Remember “peer pressure”? Of late it has been largely discarded as the go-to means of explaining/demonizing youth behavioral patterns, but The New Inquiry offers a look back: Parents have mostly given up…

internet addictionThe New York Times has a short film exploring life inside one of China’s hundreds of boot-camp-style treatment centers for electronics-addled youth who spend night and day gaming online, in some cases allegedly wearing diapers to avoid taking bathroom breaks. The camp director compares the internet to “electronic heroin” and warns that the teens “know the internet inside and out, but nothing about human beings.”

Questions abound: Is China at the forefront of what will become a global epidemic of Compulsive Internet Use? Are computers being scapegoated for problems that are in fact more subtle and complex? Could you survive several months cold turkey?

Thomas J. Leeper writes at Psychology Today (last year): American mass culture is obsessed with youth: abundant beauty treatments aim to curb the signs of aging, literature frequently emphasizes the innocence of…

Reverend Bob Larson claims to have exorcised more than 15,000 demons around the world in his career. Watch Anderson Cooper talk to his daughters, who have taken up their father’s trade.

17-year-old Tess first performed an exorcism a friend who was possessed. She says that one of the tell-tale signs is eyes that dilate: ‘You can see evil.’ Brynne’s first exorcism was at age 13: ‘I got up on stage in front of 3,000 people and cast a demon out in Africa.’ This and all the other tips teens need to know about demonology:

So what do teens do to be different from their parents these days? Write code? From the New York Times: Every few years, parents find new reasons to worry about their teenagers….

China Joy 2007 showgirlChildren today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness. Alison Gopnik on how we might readjust adolescence, for the Wall Street Journal:

“What was he thinking?” It’s the familiar cry of bewildered parents trying to understand why their teenagers act the way they do.

How does the boy who can thoughtfully explain the reasons never to drink and drive end up in a drunken crash? Why does the girl who knows all about birth control find herself pregnant by a boy she doesn’t even like? What happened to the gifted, imaginative child who excelled through high school but then dropped out of college, drifted from job to job and now lives in his parents’ basement?

Adolescence has always been troubled, but for reasons that are somewhat mysterious, puberty is now kicking in at an earlier and earlier age. A leading theory points to changes in energy balance as children eat more and move less.

At the same time, first with the industrial revolution and then even more dramatically with the information revolution, children have come to take on adult roles later and later …

Are vampire portrayals in popular media blurring driving today’s youth over the edge? Personally, I’ll take teen vampirism over “raving”, “krumping”, or “the ska revival”. The Houston Chronicle writes: A man claiming…