Teens In The News

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10/6/17: 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 that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. (And don’t forget to take a peek at our brand-new website and let us know what you think!)

 

1. For these teens, a "phone fast" put technology in perspective

At an all-girls boarding school in England, students recently set up a phone fast, where they didn't use cell phones or social media for three days, reported BBC News. This comes at the same time as a survey of teens in Britain has declared that about two-thirds of teens wish social media wasn't invented, and 56 percent of teens feel that they are on the edge of a digital addiction. 

 

2. A new game is helping teens understand finances

Payback, a new free, online game, uses interactive scenarios to help teens understand the importance of budgeting and decision-making when it comes to going off to college. The game leads users through a series of questions, and teaches life skills along the way. More than merely teaching the importance of budgeting, Payback helps teens understand that every decision they make will probably have trade-offs. 

 

3.  Lack of vegetables may cause heart problems in teens

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at 766 healthy teens ages 14-18. The findings suggest that lack of vitamin K can lead to an enlargement of the heart, but the findings do not predict a direct link, as more research is needed to determine the risk. Either way, this study suggests the importance of a complete diet, including dark green, leafy vegetables with vitamin K. 

 

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9/29/17: 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 that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. (And don’t forget to take a peek at our brand-new website and let us know what you think!)

 

1. Concussions are common in teens, especially in contact sports

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 20 percent of teens have had a concussion. Out of the teens that experienced concussions, the majority were involved in contact sports like ice hockey and football. These concussions can bring headaches, depression, irritability, and trouble sleeping, all which can affect other areas of teens' lives. 

For more on concussions and contact sports, stay tuned for next month's debate, which considers the benefits and drawbacks of safety rules in soccer. 

 

2. Virtual friendships may be just as strong as in-person friendships

Friendships are important aspects of life, especially those formed in our teenage years. In a time where more and more students experience friendship online, many are wondering how these relationships measure up to real-life friendships. A new study done by researchers at the University of California Irvine, and published in the Adolescent Research Review, suggests that online friendships are actually more beneficial in certain areas. These friendships are easier and more accessible, and allow teens to be more careful about what they say. On the other side, online relationships leave more room for increased gossip and spreading of rumors. 

Get you students thinking about their friendships with the lively debate: Are Online Friends Real Friends?

 

3. Could an app prevent teen suicide?

In Cincinnati, an app is being tested by mental-health professionals in schools to predict suicide risk in students. The app is named SAM, which stands for Spreading Activation Mobile, and uses artificial intelligence to analyze the "language, emotional state, and social media footprint" of users. This comes at a time when the teen suicide rate, especially for teen girls, is higher than it has been in 40 years. And to make matters more complicated, suicide risk is hard to predict. Though artificial intelligence when applied to mental health is still very much in the works, it's hopeful to see its potential for saving lives. 

 

 

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9/22/17: 3 Articles You Need to Read This Week

It's officially the first day of fall, and we know you’re busy—that’s why we’re keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. (And don’t forget to take a peek at our brand new website and let us know what you think!)

 

1. Should there be an age limit for trick-or-treating? 

The Canadian town of Bathurst, New Brunswick thinks so. Their new law, set to become official on October 3, will make it illegal for teens over the age of 16 to take part in trick-or-treating on Halloween, and enforces a curfew of 8 p.m. This law is a loosening of an unenforced law that previously banned teens over 14 from taking part in the Halloween festivity. As part of the new law, teens caught in the act may be fined $200. The law was said to be passed in response to Halloween mischief, with hopes of increasing public safety in the mostly 55-and-older community. What do your teens think about this law? Do they agree? 

For another age-related debate, try going over Should Teens Have the Right to Vote Now? with your class!

 

2. Generation Z is on a slower path to adulthood

A recently released—and now viral study—has confirmed that teens of the current generation are less likely than teens of the past to take part in "adult" activities, like driving, dating, drinking alcohol, and having sex. According to study leaders, this means that young adults are acting more like teens, while young teens are acting more like children. According to experts, this research implies that teens today, who've grown up with the internet, are taking part in this "slow-life strategy," which can (possibly) leave teens ill prepared to face adulthood. 

 

3. The opioid epidemic has no limits

New research confirms that at least 100 patients ages 21 and younger test positive for opioid addiction or dependency every day in United States emergency rooms. Overall, the number of young people diagnosed with opioid addiction or dependency has increased from 32,235 in 2008 to 49,626 in 2013. This research implies that the opioid epidemic is, if anything, worsening, affecting teens and even children.

For more on opioids and addiction, please read our powerful story from last year, "Heroin Took Over Our Town."

 

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9/15/17: 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 that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed. (And don't forget to take a peek at our brand new website and let us know what you think!)

 

1. Teens' negative self-talk can be reversed

Parents and teachers can help teens overcome their pessimistic inner voice by encouraging them to think realistically and see the bigger picture. According to experts, it's important to identify this negative self-talk and redirect it, especially in times of transition. The key is getting teens to notice the thought, realize it's a negative perspective, and sub in a more realistic thought. 

 

2. Alaskan teens are protesting climate change

Alaska Youth for Environmental Action submitted a petition to Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation calling for the state to reduce carbon emissions, monitor greenhouse gasses, and plan for a future affected by climate change. Seb Kurland, one of the teens involved, was inspired to take action when he noticed his hometown of Juneau changing as the surrounding glacier was shrinking. 

 

3. Better health is correlated with a higher GPA

The CDC found that students who have a lower GPA are more likely to be involved in riskier behaviors, like drug and alcohol abuse, and more likely to have poorer overall nutrition and get less physical activity. This information was collected using the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey and proves the importance of education in keeping kids healthy. 

 

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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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