According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about one in three alcohol-related deaths involving people under the age of twenty-one occurs during prom or graduation season. Additionally, approximately one in four car accidents involving teenagers involve alcohol. Local emergency medical services (EMS) teams throughout the U.S. back up this claim, reporting an increase in teen drunk driving accidents between April and June of each year. It’s a good idea to avoid drinking at pre- and post-prom events and graduation parties. If you do drink, call a parent, taxi, or ride share service for a ride to make sure you and your friends get home safely.
Four college student-athletes have died by suicide in the United States since early March, bringing attention to the toll that pressure takes on student-athletes’ mental health. In the U.S., suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students, and it has become a bigger issue among student-athletes in recent years. Between 2004 and 2012 the suicide rate for NCAA athletes was lower than that of the general population. However, data released by the NCAA in May 2020 showed that rates of mental health concerns were up by 150 to 250 percent compared to past data. Schools are working to find ways to encourage student-athletes to make use of mental health services available on campus.
According to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 60 percent of Americans have antibodies indicating that they have been infected with COVID-19. For children and teens under the age of eighteen, the rate is even higher at 75 percent. For this study, the CDC analyzed blood donations from 200,000 Americans collected between September 2021 and February 2022. In December 2021, only 34 percent of Americans had these antibodies, suggesting that the Omicron variant may have been responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates (two types of endocrine-disrupting chemicals) may be associated with lower bone mineral density in male teens, according to a new study.
The rate of overdose deaths among U.S. teenagers nearly doubled in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, and rose another 20% in the first half of 2021 compared with the 10 years before the pandemic, even as drug use remained generally stable during the same period.
Lead is an environmental neurotoxicant that causes neurocognitive deficits and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. It also disproportionately affects socially disadvantaged communities. The association between lead exposure and children's IQ has been well studied, but few studies have examined the effects of blood lead on children's physiological stress and behavior. Three new studies shed light on how lead can affect children and adolescents' physiological stress and emotional/behavioral development.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as the 116th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, securing her place in history as the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. Jackson, a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, is also the first former federal public defender on the bench.
During her confirmation hearings, Jackson said she considered herself to be the first generation to benefit from the civil rights movement and the work of so many people that went into changing laws in the United States. In remarks following her confirmation, Jackson thanked everyone who had supported, encouraged, and inspired her, including the generations of leaders and pathbreakers who believed in the dream of equality. “To be sure, I have worked hard to get to this point in my career, and I have now achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could’ve possibly ever imagined,” she said. “But no one does this on their own. The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion.”
People who reported multiple symptoms consistent with severe substance use disorder at age 18 exhibited two or more of these symptoms in adulthood, according to a new analysis of a nationwide survey in the United States. These individuals were also more likely, as adults, to use and misuse prescription medications, as well as self-treat with opioids, sedatives, or tranquillizers.
Cannabis use among pregnant women is on the rise and may be associated with negative health outcomes in children, according to a new study.
Source: Nemours Foundation
Source: Nemours Foundation
Suicide is often described as having a ripple effect. It not only affects family and friends, but also classmates, teachers, teammates, coworkers, neighbors, and many others. An entire community can be changed when someone takes their own life.
Oklahoma has one of the highest suicide rates in the United States, and its youth suicide rate increased 103 percent since 2007. In the city of Antlers, Oklahoma, alone, an average of 11 people die by suicide every year. Knowing that community connectedness is an important tool in preventing suicide, the Antlers Public Library created Project BRAVE. This landmark program is encouraging conversations about mental health, helping teens realize when they are stressed or struggling, and providing local and state resources to help them get the care and support they need. The project’s acronym serves as a reminder to treat yourself and others with kindness, compassion, and empathy:
BeReady to help
Ask for a hand
Even when it’s hard
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, reach out to the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566.
Children of mothers with clinical depression are at three times greater risk to develop depression themselves than are their low-risk peers. Researchers are working to understand the neural underpinnings of the risk, and some studies have shown altered brain processing of reward in at-risk children as young as 6. An outstanding question remains as to whether children with a maternal history of depression have a biological predisposition to blunted neural reward responding or whether it depends more on social factors. Now, new work finds those dampened responses depended on maternal feedback, suggesting the latter.
What are the most important factors to consider for developing effective drug use prevention programs? Many current programs for adolescents focus on elements including peer and family relationships, school connection, and youth's self-confidence and self-assertion. However, a new study suggests another factor may be equally -- or even more -- influential: whether the youth believes drug use is wrong.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began nearly one month ago. Since then, Ukrainian teens have been using TikTok to document how their lives and country have changed. They post and go live to answer questions and provide updates about their families, finding food and supplies, living in bomb shelters, and daily life in a war zone, often interrupted by the sounds of sirens and explosions. Some teens use music and humor to try to lighten the terrible news, but most want the world to see and understand what is happening in their cities. Still, experts warn that some users are exploiting the war for views or donations, as TikTok and other social media platforms struggle to control the spread of misinformation.
The 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, held in Beijing, featured more than 500 amazing athletes with physical, visual, and intellectual disabilities. Seventeen-year-old Jesse Keefe from Bellevue, Idaho, is the youngest athlete on the U.S. Paralympic team. Born without an ankle bone, his leg was amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. He began skiing at age 2 and racing at age 6. Keefe has trained with several groups that support athletes with disabilities and credits them for helping him build up confidence with his prosthetic. Keefe said, “To someone who is thinking about trying adaptive sports, I would say, go for it! Sports bring us together. They are fun, you get to meet people like you, and challenge yourself.”
Looking for techniques to keep young athletes safer post-concussion, researchers devised a study in which teenage athletes who suffered concussions were randomized either to standard of care -- typically returning to play after clearing a set of standardized protocols that assess symptoms, cognition, and balance -- or completing the same protocol and then working with an athletic trainer on a specific neuromuscular training intervention that includes guided strength exercises and a focus on posture and landing stability.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from more than 36,000 adults and found a link between light-to-moderate drinking and reductions in overall brain volume. People who drank a pint of beer or a six-ounce glass of wine on a daily basis for a month had brains that appeared to be two years older than people who drank only half as much. People who drank four times that amount each day had brain shrinkage equivalent to a decade of aging. Dr. Henry Kranzler, who directs the Penn Center for Studies of Addiction, noted that the study’s findings go against scientific and governmental guidelines on safe drinking limits for adult men and women.
Like many students, Alyssa Simone found that her mental health was declining during the pandemic. The Long Island, New York, student decided to spend her downtime researching ways to deal with depression and anxiety and shared the results with her peers. Knowing that others were struggling, Simone and her friends founded Child Resilient, a student-led nonprofit whose mission is to foster emotional resilience and mental health wellness in children and teens. Child Resilient’s team is made up of high school students who have their own experiences with mental health issues. Under the supervision of four licensed therapists who serve as advisors, Simone and other student mentors hold weekly Zoom meetings where they help teens learn about different therapy techniques. Simone says nearly 85 percent of their participants identify as female or teens of color, most of whom receive no professional support.
Scientists have known for years that a person's risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be lowered with lifestyle changes such as modifying diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco use. Now a new study shows that a long-term association also exists between an adolescent's psychological well-being and their risk of CVD as an adult. Specifically, they found that people who are more optimistic or positive when they are adolescents can lower their chances of being in the high-risk category for CVD as an adult.