"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 ...
Tag Archives | Teenagers
Anahad O’Connor reports in the NY Times:
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One out of every 15 high school students smokes marijuana on a near daily basis, a figure that has reached a 30-year peak even as use of alcohol, cigarettes and cocaine among teenagers continues a slow decline, according to a new government report.
The popularity of marijuana, which is now more prevalent among 10th graders than cigarette smoking, reflects what researchers and drug officials say is a growing perception among teenagers that habitual marijuana use carries little risk of harm. That perception, experts say, is fueled in part by wider familiarity with medicinal marijuana and greater ease in obtaining it.
Although it is difficult to track the numbers, “we’re clearly seeing an increase in teenage marijuana use that corresponds pretty clearly in time with the increase in medical marijuana use,” said Dr. Christian Thurstone, medical director of the adolescent substance abuse treatment program at Denver Health and Hospital Authority, who was not involved in the study.
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:
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A man claiming to be a 500-year-old vampire was in the Galveston County jail today after attacking a woman over the weekend. “He was begging us to restrain him because he didn’t want to kill us,” Galveston Officer Daniel Erickson said. “He said he needed to feed.”
Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, covered with tattoos and wearing only boxer shorts, forced his way into the apartment on Seawall Boulevard and made his way into the bedroom of a woman whose name has not been released, Heyse said.
Bensley made growling and hissing noises while biting and hitting the woman in her bed, Heyse said. Bensley then dragged her out of the apartment and she broke free. She ran into the parking lot where she got into a car driven by a neighbor.
Time to check in on the latest youth trends: teens (both girls and boys) are increasingly using liquor-soaked tampons as a novel and stealthy means of getting drunk. A number of Facebook pages have popped in honor of the practice, called “slimming”. Ah, kids with their crazy fads! The Local enlightens on the scourge every parent should be most worried about:
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Police in southern Germany warned this week of a dangerous new form of alcohol abuse among teens – using tampons soaked in vodka to get drunk quickly and hide the smell. The practice poses grave health risks, they said.
In early March a 14-year-old girl collapsed during a street festival in Konstanz, apparently highly intoxicated from using a vodka tampon, the paper reported. Youth researchers have since found out that this form of alcohol abuse is trendy in the region.
The trend arose among teens in the United States, where it is known as “slimming.” But it has reportedly caught on in Scandinavia and other places where alcohol is difficult for young people to acquire.
Which came first, the music or the depression? They say classical music boosts your baby’s brain activity. And music has been known to soothe the savage beast. Now music may play a hand in your teenager’s depression. Via PsychCentral:
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The link between media exposure and adolescent emotional health continues to be a hot research area. In a new study, researchers found that teens who spend more time listening to music, rather than reading books, are more likely to be depressed.
Researchers said this study was unique as it sampled the behaviors of study participants in real time using a technique called ecological momentary assessment.
The method is more reliable than standard surveys and helped researchers recognize this large association between exposure to music and depression, said Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M., M.S., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Pitt’s School of Medicine, who led the study.
Some 106 teens were involved in the study, 46 of whom were diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
With all sorts of the funding cuts hitting orchestras during the recent recession, there is still one aspect of classical music that local governments find valuable — the music's unfailing ability to disperse loitering teenagers from public areas. Whether its Handel piped into New York's Port Authority or Tchaikovsky at a public library in London, the sound of classical music is apparently so repellent to teenagers that it sends them scurrying away like frightened mice. Private institutions also find it useful: chains such as McDonald's and 7-Eleven, not to mention countless shopping malls around the world, have relied on classical music to shoo away potentially troublesome kids.
The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1 cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
It's a potentially sucky situation. The vampire craze in teen literature – exemplified by the "Twilight" book series – could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don't yet understand. "We don't know exactly how literature affects the brain, but we know that it does," said Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature. "Some new findings have identified spots in the brain that respond to literature and art." Scientists, authors and educators met in Cambridge, England, Sept. 3-5 for a conference organized by Nikolajeva to discuss how young-adult books and movies affect teenagers' minds. "For young people, everything is so strange, and you cannot really say why you react to things – it's a difficult period to be a human being,"...
The New York Times reports on a, er, teen health trend:
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At the Peace in Medicine Healing Center in Sebastopol, the wares on display include dried marijuana — featuring brands like Kryptonite, Voodoo Daddy and Train Wreck — and medicinal cookies arrayed below a sign saying, “Keep Out of Reach of Your Mother.”
The warning tells a story of its own: some of the center’s clients are too young to buy themselves a beer.
Several Bay Area doctors who recommend medical marijuana for their patients said in recent interviews that their client base had expanded to include teenagers with psychiatric conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“It’s not everybody’s medicine, but for some, it can make a profound difference,” said Valerie Corral, a founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patients’ collective in Santa Cruz that has two dozen minors as registered clients.
“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?’ ” asked Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley.