WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Dogs May Be Good for Children’s Psychological Development
Living in a home with a dog may be linked to healthier psychological development in young children, researchers report.
Australian scientists collected data from 1,646 parents of young children from various demographics. They also gathered information on dog ownership, active play with the dog and family dog walking.
The study, published in Pediatric Research, found that after adjusting for other factors, compared to children without dogs, those who had them were about 30% less likely to have conduct problems, 40% less likely to have difficulty relating to peers and 34% more likely to exhibit social behavior.
The senior author, Hayley Christian, an associate professor at the University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute, said that while the study suggests that the benefits of dog ownership start very early in life, this is an observational finding that does not prove cause and effect.
“We are not saying ‘go out and get a dog,’” she said. “That’s a really important decision. Owning a dog comes with responsibilities and costs. But both anecdotal reports and research show that the benefits outweigh the costs.”
Sad Music Evokes Positive Emotions
Ai Kawakami and colleagues from Tokyo University of the Arts and the RIKEN Brain Science Institute of Japan asked 44 volunteers to listen to two pieces of sad music and one piece of happy music. Each participant was required to use a set of keywords to rate both their perception of the music and their own emotional state.
The sad pieces of music included Mikhail Glinka’s La Séparation and Felix Blumenfeld’s Etude Sur Mer. The happy music piece was Enrique Granados’s Allegro de Concierto.
The researchers explained that sad music evoked contradictory emotions. Music perceived as sad induced romantic emotions as well as sad emotions.
However, unlike sadness in daily life, sadness experienced through art actually feels pleasant, possibly because the latter does not pose an actual threat to our safety.
“Emotion experienced by music has no direct danger or harm unlike the emotion experienced in everyday life. Therefore, we can even enjoy unpleasant emotion such as sadness. If we suffer from unpleasant emotion evoked through daily life, sad music might be helpful to alleviate negative emotion,” concluded the researchers.
HEALTH IN THE VALLEY
Trustees Honors Front-Line Workers with Free Admission
The Trustees of Reservations announced that it will honor front-line workers who have cared for, healed, served and protected people during COVID-19 by offering them free admission to most of its 119 properties once a month. The Trustees will also create a traveling installation that visitors can sign with messages of thanks.
The series of Frontline Worker Appreciation Days will start on July 18 across the state, with the traveling installation beginning at Fruitlands Museum in August. To gain free admission, front-line workers should visit TheTrustees.org/passes, choose the date and place they wish to visit, and select and reserve the Frontline Worker parking pass.
All currently open Trustees properties will be eligible for this program, with the exception of Crane Beach, due to that property’s high demand and limited capacity.
Examples of front-line workers include doctors, nurses, health care workers, nursing home employees, grocery store workers, fast food employees, delivery drivers, first responders and janitorial/facilities management personnel.
For members of the public who aren’t front-line workers but wish to express their gratitude, visitors to Fruitlands Museum and other properties will be able to share their thanks for front-line workers via a new, interactive installation that will be ready next month. The installation will spend two weeks at Fruitlands before it is moved to another Trustees property, and it will rotate to different sites throughout the summer. Its travels and messages of hope from the public will be shared on Trustees social media channels as it moves throughout the state.