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Children who spend their early lives in institutions experience profound psychosocial deprivation that is associated with altered stress response system development. Here, we used data from a longitudinal randomized controlled trial of foster care for institutionally reared children to examine whether caregiving quality and stressful life events (SLEs) in early adolescence (age 12) influence patterns of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) reactivity. Controlling for the effect of institutional care, higher caregiving quality at age 12 was associated with heightened cortisol and SNS reactivity. However, moderation analysis revealed that the latter effect was only observed among never-institutionalized children, whereas ever-institutionalized children demonstrated a persistently blunted SNS response regardless of recent caregiving quality. Among institutionally reared children, SLEs interacted with prior random assignment to foster care, such that those placed in foster care early in development had a SNS response that approximated never-institutionalized children when SLEs at age 12 were low. In contrast, SNS reactivity was persistently blunted among those with prolonged deprivation, regardless of recent SLEs. Early-life deprivation is associated with persistent blunting of stress response systems, but normalization may be achievable if SLEs are limited following placement into enriched family-based care.
Early adversity has been shown to sensitize individuals to the effects of later stress and enhance risk of psychopathology. Using a longitudinal randomized trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care, we extend the stress sensitization hypothesis to examine whether early institutional rearing sensitizes individuals to stressful events in adolescence engendering chronic low-grade inflammation. At baseline, institutionalized children in Romania (ages 6–31 months) were randomly assigned to foster care or to remain in usual care within institutions. A group of never-institutionalized children was recruited as an in-country comparison sample. At ages 12 and 16, participants reported stressful events. At age 16, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were derived from blood spots. Among children assigned to care as usual, more stressful events at age 12, but not age 16, were associated with higher IL-6. In the same group, stressful events at age 16 were associated with higher CRP, though these effects attenuated after adjusting for covariates. These associations were not observed in the foster care or never-institutionalized groups. The findings suggest that heightened inflammation following stress exposure is one pathway through which early neglect could compromise physical health. In contrast, early family care might buffer against these risks.
The unique gold pendant found at Chrysolakkos, Malia, Crete, in 1930 has been variously interpreted, and usually is said to represent a pair of bees. This vague interpretation is discussed, and it is pointed out that the three discs that are suspended from the pendant closely resemble the fruits of a native Cretan herb, Tordylium apulum. Megascolia maculata, a member of the order Hymenoptera, is proposed as the model for the insects. Like a gold toggle pin, also from Chrysolakkos, the pendant demonstrates that Cretan goldsmiths were capable of creating aesthetically pleasing work by paying close attention to the local flora and fauna and used examples as the models for their unique jewellery
Associations have been observed between socioeconomic status (SES) and language outcomes from early childhood, but individual variability is high. Exposure to high levels of stress, often associated with low-SES status, might influence how parents and infants interact within the early language environment. Differences in these early language behaviors, and in early neurodevelopment, might underlie SES-based differences in language that emerge later on. Analysis of natural language samples from a predominantly low-/mid-income sample of mother-infant dyads, obtained using the Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system, found that maternal reports of exposure to stressful life events, and perceived stress, were negatively correlated with child vocalizations and conversational turns when infants were 6 and 12 months of age. Greater numbers of vocalizations and conversational turns were also associated with lower relative theta power and higher relative gamma power in 6- and 12-month baseline EEG – a pattern that might support subsequent language development.
Adverse developmental outcomes for some children following institutional care are well established. Removal from institutional care and placement into families can promote recovery. However, little is known about how positive outcomes are sustained across adolescence among children with histories of severe deprivation. The present study examined the caregiving conditions that are associated with attaining and maintaining competent functioning (i.e., outcomes within typical levels) from middle childhood to adolescence following exposure to early institutional care. The participants included children with and without a history of institutional care who had competence assessed at ages 8, 12, and 16 years across seven domains: family relationships, peer relationships, academic performance, physical health, mental health, substance use (ages 12 and 16 years only), and risk-taking behavior. The participants were grouped based on whether they were always versus not always competent and never versus ever competent at ages 8 through 16 years. Adolescents with a history of institutional care were less likely to be consistently competent than those who were family reared. Among those who were exposed to early institutional rearing, maintaining competent functioning from 8 to 16 years was associated with spending less time in institutions and receiving higher-quality caregiving early in life. Ensuring high quality early caregiving may promote competent functioning following early deprivation.
Does the use of judicial review by unelected judges harm public support for their decisions? Scholars have often answered this question in the affirmative. We examine the extent to which the use of judicial review reduces the ability of judges to achieve acceptance of their decisions, arguing that decisions made by elected judges may be more palatable to the public. Our experimental evidence demonstrates that the public is less prone to accept both decisions made by appointed judges and judicial decisions that strike down laws. However, the public is no more likely to accept the use of judicial review by an appointed court than an elected court. The results have implications both for institutional design in the American states and the microfoundations of judicial independence.
Children reared in institutions experience profound deprivation that is associated with both heightened levels of psychopathology and deficits in executive functioning (EF). It is unclear whether deficits in EF among institutionally-reared children serve as a vulnerability factor that increases risk for later psychopathology. It is also unclear whether this putative association between EF and psychopathology is transdiagnostic (i.e. cuts across domains of psychopathology), or specific to a given syndrome. Thus, we examined whether global deficits in EF mediate the association between severe childhood neglect and general v. specific psychopathology in adolescence.
The sample consisted of 188 children from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a longitudinal study examining the brain and behavioral development of children reared in Romanian institutions and a comparison group of never-institutionalized children. EF was assessed at age 8, 12, and 16 using a well-validated measure of neuropsychological functioning. Psychopathology was measured as general (P) and specific internalizing (INT) and externalizing (EXT) factors at age 12 and 16.
Institutionally-reared children had lower global EF and higher general psychopathology (P) at all ages compared to never-institutionalized children. Longitudinal path analysis revealed that the effect of institutionalization on P at age 16 operated indirectly through poorer EF from ages 8 to 12. No indirect effects involving EF were observed for INT or EXT at age 16.
We conclude that stable, global deficits in EF serve as a cognitive endophenotype that increases transdiagnostic vulnerability to psychopathology in adolescence among those who have experienced profound early neglect.
Individual differences in social-emotional functioning emerge early and have long-term implications for developmental adaptation and competency. Research is needed that specifies multiple early risk factors and outcomes simultaneously to demonstrate specificity. Using multigroup longitudinal path analysis in a sample of typically developing children (N = 541), we examined child temperament dimensions (surgency, negative affectivity, and regulation/effortful control) and maternal anxiety in infancy and age 2 as predictors of child externalizing, internalizing, dysregulation, and competence behaviors at age 3. Four primary patterns emerged. First, there was stability in temperament dimensions and maternal anxiety from infancy to age 3. Second, negative affectivity was implicated in internalizing problems and surgency in externalizing problems. Third, effortful control at age 2 was a potent mediator of maternal anxiety in infancy on age 3 outcomes. Fourth, there was suggestive evidence for transactional effects between maternal anxiety and child effortful control. Most pathways operated similarly for boys and girls, with some differences, particularly for surgency. These findings expand our understanding of the roles of specific temperamental domains and postnatal maternal anxiety in a range of social-emotional outcomes in the preschool period, and have implications for efforts to enhance the development of young children's social-emotional functioning and reduce risk for later psychopathology.
To assess the extent of error present in self-reported weight data in the Women’s Health Initiative, variables that may be associated with error, and to develop methods to reduce any identified error.
Prospective cohort study.
Forty clinical centres in the USA.
Women (n 75 336) participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS) and women (n 6236) participating in the WHI Long Life Study (LLS) with self-reported and measured weight collected about 20 years later (2013–2014).
The correlation between self-reported and measured weights was 0·97. On average, women under-reported their weight by about 2 lb (0·91 kg). The discrepancies varied by age, race/ethnicity, education and BMI. Compared with normal-weight women, underweight women over-reported their weight by 3·86 lb (1·75 kg) and obese women under-reported their weight by 4·18 lb (1·90 kg) on average. The higher the degree of excess weight, the greater the under-reporting of weight. Adjusting self-reported weight for an individual’s age, race/ethnicity and education yielded an identical average weight to that measured.
Correlations between self-reported and measured weights in the WHI are high. Discrepancies varied by different sociodemographic characteristics, especially an individual’s BMI. Correction of self-reported weight for individual characteristics could improve the accuracy of assessment of obesity status in postmenopausal women.
To evaluate whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as a molecular typing tool for MRSA outbreak investigation.
Investigation of MRSA colonization/infection in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over 3 years (2014–2017).
Single-center level IV NICU.
NICU infants and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Infants were screened for MRSA using a swab of the anterior nares, axilla, and groin, initially by targeted (ring) screening, and later by universal weekly screening. Clinical cultures were collected as indicated. HCWs were screened once using swabs of the anterior nares. MRSA isolates were typed using WGS with core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Colonized and infected infants and HCWs were decolonized. Control strategies included reinforcement of hand hygiene, use of contact precautions, cohorting, enhanced environmental cleaning, and remodeling of the NICU.
We identified 64 MRSA-positive infants: 53 (83%) by screening and 11 (17%) by clinical cultures. Of 85 screened HCWs, 5 (6%) were MRSA positive. WGS of MRSA isolates identified 2 large clusters (WGS groups 1 and 2), 1 small cluster (WGS group 3), and 8 unrelated isolates. PFGE failed to distinguish WGS group 2 and 3 isolates. WGS groups 1 and 2 were codistributed over time. HCW MRSA isolates were primarily in WGS group 1. New infant MRSA cases declined after implementation of the control interventions.
We identified 2 contemporaneous MRSA outbreaks alongside sporadic cases in a NICU. WGS was used to determine strain relatedness at a higher resolution than PFGE and was useful in guiding efforts to control MRSA transmission.
We examined facial emotion recognition in 12-year-olds in a longitudinally followed sample of children with and without exposure to early life psychosocial deprivation (institutional care). Half of the institutionally reared children were randomized into foster care homes during the first years of life. Facial emotion recognition was examined in a behavioral task using morphed images. This same task had been administered when children were 8 years old. Neutral facial expressions were morphed with happy, sad, angry, and fearful emotional facial expressions, and children were asked to identify the emotion of each face, which varied in intensity. Consistent with our previous report, we show that some areas of emotion processing, involving the recognition of happy and fearful faces, are affected by early deprivation, whereas other areas, involving the recognition of sad and angry faces, appear to be unaffected. We also show that early intervention can have a lasting positive impact, normalizing developmental trajectories of processing negative emotions (fear) into the late childhood/preadolescent period.
Two disorders of attachment have been consistently identified in some young children following severe deprivation in early life: reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder. However, less is known about whether signs of these disorders persist into adolescence. We examined signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder at age 12 years in 111 children who were abandoned at or shortly after birth and subsequently randomized to care as usual or to high-quality foster care, as well as in 50 comparison children who were never institutionalized. Consistent with expectations, those who experienced institutional care in early life had more signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder at age 12 years than children never institutionalized. In addition, using a conservative intent-to-treat approach, those children randomized to foster care had significantly fewer signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder than those randomized to care as usual. Analyses within the ever institutionalized group revealed no effects of the age of placement into foster care, but number of caregiving disruptions experienced and the percentage of the child's life spent in institutional care were significant predictors of signs of attachment disorders assessed in early adolescence. These findings indicate that adverse caregiving environments in early life have enduring effects on signs of attachment disorders, and provide further evidence that high-quality caregiving interventions are associated with reductions in both reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder.
We present data produced through archaeological and geological survey, as well as geochemical analysis of the Zaragoza-Oyameles obsidian source area located on the northern and western flanks of the Los Humeros Caldera in eastern Puebla, Mexico. One result of the intensive archaeological surface survey of this obsidian source area was the identification of 117 obsidian flow-band exposures. Geologic samples from 40 of these were submitted for instrumental neutron activation analysis. Eighty-five projectile points collected from the surface were characterized using portable X-ray fluorescence. These analyses identified three sub-sources: Z-O1, Potreros Caldera, and Gomez Sur. The Gomez Sur sub-source appears chemically similar to the previously identified Altotonga source, located 25 km to the northeast. Results of the geological survey help elucidate the relationship of Altotonga obsidian with the Zaragoza-Oyameles source area. The data from the three sub-sources are compared to all consumer site data attributed to the Zaragoza-Oyameles source in the Missouri University Research Reactor database. Results indicate that the majority of consumer samples throughout Mesoamerica match the Z-O1 sub-source, while 4 percent match the Potreros Caldera sub-source. This information, combined with the Gomez Sur data, is discussed in terms of economic relations with the regional center of Cantona. Obsidian procurement and distribution may have been more nuanced than previously modeled. We suggest that a number of potentially independent communities in addition to Cantona may have been involved in distributing this obsidian throughout Mesoamerica.
Low mass, main sequence stars like our Sun exhibit a wide variety of rotational and magnetic states. Observational and theoretical advances have led to a renewed emphasis on understanding the rotational and magnetic evolution of sun-like stars has become a pressing problem in stellar physics. We use global 3D convection and convective dynamo simulations in rotating spherical shells and with realistic stellar stratification to explore the behavior of “middle-aged” stars. We show that for stars with slightly less rotational influence than our Sun a transition occurs from solar-like (fast equator, slow poles) to anti-solar (slow equator, fast poles) differential rotation. We investigate this transition using two different treatments for the upper boundary of our simulations and we hypothesize that this transition from solar-like to anti-solar differential rotation may be responsible for observations of anomalously rapid rotation for stars older than our Sun.
The concepts of nature, culture and heritage are deeply entwined; their threads run together in some of our finest museums, in accounts of exploration and discovery, in the work of artists, poets andwriters, and in areas that are cherished and protected because of their landscapes and wildlife. The conservation ethic - placing a value on the natural environment - lies at the heart of the notion of "natural heritage", but we need to question how those values originated, were consolidated and ultimately moulded and changed over time. In a contemporary context the connections between nature andculture have sometimes become lost, fragmented, dislocated or misunderstood; where did "natural heritage" begin and how do we engage with the idea of "nature" today? The essays collected here re-evaluate the role of culture in developing the concept of natural heritage, reflecting on the shifts in its interpretation over the last 300 years.
Contributors: Martin Holdgate, Marie Addyman,E. Charles Nelson, Darrell Smith, Andrew Ramsey, Viktor Kouloumpis, Richard Milner, Gina Douglas, Penny Bradshaw, Arthur MacGregor, Chiara Nepi, Hannah Paddon, Stephen Hewitt, Gordon McGregor Reid, Ghillean T Prance, Peter Davis, Christopher Donaldson, Lucy McRobert, Sophie Darlington, Keith Scholey, Paul A. Roncken, Angus Lunn, Juliet Clutton-Brock, Tim Sands, Robert A. Lambert, James Champion,Erwin van Maanen, Heather Prince, Chris Loynes, Julie Taylor, Sarah Elmeligi, Samantha Finn, Owen Nevin, Jared Bowers, Kate Hennessy, Natasha Lyons, Mike Jeffries.