Contrary to the strong American belief that people thrive on praise, Kim found that the happiest students in both countries were the ones who knew how good or bad they were and were told the truth.
"It's much better to be honest and give accurate feedback," said Kim, whose work was in the October issue of the American Psychological Association journal Emotion.
While accurate appraisals don't guarantee improved performance, he said, inaccurate feedback undermines motivation to achieve. Because people often take negative feedback personally - especially in a culture where it's so rare - the trick is to be "really cautious" in delivering it. Teachers, parents, or employers should emphasize that "this is not about you. You didn't do well on this task . . . You have to practice more. You have to study more."
- Stacey Burling
Children's Hospital confirms increase in knee injuries
For years, sports medicine professionals have been reporting an apparent rise in two kinds of knee injuries in children and adolescents: tears in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus.
A new analysis suggests that at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, at least, the increase is real.
From January 1999 to January 2011, the number of ACL tears treated at Children's rose more than 11 percent a year, while meniscus tears increased nearly 14 percent per year.
Researchers compared these figures with the number of tibial spine fractures to make sure the increase in knee injuries was not simply the result of the hospital's getting more referrals overall. The number of spine fractures rose just 1 percent each year, suggesting that the knee injuries are truly on the rise.
Researchers at the hospital presented their findings at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting this month in Boston. The hospital's Sports Medicine and Performance Center has developed four injury-prevention videos. See them at: www.chop.edu, searching for "Ready, Set, Prevent." - Tom Avril
Surgery on the obese has positive effects on family
Various surveys have shown that if you have obese relatives, you're more likely to be obese yourself. Now a group of doctors says that if obese people get gastric bypass surgery, their relatives are likely to slim down too.
Doctors at Stanford University followed 35 families in which one member got bariatric surgery. A year after the surgery, they found that everyone lost weight, though the loss was not statistically significant. They did, however, see significant weight loss among those adult relatives who were already obese - with the average going from 234 to 226 pounds.
The authors also noted a significant drop in waistline measurements of the obese adult relatives. "Obesity is a family health concern," the authors write. "This study demonstrates that performing a gastric bypass operation on one patient has a halo of positive effects on the weight, eating habits, activity level and health behaviors of the entire family." - Faye Flam
Women drivers are more apt to be badly hurt in crashes
Women drivers are nearly 50 percent more likely than men to be severely injured in a crash, according to an analysis of 10 years of federal traffic safety data. But it's not because they're reckless.
Men drive more, and have far more accidents. As a result, they have been the primary focus of past studies on safety, the researchers write in the American Journal of Public Health. They found, however, that differences in stature, strength, musculature, and seating position create 47 percent greater odds of various injuries for women wearing seat belts.
A real fix is likely to take time. Meanwhile, lead author Dipan Bose of the University of Virginia offered this advice: Don't sit on a pillow (or lean forward); instead, adjust the seat for clear visibility and at least 10 inches between chest and steering column. Buy brake pedal adjusters to help reach the pedals. Adjust the seat belt, using the D-ring loop, so that the belt is generally snug and does not run over the neck or around the belly. Adjust the head rest for your stature.
For more, go to www.nhtsa.gov and click on Driving Safety. - Don Sapatkin