Your Family

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Baby's Bedtime
Australian researchers report that infant sleeping habits--up to 45% of all parents report problems--are significantly improved if parents use "controlled crying" methods. Instead of rushing to the crib when the baby cries, parents should respond at increasing intervals, teaching the child to fall asleep alone. Symptoms of depression in exhausted mothers were also reduced.

Sex and Self-Esteem
More proof of society's double standards on sex: an Indiana University study found that 40% of girls who had low self-esteem in the seventh grade were having sex by the ninth grade, compared with 18% of girls with a stronger ego. It worked just the other way for boys. Half the boys with high self-esteem were sexually active, vs. just 29% of those with low self-confidence.

Inebriated Elders
Health professionals need to be more alert to older patients' substance abuse, cautions a new report in the Elder Law Journal. As many as 1 in 6 Americans age 60 or older is overly dependent on alcohol; one-third of these heavy drinkers are "late-onset abusers" who turn to drink after a major lifestyle change, such as the death of a spouse. Many doctors fail to consider substance abuse as a cause of symptoms. Others shrug off suspicions because they feel the patient "does not have much else to look forward to."