Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Student


Clinical anecdote suggests that rates of eating disorders (ED) vary between schools. Given their high prevalence and mortality, understanding risk factors is important. We hypothesised that rates of ED would vary between schools, and that school proportion of female students and proportion of parents with post-high school education would be associated with ED, after accounting for individual characteristics.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Education, High school, School, Student, Teacher, History of education


To examine changes in prevalence of obesity and target health behaviors (fruit, vegetable, and beverage consumption; physical activity; screen time; sleep duration) among students from communities that participated in the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) project compared to controls.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Behavior, Student


We analyzed one decade of data collected by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), including the mathematics and reading performance of nearly 1.5 million 15 year olds in 75 countries. Across nations, boys scored higher than girls in mathematics, but lower than girls in reading. The sex difference in reading was three times as large as in mathematics. There was considerable variation in the extent of the sex differences between nations. There are countries without a sex difference in mathematics performance, and in some countries girls scored higher than boys. Boys scored lower in reading in all nations in all four PISA assessments (2000, 2003, 2006, 2009). Contrary to several previous studies, we found no evidence that the sex differences were related to nations' gender equality indicators. Further, paradoxically, sex differences in mathematics were consistently and strongly inversely correlated with sex differences in reading: Countries with a smaller sex difference in mathematics had a larger sex difference in reading and vice versa. We demonstrate that this was not merely a between-nation, but also a within-nation effect. This effect is related to relative changes in these sex differences across the performance continuum: We did not find a sex difference in mathematics among the lowest performing students, but this is where the sex difference in reading was largest. In contrast, the sex difference in mathematics was largest among the higher performing students, and this is where the sex difference in reading was smallest. The implication is that if policy makers decide that changes in these sex differences are desired, different approaches will be needed to achieve this for reading and mathematics. Interventions that focus on high-achieving girls in mathematics and on low achieving boys in reading are likely to yield the strongest educational benefits.

Concepts: Male, Female, Sexual dimorphism, Sexual selection, Gender, Sex, Student, Mating


This is the first study to investigate how college students in the U.S. with problematic Internet use perceive the role the Internet plays within their families of origin. The sample included 27 U.S. university students who self-identified as excessive Internet users. Participants reported spending more than 25 hours a week on the Internet on non-school or non-work-related activities and reported Internet-associated health and/or psychosocial problems. This study provides descriptive statistics from participants' completion of two problematic Internet use measures (i.e., Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire and the Compulsive Internet Use Scale) and reports findings from four focus groups. Three themes emerged from the focus groups: (1) family connectedness, (2) family conflict/family disconnection, and (3) family Internet overuse. The findings of this study are a first step toward the design of effective interventions for problematic Internet use among U.S. college students and serve to inform clinical practice and health policy in this area.

Concepts: Family, Clinical trial, Focus group, Effectiveness, University, Internet, Student, MySpace


The first research conducted on violence against women in the university context in Spain reveals that 62% of the students know of or have experienced situations of this kind within the university institutions, but only 13% identify these situations in the first place. Two main interrelated aspects arise from the data analysis: not identifying and acknowledging violent situations, and the lack of reporting them. Policies and actions developed by Spanish universities need to be grounded in two goals: intransigence toward any kind of violence against women, and bystander intervention, support, and solidarity with the victims and with the people supporting the victims.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Sociology, University, Violence, Spain, Student, Violence against women, Business intelligence


Active learning methods have been shown to be superior to traditional lecture in terms of student achievement, and our findings on the use of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) concur. Students in our introductory biology course performed significantly better if they engaged in PLTL. There was also a drastic reduction in the failure rate for underrepresented minority (URM) students with PLTL, which further resulted in closing the achievement gap between URM and non-URM students. With such compelling findings, we strongly encourage the adoption of Peer-Led Team Learning in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Concepts: Education, Science, Engineering, Learning, Failure, Student, Course, Active learning


Mindfulness training (MT) is a form of mental training in which individuals engage in exercises to cultivate an attentive, present centered, and non-reactive mental mode. The present study examines the putative benefits of MT in University students for whom mind wandering can interfere with learning and academic success. We tested the hypothesis that short-form MT (7 h over 7 weeks) contextualized for the challenges and concerns of University students may reduce mind wandering and improve working memory. Performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) and two working memory tasks (operation span, delayed-recognition with distracters) was indexed in participants assigned to a waitlist control group or the MT course. Results demonstrated MT-related benefits in SART performance. Relative to the control group, MT participants had higher task accuracy and self-reported being more “on-task” after the 7-week training period. MT did not significantly benefit the operation span task or accuracy on the delayed-recognition task. Together these results suggest that while short-form MT did not bolster working memory task performance, it may help curb mind wandering and should, therefore, be further investigated for its use in academic contexts.

Concepts: Time, Scientific method, Psychology, Cognitive psychology, University, Task, Working memory, Student


This study investigates the results of a questionnaire, provocative tests, and ultrasonographic measurements of carpal tunnel morphological parameters in intensive and nonintensive electronic device users.

Concepts: Electronics, Ulnar nerve, Student, Carpal tunnel, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Carpus, Flexor retinaculum of the hand, Transverse engine


Teaching bioinformatics at universities is complicated by typical computer classroom settings. As well as running software locally and online, students should gain experience of systems administration. For a future career in biology or bioinformatics, the installation of software is a useful skill. We propose that this may be taught by running the course on GNU/Linux running on inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer hardware, for which students may be granted full administrator access.

Concepts: Education, Higher education, School, Student, Teacher, Microsoft, History of education, Course


At the college level, the effectiveness of active-learning interventions is typically measured at the broadest scales: the achievement or retention of all students in a course. Coarse-grained measures like these cannot inform instructors about an intervention’s relative effectiveness for the different student populations in their classrooms or about the proximate factors responsible for the observed changes in student achievement. In this study, we disaggregate student data by racial/ethnic groups and first-generation status to identify whether a particular intervention-increased course structure-works better for particular populations of students. We also explore possible factors that may mediate the observed changes in student achievement. We found that a “moderate-structure” intervention increased course performance for all student populations, but worked disproportionately well for black students-halving the black-white achievement gap-and first-generation students-closing the achievement gap with continuing-generation students. We also found that students consistently reported completing the assigned readings more frequently, spending more time studying for class, and feeling an increased sense of community in the moderate-structure course. These changes imply that increased course structure improves student achievement at least partially through increasing student use of distributed learning and creating a more interdependent classroom community.

Concepts: Better, Education, Intervention, Student, Classroom, Relative effectiveness factor, Scales, Hood