n Childhood adversity and a history
of psychiatric disorders may lead
to accelerated aging, according to a
study by Brown University scientists.
Nearly 300 healthy adults provided
blood samples and completed
diagnostic interviews to assess lifetime
psychopathology and experience with
such childhood adversities as parental
loss, abuse and neglect. Researchers
found that people with depressive
disorders and anxiety disorders, as
well as those with parental loss and
childhood maltreatment, were more
likely to have shorter telomeres and
higher mitochondrial DNA — two
indicators of accelerated aging. A
history of substance abuse disorders
was also associated with significantly
higher mitochondrial DNA (Biological
Psychiatry, online Jan. 16).
n Girls lead boys in academic
achievement globally, finds research led
by University of Glasgow and University
of Missouri–Columbia psychologists.
The study examined educational
achievement of 1. 5 million 15-year-olds
using data collected from 2000 to 2010.
Results showed that boys fall behind
girls in overall achievement in reading,
math and science in 70 percent of the
74 countries studied — regardless of the
level of gender, political, economic or
social equality of those countries. Boys
outperform girls in only three countries
or regions: Colombia, Costa Rica and
the Indian state Himachal Pradesh.
Boys and girls had similar educational
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