Teens In The News

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4/28/2017: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you’re busy--that’s why we’re keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1.  Despite the stereotype, teens aren't glued to their devices

A recent poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research revealed that 60 percent of teens have taken a break from technology for various reasons. According to the teens ages 13-17 who were surveyed, social media breaks are typically a week or longer, and more often taken by boys.

 

2. A tuition-free school is helping teens recover from opioid addiction

Opioid addiction affects many teens (1,100 teens begin misusing pills each day) but many treatment centers only accept adults. That's where recovery schools, like the Hope Academy in Indianapolis, are making a difference. The school has 41 teenagers who have abused drugs like marijuana, alcohol, painkillers and heroin. These students recover in a community of acceptance and safety, where they know they aren't alone. 

 

3.  Doctors in Arizona wonder if uptick in suicidal teens is related to Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

Netflix's new series, 13 Reasons Why, centers around the death of Hannah Baker, who narrates the show post-humously through a series of 13 tapes, each targeted at a teen who is a reason for her death. Doctors in a Glendale, Arizona emergency room say they sometimes see up to seven suicidal teens in a day, but since the show's release, they've been seeing up to 18.

 

For more teens in the news, be sure to check out our past updates:

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4/21/17: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1.  When talking to teens about stress, avoid 'When I was your age' anecdotes

Teens who are struggling with massive amounts of stress often refuse help from adults. This may be because of the way adults approach the issue; experts say that parents who use anecdotes of success from their own childhood may be prompting a communication breakdown. "Teenagers are looking for proof that their parents don't understand them and bringing up these examples only confirms that you're not on the same wavelength," explains psychologist Sheryl Gonzalez Ziegler.

 

2. These high school girls invented a solar-powered shelter for the homeless

Twelve junior and senior high school girls from California have invented a solar-powered homeless shelter. The girls are from a low-income community, so they are often confronted with homelessness. Many of them also come from immigrant families, and hope their invention will be able to benefit refugees. 

 

3. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says school should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

In their official statement, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the AASM has taken a stance on school start times. They say starting after 8:30 a.m. will help ensure student attendance, timeliness, and behind-the-wheel safety. 

 

For more news about teens, check out our previous updates:

 

 

 

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4/14/17: 4 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. New survey reveals teens' favorite things

A new survey from Piper Jaffray looked at 5,500 teens and found that Generation Z consumes even more than Millennials. Their taste is different too, as today's teens are more likely to splurge on food rather than fashion. They also love shopping on Amazon and eating at Chick-fil-A. For a snapshot of the results, check out this infographic. 

 

2. Could parental consent be skewing studies on teens?

To participate in studies on mental health, teens have to get parental consent. Researchers worry this could make it difficult to make advances in adolescent psychology in general, but especially in cases where alcohol and drug use are being studied.

 

3.  Texas has the highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy in the country

Out of all the states, Texas has the highest rate of girls becoming pregnant for a second or even third time. The epidemic costs the state more than $1.1 billion, and costs teen girls even more in emotional repercussions. That's why Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) is proposing a bill to allow teen parents to access contraception without the permission of their parents. 

 

4. A high school in Baltimore uses teacing techniques from early childhood education

The idea behind the teaching methods at City Neighbors High School in Baltimore, Maryland is simply to have fun. According to school leaders, the typical American high school can sometimes feel like a factory, grinding out students and pushing them through the system. But, taking a break to discuss simple, even silly concepts--like why Cool Ranch Doritos are the best--can help classrooms foster friendliness and fun. 

 

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4/7/17: 4 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. A California teen replaced bathroom mirrors with encouraging messages

Sabrina Astle, 17, wanted to make a difference in her school, so she replaced the girls' bathroom mirrors with inspiring messages, like "You are beautiful" and "You are loved." According to ABC News, Sabrina thought her peers would be cheered by her act, but she didn't realize it would have such a lasting positive impact. 

 

2. Could Instagram have health benefits for teens?

A new study conducted by researchers in Belgium revealed that while frequent Instagram can be linked to depression, it also makes teens feel closer to friends--which correlates with lower levels of depression. 

 

3. Chicago may require teens to show a college acceptance letter to graduate

A plan proposed by Chicago's mayor Rahm Emanuel would require students to show an acceptance of admission to a four-year university, a community college, a trade school or apprenticeship, an internship, or a branch of the armed services in order to graduate. Said Emanuel: "We want to make 14th grade universal. That's the new goal line."

 

4. Study reveals how parent snooping affects teens

A new study in the Journal of Adolescence suggests that parental snooping may actually make teens more sneaky. Experts say that more often than not, parental privacy invasions will backfire. But there may be a solution, or at least a starting place: communication.

 

For more Teens in the News, check out our past updates: 

Making school start times later may not benefit students. Photo credit: Klubovy/iStockphoto

3/31/17: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. Video games tied to sexism in teenagers

A recent study surveyed more than 13,000 French teens and found that there was a positive correlation between video game play and a sexist view of women. Researchers say this is because women are underrepresented in video games--and when they are included, they are depicted as sex objects. 

 

2. Later school start times may be counterproductive to teen rest

New research from Harvard Medical School and the University of Surrey suggests that making school start times later (in an effort to align with teen circadian rhythms) may not actually be beneficial for students. This is because teens who get to sleep in also tend to stay up late--and therefore increase their artificial-light exposure, which can also impact circadian rhythm. One solution to this problem? Turn the lights down in the evening. 

 

3. Teen girls are defying the mean-girl stereotype on YouTube

There's now a slew of teenage girls who are defying the "mean girl" teen stereotype by posting wholesome content on YouTube channels. These teens are following in the footsteps of 13-year-old JoJo Siwa and her trademark hair bow--an emblem of self-worth and kindness that's helped her land a multi-platform deal with Nickelodeon. While some see this move as positive, others are critical of JoJo's success and the example it sets for other teens.

 

For more Teens in the News, check out our past updates: 

 

 

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3/24/2017: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. Teen opioid addiction often starts in the doctor's office

A recent study, done by researchers at the University of Michigan, tracked teen opioid use from 1976-2015. The findings show that among adolescents, there is a link between originally being prescribed a drug for medical reasons and later taking it for nonmedical reasons. The study confirmed that since 2013, opioid use has been declining among teens. 

 

2. Some states send teens to adult prisons

In New York and North Carolina, anyone who is 16 is qualified to be tried as an adult. In Texas, the age is 17. Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin have similar regulations. Many lawmakers are beginning to realize that teen incarceration is not the best option.  Rather than incarcerating young people, some states, like Connecticut--where they recognize adults at 18--send teens to "diversion programs designed to help them develop more constructive behavior," instead of spending the money to incarcerate them.

 

3. In news literacy class, students are learning to separate fact from fiction

Marisol Solano teaches news literacy at Intermediate School 303 in Coney Island, Brooklyn, focusing on teaching her students how to determine if news is real or fake. At I.S. 303, teachers understand that fake news is more than fabricated new stories, but an overall problem of misinformation, and the only way to combat it is by teaching students to evaluate and fact-check the media they consume. 

 

For more Teens in the News, be sure to check out our past updates: 

 

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3/17/2017: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. American teenagers may be replacing drug use with smartphones

Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse have a hunch. They've noticed that while the "social acceptability" of marijuana has increased, the use of the drug by high school students has actually decreased. "Playing video games, using social media, that fulfills the necessity of sensation seeking, their need to seek novel activity," says Columbia University researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. Though the theory still needs more research, Dr. Martins believes it is "highly plausible."

 

2. Teens in Chicago are learning science-backed methods for conflict resolution

Lauryn Hill, a Chicago high school student, has lost two friends to violent crimes--a growing problem in the Chicago area. Recently, Hill participated in a new training program called CHILL that helps teens combat violent crime. The program was designed using neuroscience research from Yale University in tandem with relationship research from the Gottmann Institute. CHILL instructors role-play conflict scenarios and have students critique the situations as they go from "potentially calm" to "dangerous."

 

3. Most teens with opioid addiction don't receive the proper treatment

Data shows that 26 percent of adult heroin addicts received medication for their addiction, while only 2 percent of teens were treated. For those addicted to opiates, 12 percent of adults received medication, while the number of teens who received an addiction medication as part of their treatment amounted to less than 1 percent. Around 500,000 American teens use prescription opiates every year, and around ten percent will become addicted. Medication-assisted treatment is just as useful for treating teens as it is for adults, says Dr. Lisa Marsch of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. 

For more information on the opioid epidemic and how it impacts teens, be sure to check out our story, "Heroin Took Over Our Town."

 

For more Teens in the News, check out our past updates: 

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3/9/17: 4 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you must be busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. Hearing loss happens to teens too

Most people associate hearing loss with the elderly, but recent research shows that this phenomenon is more common in teens and young adults than previously thought. The findings reveal that anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of teens may have mild hearing loss, likely due to the use of ear buds and other hearing devices. Doctors suggest that teens use the 60/60 rule: When listening to a device, never turn the volume above 60 percent, and try to take a break from the sound every 60 minutes. 

For more information on teen hearing loss, check out this story from our archives: Hear This!

 

2. This dad has the perfect plan to save his teens from peer pressure

Bert Fulks, a West Virginia dad, has a plan. Whenever his kids feel peer pressure, no matter what, they text their dad an "X." In response, he calls them and says something has come up and he has to pick them up. This allows his kids to tell the people pressuring them that there's an emergency situation at home and they have to leave. Within a few minutes, he'll be there to pick them up with no judgment. Fulks calls it the "X-Plan" and hopes it will serve as a "lifeline" to his kids when they are in uncomfortable situations. 

 

3. Teens are innate risk-takers, but what really matters is self-control

According to a new international study, teen riskiness peaks at age 19, but self-regulation lags a little behind, not leveling off until age 23 or 24. This disparity confirms that teens tend to take risks, but suggests that "just because something is rooted in biology doesn't mean that it's not malleable and that there's nothing we can do about it," says study leader Dr. Steinberg. Dr. Steinberg believes that in those countries where teens took less risk-taking behavior, teens have been taught more self-control from a younger age, and grow up with more structure and less free time.

For more information on the teen brain and risk-taking behavior, be sure to read A User's Guide to Your Raging Brain. You can also teach the story to teens using our mood-tracking activity.

 

4. Even technologically advanced teens have trouble spotting fake news

A recent survey, conducted by Common Sense Media, surveyed more that 800 kids and teens ages 10-18 regarding their news consumption habits. The findings suggest that most teens value the news, and 50 percent believe that keeping up with news will empower them to make a difference. Where fake news is involved, 44 percent believe they can point out what's fake, while 31 percent admitted to unknowingly sharing fake news articles on social media. In addition, the majority of youth feel they aren't being adequately represented in the news and are also keen to point out both racial and gender bias.

Keep an eye on our forthcoming May issue, which will feature a compelling feature on fake news!

 

For more Teens in the News, check out our past updates: 

 

 

 

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3/3/17: 6 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you must be busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. Doctors issue warning to parents about teen marijuana use

Today, the majority of teens ages 12 to 17 think marijuana use isn't harmful, and many of their parents agree. But, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's best for teens not to use the drug due to the risks of harming their developing brains. Marijuana today is much more potent than the marijuana of the previous generation, and pediatricians are urging parents to think twice before allowing teens to risk the long- and short-term affects that marijuana can bring. 

 

2. A bill in California proposes that schools start no earlier than 8:30 

Studies show that allowing teens to sleep a little later improves well-being, GPA, and parent-child relationships, says the author of the bill, Sen. Anthony Portantino. When teens go through puberty, their natural circadian rhythms differ from those of adults, making it difficult to fall asleep early in order to wake up for early school start times. 

For more information on this topic, check out our story, "The Teen Who Woke Up Her School."

 

3. A doctor brings grief education to the classroom

In American culture, there's a taboo surrounding death and grief. That's why Dr. Jessica Zitter, a critical and palliative care physician in California, decided it was time to talk to high school students about death and end-of-life care. Dr. Zitter says that teens are "woefully unprepared" to face death and she seeks to help children and teens "understand the landscape of what can happen" when they are faced with the death of a friend or a loved one.

Check out this Choices story about a few teens who stepped up to break the silence that surrounds death and grieving. 

 

4. To keep teens safe online, they need to learn to manage risks

A recent study found that most of the safety controls that can be downloaded to keep teens safe online focus on ways parents can access and block teens' online activity. The problem is, this doesn't give teens an opportunity to learn how to safely navigate the web on their own. This comes at a time when teens are experiencing unwanted exposure and risk online. And the only app that has been designed to let teens control their own online safety is ReThink, which was designed by 15-year-old Trisha Prabhu (who was one of our Changemakers!). 

 

5. Unhealthy diets may increase teen girls' breast cancer risk as adults

Researchers recently found that women who said they ate poorly in their teenage years were 35 percent more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer. These women recalled eating more foods that are classified as part of the "inflammatory diet" (such as red meat, sodas, sweet foods, and white flour).

 

6. Could a single text message transform student attendance and grades?

Results from an experiment at Teachers College at Columbia University show that student grades and attendance improve when parents are notified of missing assignments and absences. Parents received a text message when students missed assignments, like this one: "Parent alert: Jaden has 5 missing assignments in science class. For more information, log online." The study found that parents rarely logged into an online portal, but consistently checked text messages, which led them to communicate with the school and teachers more. This resulted in an increase in GPA, most notably in struggling students. 

 

Be sure to check out our past news posts, and check back each Friday for an update:

 

      

2/24/17: 4 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you must be busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you! Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!

 

1. Teachers are stepping up to fight fake news

A recent Stanford study determined that students at all grade levels are having trouble determining what's fake and what's real when it comes to news. Because of this, teachers have come up with creative ways to help students learn how to distil the truth. One ninth-grade teacher uses pamphlets from the French Revolutionary period to help her teens understand that fake news isn't new. A high-school teacher in California knows that it's even harder for his English-language learners to distinguish real news from fake, so he has his students diagram news articles, pointing out the lede and identifying quotations. He says media literacy is the key to overcoming this threat. Be sure to keep an eye out for our own upcoming fake news story in May!

 

2. Teens who are sleepy at lunch are more likely to be criminals as adults

In a study by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of York, researchers found that teen boys who reported daytime drowsiness were 4.5 times more likely to participate in a violent crime over the next decade and a half. Those who reported drowsiness at age 14 and crime at age 29 had also reported anti-social behavior as teens. So it seems that daytime drowsiness, coupled with anti-social behavior in teen boys, can be a predictor of violent-crime participation in adulthood. 

 

3. At home, parents aren't keeping opioids away from teens

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, parents aren't properly storing and disposing of opioids, leaving them up for grabs for kids and teens. Out of the 681 parents of teens who were surveyed, researchers found that almost 70 percent improperly stored prescription painkillers. Experts say this usually happens because parents trust their teens not to misuse pills, but it can actually be an easy way for teens to experiment. 

 

4. Study says teens who are high achievers are more likely to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol

Academically-gifted students in their late teens are more likely than their peers to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol, according to a new study. In fact, smart teens were almost 50 percent more likely to occasionally smoke marijuana and were twice as likely to drink alcohol regularly. The researchers presume this could be linked to more open-mindedness in higher-achieving students or the fact that high achieving students often come from wealthier backgrounds.