When most people think of the OU presence in Tulsa, OU – Tulsa College of Medicine comes to mind, along with all of the wonderful clinics that are run out of the facility.  But most don’t realize that the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education also has a presence at the OU – Tulsa campus that is making a difference in the lives of children from birth to eight in Tulsa County.


The Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) began in Tulsa in 2006 with only one employee.  Since then, it has grown to ten-full time employees and fifteen part time employees who are dedicated to early childhood education, research and outreach.  Back in 2006, one of the first projects given to ECEI was the Early Childhood Pilot program, requested by the Oklahoma State Legislature and directed by the State Board of Education.  The program was established to provide infant and toddler programming to at-risk children in rural and urban areas of the state.  ECEI was tasked with, and still evaluates the program and continues to work toward expanding quality infant and toddler services statewide.


Currently, ECEI’s largest project is serving as an evaluator for the Tulsa Educare sites.  At this time there are two Educare sites within Tulsa Public Schools with preparations underway to open a third.  Educare, a national program with sites across the United States, serves children age birth to five from low-income families by preparing them for school.  The Educare sites are commonly located next door to the elementary school the child will attend, making for a smooth transition from one school to the other.  ECEI collects data from the Tulsa sites and evaluates the children’s progress while looking at the quality of the classroom and how it affects the children’s development and learning.  They also study teachers and parents to see how their beliefs and practices affect a child’s success in school.  ECEI then takes their findings and compares them with other Educare sites across the country. “It’s pretty interesting to work across the sites like that and get to know the other evaluators and then get to see the work being used pretty immediately for advocacy purposes,” said Diane Horm, Director of ECEI.  “There are site-to-site differences but generally the kids at all of the sites are progressing.”


ECEI is partnering with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and researchers from other Educare sites across the country for an Educare Randomized Control Trial.  The trial randomly assigns children from birth to age three to Educare and then follows them over time, which Horm described as “the gold standard of scientific studies to prove that your program is effective.” Horm continued, “We will be looking closely to see the impact Educare has on cognitive, language and social-emotional development of children attending Educare versus their peers in other environments.”  They will be able to follow the Educare graduates through their Kindergarten year to see how they are progressing.  ECEI is one of five sites participating in the study.


Half of Educare’s funding comes from early childhood Head Start and the rest from an anchor funder. The anchor funders for Educare are generally well-known philanthropists, Warren Buffett is the anchor funder for the Omaha Educare site, Bill Gates in Seattle and the George Kaiser Family Foundation is the anchor funder for the Tulsa Educare locations. Kaiser’s funding, in turn, allows OU to do the evaluation research for Educare.


Much of what is occurring with the Early Childhood Education Institute at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Tulsa campus would not be possible without the generous support of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The partnership between ECEI and the George Kaiser Family Foundation initiated in 2006 and has not only made a significant impact on early childhood education and research in Tulsa, but also the lives of many children as well future teachers. Horm added, “Through endowing my position, GKFF has played a major role in the creation of an institute that can partner with community agencies to do applied research and evaluation to strengthen programs for young children and their families.”


In the late 1990s, the Kaiser Family Foundation helped set up a scholarship for Tulsa Community College students to pursue an associate’s degree in early childhood education. Soon, there were a number of graduates, but there wasn’t an institution around that offered a four-year degree in early childhood education. So, the Kaiser Family Foundation entered into a relationship with OU that developed two new faculty positions at the OU – Tulsa campus to set up and run the second two years as a bachelors completion program so those students could complete their bachelor’s degree.


The loan forgiveness program, only available at the OU – Tulsa campus, was also developed at that time. As the student goes through the second two years of the program, they accrue debt. After graduation, for each year these students work in Oklahoma in any early childhood setting, which is broadly defined as a licensed or approved facility, the Kaiser Foundation will erase their debt by 25%.  Along with the scholarship program through Tulsa Community College and then the loan forgiveness program, a student can get a four year degree and be debt free within four years of graduation, which is nearly unheard of in this day and age.  Through the program the Kaiser Foundation is ensuring that the best and brightest teachers are staying in Oklahoma to prepare infants and toddlers for a lifetime of learning.


Horm added, “The loan forgiveness program enables students who would not have the financial resources to pursue bachelors level early childhood teacher preparation.  So, it’s great for the students.  However, it’s also great for Oklahoma children and families because the payback is teaching in Oklahoma in an early childhood setting for four years.  The genius of the Kaiser loan is that it funds Oklahoma students who then give back to Oklahoma’s young children and families.”

Marilou Hyson: She says all children "are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning."

Marilou Hyson: She says all children “are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning.”

By NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Published: 11/12/2012  2:23 AM
Last Modified: 11/12/2012  4:14 AM

Getting your child to become an engaged learner – one who is motivated, persistent and derives pleasure from the act of learning – may seem to some parents like a difficult task.

“Sometimes people think that some children are just born more interested or motivated or curious and some children are just not,” said Marilou Hyson, an early childhood development and education expert who recently conducted a seminar on the topic at OU-Tulsa. “Children may show it in different ways, but we really know that all children, including children who have disabilities or special needs, are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning.

“It’s the experiences that they have and the support that they have in their environment that makes a difference.”

Hyson offered six practical tips, based on research, that parents can use to make their young children more engaged learners.

1. Establish a warm relationship with your child.

“The research says that if children have secure, confident relationships with their parents, they’re more likely to explore and persist when they’re faced with difficult tasks,” she said.

2. Be passionate and enthusiastic about your work and hobbies.

Show your enthusiasm for the things that you enjoy doing, Hyson said, whether that is cooking, traveling, repairing cars or exploring music.

“It’s really important for young children to see their parents as role models and to see their parents trying out new activities,” she said.

Talk out loud about your problems and make sure they see you work to solve them.

“Children need to learn that if you try something and it doesn’t work, maybe there is another way to do it. And if you get a little frustrated, that’s all right, you can deal with the frustration.”

3. Pay attention to your child’s interests.

If your child is captivated by the birds flying in the yard, or loves dinosaurs, or enjoys music, work to develop those interests, Hyson said.

4. Give your child unstructured time.

Hyson said giving your child time that is not structured is a gift that will allow them to explore, play and be creative.

“It’s really hard for children, or adults, to become deeply involved in learning and exploring new challenges if they’re constantly rushing from one experience to another.”

5. Be involved.

“Children need adults to be with them, to partner with them on what the children are doing, whether it’s doing a puzzle or looking at a book together or looking at old family pictures together,” Hyson said.

At the same time, build upon what your children are already doing, extend their thinking and challenge them to try something a little more difficult.

6. Don’t reward your child all the time.

“There’s a lot of research that shows that it is better not to reward children all the time for performing well and learning but to emphasize how satisfying it is to work hard, to master challenges, to learn new things,” Hyson said.

Constantly rewarding a child may actually decrease their motivation to learn, she said.

Original Print Headline: Kids can be engaged learners, with help

Oklahoma legislature’s new method of grading school effectiveness has drawn criticism from OU professors along with other Oklahoma teachers and school superintendents.

OU professors join other Oklahoma teachers and school superintendents in disagreement with the state’s new method of grading school effectiveness.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education released the first school report cards that grade all Oklahoma public schools on an A-F scale on October 25, according to the Norman Transcript.

The grades are based off grade-level performance standards, graduation and dropout rates and attendance rates for elementary schools, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s website.

The purpose of this new grading system is to create accountability and transparency among schools while making the report simple enough for parents to understand, according to the department’s website. It is meant to empower school administrators, parents, classroom teachers and citizens to make informed choices and identify ways to strengthen and improve schools to benefit Oklahoma students.

“It all comes down to how do we keep schools accountable for educating children,” said Teresa DeBacker, associate dean of OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education and a professor of psychology.

Many teachers, professors and school administrators, however, disagree with this new method, DeBacker said.

There’s a lot of controversy about how to measure school effectiveness, she said. When students come into a classroom with different levels knowledge, different learning rates and different testing skills, it’s unfair to measure the teacher’s ability and judge the school from one test the students take at the end of the year, she said.

“How do you reduce that complexity down to ‘they get a B?’” DeBacker said.

Teachers might be “phenomenally effective,” but if their students are coming in learning English as a second language or if they have intellectual disabilities, their scores are going to drop and the school’s ratings are going to “get slammed,” said Lawrence Baines, chair of OU’s department of instructional leadership and academic curriculum.

“Sometimes I think that the state forgets that schools should be about helping children, not punishing teachers,” Baines said.

Most teachers and professors see this as an extremely complex task, but lawmakers want a method of judging schools that is simple and easy for parents to understand, DeBacker said.

“These report cards are user-friendly, straightforward and fair,” said Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in an article in the Norman Transcript. “It is high time for parents to have access to this information as they seek to make the best educational choices for their children. Parents have a basic right to this information, and they should be able to find it easily.”

This simplicity isn’t necessarily better, DeBacker said.

Another issue with this method is that poorly funded schools who can’t afford the same technology, textbooks and teachers as other schools will get bad grades, DeBacker said.

“A lot of this comes down to funding; we’re testing but not investing,” DeBacker said. “Now, we’re publicly printing the report cards—humiliating the schools while withholding what they need to do their jobs.”

Other states have taken to this same method of ranking schools with a report card, and it has been an “expensive disaster everywhere,” Baines said.

“Everyone kows that the poorest schools are struggling and the richest schools are prospering,” Baines said.

In Ohio, zero high-poverty schools are considered “A” quality, while 95 percent of the schools in Ohio’s richest neighborhoods are considered “A” or “B” quality, Baines said.

“Despite the clear connection between poverty and achievement, current policies favor A-rated schools over F-rated schools,” Baines said in an email.


SEATTLE (AP) — Kristine Nannini spent her summer creating wall charts and student data sheets for her fifth grade class — and making $24,000 online by selling those same materials to other teachers.

Teachers like Nannini are making extra money providing materials to their cash-strapped and time-limited colleagues on curriculum sharing sites like teacherspayteachers.com, providing an alternative to more traditional — and generally more expensive — school supply stores. Many districts, teachers and parents say these sites are saving teachers time and money, and giving educators a quick way to make extra income.

There is a lot of money to potentially be made. Deanna Jump, a first-grade teacher at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Macon, Ga., is teacherspayteachers.com’s top seller, earning about $1 million in sales over the past two years. She believes the site has been successful because educators are looking for new ways to engage their students, and the materials are relatively inexpensive and move beyond textbooks

‘‘I want kids to be so excited about what they’re learning that they can’t wait to tell mom and dad,’’ she says.

Dozens of Internet forums have been created to help teachers distribute their material and pick up ideas from other educators. Teacherspayteachers.com is one of the biggest. It was started by a former teacher in New York in 2006 and quickly grew. Others followed, like the sharemylesson.com run by the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second largest teachers union, where free curriculum ideas and materials are offered.

While most characterize these sites as an inexpensive way for teachers to supplement textbook materials, some teachers may get pushback from administrators for their entrepreneurial efforts.

Seattle Public Schools’ recently revised its ethics policy, with the new policy prohibiting teachers from selling anything they developed on district time, said district spokeswoman Teresa Wippel.

‘‘Anything created on their own time could also cross a gray line, depending on the item and how closely tied it is to classroom work,’’ she said.

Teacherspayteachers.com currently has about 300,000 items for sale plus more than 50,000 free items.

All told, more than 1 million teachers have bought or sold items on teacherspayteachers.com since it began. Teachers had $5 million in sales during August and September, said site founder Paul Edelman. After paying the site fees, teachers have collectively earned more than $14 million on the site since it was founded.

At all of the websites, the quality varies. Jump said she learned over the years that her colleagues — and their students — are only interested in professional-looking materials that offer the kind of information and instruction they need. Teachers are able to rate items offered for purchase or distribution.

Teachers often spend their own money on classroom supplies, despite receiving a few hundred dollars a year for that purpose from their districts. Increasingly, teachers say, they are going to these curriculum sharing sites to look for materials like the ones Nannini and Jump made available because their funds go further than at traditional school supply stores.

‘‘I guess I’ve created something that everyone really needs,’’ said Nannini, a Grand Blanc, Mich., teacher who just started her fourth year in the classroom.

Jump has made a lot of her money selling science curriculum for the early grades, helping her colleagues teach 7-year-olds about scientific discovery. She has split her earnings between her family, charity and her school, including buying one classroom a smart board.

Stephen Wakefield, spokesman for ASCD, a prominent teacher training organization that has a blog promoting ways for teachers to get help online, said no national organizations approve or rate the multitude of online curricula available to teachers. However many offer lists of places for teachers to explore, he said.

Kathy Smith, a Seattle parent with two daughters in public school, says she knows teachers get materials from a variety of sources and she trusts them to make good decisions about what they choose to share with their students.

‘‘I’ve got a lot of faith in teachers,’’ she said. ‘‘I don’t see any problem using computer sites for supplementation at all.’’

Becky Smith, a special education teacher from rural Alabama, says everything she has gotten off teacherspayteachers.com has been free. Smith says the website saves her driving time and cash, because she can buy only what she needs — not a $20 workbook filled with a variety of things.

She also likes the idea of supporting other teachers, not corporations.

‘‘I was on there for hours just looking for things before school started,’’ she said.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Schools in Marion County, Florida could see a return of the paddle if incoming board member Carol Ely has her way.

Ely, who is set to begin her term on the Marion County School Board, says that her experience running Shady Hill Elementary School in Ocala for 14 years made her a believer that this form of discipline is one of the most effective available to schools.

ClickOrlando.com is reporting that Ely might have enough pull with fellow board members to make this goal a reality. On previous occasions, Ely said that to be most effective, paddling should only be used sparingly and only on children who repeatedly misbehave. She added that during her tenure at Shady Hill, the number of kids who were paddled more than once was extremely low, indicating that the punishment worked to correct wrong-doing.

She said that there should be strict rules about paddling, which she promises to add to the proposal when she brings it up for a vote in November. School staff would be limited to using it only in extreme circumstances and only with permission from parents.

Linda McLean, a Marion County parent, said that she’d be willing to sign off on in-school corporal punishment.

“I would let them get a spanking and when they get home they would get another one for disrespecting school,” said Linda McClean.

But there are others, like Jarrilyn Taylor, who think that schools that paddle encroach too much on parental prerogative. Taylor said that she doesn’t think anyone should be allowed to hit her child.

Meanwhile in Texas — one of 19 states that allow paddling in schools — one district is considering lifting a restriction on corporal punishment that required that paddling could only be administered by staff members of the same sex as the student. Springtown Superintendent Michael Kelley said that requirement meant that genders weren’t being punished equally since a small district often has a shortage of administrators of one or the other gender.

The new rule would instead require that an administrator of the same gender be present in the room while the paddling was taking place, but wouldn’t have to be the one to administer it. In addition, parents must provide explicit permission for their child to be able to receive corporal punishment.

“We don’t have a very large district and in our middle school there is only an assistant principal, who is a female,” Kelley said. “If the old policy remains in place, then the parents of the boys at the middle school would not be able to request corporal punishment.”

OU received a gift commitment of $600,000 from the Rainbolt family, President David Boren announced at the September meeting of the OU Board of Regents yesterday, according to a press release.

A $400,000 portion of the money will be used to endow scholarships, and a $200,000 portion will endow a presidential professorship, which honors and rewards outstanding faculty members in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, according to the press release.

“The University is deeply grateful to the Rainbolt family for this generous gift, which will provide new opportunities for students who want to dedicate their lives to teaching the next generation,” Boren said in the release.

The Campaign for Scholarships, which according to its website, is in place to ensure that no hard-working, qualified student is ever turned away from the university because of financial need, now has over $41.5 million in annual gifts and donations, which are used immediately, and $165 million in endowed gifts that create a permanent fund.

According to the campaigns website, more than 6,000 students applied for scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year. The greatest need, the website says, is for unrestricted scholarships, which could benefit students of all majors at OU.

“One of the favorite parts of my job is to be able to tell a student that he or she has received a scholarship,” said Matt Hamilton, the Norman Campus vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services and Registrar. “Scholarships help students now only to continue their education at OU but also to earn their degrees in a timely fashion and graduate with less loan debt.”

According to the campaigns website, over half of all OU students take out student loans, with an average debt at little more than $20,000.


By Tom Bartlett

We are easily fooled, more biased than we believe, less rational than we think, unable to accurately recall the past, unrealistically positive about the future, spoiled by money, controlled by hormones, hamstrung by prejudices, overwhelmed by choice. We can’t stop eating. We pay for free stuff. Our minds go blank. There is something—actually, lots of things—wrong with us.

Or so it feels after attending two days of talks at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, in which researcher after researcher explained how they had exposed humanity’s multitudinous foibles.

What, how, and how much we eat was a much-discussed topic. Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, rehearsed his finding that the size of our plates (or bowls or glasses) affects how much we consume, though with his national TV appearances and best-selling book, this was probably a revelation to no one.

Less known is a finding, mentioned by Maferima Touré Tillery of the University of Chicago, that if you divide a cookie into even, equal portions, people will eat less of it than if the same cookie is cut into random chunks. (UPDATE: To be clear, while Tillery briefly noted the finding, it was the result of research by Travis Carter and Ayelet Fishbach, also from the U. of Chicago.)

In other cookie-related research, Jessica Li Yexin of Arizona State University found that people are much more likely to choose familiar chocolate-chip cookies over cookies they had never heard of if they were first exposed to prompts that made them think of disease (a photo of someone sneezing, for instance). When we feel threatened, we opt for the familiar.

But we like the familiar less once we’ve had a taste of the exotic. People who have traveled the world and eaten at fancy restaurants derive less pleasure from a plate of spaghetti than your average Applebee’s patron, according to Jordi Quoidbach of Harvard. His research found that our ability to enjoy mundane pleasures, like eating and travel, hinges on whether we think of ourselves as people of superior discernment. In one study, he found that researchers could manipulate that sense of self, getting people to enjoy an experience less because they thought of themselves more highly.

How you think of yourself affects your behavior if you happen to be the boss. If you believe yourself to be incompetent, you are more likely to be aggressive and lash out at your employees, according to Nathanael J. Fast of the University of Southern California. He and his co-author, Serena Chen, also find, though, that once self-worth rises, the aggression disappears.

That’s useful if you have a boss. But probably the single most applicable piece of data came from a presentation by Marieke Roskes of the University of Amsterdam. Roskes and her co-authors analyzed video of penalty shootouts at all soccer World Cups and found that goalkeepers were significantly more likely to dive to the right, but only when their teams were behind. It’s consistent with other research indicating that human beings have a bias toward moving right when they need to act in a hurry.

When we try to do the right thing—in the moral rather than the directional sense—we actually feel that we are literally, physically higher, according to Eugene Y. Chan of the University of Toronto. He and his co-author, Eunice Kim Cho, found that when subjects were reminded of moral thinking, they felt higher off the ground. Thinking in moral terms also tended, they found, to make people more creative but less analytical.

Nostalgia seems to be a popular subject among psychologists at the moment. Carey Morewedge of Carnegie Mellon University did several studies showing that people believe TV shows and movies of the past were of generally higher quality than those on the air today. This seems to be because we recall only the better shows from bygone eras and believe them to be typical. As an example of an unquestionably bad old TV show, Morewedge mentions ALF, which, as a child of the 1980s with a fondness for that wise-cracking, cat-eating alien puppet, I found personally offensive. But that may be my own cognitive bias at work.

Thanks to a bunch of best-selling books and nifty, highly bloggable studies, social psychology has been overshadowing some less flashy disciplines lately. But it also has the reputation, perhaps unfair, of cranking out useless, gee-whiz results. In an effort to combat that perception, one of the sessions focused on findings by researchers like Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia, whose newish book, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change, is focused on overcoming our errors rather than merely pointing them out.

Also, seriously, who eats only part of a cookie?

(The photo of the cookie above comes from a recipe for metric cookies published on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Web site.)

By: Joanna Chau

Millennials, the generation of young Americans born after 1982, may not be the caring, socially conscious environmentalists some have portrayed them to be, according to a study described in the new issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study, which compares the traits of young people in high school and entering college today with those of baby boomers and Gen X’ers at the same age from 1966 to 2009, shows an increasing trend of valuing money, image, and fame more than inherent principles like self-acceptance, affiliation, and community. “The results generally support the ‘Generation Me’ view of generational differences rather than the ‘Generation We,'” the study’s authors write in a report published today, “Generational Differences in Young Adults’ Life Goals, Concern for Others, and Civic Orientation.”

For example, college students in 1971 ranked the importance of being very well off financially No. 8 in their life goals, but since 1989, they have consistently placed it at the top of the list.

The study—by Jean M. Twenge, a professor at San Diego State University; Elise C. Freeman, a graduate research associate at the same university; and W. Keith Campbell, a professor at University of Georgia—is the latest to seek to define the behavior and traits of the millennial generation.

Views on this much-debated topic have varied widely among experts.

In 2000, the popular book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, by Neil Howe and William Strauss, portrayed the group as engaged, high-achieving, and confident, among other “core traits.”

Ms. Twenge, the lead author of the new study, believes otherwise.

She has also published a book on the millennials, Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before, in which she writes: “I see no evidence that today’s young people feel much attachment to duty or to group cohesion. Young people have been consistently taught to put their own needs first and to focus on feeling good about themselves.”

That view is apparent in the new study’s findings, such as a steep decline in concern for the environment. The study found that three times more millennials than baby boomers said they made no personal effort at all to practice sustainability. Only 51 percent of millennials said they tried to save energy by cutting down on electricity, compared with 68 percent of baby boomers and 60 percent of Gen X’ers.

The study also found a decline in civic interest, such as political participation and trust in government, as well as in concern for others, including charity donations, and in the importance of having a job worthwhile to society.

The millennial generation has been raised in a culture that places “more focus on the self and less focus on the group, society, and community,” Ms. Twenge says

“The aphorisms have shifted to ‘believe in yourself’ and ‘you’re special,'” she says. “It emphasizes individualism, and this gets reflected in personality traits and attitudes.”

Even community service, the one aspect where millennials’ engagement rose, does not seem to stem from genuine altruism. The study attributes that gain to high schools in recent years requiring volunteer hours to graduate. The number of public high schools with organized community-service programs jumped from 9 percent in 1984 to 46 percent in 1999, according to the study.

Most of the study’s data point toward more individualism and less cohesion. The advantages of individualism are more tolerance, equality, and less prejudice, says Ms. Twenge. But the broader implication, she says, is not good.

“Having a population that is civically involved, is interested in helping others, and interested in the problems in the nation and the world, are generally good things,” she says. But Ms. Twenge does not believe this is happening. People are “more isolated and wrapped up in their own problems,” she says. “It doesn’t bode well for society in general.”

Please comment with your thoughts and ideas regarding how this affects education.


ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2012) — Impulsive children with attention problems tend to play more video games, while kids in general who spend lots of time video gaming may also develop impulsivity and attention difficulties, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

“This is an important finding because most research on attention problems has focused on biological and genetic factors rather than on environmental factors,” said Douglas A. Gentile, PhD, of Iowa State University and lead author of the study published this week in the debut issue of APA’s journal Psychology and Popular Media Culture.

Although the findings indicated that playing violent video games also can be linked to impulsivity and attention problems, the overall amount of time spent playing any type of video game proved to be a greater factor, according to the article. This was the case regardless of a child’s gender, race or socioeconomic status.

Researchers collected data from 3,034 children, ages 8 to 17 years old, over three years at 12 schools in Singapore. The children provided information about their video game playing habits by completing questionnaires in their classrooms at three intervals, each a year apart starting in grades three, four, seven and eight. They also completed psychological tests commonly used to measure attention and impulsiveness. Regarding attention, the children answered questions such as how often they “fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes” in their work or “blurt out answers before questions have been completed.” For the impulsivity test, they selected points they felt described themselves, such as “I often make things worse because I act without thinking” or “I concentrate easily.”

The study described attention problems as having a difficult time engaging in or sustaining behavior to reach a goal, particularly when the subject is difficult or boring. Yet previous research has found that playing video games can improve visual attention for rapid and accurate recognition of information from the environment, the authors noted.

“It is possible that electronic media use can impair attention necessary for concentration even as it enhances the ability to notice and process visual information,” Gentile said.

Understanding some of the environmental influences that video gaming may have on attention and impulsivity can help develop more effective solutions for children and parents, the authors said.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 154,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

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