Books and Articles — Parenting Advice and Support

Books for Children and Teens

Ryan, AmyVibes (for ages 14-16 years)
Sportelli-Rehak, AngelaMoving Again Mom
Verdick, ElizabethWords Are Not for Hurting (for ages 4-7 years)

Books for Adults

Gallagher, Gina and Konjoian, PatriciaShut Up About...Your Perfect Kid!
Lavi, Barbara and Delzingo, LeeWhen Bad Things Happen to Children: A New Book to Help In Response to Sandy Hook Tragedy
Pruett, Kyle and PruettPartnership Parenting
Seligman, MartinThe Optimistic Child : A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience

Articles and Other Resources

Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, April 30, 2014.  “New research discovers that the suppression of positive feelings can play an important role in the development of postpartum depression. Investigators believe this finding has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.”

Meaningful Activities Protect the Brain From Depression, by Olga Khazan. The Atlantic, April 21, 2014.  “How we seek and respond to those rewards is part of what determines our overall happiness. Aristotle famously said there were two basic types of joy: hedonia, or that keg-standing, Netflix binge-watching, Nutella-from-the-jar selfish kind of pleasure, and eudaimonia, or the pleasure that comes from helping others, doing meaningful work, and otherwise leading a life well-lived. Recent psychological research has suggested that this second category is more likely to produce a lasting increase in happiness. Hedonic rewards may generate a short-term burst of glee, but it dissipates more quickly than the surge created by the more selfless eudaimonic rewards.”

Depression risks increase for young dads, by Michelle Healy. USA Today, April 14, 2014.  “Becoming a dad can be emotionally tough for any guy, but especially for young, first-time fathers. A new study finds that the first five years of parenthood — key attachment and bonding years for a child — may be the riskiest for young dads when it comes to developing depression. Symptoms of depression increased on average by 68% over the first five years of fatherhood for men who were around 25 years old when they became fathers and lived with their children, according to the study published online today in the journal Pediatrics.”

Military Dads Have to Re-Learn Parenting After Deployment University of Wisconsin-Madison, March 04, 2014.  “Fathers who returned after military service report having difficulty connecting with young children who sometimes don’t remember them, according to a study released this week. While the fathers in the study had eagerly anticipated reuniting with their families, they reported significant stress, especially around issues of reconnecting with children, adapting expectations from military to family life, and co-parenting.”

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain, by Jon Hamilton. NPR, February 24, 2014.  “Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development. More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that "neglect is awful for the brain," says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Without someone who is a reliable source of attention, affection and stimulation, he says, "the wiring of the brain goes awry." The result can be long-term mental and emotional problems.”

Higher risks among perinatal women with bipolar disorder, by Brown University. ScienceDaily, February 24, 2014.  “Women with bipolar disorder often struggle with the illness during and after pregnancy. A new study finds that they were significantly more likely to face important psychiatric and childrearing challenges compared to women who were seeking treatment for other psychiatric disorders. The findings indicate the importance of properly identifying the disorder and developing specific treatments for women during and after pregnancy, the lead author states.”

In Texting Era, Crisis Hotlines Put Help at Youths’ Fingertips, by Leslie Kaufman. New York Times, February 04, 2014.  “While counseling by phone remains far more prevalent, texting has become such a fundamental way to communicate, particularly among people under 20, that crisis groups have begun to adopt it as an alternative way of providing emergency services and counseling. Texting provides privacy that can be crucial if a person feels threatened by someone near them, counselors say. It also looks more natural if the teenager is in public.”

The Foolproof Way to Improve Your ADHD Child’s Social Skills, by Lisa Aro. Everyday Health, January 21, 2014.  “Impulsiveness, frustration, and impatience can often leads to inappropriate or aggressive behavior. While discipline is important it means nothing in the if end the child hasn’t learned new skills to help them cope with the situations they face every day. Social stories can help you teach your child those skills.”

Yelling, threatening parents harm teens' mental health, by Allison Bond. Reuters, December 10, 2013.  “Threatening or screaming at teenagers may put them at higher risk for depression and disruptive behaviors such as rule-breaking, a new study suggests. "The take home point is that the verbal behaviors matter," Annette Mahoney, who worked on the study, said. She's a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. "It can be easy to overlook that, but our study shows that the verbal hostility is really relevant, particularly for mothers who scream and hit, and for fathers who do either one," Mahoney told Reuters Health.”

Bully in the next bedroom - are we in denial about sibling aggression?, by William Kremer. November 08, 2013.  “Sibling relationships can be difficult, and never more so than in childhood. But society often regards the scrapping and squabbling, the play fighting and not-so-playful fighting as a normal part of growing up. Almost a third of the 3,600 children questioned said they had been the victim of some sort of sibling aggression in the past 12 months. The included a range of acts from theft and psychological abuse to physical assault, either mild or severe. In comparison, research suggests that up to a quarter of children are victims of schoolyard aggression every year.”

How to talk to your children about school safety, by Elizabeth Gehrman. October 06, 2013.  “More schools are beefing up security, adding metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and more. Parents need to be ready to help their children understand why.”

7 Essential Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide, by Nadine Kaslow and Polina Kitsis, et al. American Psychological Assosciation, September 23, 2013.  “Every day, about 12 youth die by suicide. For every adolescent death by suicide you hear about, about 25 suicide attempts are made. These are staggering statistics. We know that families, schools, peer groups, and communities are dramatically impacted when young people engage in suicidal behavior. We want to help you prevent these tragedies. Parents Can Make a Difference Parents can help prevent suicide by recognizing warning signs, identifying risk factors (characteristics that may lead a young person to engage in suicidal behaviors), promoting protective factors (characteristics that help people deal with stress and reduce their chances of engaging in suicidal behaviors), and knowing how to talk to their children and seek mental health services. You can empower yourself and your teen by following these 7 steps.”

When Helping Hurts, by ELI J. FINKEL and FITZSIMONS. New York Times, May 10, 2013.

Lack of sleep blights pupils' education, by Sean Coughlan. BBC, May 08, 2013.  “Sleep deprivation is a significant hidden factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils, according to researchers carrying out international education tests. It is a particular problem in more affluent countries, with sleep experts linking it to the use of mobile phones and computers in bedrooms late at night. Sleep deprivation is such a serious disruption that lessons have to be pitched at a lower level to accommodate sleep-starved learners, the study found. The international comparison, carried out by Boston College, found the United States to have the highest number of sleep-deprived students, with 73% of 9 and 10-year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14-year-olds identified by their teachers as being adversely affected.”

Can Too Much TV in Childhood Cause Adult Antisocial Behavior?, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, February 19, 2013.  “Emerging research suggests that children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behavior when they become adults. New Zealand researchers followed a group of around 1,000 children born in the city of Dunedin in 1972-73. Every two years between the ages of 5 and 15, researchers asked the children's parents how much television they watched. Experts then analyzed the data and discovered a small relationship in the data that suggests there is a connection between antisocial personality traits in adulthood and more television watching as a child. The researchers also found that people with a criminal conviction said that they watched more TV as a child compared to those who didn't have one.”

Xanax 'helps me be a better mom', by Shawn Bean. CNN, February 18, 2013.  “To deal with her depression and anxiety issues, J.D. Bailey does not use prescription drugs. She uses the delicate-fabrics setting on the dryer. Four years ago, Bailey was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft to offset the postpartum depression that followed the birth of her youngest daughter, Grace. Her doctor later switched the script to Celexa. Thus began a carousel of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Today, Bailey is not taking anything. For the past few months, her drug of choice has been five minutes in the laundry room.”

D Is for Divorce: Sesame Street Tackles Another Touchy Topic, by Jessica Bennett and Tumblr Storyboard. Time, December 10, 2012.  “In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40% of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children's-television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kids shows wouldn't touch. They cast Snuffy, a.k.a. Mr. Snuffleupagus, for the part of a child with divorced parents. With a team of its best writers, researchers and producers, a segment was scripted and shot. It went through a half-dozen revisions, with input from the foremost researchers in the field. And on a typical sunny afternoon on Sesame Street, the furry, red elephantine Muppet prepared to drop the bomb on his loyal preschool viewers.”

Parents Tend to Downplay Kids' Worries, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, October 25, 2012.  “A new study implies that parents, perhaps naturally so, are positively biased toward their child's abilities and emotions. Psychologists at the Center for Mind and Brain, at the University of California, Davis, discovered parents consistently overestimate their children's optimism and downplay their worries.”

Summer Camp: Great For Kids, Even Better For Parents, by Bonnie Rochman. Time Magazine, August 03, 2012.  “These days, of course, setting your kids free doesn't have to mean completely severing the ties that bind. Most camps post hundreds of digital photos of campers each day, prompting many a lovelorn mom to sit by her computer all day clicking "refresh." Many camps allow email, and a new service even lets parents forward recent tweets from their kids' favorite Twitter personalities.”

Playtime Relieves Stress among Single Moms, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, June 20, 2012.  “A new study suggests single mothers can improve their relationship with their children and relieve parental stress by interacting with their children during playtime.”

Parents' Depression Linked to Problems in Children, by Perri Klass. New York Times, May 07, 2012.  “A parent's depression, it turns out, can be linked to all kinds of problems, even in the lives of older children.”

Validation: How Parents Can Help Their Children Cope with Bullying, by Karyn Hall. Psychology Today, March 03, 2012.

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked, by Janice Wood. Psych Central, December 25, 2011.  “Students who miss a lot of school often have symptoms of psychiatric disorders, according to a new study.”

Working May Help Mom's Mental Health, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, December 13, 2011.  “Getting out of the house and working appears to be a healthy tonic for mothers as researchers discover being a stay-at-home mom is associated with higher bouts of depression.”

Dad's Involvement Improves Child Outcomes, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, August 31, 2011.  “A new study suggests active participation by the father in child-raising activities improves academic performance and behavior in the kids.”

Why Maternity Leave Is Important, by Meredith Melnick. Time Magazine, July 21, 2011.

Rethinking Shaken Baby Syndrome, by Joseph Shapiro. NPR, June 29, 2011.  “The dispute over shaken baby syndrome is a bitter civil war. On one side, doctors, lawyers and other experts say the diagnosis is key to winning convictions of people accused of the most horrible acts of child abuse. Opponents say the diagnosis is used too freely and that sometimes, innocent people go to prison.”

Children's Mental Health, by APA. American Psychological Assosciation, June 19, 2011.  “Contrary to popular belief, infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders. Yet, because of the pervasive but mistaken impression that this can't happen, many very young children with mental health disorders don't get the help they need.”

Time to focus on sad dads, by Tara Parker-Pope. New York Times, March 17, 2011.  “Much is known about postpartum depression in women, but now researchers are calling attention to the plight of depressed fathers.”

New mothers get enough sleep, just not good sleep, by Amy Norton. Reuters, August 30, 2010.  “Researchers from West Virginia University in followed a group of new mothers and found, on average, the women got just over 7 hours of sleep a night during their babies' first four months. But the study found that sleep is also frequently disrupted with the women typically being awake for a total of two hours a night which was worrying as sleep problems and exhaustion may contribute to postpartum depression and impact work performance.”

Defining a Successful Parent, by Lisa Belkin. New York Times, July 19, 2010.  “Cultivating and informing and monitoring are what parents are supposed to do, no?”

Worried About a Moody Teen?, by Elizabeth Bernstein. Wall St. Journal, June 29, 2010.  “Everyone warns parents about the drama of the teen years—the self-righteous tears, slamming doors, inexplicable fashion choices, appalling romances. But what happens when typical teen angst starts to look like something much darker and more troubling? How can parents tell if a moody teenager is simply normal—or is spinning out of control? This may be one of the most difficult dilemmas parents will ever face.”

Teenagers Face Stigma of Mental Illness, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, May 27, 2010.  “A new study paints a disturbing portrait for youth diagnosed and taking medications for mood disorders.”

Having a Baby: Depression Affects New Fathers, Too, by Roni Rabin. The New York Times, May 24, 2010.  “One in 10 new fathers experience prenatal or postpartum depression, a condition long thought to affect only mothers, according to a new analysis of dozens of earlier studies.”

Depression in Young Children, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, May 20, 2010.  “While childhood depression is a well established diagnosis, research looking at depression in children younger than 6 years old is a relatively new field of study.”

Newborn infants learn while asleep; study may lead to later disability tests, by Cathy Keen. University of Florida News, May 17, 2010.  “Sleeping newborns are better learners than thought, says a University of Florida researcher about a study that is the first of its type. The study could lead to identifying those at risk for developmental disorders such as autism and dyslexia.”

Postpartum Depression: When Moms Feel Out of Control, by Elizabeth Landau. CNN, May 14, 2010.  “It's normal for new mothers to feel overwhelmed and tired, but sometimes those feelings can develop into something more serious. "Baby blues," which do not require medical attention, can include mood swings, sleep problems, irritability, crying, anxiety and sadness in the first couple of weeks after birth. Postpartum depression is more intense and intrusive: Women may lose interest in life, withdraw from family and friends, or think about harming themselves or their children.”

School shocked by a suicide drafts tough policy on bullies, by Peter Schworm. Boston Globe, April 28, 2010.  “South Hadley schools have drafted a new antibullying policy that requires all staff members to report “any bullying they see or learn about’’ and pledges to “promptly and reasonably’’ investigate any allegation of harassment.”

Little kids, big problems, by Linda Wertheimer. Boston Globe, April 25, 2010.  ““Just take a deep breath” was the advice one mother got from the pediatrician when she went in for help with her 3-year-old’s extreme tantrums.”

New College Addiction? Social Media, Facebooks, or Friends, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, April 23, 2010.  “A new study suggests American college students are "addicted" to the instant connections and information afforded by social media.”

Are Kids Overprescribed Medications?, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, April 21, 2010.  “A sure-to-be controversial new study suggests psychotropic medications are overused in children.”

Study: Spanking Kids Leads to More Aggressive Behavior, by Alice Park. Time, April 12, 2010.  “Researchers at Tulane University provide the strongest evidence yet against the use of spanking: of the nearly 2,500 youngsters in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were more likely to be aggressive by age 5.”

Mental Health Experts Applaud Focus on Parity, by Sarah Kershaw. New York Times, March 30, 2010.  “The law makes it possible for millions to get the same coverage for illnesses like major depression or schizophrenia as they would for diabetes or cancer.”

Hello! Your Psychiatrist Will Skype You Now, by Julie Weingarden Dubin. Time, March 22, 2010.

What We Get When We Give, by Christine L. Carter. Psychology Today, February 18, 2010.

Mount Sinai finds prenatal exposure to certain chemicals affects childhood neurodevelopment, by Stephanie Engel and Amir Miodovnik, et al. EScience News, January 28, 2010.  “A new study led by Mount Sinai researchers in collaboration with scientists from Cornell University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has found higher prenatal exposure to phthalates -- manmade chemicals that interfere with hormonal messaging -- to be connected with disruptive and problem behaviors in children between the ages of 4 and 9 years.”

Play, Then Eat: Shift May Bring Gains at School, by Tara Parker-Pope. New York Times, January 25, 2010.  “A simple scheduling switch — moving recess before lunch — may improve children’s eating habits and behavior in school.”

If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online, by Tamar Lewin. New York Times, January 20, 2010.  “Researchers once thought the use of electronic devices could not go up. They were wrong.”

To Treat Bed-Wetting, Healthy Doses of Patience, by Perri Klass. New York Times, January 11, 2010.  “The causes for bed-wetting in children can be genetic, developmental and physiological, but the problem itself is quite treatable.”

Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them, by Benedict Carey. New York Times, December 20, 2009.  “New research on when young brains are best able to grasp fundamental concepts could reshape early education.”

Infant Sleep Position: Back to Sleep, by Megan A. Moreno. December 14, 2009.  “Sleep position is an important safety issue for infants younger than 1 year. This is because sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is associated with infants sleeping on their tummies. Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for infants younger than 1 year. It most commonly occurs in babies between the ages of 2 and 4 months. Despite more than 15 years of the "back to sleep" educational campaign, some parents still are not provided with appropriate education about the safest sleep position for babies.”

Postpartum Depression Strikes Fathers, Too, by Richard Friedman, M.D. New York Times, December 08, 2009.  “The effects of postpartum depression in men can be every bit as disruptive as occurs with women.”

Developmental Psychologist Says Teenagers Are Different, by Claudia Dreifus. New York Times, November 30, 2009.  “A Temple University professor and leading expert in the United States on adolescents says they are different from adults, like in being responsible for criminal behavior.”

The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting, by Nancy Gibbs. Time Magazine, November 20, 2009.

Breeding Babies, by Randi Hutter Epstein. Psychology Today, November 06, 2009.

Texting, Surfing, Studying?, by Perri Klass. New York Times, November 02, 2009.  “In an age of multimedia and multitasking, we have a lot to learn.”

Parenting: Raising Happy Children, by Jim Taylor, Ph.D. Psychology Today, October 30, 2009.  “What does it take to raise happy children?”

For Some Parents, Shouting Is the New Spanking, by Hilary Stout. New York Times, October 21, 2009.  “Many in today’s generation of parents would never spank their children. But, incongruously and with regularity, this is a generation that yells.”

Depression Is a Dilemma for Women in Pregnancy, by Roni Caryn Rabin. New York Times, October 05, 2009.  “A study looked for harmful effects in the use of antidepressants by pregnant women.”

From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk, by Jane Brody. New York Times, September 29, 2009.  “All too often, mothers and nannies are tuned in to their cellphones, BlackBerrys and iPods, not their young children.”

The Importance of Family Dinners V, by CASAColumbia. National Center on Additiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia, September 23, 2009.  “CASA report finds teens who have infrequent family dinners likelier to drink, smoke, use marijuana.”

The Truth About Teen Girls, by Belinda Luscombe. Time Magazine, September 11, 2009.

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents, by Ted Feinberg and Katherine C. Cowan. September 08, 2009.  “The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life. ... Here are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful school experience.”

Therapy in Preschools: Can It Have Lasting Benefits?, by Sue Shellenbarger. The Wall St. Journal, September 08, 2009.  “The idea of assigning mental-health workers to child-care centers and preschools is jarring. However, research is showing that the programs are benefiting entire classrooms of children.”

Parenting and Food: Eat Your Peas. Or Donâ��t. Whatever., by Frank Bruni. New York Times, August 29, 2009.  “How can parents coach children away from unhealthy eating without provoking insecurity and obsession?”

Ask the Needham Youth Commission: Cough medicine abuse and how to protect your teens, by Needham Youth Commission. Needham Times, June 30, 2009.  “Chugging cough medicine is not a new way for teens to get a quick, cheap high. Through the years, teens could get high by taking large doses of any over-the-counter medicine that contained dextromethorphan (also called DXM).”

The Daddy Brain, by Jeremy Adam Smith. Greater Good Magazine, June 15, 2009.

Do parents favor natural children over adopted ones?, by Nigel Barber. Psychology Today, June 01, 2009.

Texting May Be Taking a Toll, by Katie Hafner. New York Times, May 25, 2009.  “Nearly 80 messages a day, on average, take their toll in a range of ways.”

Mothers in Crisis Turn to Temporary 'Parents', by Erik Eckholm. New York Times, May 06, 2009.  “More states are seeking to avoid the stark choice between breaking up families and leaving children at risk.”

Managing Your Anxiety about H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu), by Katherine O'Neill and Ester Cole, et al. American Psychological Assosciation, April 28, 2009.

Delivering advice to parents on teen sex, by Bella English. Boston Globe, April 19, 2009.

For Mother and Child at Risk, Care That Includes a Psychologist, by Laurie Tarkan. The New York Times, February 15, 2009.  “A new effort by the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center seeks to protect young children from psychological damage that can be common in poor families.”

Kids Aren't Getting Enough Vitamin D, by Kathleen Kingsbury. Time Magazine, October 13, 2008.

Accidents don't have to happen, by Michael Jellinek, M.D. The Newton Tab, October 07, 2008.

When Children Have a Mental Illness, by Anne Belden. Parenthood.com, 2010.  “An estimated one in 10 children and adolescents in the United States suffers from a mental illness severe enough to significantly interfere with daily life.”

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Why Breathing Doesn't Work (and what does), by Dawn Huebner. http://www.dawnhuebnerphd.com, 2010.

Keeping Socks On and Other Sensory Challenges, by Dawn Huebner. http://www.dawnhuebnerphd.com, 2010.

One Stone: Extinguishing Negative Behaviors, by Dawn Huebner. http://www.dawnhuebnerphd.com, 2010.

When To Seek Help For Your Child, by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry..

Where To Find Help For Your Child, by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry..

What Parents Can Do About CyberBullying, by Signe Whitson. Psychology Today, 2012.

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Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.