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Anxiety symptoms could affect depressed adolescentsTUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013 11:18 AM

Anxiety symptoms could affect depressed adolescents A total of 40 million adults in the U.S. have anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. With so many individuals affected by these conditions, it is essential for people to recognize the signs of anxiety disorders as early as possible.

One way to identify early symptoms among adolescents may be to have them take a personality test. If these individuals show signs of depression, they could be at risk of developing anxiety, based on the results of a recent study from Southern Methodist University.

Overall, there were three risk factors that increased adolescents' odds of developing anxiety. In addition to displaying symptoms of depression, these youths also had either a pessimistic outlook on life, low-quality family relationships or mothers with a history of anxiety. Ultimately, it is important to identify signs of anxiety among adolescents before it can harm their personal and academic development.

"Anxiety can manifest as social phobia, in which kids are afraid to interact with friends and teachers, or in school refusal, in which children try to avoid going to school," said Chrystyna D. Kouros, the psychologist who led the study. 

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Players of fast-paced video games may become more aggressiveWEDNESDAY, AUGUST 07, 2013 11:59 AM

Fast-paced video game players may become more aggressive Earlier this year, a study was published in "Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice" that found that playing violent video games can lead to the development of aggressive and even criminal behavior. Now, new research from Iowa State University once again shows a link between playing video games and increased aggression.

That is not to say video games cannot have a positive effect on players. According to the research, violent and fast-paced video games known as first-person shooters, require individuals to think quickly if they are to advance. This enhances players' visual skills over time.

Unfortunately, players' also experience a reduction in their ability to restrain impulsive behavior. This, in turn, means that those who play these fast-paced games can become more aggressive. 

"We believe that any game that requires the same type of rapid responding as in most first-person shooters may produce similar effects on proactive executive control, regardless of violent content," said Craig Anderson, director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University, who worked on the study.

Based on these findings, individuals who play fast-paced video games on a regular basis may want to take a personality test and see if it is time to unplug their gaming console.

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Personality tests could help colleges retain STEM majorsTHURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013 10:20 AM

Personality tests could help colleges retain STEM majors A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that in the past decade, the growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs was three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. This growth is expected to continue in the coming decade as well, meaning there will be a great need for Americans with a college degree in one of these subjects.

However, many college students who study STEM subjects end up switching their major before graduating. To determine why this happens, researchers from Georgia Tech and Rice universities studied 589 undergraduates at the Georgia Institute of Technology between 2000 and 2008, paying close attention to their personality traits, self-concept and motivation, Psych Central reports.

In doing so, the researchers found that female STEM students tend to switch majors because they have "lower self-concepts in math and science," while men typically have "lower levels of orientation toward mastery and organization."

Based on these results, researchers feel that colleges could better predict students' long-term success in STEM subjects if they look at their Advanced Placement exam scores and personality test results during the admissions process.

... (read more)

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