Teen Health

Updated: 4 weeks 5 days ago

Negative effects of joining a gang last long after gang membership ends

Thu, 2014-03-13 15:29
Joining a gang in adolescence has significant consequences in adulthood beyond criminal behavior, even after a person leaves the gang. Former gang members are more likely to be in poor health, receiving government assistance and struggling with drug abuse than someone who never joined a gang.

'Love hormone' oxytocin could provide new treatment for anorexia, study suggests

Thu, 2014-03-13 07:27
Oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone,' could provide a new treatment for anorexia nervosa, according to new research. The study found that oxytocin alters anorexic patients' tendencies to fixate on images of high calorie foods, and larger body shape. The findings follow an earlier study by the same group showing that oxytocin changed patients' responses to angry and disgusted faces.

Texting program good option for teen girls' health, study shows

Wed, 2014-03-12 09:48
An emergency medicine physician recently led a study that found a text-message program may be an effective violence prevention tool for at-risk teen girls. The team interviewed girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who reported past-year peer violence and depressive symptoms during emergency department visits for any medical issue. Overwhelmingly, the interviews showed that at-risk teen girls coming to the ED for care are very interested in receiving a text-message violence prevention intervention. The teens felt that a text-message program would enhance their existing coping strategies, and that they would not only use it themselves, but also refer their friends to it.

Obesity associated with lower academic attainment in teenage girls, says new study

Tue, 2014-03-11 08:06
Obesity in adolescent girls is associated with lower academic attainment levels throughout their teenage years, a new study has shown. The results showed that girls who were obese, as measured by BMI (body mass index) at age 11 had lower academic attainment at 11, 13 and 16 years when compared to those of a healthy weight. The study took into account possible mediating factors but found that these did not affect the overall results. Attainment in the core subjects of English, Math and Science for obese girls was lower by an amount equivalent to a D instead of a C, which was the average in the sample.

Lower IQ and poorer cardiovascular fitness in teen years increase risk of early-onset dementia

Mon, 2014-03-10 08:22
Men who at the age of 18 years have poorer cardiovascular fitness and/or a lower IQ more often suffer from dementia before the age of 60. This is shown in a recent study encompassing more than one million Swedish men.

After years of improving, rates of youth suicide-related behaviors stopped declining, Canadian study finds

Fri, 2014-03-07 09:02
After four years of declining, the rates of teenagers coming into Ontario emergency departments with suicide-related behaviors stopped dropping between 2006 and 2010. "Coming into hospital with a self-inflicted injuries or poisoning is a strong risk factor for suicide," said the lead author. "Within a year of coming into a hospital with suicide-related behavior, 16 per cent will repeat their behavior and about two per cent will die by suicide." In Canada, suicide is the second-leading cause of death in youth -- nearly one quarter of all deaths for those aged 15-19 years.

E-cigarettes: Gateway to nicotine addiction for U.S. teens

Thu, 2014-03-06 10:22
E-cigarettes, promoted as a way to quit regular cigarettes, may actually be a new route to conventional smoking and nicotine addiction for teenagers, according to a new study. In the first analysis of the relationship between e-cigarette use and smoking among adolescents in the United States, researchers found that adolescents who used the devices were more likely to smoke cigarettes and less likely to quit smoking. The study of nearly 40,000 youth around the country also found that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students doubled between 2011 and 2012, from 3.1 percent to 6.5 percent.

Energy drinks linked to teen health risks

Thu, 2014-03-06 08:53
The uplifting effects of energy drinks are well advertised, but a new report finds consumption among teenagers may be linked with poor mental health and substance use. The researchers found that high school students prone to depression as well as those who are smoke marijuana or drink alcohol are more likely to consume energy drinks than their peers. The researchers are calling for limits on teen's access to the drinks and reduction in the amount of the caffeine in each can.

Aggression, rule-breaking common among Taiwanese teenagers who have early sex

Tue, 2014-03-04 08:45
Sex in teenage years can influence emotions and behavior of Asian youngsters, a new study has demonstrated. Nearly 19,000 sixteen- to nineteen-year-old Taiwanese adolescents took part in a national survey. The team found that sexual initiation during adolescence was consistently associated with externalizing problems including rule-breaking and aggressive behavior. This was especially true for adolescents who started having sex at a very young age, and for females.

Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity, physical inactivity

Tue, 2014-03-04 08:45
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to become obese and sedentary teenagers, according to new research. Previous studies have suggested a link between ADHD and obesity, but whether one leads to the other is unclear. Conduct disorder, a condition related to ADHD and linked to tendencies towards delinquency, rulebreaking and violence, was also found to increase risk of obesity and physical inactivity among teens.

Effective treatment for youth anxiety disorders has lasting benefit

Thu, 2014-02-27 08:20
The majority of youth with moderate to severe anxiety disorders responded well to acute treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication (sertraline), or a combination of both, new research concludes. They maintained positive treatment response over a 6 month follow-up period with the help of monthly booster sessions. Collectively, anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents. Often overlooked, severe anxiety can significantly impair children's school, social, and family functioning, and if untreated, can increase the risk of depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and occupational difficulties in adulthood.

Risky behaviors of gambling, sex linked in African-American youth

Tue, 2014-02-25 14:19
Researchers assessed whether certain adolescent sexual behaviors linked with unintended consequences such as adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are associated with gambling behaviors. They found that almost half their sample -- 49 percent -- had gambled at least once before age 18, and more gamblers than non-gamblers had initiated sexual intercourse by age 18. Approximately one third (35 percent) had intercourse by age 13 and 89 percent had engaged in sexual intercourse by age 18.

Preventing suicide should start in general medical setting

Mon, 2014-02-24 11:42
The mental health conditions of most people who commit suicide remain undiagnosed, even though most visit a primary care provider or medical specialist in the year before they die. To help prevent suicides, health care providers should therefore become more attuned to their patients' mental health states and possible suicide ideations. Results of the study indicate that mental health and suicide risk may need to be assessed more thoroughly, especially in general medical settings, the author state.

Sodabriety: Teens at risk for obesity switch from sugared drinks to water with peer intervention

Thu, 2014-02-20 15:12
Kids growing up in Appalachia are the nation’s largest consumers of sugary drinks. With deaths in Appalachia related to obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease on the rise, local teens are working with researchers to lead a successful program helping peers quit sugary drinks for good. Dubbed "Sodabriety," the 30-day project asked groups of teens from two southern Ohio high schools to develop and then lead educational campaigns designed to convince their peers to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and tea, and to drink more unsweetened beverages. By the end of the program, not only did some teens completely give up sugared drinks, but water consumption nearly doubled.

Gaps in inpatient psychiatry for Ontario youth, study concludes

Thu, 2014-02-20 07:33
A first of its kind benchmarking survey was used to evaluate the state of inpatient psychiatry settings and services for youth at hospitals across Ontario. On average, the province's services are comparable to other settings internationally, helping youth with the most severe and complex mental health problems, but also show similar signs of inconsistency across settings in the types and quality of inpatient care.

Family problems experienced in childhood and adolescence affect brain development

Wed, 2014-02-19 06:52
New research has revealed that exposure to common family problems during childhood and early adolescence affects brain development, which could lead to mental health issues in later life. The study used brain imaging technology to scan teenagers aged 17-19. It found that those who experienced mild to moderate family difficulties between birth and 11 years of age had developed a smaller cerebellum, an area of the brain associated with skill learning, stress regulation and sensory-motor control. The researchers also suggest that a smaller cerebellum may be a risk indicator of psychiatric disease later in life, as it is consistently found to be smaller in virtually all psychiatric illnesses.

In fight against teen prescription drug abuse, home and school-based programs work in combination

Tue, 2014-02-18 13:34
Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing success rates, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, says a new study. The best results came from pairing a school-based program with a home-based intervention, resulting in a 10 percent decrease in abuse rates. Most school-based programs were ineffective when used by themselves. The six-year study is among the first to measure the success and cost-effectiveness of prescription drug abuse prevention efforts.

'Legal highs,' PMMA and zombie panic: Real dangers of the lacing of ecstasy pills

Tue, 2014-02-18 10:07
Recent deaths in both Canada and the UK linked to PMA/PMMA in ecstasy pills has brought public scrutiny to this little known drug. With Canada producing most of the ecstasy in the North American market, this timely paper looks at trends in ecstasy adulteration, the facts around PMA/PMMA-linked deaths and explores alternatives to the endless banning of new drugs. Among its findings, the paper states that in 2007, only 3% of seized ecstasy tablets contained pure MDMA compared to 69% in 2001, suggesting that there has been a major increase in the lacing of ecstasy pills available.

First biological marker for major depression could enable better diagnosis, treatment

Mon, 2014-02-17 15:11
Teenage boys who show a combination of depressive symptoms and elevated levels of the 'stress hormone' cortisol are up to fourteen times more likely to develop major depression than those who show neither trait, according to research. Major, or clinical, depression is a debilitating mental health problem that will affect one in six people at some point in their lives. However, until now there have been no biomarkers for major depression; this is believed to be, in part, because both the causes and the symptoms can be so varied.

Beauty, not disease, motivates teens to wear sunscreen

Thu, 2014-02-13 08:50
After offering information about UV light and sun-protective behaviors, the two health-ed videos diverge: one describes the increased skin cancer risk of UV exposure and the other describes effects on appearance including wrinkles and premature aging. Which of these two videos do you think caused teenagers to use more sunscreen six weeks after it was shown? A new study shows that while teens who watched both videos learned and retained the same amount of knowledge about UV light and sun-protective behaviors, only the teens who watched the appearance-based video (and not the health-based video) actually changed these behaviors.
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