Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New findings on coffee and kids

Two studies, both reported in the New York Times and both going against the grain of conventional wisdom:

1. Coffee - Drinking more of it makes it less likely you'll suffer from dementia, including Alzheimer's.

Those who drank 3 to 5 "cups" of coffee a day were 65 percent less likely to have dementia than those who drank 0 to 2.

The researchers initially studied 2,000 men and women; then they looked for those same people 21 years later, with a 70% success rate. Apparently, those 70% were the basis for the ultimate findings.

They caution, "We have no evidence that for people who are not drinking coffee, taking up drinking will have a protective effect." But the study "controll[ed] for numerous socioeconomic and health factors."

The article also mentions previous studies that have found a connection between drinking coffee and reduced incidence of Parkinson's.

2. Kids - This delicately worded article suggests that the "empty nest syndrome" is a myth:

[D]espite the common worry that long-married couples will find themselves with nothing in common, the new research, published in November in the journal Psychological Science, shows that marital satisfaction actually improves when the children finally take their exits.

"It's not like their lives were miserable," said Sara Melissa Gorchoff, a specialist in adult relationships at the University of California, Berkeley. "Parents were happy with their kids. It’s just that their marriages got better when they left home."

While that may not be surprising to many parents, understanding why empty nesters have better relationships can offer important lessons on marital happiness for parents who are still years away from having a child-free house.

Indeed, one of the more uncomfortable findings of the scientific study of marriage is the negative effect children can have on previously happy relationships. Despite the popular notion that children bring couples closer, several studies have shown that marital satisfaction and happiness typically plummet with the arrival of the first baby.

In June, The Journal of Advanced Nursing reported on a study from the University of Nebraska College of Nursing that looked at marital happiness in 185 men and women. Scores declined starting in pregnancy, and remained lower as the children reached 5 months and 24 months. Other studies show that couples with two children score even lower than couples with one child. ...

"Kids aren't ruining parents’ lives," Dr. Gorchoff said. “It’s just that they’re making it more difficult to have enjoyable interactions together."

RELATED: Would having children make me happier?

With respect to the "Empty Nest Syndrome" study, all I can say at this point is that I'm REALLY looking forward to testing its result.


Jeff Vaca said...

With respect to the "Empty Nest Syndrome" study, all I can say at this point is that I'm REALLY looking forward to testing its result.