48% of U.S. Schoolchildren Live in Poverty
A new study has discovered that 48% of the nation’s 50 million public school students are in poverty, as measured by whether they qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches. In 17 states, the majority of schoolchildren are poor. Poverty rates are led by Mississippi, where 71% of children are in poverty.
These data represent a startling rise since 2000.
Five Shades of Boredom May Reflect Personality Traits
A new study suggests boredom is more complex than we imagine and in some instances can be tied to serious personality issues.
They posited that boredom can be characterized according to the levels of arousal (ranging from calm to fidgety) and how positive or negative boredom is experienced (so-called valence).
They suggested four states including indifferent boredom (relaxed, withdrawn, indifferent), calibrating boredom (uncertain, receptive to change/distraction), searching boredom (restless, active pursuit of change/distraction) and reactant boredom (high reactant, motivated to leave a situation for specific alternatives).
image via flickr:CC | Nikki Lyn
How Teens Choose Their Friends
“People generally want to think that kids are choosing their friends from the well-known categories like jocks and nerds — that it’s like ‘The Breakfast Club’ and the same at every school,” said Dr. Kenneth Frank, a professor in the College of Education at Michigan State University.
“But our argument is that the opportunities an adolescent has to choose friends are guided by the courses the adolescent takes and the other students who take the courses with them. Moreover, the pattern of opportunities differs from school to school.”
Published in the American Journal of Sociology, the study found that patterns of course-taking are distinctive to each high school.
photo via flickr:CC | mhonpoo
How Social Networks Are Making Us Smarter
Many believe the secret to why some cultures thrive and others disappear may lie in our social networks and our ability to imitate — more important qualities than individual intelligence, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia.
As published by the Proceedings of the Royal Academy: Biological Sciences, investigators show that when people can observe and learn from a wider range of teachers, groups can better maintain technical skills and even increase the group’s average skill over successive generations.
“This is the first study to demonstrate in a laboratory setting what archeologists and evolutionary theorists have long suggested: that there is an important link between a society’s sociality and the sophistication of its technology,” says Muthukrishna, who co-authored the research with UBC Prof. Joseph Henrich.
image via flickr:CC | hanspoldoja
Studying Through Text Messages
Here’s a fun challenge to give to students and most adults; try to wait ten minutes before looking at your phone when you hear your text message notification. It’s a difficult challenge for most people. Study Boost knows this and is trying to leverage that compulsion to check text messages in order to make studying a part of students’ text messaging habit.
Racism Impacts Mental Health of Teens
An international review of published studies has found children and young people experience poor mental health, depression and anxiety following experiences of racism.
“The review showed there are strong and consistent relationships between racial discrimination and a range of detrimental health outcomes such as low self-esteem, reduced resilience, increased behavior problems and lower levels of wellbeing.”
image via flickr:CC | Daviniodus