Sins of the Father (cont.)

While Atkins still worries about his older son's angry outbursts, he is pleased that -- unlike his own experiences -- his boy is getting real help. School counselors have done testing to determine if he has any learning disabilities, but so far they have not made any diagnosis. While his sons live with their mother 15 miles away, Atkins spends some time with them every day and attends his eldest's Pop Warner football games.

Such focused attention and assistance is just what the boy needs, researchers say, and should continue through adolescence. It will, if Atkins has anything to say about it.

He's worked hard to improve his own behavior and to be there for his boys. And that, he hopes, will help them break the cycle of violence -- whatever their genetic propensity.

Jim Dawson has been a newspaper science writer for twenty years and is now the senior news editor for Physics Today magazine in Washington, D.C.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/30/2005 10:49:30 PM