Researchers from the faculty of forestry and faculty of medicine of the University of British Columbia in Canada found that living in areas with better availability of green spaces may promote early childhood development.
For their research, scientists analyzed the developmental scores of 27,372 children in Metro Vancouver who attended kindergarten in 2005–2011. They estimated the amount of green space around each child’s residence from birth to age five, and assessed levels of traffic-related air pollution and community noise.
Study author Ingrid Jarvis, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of forest and conservation sciences at UBC, says: “Most of the children were doing well in their development, in terms of language skills, cognitive capacity, socialization, and other outcomes. But what’s interesting is that those children living in a residential location with more vegetation and richer natural environments showed better overall development than their peers with less green space.”
A new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia finds that infants who live in homes with domestic violence often have worse academic outcomes in school due to neurodevelopmental lags and a higher risk for a variety of health issues, including gastrointestinal distress, trouble eating, and sleeping, as well as stress and illness.
After administering neurodevelopmental tests during home visits three, six, and 12 months after birth, she was surprised to find the infants of women who had only one male partner who abused them had worse cognitive outcomes compared to infants of women with multiple male partners, only some of whom were abusive.
Lead researcher Linda Bullock, a professor emerita at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, says: “For the women with only one partner who abused them, the infant’s father, the father may not have provided any physical or financial support or played an active role in the child’s life. It can be difficult for busy, single moms struggling to make ends meet to provide the toys and stimulation their infants need to reach crucial developmental milestones.”
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