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The Human Brain and Parental Behavior, Part Two

July 27, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This post continues from yesterday’s.

The study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences continues by laying out its background.

Throughout human history and across cultures, women have typically assumed primary caregiving responsibility for infants (1, 2). Although humans are among the few mammalian species where some male parental caregiving is relatively common, father involvement varies considerably within and across cultures, adapting to ecological conditions (1, 3). Involved fathering has been linked with children's long-term physiological and social development and with increases in mothers' caregiving-related hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin (3, 4, 5, 6). In addition, animal studies demonstrated structural brain alterations in caregiving fathers (7, 8). It has been suggested that, although maternal caregiving is triggered by neurobiological processes related to pregnancy and labor, the human father's brain, similar to other biparental mammals, adapts to the parental role through active involvement in childcare (1, 2, 3). Despite growing childcare involvement of fathers (3, 5, 6), mechanisms for human fathers' brain adaptation to caregiving experiences remain largely unknown, and no study to our knowledge has examined the brain basis of human fatherhood when fathers assume primary responsibility for infant care.


Breakthrough Study: Mothers’ and Fathers’ Brains Much the Same in Parenting

July 26, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I’m no scientist. So this post will come mostly from this study that came out a little over a year ago (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 5/1/14). There’s little I can add to what the authors say, but will attempt to say what I think the findings mean regarding their potential to impact family law. For now though, suffice it to say that the conclusions the authors draw are vital to our understanding of parenting and how parental behavior comes about.


Do it Today! Support Massachusetts S.B. 834! Make Shared Parenting a Reality!

July 24, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

In Massachusetts, the push to enact SB 834 has begun. SB 834 is one bill to result from the two years of work by the Working Group on Child-Centered Family Laws convened by Governor Duval Patrick in 2012. The National Parents Organization was honored to be a part of that working group.


Savoie: Hague Convention Countries Fail to Keep Their Promise to Abducted Children

July 23, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I’ve written a good bit on international child abduction, covering various aspects of the phenomenon. I’ve written about abduction from the child’s viewpoint, from that of mental health professionals, left-behind parents and, of course, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Now Tennessee attorney Amy Savoie adds her valuable insights from the perspective of a practicing lawyer.


Boston Globe Calls for Child Support Reform

July 22, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

At the same time Massachusetts is considering significant changes to its custody law, comes this salutary editorial on child support (Boston Globe, 7/20/15). Encouragingly, it says a lot that’s right about who pays child support, who falls behind and why. By itself, that’s a breath of fresh air. It truly seems that the days are gone when the only commentary on child support consisted of new ways to denigrate “deadbeat dads.” Now, at least the basics seem to be understood.

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