Tag Archives: journal

‘Life as Research Scientist’: Letitia Kotila, Family Scientist

Letitia Kotila is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University. Her research area focuses on parental involvement, coparenting, and couple relationships. Letitia has three children (ages 11, 9, and 2) with her husband. She enjoys playing sports, riding bikes, and watching movies with her family. She also enjoys cooking and baking. Often Letitia spends time on the weekends testing new recipes.

As part of our series on ‘life as research scientist’ we requested Letitia to answer few questions, and here is what we learned from her. So let’s join to hear from Family Scientist Letitia Kotila:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Letitia Kotila: This particular study broadly focuses on predictors of prenatal parenting behaviors, such as finding out the sex of an unborn child. This is the first study we know of in the U.S. to look at psychological predictors of finding out fetal sex, and we focused on three particular characteristics.  We looked at whether the mothers’ basic personality traits, her perfectionistic orientation toward parenting (i.e., setting unrealistically high standards), and her gender role ideologies (i.e., women and men should have separate roles) influenced whether or not she found out the sex of her child pre-birth. We found that mothers who were more open to experience were much less likely than other mothers to know the sex of their child, and that parenting perfectionists were slightly more likely than other mothers to know the sex.  We also found that when mothers held a less traditional gender role ideology and were conscientious, or able to set clear standards and follow through with them, they were much less likely than other mothers to know the sex of their unborn child. (more…)

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Weapons tied to repeat domestic abuse

Women are up to 83 percent more likely to experience repeat abuse by their male partners if a weapon is used in the initial abuse incident, according to a new study that has implications for victims, counselors and police.

Michigan State University researcher Amy Bonomi and colleagues studied the domestic abuse police reports of nearly 6,000 couples in Seattle during a two-year period. An estimated one in four women in the United States experience domestic violence at least once in their lifetime. (more…)

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Weltmärkte für Nahrungsmittel: Klimawandel größerer Preistreiber als die Bioenergie

Für eine Minderung des Ausstoßes von Treibhausgasen wird zum Erreichen des 2 Grad-Ziels wahrscheinlich ein erheblicher Anteil Bioenergie im Energiemix der Zukunft benötigt. Trotz mancher Risiken wären die Auswirkungen einer steigenden Nachfrage nach Bioenergie auf die Weltagrarmärkte weit geringer als die durch einen ungebremsten Klimawandel. Das zeigt nun eine Studie, die unter der Leitung von Wissenschaftlern des Potsdam-Instituts für Klimafolgenforschung veröffentlicht wurde. Während die Agrarpreise durch direkte Klimawirkungen auf Ernteerträge bis 2050 um etwa 25 Prozent höher wären als in einem Szenario ohne Klimawandel, würde eine hohe Nachfrage nach Bioenergie in einem Szenario mit ambitioniertem Klimaschutz die Preise nur um etwa 5 Prozent steigen lassen. (more…)

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8 million lives saved since surgeon general’s tobacco warning 50 years ago

A Yale study estimates that 8 million lives have been saved in the United States as a result of anti-smoking measures that began 50 years ago this month with the groundbreaking report from the Surgeon General outlining the deadly consequences of tobacco use. The Yale School of Public Health-led analysis is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study used mathematical models to calculate the long-term effect of the seminal report, and subsequent anti-smoking measures, over the past half-century. These cumulative efforts have significantly reshaped public attitudes and behaviors concerning cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, note the researchers. (more…)

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Kids have skewed view of gender segregation

Children believe the world is far more segregated by gender than it actually is, implies a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Jennifer Watling Neal and colleagues examined classroom friendships in five U.S. elementary schools. Their findings, published in the journal Child Development, found boys and girls had no problems being friends together but for some reason had a perception that only boys played with boys and girls played with girls. (more…)

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Ancient sharks reared young in prehistoric river-delta nursery

ANN ARBOR — Like salmon in reverse, long-snouted Bandringa sharks migrated downstream from freshwater swamps to a tropical coastline to spawn 310 million years ago, leaving behind fossil evidence of one of the earliest known shark nurseries.

That’s the surprising conclusion of University of Michigan paleontologist Lauren Sallan and a University of Chicago colleague, who reanalyzed all known specimens of Bandringa, a bottom-feeding predator that lived in an ancient river delta system that spanned what is today the Upper Midwest. (more…)

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When danger is in the eye of the beholder

UCLA anthropologists study how, why we read into potential peril

They went boating alone without life vests and gave no thought to shimmying up very tall coconut trees.

And although they were only figments of a writer’s imagination, the fictional adventurers helped provide new insight into how humans, especially men, gauge the threat of a potential adversary. Those reading the stories — dozens of residents of a small village on the Fijian island of Yasawa — judged the characters to be risk-seekers.  (more…)

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Die fünf Finger der Vögel: Neue Forschungsergebnisse zur Evolution von Vögeln

In der Regel haben Landwirbeltiere fünf Finger oder Zehen pro Hand oder Fuß. Viele Tiergruppen haben im Laufe der Evolution diesen Bauplan allerdings abgewandelt. So haben etwa Paarhufer nur zwei oder vier Zehen. Ähnlich sind im Flügel der Vögel nur drei knochige Finger vorhanden. Die Anlage eines vierten Fingers auf der Handaußenseite (posterior) lässt sich bei Vögeln jedoch embryonal belegen. Dadurch stellt sich die Frage, um welche Finger es sich nun tatsächlich handelt: Daumen, Zeige- und Mittelfinger (I, II, III) oder Zeige-, Mittel- und Ringfinger (II, III, IV). Theoretische Biologen der Universität Wien haben dies geklärt und publizieren dazu aktuell im Journal of Experimental Zoology.

Bei den meisten Tetrapoden (Landwirbeltieren) ist der erste Finger, der embryonal angelegt wird, der vierte (Ringfinger). Auch bei Vögeln wird der Finger auf der Handaußenseite (posterior)  als erster angelegt, was dafür spricht, dass es sich dabei um den Ringfinger handelt. Es konnte jedoch nachgewiesen werden, dass auch anterior – also auf der Handinnenseite – eine embryonale Fingeranlage vorhanden ist, die allerdings schnell wieder verschwindet. Diese Daten sprechen für eine Identifizierung der Finger als Zeige-, Mittel- und Ringfinger (II, III, IV). (more…)

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