Discovered: kids shrug off the severity of cyberbullying, the unwed couple babyboom is afoot, and worrying and intelligence go hand-in-hand.

  • Kids say bullying and cyberbullying are not the same thing. Cyberbullying may be a recurring segment on The Today Show but kids say online pestering is more innocent than traditional forms of bullying. That's according to a new study at the University of British Columbia that took 17,000 Vancouver students from grades 8 to 12 and a follow-up study with 733 kids aged 10 to 18. "According to the study’s young participants, 95 per cent of what happens online was intended as a joke and only five per cent was intended to harm," reports Michael Aynsley at Open File. “What we’re seeing is that kids don’t equate cyberbullying with traditional forms of schoolyard bullying," stated Jennifer Shapka, an associated professor at UBC. “It is clear that youth are underestimating the level of harm associated with cyberbullying." The study recommends specific anti-bullying initiatives to target online hazing. [Open File]
  • One in four first babies are born to unwed couples who live together. The changing nature of family dynamics is on the agenda thanks to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which finds that "found that nearly one in four first-born babies, or 22 percent, are born to unmarried couples living together. The numbers jumped dramatically from 12 percent in 2002," reports ABC News. "More people are cohabitating and more people cohabitating are likely to have children," lead author Gladys Martinez told the news network. "We were surprised by the numbers because it was quite a jump from such a short time, just 10 years ago." [ABC]
  • Worrying and intelligence go hand-in-hand. Nobody likes to be a worry wort but everybody envies intelligence. Unfortunately, according to a new study by scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the two traits are associated. "in those diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder) high IQ was associated with a greater degree of worry. The correlation between IQ and worry was significant," reads the study, published in Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience. The authors say the correlation may be because excessive worrying and intelligence co-evolved together. "While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be," said author Dr. Coplan. "In essence, worry may make people 'take no chances,' and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species." [Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience]
 
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