Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Teens Who Express Own Views With Mom Resist Peer Pressures Best

HealthDay news image

From the 29 December 2011 Medical News Today article

Teens who more openly express their own viewpoints in discussions with their moms, even if their viewpoints disagree, are more likely than others to resist peer pressure to use drugs or drink.

That’s one of the findings of a new longitudinal study by researchers at the University of Virginia. The study appears in the journal Child Development.

The researchers looked at more than 150 teens and their parents, a group that was racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse. The teens were studied at ages 13, 15, and 16 to gather information on substance use, interactions with moms, social skills, and close friendships. Researchers used not just the youths’ own reports, but information from parents and peers. They also observed teens’ social interactions with family members and peers.

They found that teens who hold their own in family discussions were better at standing up to peer influences to use drugs or alcohol. Among the best protected were teens who had learned to argue well with their moms about such topics as grades, money, household rules, and friends. Arguing well was defined as trying to persuade their mothers with reasoned arguments, rather than with pressure, whining, or insults.

“The healthy autonomy they’d established at home seemed to carry over into their relationships with peers,” suggests Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, who led the study. …

Read the news article here


December 29, 2011 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too Many Hours on the Job May Put Teens at Risk

Too Many Hours on the Job May Put Teens at Risk
Schoolwork, behavior may suffer when high schoolers work more than 20 hours a week, study says

From the February 8 Health Day article by Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) — High school students who work more than 20 hours a week at part-time jobs during the school year may be more likely to have academic and behavior problems, according to a new study.

U.S. researchers analyzed data collected in the late 1980s from 1,800 middle-class teens in grades 10 and 11 in order to compare students who had jobs with those who didn’t work.

The study found that working more than 20 hours a week was associated with reduced school engagement, lower expectations for further education, and an increase in illegal activities including stealing, carrying a weapon, and using alcohol and illicit drugs.

These negative behaviors persisted even after such teens reduced their work hours or stopped working, the investigators found.

However, teens who worked fewer hours appeared to experience negligible academic, psychological or behavioral effects, according to the study published in the January/February issue of the journal Child Development.

“Although working during high school is unlikely to turn law-abiding teenagers into felons or cause students to flunk out of school, the extent of the adverse effects we found is not trivial, and even a small decline in school engagement or increase in problem behavior may be of concern to many parents,” study leader Kathryn C. Monahan, a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Washington, said in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development.

She recommended that parents, educators and policymakers monitor and limit the number of hours worked by high school students.

SOURCE: Society for Research in Child Development, news release, Feb. 4, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The International Child & Youth Care Network

CYC-NET

The International Child & Youth Care Network (CYC-NET) is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation in South Africa. It aims to “promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty.” However parents and others will undoubtedly find information at this Web site to be useful.

Many items at the home page are updated at least weekly as Daily News, Today, Press Release, and Link.

The home page has two main gateways to information through the tabs

  • Learning Zone with free online courses and training/educational podcasts
  • Network with site statistics, as recent top queries and the average number of daily visitors. On January 26,2011 the Recent top search queries were  bullied to death, homeless children statistics, bowlby, montesorri, anorexia nervosa, principles of management, punishment for children, bipolar disorder, peer influence, positive reinforcement for children, effects of corporal punishment, heroin stories.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Violent Video Games Don’t Predict Aggressive Behavior

Violent Video Games Don’t Predict Aggressive Behavior
New study takes issue with current thinking, points to depression instead

HealthDay news image

From the December 17 2010 Health Day News item by Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to violent video games or television shows is not a strong predictor of aggression or violence among youth, says a new study from Texas A&M International University.

Instead, it found that depression influences children and teens levels of aggression and violence.

The study’s dismissal of violent video games as a risk factor in aggression contrasts to some other recent findings, including an analysis of 130 studies on video games and violence released in March by researchers at Iowa State University and colleagues. That analysis concluded the evidence strongly suggests that playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts and behaviors and reduces empathy….

After the researchers adjusted for such variables as exposure to domestic violence, bullying and depressive symptoms, they found exposure to violence in video games or television was not a strong predictor of aggressive behavior or rule-breaking, concluded investigator Dr. Christopher Ferguson, of Texas A&M International University.

However, depressive symptoms were a strong predictor for aggression and rule breaking and their influence was particularly strong in young people with preexisting antisocial personality disorders.

“Depressive symptoms stand out as particularly strong predictors of youth violence and aggression, and therefore current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth. The current study finds no evidence to support a long-term relationship between video game violence use and subsequent aggression. Even though the debate over violent video games and youth violence will continue, it must do so with restraint,” Ferguson wrote.

The study was published online in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.



December 21, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items, Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Video Games Not Harmful to Most Teens: Study

HealthDay news image

But a minority of ‘problem gamers’ may embrace unhealthy ways, research suggests

From a November 15, 2010 Health Day news item

MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) — Most teens who play video games don’t fall into unhealthy behaviors, but an “addicted” minority may be more likely to smoke, use drugs, fight or become depressed, a new Yale University study suggests.

The findings add to the large and often conflicting body of research on the effects of gaming on children, particularly its link to aggressive behavior. However, this study focused on the association of gaming with specific health behaviors, and is one of the first to examine problem gaming.

“The study suggests that, in and of itself, gaming does not appear to be dangerous to kids,” said study author Rani Desai, an associate professor of psychiatry and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine. “We found virtually no association between gaming and negative health behaviors, particularly in boys.”

“However, a small but not insignificant proportion of kids find themselves unable to control their gaming,” she said. “That’s cause for concern because that inability is associated with a lot of other problem behaviors.”

The study was published Nov. 15 in the online edition of Pediatrics.

 

 


November 17, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

Better Screening Urged for Self-Injury in Teens

Not all kids who intentionally cut or burn themselves meet ‘classic profile,’ expert says

Excerpt:

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) — Doctors often fail to screen their adolescent eating-disorder patients for evidence of self-inflicted physical harm in the form of cutting or burning, new research reveals.

The observation stems from work conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.

Led by Dr. Rebecka Peebles (who conducted the study while a Stanford pediatrics instructor), the research team published its findings in the Sept. 28 online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.[As a pre-publication, only available by individual subscription,  for more information, ask a reference librarian at any academic or medical institution]

Peebles and her colleagues noted that eating disorders typically found among adolescents, such as bulimia and anorexia, are often associated with a higher risk for self-inflicted injury. This, Peebles noted in a Stanford news release, often stems from a troubled patient’s need to try “to feel pain.”

“Patients describe a feeling of release that comes when they cut or burn themselves,” she said. “They’ll cut with a razor or a scissor blade. Sometimes we’ve even had kids who will take the tip of a paper clip and gouge holes. To burn themselves, they’ll heat up a metal object and press it to their skin, or they’ll use cigarettes.”

Prior research has indicated that between 13 percent and 40 percent of all American adolescents engage in some form of self-injury. The practice is also linked to a higher risk for suicide, the study authors noted.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

Discrimination Can Hurt Teens, Body and Soul

Study finds minority kids especially vulnerable, with effects both physical and mental

Discrimination experienced by U.S. teens from Latin American and Asian backgrounds can affect their grades and health, and is associated with depression, distress and reduced self-esteem, a new study has found….

Discrimination can be especially hard on teens, the study authors noted.

“These are the years when social identity is arguably more salient among teenagers who are struggling with defining who they are. Adding on a ‘layer’ of discrimination is not an easy thing for them to deal with,” one of the study authors, Andrew J. Fuligni, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, said in a university news release.

“Discrimination significantly predicted lower [grade-point averages], higher levels of depression, higher levels of distress, lower self-esteem and more physical complaints,” Fuligni added. “So the bottom line? Discrimination is harmful.”

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence. If you do not have a subscription to this journal, check with your local public or academic library to see if there is a way you can access it for free or a lower cost.

A few related resources
**Teen Health (Nemours Foundation) has information and advice for teens in many areas, including school and job topics as dealing with cliques

** Kids Health (for Parents) (Nemours Foundation) includes Emotion and Behavior topics as Cyberbullyingand Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem

**Teen Mental Health (MedlinePlus) has great informational links for teens and parents

**The National Institute of Mental Health has information for Children and Adolescents

Remember your local public library!
**Your local public library not only has books, but information about local agencies which can assist you in many areas, including parenting, mental health, and dealing with discrimination. Ask for a reference librarian! She or he will give your professional confidential assistance in locating information online and in print.

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

Teen Health

TeensHealth is a website that is just for teens and their health issues. Topics include growth and emotions, as well as other bodily health issues under categories as  “Food & Fitness”, “Infections”, “School & Jobs”, and “Mind”.  The themes on the home page provide information through links as “Hot Topics”, “Expert Answers On…”, a “Quiz”, and “Featured Articles”. 

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | | Leave a comment

Later School Start Times May Foster Better Students

According to a recent news report, pushing back the start of the high school starting time has yielded good results.

High school pushed back start of day by 30 minutes, with good results.  More students were getting 8 hours of sleep, fewer students were sleepy during the idea, mood and depression symptoms lessened, and more students were interested and motivated to participate in academic and athletic activities.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2009

Some sobering statistics from a recent Morbidity and Mortality report,  Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance  (US, 2009)

“Results from the 2009 national YRBS indicated that many high school students are engaged in behaviors that increase their likelihood for the leading causes of death among persons aged 10–24 years in the United States. Among high school students nationwide, 9.7% rarely or never wore a seat belt when riding in a car driven by someone else. During the 30 days before the survey, 28.3% of high school students rode in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol, 17.5% had carried a weapon, 41.8% had drunk alcohol, and 20.8% had used marijuana. During the 12 months before the survey, 31.5% of high school students had been in a physical fight and 6.3% had attempted suicide. Substantial morbidity and social problems among youth also result from unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV infection. Among high school students nationwide, 34.2% were currently sexually active, 38.9% of currently sexually active students had not used a condom during their last sexual intercourse, and 2.1% of students had ever injected an illegal drug. Results from the 2009 YRBS also indicated that many high school students are engaged in behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among adults aged ≥25 years in the United States. During 2009, 19.5% of high school students smoked cigarettes during the 30 days before the survey. During the 7 days before the survey, 77.7% of high school students had not eaten fruits and vegetables five or more times per day, 29.2% had drunk soda or pop at least one time per day, and 81.6% were not physically active for at least 60 minutes per day on all 7 days. One-third of high school students attended physical education classes daily, and 12.0% were obese.”

June 8, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

   

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