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Nearly 500 mental health professionals from all across the world recently convened in Miami for the Miami International Child & Adolescent Mental Health (MICAMH) Conference hosted by the FIU Center for Children and Families. Researchers presented the latest findings for child mental health problems including ADHD, anxiety, autism, suicide and depression, trauma and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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"The most important way to prevent tantrums is to praise your toddler when he or she remains calm in a situation that typically leads to a tantrum," shares Daniel M. Bagner, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Florida International University. This way your child knows what behavior is expected to them and will come to emulate it in order to recreate the praise they receive.

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On average, 11,636 babies are born every Valentine’s Day in the United States. For two-thirds of couples, this new addition causes increased conflict and an overall decline in the quality of their relationship. FIU psychologist Lisa Arango believes a way for a relationship to survive and thrive through a transition into parenthood is to identify the challenges that lie ahead and stay connected with your partner. She provides some tips on how to baby-proof your relationship.

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Teenagers were the most prone of all age groups to experience psychological trauma after the bombing. The researchers found that the more internet news and social media contact they had about the bombing and manhunt, the more severe were their PTSD symptoms, which ranged from intrusive flashbacks to emotional numbing. What’s more, even if 87% of parents believed that online exposure to the crisis could be damaging, very few restricted their children’s access to it.

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Children are active and noisy. They make messes and sometimes break your favorite things. You can count on kids to give you plenty of reasons to lose your cool, react reflexively and dole out punishment. But is this the best way to handle things? Child psychology experts say when it comes to improving behavior, being positive is your best asset — a parenting method known as positive reinforcement.

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Dr. Bethany Reeb-Sutherland is honored with the 2017 International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Award!

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“The legalization and commercialization of cannabis has allowed marketing to get ahead of science,” says Raul Gonzalez, a psychologist at Florida International University in Miami who reviewed the report before publication. While the report highlights possible medical benefits, Gonzalez notes that it also underscores negative consequences of regular cannabis use. These include certain respiratory and psychological problems.

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” warble the lyrics heard everywhere through the holiday season. But for kids with special health needs, the flashing lights, blaring music, crowded malls, social events and schedule changes can be overwhelming. Children with mental health issues or developmental and physical challenges such as autism, ADHD, sensory issues, depression and anxiety may need extra help managing the festivities of the season.

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Who the shooter is matters less than who the victims are and where they died, says Jonathan S. Comer, professor of psychology and director of the Mental Health Interventions and Technology Program at Florida International University in Miami, who studied the psychological impact of the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing.

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This is the “Classic Model” of the neurological basis of language function – a revolution in our understanding at the time, and hugely influential to this day. But according to a compelling new paper in Brain and Language by one of our faculty, Dr. Anthony Steven Dick and Dr. Pascale Tremblay, from the Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale in Québec, the Classic Model is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.

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