California teen Sasha Ronaghi thought that maybe 15 people would respond to her idea of starting an Anti-Racism Education Project (ARE) on Instagram. In less than five days, she had 350 participants. Now Ronaghi has more than 470 participants and 115 organizers from 38 states and 16 countries. Ronaghi describes the ARE Project as a community “to connect teenagers — young people in high schools and colleges — with resources about raising awareness for the black community.”
The group is planning to create a content list every month that consists of a movie, podcast, article, and other mediums. The group will meet to discuss the content and amplify black voices throughout the month with a speaker series, too. Ronaghi attributes the immediate success of the club to three things — the rhetoric of education surrounding conversations on racism, COVID-19 forcing many teens to stay home, and the desire for dialogue. She hopes that participants will use their new knowledge to be advocates in spreading awareness in their communities and to step up in conversations.
Teenagers who prefer to stay up late and wake later in the morning are more likely to suffer with asthma and allergies compared to those who sleep and wake earlier, according to a new study.
As many as 7% of moms-to-be use marijuana while pregnant, and that number is rising fast as more use it to quell morning sickness. But new research suggests such use could have a lasting impact on the fetal brain, influencing children's sleep for as much as a decade.
Specific sleep problems among babies and very young children can be linked to mental disorders in adolescents, a new study has found.
In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling for LGBTQ+ rights. The court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act — which bans workplace discrimination based on sex, race, and religion — also applies to sexual orientation. Prior to this decision, it was legal in a majority of states for employees to be fired for being gay, bisexual, or transgender.
For many LGBTQ+ Americans, this is being celebrated as a major victory. Many are comparing it to the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. However, some activists believe it is just one positive step in an ongoing effort that still has a long way to go. While the current ruling will provide them with legal protections from discrimination in the workplace, the hope is this will set a precedent for future LGBTQ+ rights in education, housing, government services, and other areas.
Teenagers who experience very poor sleep may be more likely to experience poor mental health in later life, as depressed teens in study slept 30 minutes less per night than other groups.
An experimental cancer drug can extend the life of mice with Rett Syndrome, a devastating genetic disorder that afflicts about one of every 10,000 to 15,000 girls within 6 to 18 months after birth.
On the first Tuesday of June 2020, many media users posted a black square to show their support for current protests and racial justice organizations. Many celebrities, corporations, and others participated by posting the black background to their Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account. The day, called Blackout Tuesday, was promoted by activists to reflect and bring about policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd during an arrest. Activists reminded social media users that while it’s good to participate and raise awareness of racial and social injustice, finding ways to be more vocal and learning how to support members of our black communities is also a great way to become an advocate.
For teens, reposting, retweeting, or expressing how you are feeling can be an active kind of coping response to the overwhelming amount of coverage about police brutality and protests on social media platforms. Teens are more likely to have feelings of unrest when viewing the protests online. Experts encourage teens to talk to an adult they trust about their feelings and to seek out reliable news sources for information about any questions they may have.
You may have seen or read about the historic wildfires in Australia and California over the last year. These natural disasters caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. A visit to the California area inspired 16-year-old Neil Suri of Virginia to develop a forest fire detection tool. The tool is a camera-based approach called the FireWatch. The device has four cameras on the camera hook, providing 360-degree coverage.
After installing 13 FireWatch devices near Virginia’s Shenandoah National Forest, Suri was able to detect a real fire in the 600,000 acres (242,811 ha) being monitored. His low-cost monitoring system won First Place Grand Prize at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair. Winning has helped him raise $35,000 for research development as he hopes to have devices installed on the west coast of the U.S. and overseas to help prevent wildfires from getting out of control.
Early exposure to anesthetics may make adolescents more susceptible to developing alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to new research.
One concern during the COVID-19 pandemic is the drastic increase in digital-use and amount of screen time among teens. According to a recent survey, 57 percent of American teens said their screen time has increased by one hour or more since stay-at-home restrictions were enacted. Also, 30 percent said they spend most of their time streaming movies or TV shows and 70 percent said they downloaded a new app to stay entertained, including games and entertainment.
While there are benefits with today’s technology for teens to connect with others and find new interests, it is still important to be careful with how much time is spent online. Researchers suggest that instead of using your devices to kill time you should focus on using your devices to learn something new or to connect with others in a positive, safe, and responsible way. As the weather begins to warm in many areas and people can start to get outside—while maintaining social distancing—it is advised to put down the screens and focus on interacting with the people and environment around you.
Resilience is a trait that allows you to adjust to a rapidly changing environment and to cope with high stress levels. A new study not only found that teens who repeatedly had a good night’s sleep had higher resilience scores, but also found that being able to fall asleep quickly contributed to high levels of resilience. Meanwhile, disturbed sleep and poor-quality daytime naps were linked to lower resilience.
This study supports other recent results calling for schools to adjust early morning classes to later start times. These adjustments have been tied to higher levels of alertness, safer driving habits, and higher grades. Combined with the findings on increased resilience in teens with more sleep, researchers encourage allowing teens to follow their natural body clocks that favor late nights and sleeping in.
Children with long-term health conditions may be more likely to experience mental illness in early adolescence than healthy children, according to new research.
A recently completed study indicates that smoking by pregnant mothers caused roughly an 1.5-fold asthma risk in their offspring at the ages between 31 and 46.
Cannabis use makes young brains more sensitive to the first exposure to cocaine, according to a new study on rodents. By monitoring the brains of both adolescent and adult rats after giving them synthetic psychoactive cannabinoids followed by cocaine, the research team identified key molecular and epigenetic changes that occurred in the brains of adolescents -- but not adults.
A new study shows that exposure to parental smoking in childhood and adolescence is associated with poorer learning ability and memory in midlife.
Avi Schiffmann, a 17-year-old from Washington, started a website called nCoV2019.live back in December 2019. The site shares an incredible amount of information for anyone wanting to follow the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find some of the typical information such as confirmed cases, serious cases, and confirmed deaths on his site. However, Schiffmann’s site also tracks recovered cases, a metric not seen prominently featured on most news sites. He also plans to eventually include a vaccinated tracker, once a vaccine becomes available.
When asked why he included the recovered cases on his site, Schiffmann said, “I decided that it would be really cool if I could show how many people were recovering, to give people a more positive outlook and maybe more hope. So I added that to the quick facts. In every single country, you can see how many people have recovered, which I think gives people a lot of hope.”
Chicago high school junior Jessica Tansey was concerned about her classmates whose families would struggle with food insecurity during the school closure for COVID-19. At the same time, she was concerned about the restaurants in her neighborhood and the negative effect the COVID-19 shutdowns were having on them. She came up with and launched a campaign called “A Meal Today, A Meal Tomorrow” to help with both community issues.
It works by a customer buying one gift card at a nearby restaurant, and the restaurant agreeing to donate a second gift card to Tansey’s high school, which is then given to a school family in need. While some of the larger restaurant chains are able to commit to matching gift cards dollar-for-dollar, many smaller restaurants are donating gift cards worth a percentage of the one purchased to help out. Tansey said, “If we can connect restaurants and students with one solution, maybe it can make a difference for everybody. I want to get all of us thinking about how to bring communities together to support each other during rough times.”
One of the most important tips for protecting yourself from COVID-19 is to wash your hands for 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. British teen William Gibson decided he wanted the public to have more song options while fighting the spread of coronavirus.
Gibson created an online tool that allows a user to enter the title of their chosen song and artist to automatically generate a poster. The poster matches lyrics from the song to a 13-step washing routine. The UK’s NHS Health Secretary Matt Hancock has publically praised Gibson’s initiative as the posters have been shared extensively on social media. Gibson thought it would be popular, but has still been surprised to see some of his favorite celebrities posting about it. Visit the Wash Your Lyrics website to create your own poster for washing hands with your favorite song.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health - - PDF