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Fascinating New Research on Immigration, Crime, Sleep, Dogs & the History of Zombies

Over the last week there have been quite a few interesting studies published on subjects that impact public policy and our lives. And where did Zombies come from?

1. The Children of immigrants do quite well in America. Research by Professor Santiago Perez published in the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the children of poor immigrants achieve greater economic success in America than do the children of parents born in the United States and it's been that way for at least a century. And despite what white nationalists might think, it doesn't matter if they come from Norway or Mexico.

New York Times: "New research linking millions of fathers and sons dating to the 1880s shows that children of poor immigrants in America have had greater success climbing the economic ladder than children of similarly poor fathers born in the United States. That pattern has been remarkably stable for more than a century, even as immigration laws have shifted and as the countries most likely to send immigrants to the United States have changed. The adult children of poor Mexican and Dominican immigrants in the country legally today achieve about the same relative economic success as children of poor immigrants from Finland or Scotland did a century ago."

2. Daily exercise does have a positive impact on how well you sleep. There have been quite a few studies recently about the ways that sleep deprivation can negatively impact our health [see a recent one here]. Many middle-aged and older individuals report sleep problems, both in duration and quality. A new study by researchers at Brandeis University suggests that daily exercise, even low impact activities like walking, can substantially improve sleep quality, especially in women.

Science Direct: "Results suggest that low-impact PA [physical activity] is positively related to sleep, more so in women than men."

New York Times: “I think it’s fair to say” that these results indicate that people who move more also sleep better, says Alycia Sullivan Bisson, a graduate student in psychology at Brandeis, who conducted the new study with her adviser, Margie Lachman, and others."

3. Crime and punishment. Researchers at Simon Fraser University [SFU] in Canada found that by using modern risk assessment tools we can incarcerate fewer offenders without sacrificing public safety. Assessing the likelihood of future violence has been tricky, but psychologists and criminologists have been getting better at it over the last 30 years and it's paying dividends. "A sweeping study by Simon Fraser University researchers aggregated data—involving more than a million offenders at 30 different Canadian and U.S. research sites—and found that while fewer people were being locked up, crime rates showed some declines."
“This demonstrates that we can minimize incarceration without jeopardizing public safety,” says SFU psychology professor Jodi Viljoen. The American Psychological Association has published a paper outlining her findings. “Rather than incarcerating everyone, the key is to make sure that we are incarcerating those people who truly pose a risk to public safety.”

4. Dogs really are our best friends. In a new study published in "Circulation," the journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that "dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality."

Washington Post: "After reviewing 10 studies that included data on 3.8 million participants, the authors determine that “dog ownership was associated with a 24% risk reduction for all-cause mortality as compared to non-ownership.” The data showed even greater benefits among those who’d experienced cardiovascular issues, such as a heart attack and stroke."

The researches theorize that dog owners get more exercise [walking your dog is good for you too], and earlier studies have shown that there are psychological benefits. Dogs offer companionship and can reduce anxiety and loneliness.

5. Zombies! Where did they come from?

NPR: According to Haitian folklore, the book Race, Oppression and the Zombie recounts, zombies are the product of spells by a voudou sorcerer called a bokor. The word is believed to be of West African origin and was brought to Haiti by slaves from that region. The concept of zombies would evolve further with the creation of the voudou religion.

Happy Halloween!

#research #news

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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