Chapter 6 and 7

I thought the idea of the amount of playtime before entering formal school affecting longevity¬† was very interesting, specifically because of the value that society places in education. One would think that, with the way Americans push the idea of a rigid education, that a child starting school at a younger age would be beneficial for him/her. However, unstructured playtime serves to be very beneficial for one’s psychological health, and therefore can increase longevity in the long run. This is puzzling to me because it seems that this information would be used to promote more loosely structured elementary schools, but this does not seem to be the case.

I was also very puzzled by the fact that parental divorce seemed to be more tragic in the long term for children than parental death. I would have assumed that parental death would have been more traumatizing for a child (creating a more stressful environment and therefore a shorter life) than a divorce (where the child would still be supported by two parents). However, results from the Terman Project shows that those whose parents divorced lived longer than those who had a parent die during their childhood. The chapter also talks about the resilience of these children and how that affects longevity, but I would think the resilience factor in these two situations (divorce and death) would be very similar, if not more for a child whose parent died.

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One Response to Chapter 6 and 7

  1. Maya Wright says:

    I also thought that the amount of playtime before entering formal school and the effect it has on longevity was very interesting. I agree with the fact that unstructured play time is very beneficial to a child’s environment and to me it seems that children who are in a more hands on education program such as a Montessori school would benefit from stating school at an earlier age because the curriculum is looser than a traditional school.
    I was also very puzzled that parental divorce seemed to be more tragic in the long term than parental death. I made the same assumption you did about how parental death would seem more traumatizing for a child. Maybe parental death isn’t as traumatizing because over time a child learns to cope with the situation, whereas in divorce the situation is constant and the child may have hope that his/her parents will get back together so they never truly cope with the situation. I would also agree that the resilience in the two situations would be very similar.

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