OSU Researchers Look At the Benefits of Family Structure

New study at OSU is suggesting that familial structure like regular bed and meal times and limited time on electronic devices may be linked to better emotional health in preschoolers and this may lower chances of obesity.

Researchers evaluated three household routines when children were 3 years old: regular bedtime, regular mealtime and whether or not parents limited television and video watching to an hour or less daily. Then they compared those to parents’ reports of two aspects of children’s self-regulation at that same age. Lastly, they investigated how the routines and self-regulation worked together to impact obesity at age 11, defined based on international criteria.

All three household routines were associated with better emotional self-regulation – a measure based on parents’ responses to questions such as how easily the child becomes frustrated or over-excited. Those children with greater emotional dysregulation were more likely to be obese later.

Jody Victor: New Study at OSU Finds Kids Notice What Adult’s Miss

Although adults can beat children at most cognitive tasks, new research shows that children’s limitations can sometimes be their strength.

In two studies, researchers found that adults were very good at remembering information they were told to focus on, and ignoring the rest. In contrast, 4- to 5-year-olds tended to pay attention to all the information that was presented to them – even when they were told to focus on one particular item. That helped children to notice things that adults didn’t catch because of the grownups’ selective attention.

The results have important implications for understanding how education environments affect children’s learning.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Educational Science.