Teens In The News

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9/8/17: 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. New Jersey teens start gubernatorial council

In New Jersey, a group of high school teens are starting a council to encourage other teens to get involved in government on the state level. The group wants politicians to take them more seriously, and is proposing a council with 24 high school age members that will be elected on two-year terms. The initiative to create the council, now made up of 80 teens, has gained endorsements from mayors and other leaders throughout New Jersey. 

 

2.  Incarcerated teens belong in the classroom

At Riker's Island, there are currently more than 300 16- and 17-year-olds who won't be out in time for the first day of school this year. More than 85 percent are Latinx or black, and more than 90 percent are teens who aren't yet convicted but are awaiting trial because their families can't afford bail. That's why a new organization, the Bronx Freedom Fund, started a campaign called Classrooms Not Cages, to get the teens out of jail and into the classroom. As of September 7, the initiative had surpassed its goal of raising $100,000.

 

3. Utah school has a lucrative way to prevent tardiness

At one high school in Utah, students are now being fined a fee for being late to school. The first time students are late, they get a warning. The second time they have to pay $3, and the third time, they owe $5. The fines incurred go to a fund towards "student incentives." What do your students think about this practice?

 

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9/1/17: 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. The opioid epidemic is real, and teens need help

From 2014 to 2015, the rate of teen drug overdose increased by 19 percent. This highlights an often overlooked fact: Addiction often pops up during childhood. And the younger children are when they start using opioids, the higher the chance of becoming addicted. 

For more information on America's opioid crisis and how it affects teens, be sure to read "Heroin Took Over Our Town."

 

2. Later school start times may benefit the economy

According to a new study, shifting school start times to at least 8:30 a.m. could contribute $83 billion to America's economy in as little as a decade. The time shift would decrease risks of fatal teen car crashes, increase graduation rates, and help teens get higher paying jobs in the future.

 

3. In the fight against bullying, a glimmer of hope

A recent study looked at bullying in 109 Maryland schools from 2005 to 2014. Students from 4th to 12th grade were asked about physical bullying, cyberbullying, perpetrators of bullying, feeling safe at school, and more. Over the course of the decade, researchers noted a decrease in 10 of the 13 bullying indicators they were measuring.

 

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8/25/17: 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. What teens think about America

In the wake of the 2016 election, a New York Times journalist decided to talk to the people who will ultimately be deciding our future: teenagers. In this video, young people from all around the country weigh in on how they feel about America's values. 

 

2. Pediatricians say teens should sleep in. Schools won't let them.

Almost half of American high schools start before 8 a.m., while 13 percent of schools start after 8:30. In response, pediatricians have declared early school start times unhealthy and the Centers for Disease Control say that the lack of sleep is a "a substantial public health concern."

For more information on the tired teen epidemic and tips on how they can get more rest, delve into this month's cover story, Generation Zzzzzzzz

 

3. Teens with best friends may be happier adults

A recent study, conducted at the University of Virginia and published in the journal Child Development, found that teens who focus on the quality of their friendships rather than how many friends they have end up with improved mental health as young adults. The study discovered that more "popular" teens were more likely to have social anxiety later in life. 

 

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8/18/17: 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!

 

An app may help teens recover post-concussion

Typically post-concussion treatment involves rest, not screentime, but a new app called SuperBetter may be changing that. The app—which was recently studied by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center—functions as a symptom journal, turning logged symptoms into a heroic narrative. The study found that the app, along with standard concussion treatment, improves "outcomes and optimism" in teens recovering from concussions.

 

Fewer teens are using drugs, but more teens are overdosing

In 2015, the rate of overdose deaths rose by 19 percent among teens ages 15 to 19, with the main overdose-inducing culprits being dangerous illicit drugs like heroin and synthetic opiates. At the same time, use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco has been declining since 1990. This comes at a time when dangerous opiate use is on the rise, with heroin overdoses having tripled since 2002. 

For more information on the dangerous drug crisis affecting teens in our country, read "Heroin Took Over Our Town."

 

These teens are banning plastic bags in Bali

Indonesia is the second largest polluter of plastic in the world, but teen sisters Isabel and Melati Wijsen are about to change that. At the ages of 10 and 12, the sisters started their organization, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, to end plastic bag use in their hometown of Bali, Indonesia. After a struggle to be heard by their local government—which included a petition with 100,000 signatures and a hunger strike—the teens were able to get their governor to commit to ban plastic bags in the city by 2018. 

 

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8/11/17: 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. Smartphones are making kids unhappy

A professor of psychology at San Diego State University refers to the current generation of teens as "iGen," given the fact that they're the first to grow up with smartphones. She says they're more emotionally and psychologically vulnerable, and could be approaching "the worst mental health crisis in decades."

 

2. Dangerous teen behavior may be caused by culture, not biology

Teen risk-taking behavior is often attributed to brain changes, but criminologists at Penn State University found that might not actually be accurate. Their study looked at crime rates in Taiwan—where teen culture is less individualistic than it is in America—and found that crime peaked in adults in their late twenties and early thirties. If teen risk-taking behavior was biological, the peak crime rate wouldn't differ from country to country—suggesting American culture influences its teen crime rates.

 

3. Suicide rates for teen girls are at an all-time high

For teen girls ages 15 to 19, the suicide rate in America is the highest it has been in 40 years. And from 2007 to 2015, the suicide rate for teen girls rose 50 percent. Experts aren't sure why the increase is so high, but suggest factors such as mental health issues, substance abuse, and even the instability of the American economy.

 

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8/4/2017: 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. Binge drinking drops among teenagers

According to a new study, the number of teens who participated in binge drinking decreased between 1991 and 2015, particularly among boys and economically advantaged teens. Experts suggest that the overall decline may be due to policy laws, like stricter regulations on ID checks. 

 

2. Social media can cause depression

Madison Holleran had a picture-perfect life on social media, but in 2014, the 19-year-old college track star committed suicide. According to experts, many teens have trouble understanding the difference between reality and social media—and for teens who struggle with mental health disorders, social media can be a trigger for things like depression and anxiety.

 

3. Teens of the Seventh Generation of Native Americans are defying the odds

Jacob Rosales is a Native American teen who lives on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He's part of the Seventh Generation of his tribe, the generation prophesied to spearhead renewal. Despite adverse situations on the reservation, Rosales is going to college, with plans to be a medical doctor. "It’s not our fault that one-third of us drop out of school. That we participate in the labor force at a lower rate than any other racial group. That our men are incarcerated at four times the rate of their white peers," he told The Atlantic.

 

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7/28/17: 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. Snapchat is where teens consume most news

It's estimated that teens age 13-18 spend an average of nine hours a day consuming media, and when it comes to news, they aren't going to news sites to keep up. Instead, they're checking apps, mostly Snapchat and Twitter. That means it's even more important that they understand how to identify fake news. Our story, Which One is #FakeNews?, can help you bring a lesson on media literacy and safe newsgathering to your class. 

 

2. In other Snapchat news, experts warn that streaks can hook teens

Experts are concerned that incentivized apps can become habit-forming for teens. One such Snapchat feature requires users to send a snap each day for three days to start a Snapstreak. If one day is missed, the Snapstreak count will go back to zero. This can create hierarchies of friendships that make teens feel like they'll disappoint others if they break the streak.

 

3. Study finds that teen obesity may be linked to risk of colon cancer

A long-term study published in the journal Cancer looked at more than a million Israeli men and more than 700,000 Israeli women from 1967 to 2002. Those who were overweight or obese at 17 (even if they were healthy in general) showed about a 50 percent increase in risk of colon cancer as an adult. 

 

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7/21/17: 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. Heavy drinking as a teen can lead to "dire" effects on brain function

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that heavy binge-drinking in teens and young adults can harm memory, attention, language, awareness, and consciousness. Because the brain is going through substantial growth during adolescence, it's important for teens to understand the impact alcohol can have on their development. 

For more information on the dangers of teen alcohol use, read our story One Deadly Night.

 

2. Teen marijuana use linked to depression

A study published in the journal Addiction looked at more than 500 students ages 12-15 from Seattle-area middle schools, and then followed up when the students were 18. Researchers found that teens with chronic or severe depression were more likely to develop a cannabis-use disorder. The findings suggest that having interventions for depression at a younger age will curb the risk of teens developing a cannabis-use disorder later in life. 

 

3. More students are getting A's, but SAT scores are decreasing

The good news is that 47 percent of American students graduated with an A-average in 2016, compared with 38.9 percent in 1998. But when it comes to SAT scores, the average of American students fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale. 

 

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7/14/17: 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. Traditional bullying is still more prominent than cyberbullying

A recent study in England reported that even amidst the growth of social media, less than 1 percent of regularly bullied teens report being cyberbullied, while 27 percent report experiencing traditional bullying. Overall, 30 percent of teens reported regular bullying over a span of two months. "Despite common perceptions and the growth of the online world for teenagers, our study finds that cyberbullying, on its own, is relatively rare, with face-to-face bullying remaining most common among teenagers," says lead author Andrew Przybylski.

 

2. Snapchat's new "Snap Map" poses dangers to teens

The app's new "Snap Map" location feature, unveiled June 21, allows anyone who is friends with a user to see their location on a map. According to Snapchat's parent guide, "Snapchatters can enable Ghost Mode in their settings at any time, which will cause them to disappear from the map within seconds."

 

3. Teen girl electrocuted while holding a cellphone in the bath

Madison Coe, 14, of Lubbock, Texas, was electrocuted when using her smartphone in the bathtub. Her grandmother said it appeared that she either was plugging her phone in or had started using it while it was charging.

 

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7/7/2017: 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. 50 percent of teens report feeling addicted to their phones

A recent study in the journal Child Development is the first to prove there's a link between teen screen time and mental health. The study linked nighttime screen time to an increase in anxiety and depression and a decrease in self esteem. 

 

2. Ethnic diversity benefits students in middle school

A new study of 4,302 sixth-graders around Los Angeles found that ethnic diversity makes middle schools more welcoming. The study found that the more diverse a school was, the more likely all students "reported feeling safer in school, less lonely, and less likely to be victimized."

 

3. Every senior at this low-income high school was accepted to college

For the first time in it's history, Ballou High School in Washington D.C. had a college-acceptance rate of 100 percent. Last year, only three percent of students met the city's English standards, none of them passed math, and the graduation rate was only 57 percent. 

 

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