C.O. child behavior study tackles provocative topic

OSU-Cascades asst. professor finds behavior issues linked to genes

OSU-Cascades study: Child behavioral issues linked to genes

BEND, Ore. - Do you have trouble at times with self-control?

Maybe you have built-up negative emotion?

A new study from OSU-Cascades says you're more likely to have children who struggle with the same things in child care centers, because it's in their genes.

Shannon Lipscomb is the lead author of the study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Development. She and other researchers collected data from 10 states and 233 different families.

The conclusion: A child care facility may provide the setting, not the cause, for behavioral issues.

"It wasn't all children with this predisposition acted out more, it was this interaction between the genetics and the environment that helped us understand which children were going to increase in that acting out behavior," Lipscomb said Monday.

At Aspen Academy Pre-School in Bend, owner Teresa Ashford looks at the latest studies to help her understand some kids behavioral issues.

"When in doubt, I always look at what is the current research telling us, what is the National Association for the Education of Young Children telling us, what are the professionals in the field telling us?" Ashford explained.

If a kid acts out, Ashford says it's all about communication and avoiding the blame game.

"It's not necessarily the genetics or the parents," Ashford said. "It's how everyone is working together to shape this unique human being and their unique context."

The root of the problem may be genetic. But that doesn't mean your child needs to get genetic testing done.

The solution could be as simple as a change in scenery.

"Creating small groups and time for individual child work and exploration rather than so much large group interaction," Lipscomb said. "Teachers can be more effective when parents are communicating, and just when they have this understanding that some children are really struggling on a biological level."

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