Thursday, March 01, 2018
Doctors Perspective
What influences children?

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Some individuals live with the delusion that elementary schools and high schools play a major role in political, religious and oral thinking.These individuals are of the opinion that schools are brainwashing institutions. One wonders where they get such an idea.The easiest way to look at this is from a mathematical model. There are 180 days in the school year. That is just about half of the 365 days in the year. Children are in school for about 8 hours a day. That is about 1/3 of the day. If you multiply half the days of a school year by 1/3 of those days it works out to 1/6 of the time. That means that the other 5/6 of the time the children are with their parents. The concept that an institution that only spends 1/6 of the time with a child can have more of an effect than someone who spends the other 5/6 with the child is clearly not logical. For those people who are into basic math denial, the scientific studies support this concept. They have looked at political, religious and moral beliefs at different ages. One study looked at children who turned 18. They found that 70% of the time, they had the same beliefs as their parents. The other 30% for the most part were the ones who rebelled against their parents. They not only had different beliefs but usually the direct opposite of their parents. The interesting thing is that the stronger the parents pushed their beliefs on a child, the more likely they were to fall into the 30% that rebelled and took the opposite view. They also found that the fathers beliefs tended to be held a little bit more than the mothers beliefs by that 70%. As I will point out later, in many cases both parents beliefs tended to be similar anyway. A second study looked at political, religious and moral beliefs for adults between the ages of 18 and 35. They found that many changes in beliefs occurred during that period of time. One of the influences was college. However, with college only representing four of those 15 years, it was not the major influence. A second influence was the national media. As I indicated in an article a few weeks ago, the media is more interested in shaping opinions than reporting the news. It appears that the influence of the media is directly proportional to how much time the individual spends with media. The more time spent, the more the beliefs tended to match. The good news is that neither college nor the media outweighed parental influence. The bad news is that two things were greater than parental influence. One of those was the community that the individual lived in. The people he/she came in contact with did affect behavior. If the community was conservative in nature, it was more likely that the individual would be conservative. The same thing is true for liberal leanings. However, one factor outweighed all the others by a huge amount. That was the individuals spouse. It appears that people who are married for a long time tend to have similar political beliefs. That is even more true when you look at 50-year-old individuals. The spouse plays the biggest role. The community is second and the father is third. Mothers have no impact. That is not a huge surprise. Someone who was 50-years-old at the time of the survey had to have been born at least in the 1960s and earlier. Womens rights had not come very far at that time. Many women kept their opinions to themselves, so this is more related to history. It is likely to change in the future. Many factors shape our political, religious and moral beliefs over time. Those factors continue acting throughout our lives. The individual who thinks that the 1/6 of the time that a child spends in school outweighs the 5/6 of the time that they spend with their parents has a major issue. They are subconsciously placing blame on the school for their own inadequacies as a parent.

Morris named AHA director Delaware American Heart and Stroke Association welcomes David Morris as the states new executive director.In this role, Morris will lead all fundraising efforts for the state and will oversee Heart Ball, Heart Walk and Go Red for Women initiatives, as well as community and volunteer outreach. Morris began his professional career with MBNA America in 2001.He went on to work at the University of Delaware in their Office of Development and Alumni Relations in 2006, where he held various positions. Most recently, Morris held the position of assistant vice president for development at Delaware Technical Community College from 2015 to the present. Morris earned his bachelors degree in marketing from Millersville University and holds an MBA from the Lerner College of Business at the University of Delaware.

Hospice offers bereavement series Beginning Monday, March 12 at 5 p.m., the Cancer Support Community collaborates with Delaware Hospice to host a 6-week Bereavement program, Living With Loss, facilitated by Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C. This series is free and open to anyone who has lost a loved one in the past year. The Cancer Support Community is located in the Medical Arts Building, 18947 John J. Williams Hwy., Ste. 312, Rehoboth. Space is limited. Call 645-9150 for information and to register.

Lymphedema Support Group Nanticoke Rehabilitation Services hosts lymphedema support groups on the third Thursday of each month from 1:30 to 3 p.m., at the Seaford Library and Cultural Center. The next meeting is Thursday, March 15. This free support group is open to anyone affected by lymphedema including patients, caregivers, and relatives. Meetings consist of a lecture by health care professionals and medical equipment providers followed by refreshments and an open question and answer session or discussion amongparticipants.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Robert Donati, PT, CLT at 629-6224.

Parkinsons support group Nanticoke Health Services, in conjunction with CHEER and Care DE and the Manor House, will hold a Parkinsons education and support group on Thursday, March 15 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Manor House in Seaford. This support group is free and open to the public. This group is not only helpful for the individual diagnosed with PD, but also for caregivers, friends and family. Group members welcome guest speakers on a variety of subjects related to PD and provide support to each other through other small group discussions. Studies show that the information, training, and counseling that participants receive at support groups enhances the quality of life, help to alleviate stress, and may even boost the immune system. Tara Trout, LPN at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, co-facilitates the group with Kathy Landis, caregiver resource coordinator at CHEER in Sussex County. For more information, contact Tara at 629-6611, ext. 3838.

Better Breathers Club Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a Better Breathers Club on Monday, March 19 from 2 to 3 p.m., in the Nursing Conference Room. This free support group is open to anyone affected by a chronic lung disease including relatives and caregivers. Backed by the American Lung Association, the Better Breathers Club offers a venue for participants to learn from guest speakers and educational materials, socialize with others affected by a chronic lung disease, and practice skills that will help them better manage their condition and improve their quality of life. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 629-6611, ext. 1010.

Mancino attends certification Sal Mancino DPT, physical therapist at Aquacare Physical Therapy in Seaford, recently received certification in balance/vestibular and concussion management from the nationally recognized American Institute of Balance. Dr. Mancino is now a certified vestibular management therapist. Vestibular rehabilitation programs for patients with equilibrium disorders provide them with a successful alternative management strategy, allowing them to return to normal lives. Aquacares concussion management includes but is not limited to the six stage protocol for safe return to physical activity and addresses the multiple symptoms that may arise through the course of recovering from a concussion. For more information on the specialized services offered for balance/vestibular and concussion injuries at Aquacare Physical Therapy or to schedule a free consultation, call the Seaford office at 536-1774.

Diabetes Education Program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on March 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required. As a person with diabetes, Nanticoke can help teach you the self-care skills needed to keep you on track. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions in a group setting.One family member or significant other is also welcome to attend. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. To register or for more information about this course, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education Department at 629-6611, ext. 2288. To learn more about diabetes services at Nanticoke, visit

Bariatric Support Groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public. Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The nutrition-focused bariatric support group is designed to provide nutritional support to bariatric patients and is held the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.

Alzheimers programs offered The Caregiver Resource Center at the Modern Maturity Center located at 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover, is offering a series of educational programs presented by Jamie Magee, coordinator for the Alzheimers Association. The following free programs are being offered: Wednesday, March 7, 1011:30 a.m. - Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimers The Basics. Register by March 2. Wednesday, April 11, 10-11:30 a.m. - Effective Communication Strategies. Register by April 6. Wednesday, May 16, 1011:30 a.m. - Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behaviors. Register by May 11. To register, call 800-272-3900 or email Sharon Jarnette at