SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Nelson, C. A. (1999). Neural plasticity and human development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 42–45.

Abstract: In this article, I argue that experience-induced changes in the brain may be a useful way of viewing the course of human development. Work from the neurosciences supports the claim that most of the behavioral phenomena of interest to psychologists (e.g., cognition, perception, language, emotion) are instantiated by the process of neural plasticity. When development is viewed in this manner, the fallaciousness of the long standing and often contentious debate over nature versus nurture becomes apparent. Moreover, by utilizing the neuroscientific tools used to examine the effects of experience on brain and behavioral development (e.g., functional neuroimaging), we may improve how we conceptualize our notions of intervention, competence, and resilience.

Journal Article 2: Mulready-Ward, C., & Hackett, M. (2014). Perception and attitudes: Breastfeeding in public in New York CityJournal of Human Lactation, 30, 195–200.

Abstract: Background: In the United States, 76.9% of women initiate breastfeeding but only 36.0% breastfeed exclusively for 3 months. Lack of support for public breastfeeding may prevent women from breastfeeding in public, which could contribute to low rates of breastfeeding exclusivity and continuation, despite high rates of breastfeeding initiation. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether residents of New York City, New York, were supportive of and comfortable with public breastfeeding. Methods: A population-based public opinion telephone survey of noninstitutionalized New York City residents 18 years and older was conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Results: Overall, 50.4% of respondents were not supportive of public breastfeeding. In the multivariable analysis, there was significant variation in support by race/ethnicity, age, and education. There were no significant differences in support by sex, receipt of food stamps, nativity, or the presence of children younger than 12 years in the home. One-third (33.2%) of respondents were uncomfortable with women breastfeeding near them in public. There was significant variation by education in the multivariable analysis. Lack of comfort was highest among those with a high school education or less (39.9%) and some college (33.8%). Conclusion: New York City residents are conflicted about whether breastfeeding is a private act or one that can be done in public. For women who want to continue with their intention to breastfeed exclusively, the negative opinion of other residents may cause them to breastfeed only in private, thereby limiting the opportunity to breastfeed for the recommended time.