during Childhood: Cognition and Schooling
New Faces of Blended Learning, Michael B. Horn and Julia Freeland Fisher, Educational Leadership, 2017
Take a closer look inside today’s classroom where technology is changing the face of education. Look at the difference that blended learning has created from the pace of the classroom to the successful completion of long and short-term goals. Read about how technology is enhancing the learning process and giving students ownership of their educational goals.
Breaking the Silence, Troy Flint, Education Digest, 2017
“POPS” and “Project WHAT” are support groups for children with incarcerated family members. Learn about the impetus to set up the POPS program – a letter written by a young incarcerated student to his former classmates. Read about the three million children in the United States who carry the stigma, shame and burden of having an incarcerated parent or family member. Discover the social, emotional and psychological effect that this can have on a child.
Immigrant Influxes Put U.S. Schools to the Test, Corey Mitchell, Education Week, 2016
An inside look into some of the issues associated with the integration of immigrant children into the American school system from a cognitive, social and emotional perspective.
Happy, Healthy Kids: Six Ways to Boost Mood, Calm ADHD, and Ease Anxiety, Lisa Turner, Better Nutrition, 2014
Eating healthily can increase brain activity in children. Certain foods can enhance attention and concentration. Deficiencies in vitamins, copper, iodine and other nutrients can adversely affect a child’s brain development. Conversely, appropriate levels of EPA, DHA and PharaGABA have been shown in research studies to enhance brain development.
Giving ADHD a Rest: with Diagnosis Rates Exploding Wildly, Is the Disorder a Mental Health Crisis—or a Cultural One? Kate Lunau, Maclean's, 2014
The rates of ADHD seem to have risen in America and other countries. This article looks to the possible causes such as increased educational pressures. The criteria for ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the effects of stimulants on the brain are discussed.
Unit 4: Development during Childhood: Family and Culture
Tough Fluidity: Complex Considerations for Trans Youth, Deborah June Goemans, The Humanist, 2017
What happens to children when there is a disconnect between their assigned gender and the gender that they identify with? Follow the story of Pat, a transgender child, who has identified as a girl since the age of three years old. Learn about Mike and his agonizing choices. Read about gender dysphoria, puberty blockers and the development of a gender-fluid identity. Think, as you read, about the cisgender and transgender population and the current laws in the United States.
The Drugging of the American Boy, Ryan D’Agostino, Esquire, 2014
The prevalence of ADHD diagnosis in young boys is discussed in relation to their behavior and schooling. The DSM-V criteria for diagnosis are discussed along with the funding for ADHD research.
Responding to Defiance in the Moment, Education Digest, 2017
Why do some children simply refuse to co-operate? Explore eight underlying reasons for non-compliance among children. Read about techniques to de-escalate defiant situations and promote co-operation. Learn about the importance of reflection and evaluation. Read about these while considering the bigger picture of discipline and family harmony.
Time to Lower the Drinking Age, Mary Kate Cary, U.S. News & World Report, 2014
The author makes the case for lowering the drinking age back to 18 as it was in the Reagan era. Lowering the age, she claims, would reduce binge drinking, illegal prescription drug use and sexual assault on college campuses.
When to Worry about Your Child’s Aggression, Jordana Mansbacher, Pediatrics for Parents, 2015
Aggression is a natural part of our psyche but it is a parent’s responsibility to interpret their child’s overt behaviors and decide when intervention is necessary.
Displacement Crisis Grows as Boko Haram Increases Exploitation of Girls, Fredrick Nzwili, Christian Century, 2016
Read about the deplorable kidnappings and use of children by the terrorist group Boko Haram which operates in Nigeria and beyond. Young girls are forced to return home pregnant or carry out suicide missions for their captors.
Unit 5: Development during Adolescence
Dangers of E-cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine among Children, Laura Friedenberg and Gary A. Smith, Pediatrics for Parents, 2017
What are the long term effects of e-cigarettes? Is second-hand vapor as dangerous as second-hand smoke? A 1,500 percent increase in calls to poison control concerning e-cigarette related issues suggests that they might pose a problem. Read about a recent study on e-cigarettes and their effect on children.
Secrets of Our Modern Youth, Brigitte Piniewski, Pediatrics for Parents, 2016
Hormonal chaos can be unleashed when overweight or obese children enter puberty. Learn about the social and emotional implications. Suggestions for prevention are also discussed.
Twenty Insider Tips for Working with Adolescents at Camp, Karen Goeller, American Camp Association, 2016
Increase your positive interactions with adolescents through these tips to promote positive leadership. As the adolescent brain grows and develops, follow these simple strategies to encourage better communication skills and decision making among our youth.
Substance Abuse Concerns: Heroin and Prescription Drug Use on the Rise among Teens, Curriculum Review, 2016
In light of the staggering increase in heroin and prescription drug use, the risk factors, signs and symptoms of addiction are highlighted. Health problems and behavioral changes are also discussed.
High Anxiety: Colleges Are Seeing an Increase in the Number of Students with Diagnosable Mental Illness, Anxiety, and Depression, Sandra Long Weaver, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2016
A review of mental health records on college campuses suggests that 1:4 college students has a diagnosable illness, 1:6 students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year and that 18% of college students have experienced suicidal ideation. Stressors and symptoms are discussed.
High-Tech Bullies, Ingrid Sturgis, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2014
Bullying was once thought to be the domain of middle and high school students but it now appears to be a pervasive problem at the college level. Sites such as "College Wall of Shame" or "Juicy Campus" provide an ideal outlet for stalking, revealing secrets, or masquerading as somebody else.
Pathways to Adulthood, Jeremy Knoll, Education Digest, 2016
Are high school seniors lost? Are they clinging on to the traditional “senior year” activities to compensate for their fear of the future? Knoll suggests that the senior year of high school has become a “holding pattern” for many high schoolers replete with lost opportunities for personal growth creating an environment of “academic atrophy.” Read about his ambitious challenges that he sets for his senior class as he implores them to introspect, reflect and discuss major issues about themselves and the world around them.
Pediatricians’ Primer on Sexting, Pat F. Bass III, Contemporary Pediatrics, 2016
Jessica Logan committed suicide while Amanda Todd resorted to drugs, alcohol and sex. Both were victims of sexting. Read about why 66 percent of teenagers report that they have sexted. Learn about their reasoning that ranges from flirting and attention seeking to fooling around and peer pressure. Learn about the legal implications of sexting and read advice from pediatricians.
Unit 6: Development during Emerging and Early Adulthood
Meeting the Needs of Student Parents, Rabiah Gul and Charles J. Russo, School Business Affairs, 2016
The rate of teen births has declined over the past 20 years. The question of educational goals for pregnant and parenting teens, however, still remains. Join the discussion on whether these teens should be educated separately or differently from their peers. Learn about the laws that protect pregnant and parenting teens. Read about the financial costs involved in implementing these educational requirements.
Stanford Sexual-Assault Case Reveals the Chasm that Privilege Creates, Naeemah Clark, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2016
Read about the sentence that Brock Turner received from the court for raping a woman who was passed out at a college party. Decide for yourself what his Ivy League school and social status had to do with his sentence. Read about his social class, ethnicity and sportsmanship then decide what role they played in the outcome of his court case. Think about the father of this sexual predator and his reaction to his son’s behavior. Finally, decide for yourself how this case has changed our perceptions.
To Hell and Back, Julie Irwin Zimmerman, Cincinnati Magazine, 2016
Learn what addiction feels like from Tracy. Follow her life from a shy, depressed high school student to a homeless heroin addict. Read about how she turned her life around and now advocates for others.
Introducing the Topic of Self-harm in Schools: Developing an Educational and Preventative Support Intervention, Tina Rae, Education & Health, 2016
Join our conversation on self-harm. Read about primary and secondary risk factors such as a sense of hopelessness or low self-esteem. We will define self-harm, discuss examples such as poisoning and mutilation. We will look at school based awareness programs and intervention techniques.
The Real Science behind Concussions, Michelle Taylor, Laboratory Equipment, 2016
Look at brain scans of football players to see CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy – brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head. Read how memory, emotions and behavior are impacted by repeated blows to the head during sports such as football, ice hockey, wrestling, boxing and cheerleading. Recall the movie “Concussion” that was based on Dr. Omalu’s work on the subject in 2015.
Our Miserable 21st Century, Nicholas Eberstadt, Commentary, 2017
It is important to discuss the social, emotional, cognitive and psychological development in relation to the world around us. Eberstadt paints a very gloomy picture of 21st Century America. It is nonetheless, the backdrop that development will occur within. Think about the effect that this will have on the development of the psyche as you read about fewer jobs, less social mobility and lower wages. Add to this the opioid epidemic of our times and the future certainly looks bleak.
Unit 7: Development during Middle to Late Adulthood
PICK Your PATH to Retirement, Jane Bennett Clark, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2015
Retirement has been redefined in the twenty-first Century as a result of increased life expectancy, more years in the work force, better health and higher levels of education.
Combat Age-Related Brain Atrophy, Barry Volk, Life Extension Magazine, 2015
The age-related causes of brain shrinkage are outlined along with suggestions to combat brain loss including the consumption of polyphenols (found in pomegranates) and resveratrol (found in red grapes). Increased intake of B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids also helps to combat brain shrinkage.
The Shock of Elder Abuse in Assisted Living, Lois A. Bowers, Long-Term Living, 2014
Elder abuse including sexual abuse is discussed from the perspective of the nurse aides and the executive directors at assisted living facilities. Suggestions are made to combat this abuse that includes neglect, medication errors and sexually inappropriate behavior.
Unique Magnesium Compound Reverses Brain Aging, Jamie Rivington, Life Extension Magazine, 2016
Learn about how the brain can become more youthful with the addition of more magnesium to the diet in the form of a unique compound developed by MIT scientists. Read how magnesium can improve brain plasticity, impacting cognition, memory and leaning. The potential impact of this research on Alzheimer’s disease and PTSD is discussed.
Could Cooking a Different Dinner Save You from Alzheimer’s? Sarah Klein and Catherine Price, Prevention, 2016
Is it possible that the food that we each could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease? Is it also possible to prevent the disease by eating differently? Consider how insulin levels contribute to this disease. Think about the effects of a high carbohydrate diet or the Mediterranean diet.
No Country for Old People, David Bacon, Dollars &Sense, 2016
Millions of our elderly citizens, according to David Bacon, are living undignified lives in their retirement. He describes their circumstances as “vulnerable and precarious,” even suggesting that their human rights are being violated. He also reports on the blight of immigrants, legal and undocumented, as they try to survive in retirement.