avatar Later School Start Times Leads to Better Academic Achievement Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Jul 12, 2010

A recent article in the Scientific American reviewed research about effects of school start time on academic achievement. It probably comes as no surprise to parents of teens, that starting in adolescence, children have “delayed sleep phase” where they start sleep later and sleep later in the morning.  In addition, for optimal functioning, teenagers should  …Read More

avatar Gender Differences in Math Achievement Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Jul 8, 2010

A recent article in the Monitor on Psychology  entitled Math Plus Culture Equal Gender Gap?  reviewed  the research on gender and math achievement.  Gender differences in mathematics has been one of the most debated and lively topics in education psychology.  Given the popularity of this topic, a large body of research has been conducted that  …Read More

avatar Ways To Combat Stress When Looking For A Job Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Jul 2, 2010

With the slowed economy, looking for a job is often a full time job. Furthermore, a recent article in Psychology Today (entitled Conducting a Rational Job Search) highlighted that finding a job is a very stressful process.  The stress involved in this process often leads to task-avoidance.  Oftentimes, the stress involved in the job search  …Read More

avatar The True Nature of Happiness Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Jun 9, 2010

I recently read an interview with Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D., author of “Stumbling on Happiness” and Harvard professor of psychology, where he discussed his personal journey to researching happiness. He discussed that he first became interested in researching happiness after he experienced a lot of personal difficulties (problems with family, friends as well as deaths of  …Read More

avatar Pesticides and ADHD Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
May 25, 2010

A research study linking exposure to pesticides to an increased risk of ADHD has received extensive coverage in the media. The study found that children with higher than average levels of pesticide markers were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The link between pesticides and attentional problems may be related to the  …Read More

avatar The Nature-Nurture Model and Reading: Does Genetic Makeup or Instruction Determine Early Reading Skills Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
May 17, 2010

Are good readers born or is it taught skills? A recent study conducted by researchers at Florida State University examined differences in reading performance among identical and fraternal twins enrolled in first and second grade on reading performance.  The identical twins tended to perform similarly on standardized measures, indicating that genetics play the largest role  …Read More

avatar Should Kids Be Paid For Good Grades? Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
May 7, 2010

I distinctly remember sitting in my first undergraduate educational psychology class and the professor putting forth the question, “should parents provide financial incentives for earning good grades” to spark interest. For the remaining 45 minutes of the lecture, the professor described how paying children for grades was a bad idea because it resulted in children  …Read More

avatar Getting off the couch… An approach that may help people exercise more frequently Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Mar 31, 2010

  A number of well conducted studies have clearly demonstrated that exercise offers a number of physical and mental benefits. Like many people, I know that exercise makes me feel better and reduces my stress significantly but I too often fail to go for a run or make it to yoga because my  to do  …Read More

avatar Are All Forms of Praise Created Equal? Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Mar 1, 2010

Most parenting advice resources highlight the importance of praising your child. Upon further investigation, however, it appears as if not all praise is created equal. Below I briefly summarize and evaluate different types of praise. 1. Evaluative Praise vs. Acknowledgement Praise • Evaluative praise provides a comment on the child’s desired/appropriate behavior that includes a  …Read More

avatar "Catching the Positive" Posted by Dr. Katie Shepard
Feb 8, 2010

One way to help your children behave is to “catch them being good.” Why is it important to “catch the good?”  Research has shown that children often engage in behaviors as a way to get their parents attention. So, if sitting quietly at dinner does not grab their parent’s attention, they may resort to misbehaving  …Read More