Before the COVID-19 pandemic, teens already had limited opportunities for adult-free socializing. Many of them had already found ways to connect online, but during the pandemic gaming and chat platforms gained popularity and are starting to show some positive things about digital gathering spaces. Platforms including Discord and Roblox transformed to respond to teen and young adult users’ needs during the lockdowns, and Discord has contributed to an increase in multiplayer use for online gaming such as Minecraft and Among Us.
Discord, a gaming chat platform that has 100 million monthly users, allows for teens to voice chat while playing online. Roblox, an online gaming and game design platform, has 150 million monthly active users and allows players to create their own games. Mojang Studios reported that Roblox had a 25 percent increase in new players and a 40 percent increase in multiplayer use during spring 2020. One thing many online games and platforms have in common is the ability to organize online spaces into digital rooms where in-real-life (IRL) and online friends can hang out. During the pandemic, researchers and adults have seen the legitimacy of these platforms in providing isolated teens a chance to socially connect with their peers.
Infants' brains may be shaped by levels of stress their mother experiences during pregnancy, a brain scanning study has revealed.
According to a study in Preventive Medicine, teens—especially girls—who spend less than two hours of screen time after school and spend more time in extracurricular activities have better mental health. Teens with both of these factors had lower levels of anxiety and depression. While longer screen time was particularly harmful for girls, extracurricular activities were still related to higher levels of optimism and life satisfaction separate from screen time and for both genders.
Although the study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings are especially relevant for today’s teens who may be spending more time in front of screens. The pandemic has limited in-person social opportunities and left many extracurricular activities scarce. As teens cope with this crisis, multiple studies have shown broader trends of elevated depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts say finding safe ways for teens to continue to participate in extracurricular activities during current times may be a way to reduce screen time and promote mental health and well-being.
Offspring of mothers with heart healthy lifestyles live nearly a decade longer without cardiovascular disease than those whose mothers have unhealthy lifestyles.
“We the People” are a diverse and varied bunch. The 2016 U.S. presidential election clearly showed that the country was pretty much evenly split between “the left” and “the right.” (The vote was split almost in half with Donald Trump winning the Electoral College, and Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote.) According to an American Psychological Association survey, 68 percent of participants said that the November 3, 2020, presidential election is a significant source of stress. An overwhelming amount of information, ads, and personal opinions in the news and on social media contributes to many teens and adults experiencing election anxiety. Political disagreements with friends and families can be upsetting, so it’s important to learn ways to cope with conflict.
There’s a lot to life besides politics. In fact, it’s that life besides politics that makes politics important. The issues we are passionate about—the things we’re arguing about—are the decisions about how to run and live in our world. Some conversation skills that can be helpful when you politically disagree with someone are to stay calm (even if the other person isn’t), ask questions to learn more about their point of view, be a good listener, and use “I” statements instead of allowing arguments to turn into personal attacks. Maintaining good relationships with friends and family doesn’t have to mean giving up politics. It just requires that we be truly civil.
Teens who have good, supportive relationships with their teachers enjoy better health as adults, according to new research. Perhaps surprisingly, although friendships are important to adolescents, the study did not find the same link between good peer relationships and students' health in adulthood.
Fourteen-year-old Anika Chebrolu from Texas has been named America’s Top Young Scientist in 2020 at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The competition is considered the premier middle school science competition. Chebrolu won for her discovery of a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. During her study, she screened millions of small molecules for drug-likeness properties and binding affinities against the spike protein using software tools. The one molecule with the best pharmacological and biological activity toward the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was chosen as the lead molecule that can be a potential drug for the effective treatment of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world and was declared a worldwide pandemic earlier this year. Chebrolu’s discovery of this molecule contributes to the urgent need to find an effective anti-coronavirus drug. Chebrolu competed against nine other finalists in a virtual competition for this award. All of these young inventors—ranging in age from 12 to 14—won the top 10 spots in this year’s challenge through their innovative thinking and display of exceptional communication skills.
Cannabidiol—known as CBD—is one of hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana. It is different from THC which is the source of the famous marijuana “high.” CBD is present in marijuana, but it is more abundant in hemp. Hemp are cannabis plants that have little THC. CBD oil and products have become extremely popular in recent years, claiming to have wide-ranging benefits and to provide relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
According to a new study, about 40 percent of teens seen in an emergency department at a hospital reported having used CBD and 48 percent believed the chemical could treat “medical illnesses.” While there are still studies debating the overall health claims attributed to CBD, it’s unlikely the CBD doses in consumer products would cause harm. Doctors do recommend some caution before using any type of CBD product to treat a medical condition. You should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist first—including asking about how CBD could interact with any medications you are taking.
Severe morning sickness increases the risk of depression both during and after pregnancy, new research has found.
Three Nigerian-Irish teens are the champions of Technovation Girls—an international competition challenging young women to develop an app that can solve a problem in their community. The girls, who live in Drogheda, Ireland, were inspired by their mentor whose mother was experiencing dementia. They decided to create an app that could help with the disorder. Their work resulted in the app called Memory Haven, which beat out more than 1,500 submissions from 62 countries.
The app can be used by both patients and caregivers. It targets three problems faced by those with dementia—memory loss, difficulty with recognition, and difficulty with speech. One example of its six features is the reminder that alerts both the patient and caregiver that it’s time for medication. Another feature is the photo albums which allow users to flip through tagged photos that identify who is the image.
States may want to consider the proximity of cannabis retailers and cannabis advertising to neighborhoods to prevent underage use of the drug, according to new research.
Evidence-based programs known to reverse the negative effects of poverty are being widely neglected, according to a new report.
Most parents know or suspect when their child smokes, but they are much more likely to be in the dark if the child vapes or uses other tobacco products, according to a large national U.S. study.
On September 18, 2020, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away after complications from her battle with pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was a prominent figure in the United States as a legal, cultural, and feminist icon. After years of participating in the legal fight for women’s rights during the 1970s, Ginsburg eventually went on to serve 27 years on the nation’s highest court — the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. At the time, she was the second woman ever to serve on the court. She was named one of Forbes magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women from 2004 through 2011. The current Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
When 15-year-old Josh Turnyak thought that he was getting a decent night’s sleep but kept waking up groggy, he decided to figure out why. He learned that you should aim to get five to six REM sleep cycles during the night. A REM sleep cycle consists of about 90 minutes of deep sleep. He also learned that it takes between 10 and 20 minutes for the average person to fall asleep. While every age group needs a different amount of hours of sleep at night, teens typically should get about 8–10 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
Turnyak took this information and turned it into the Bed Time Calculator found at sleepsources.com. Simply input what time you need to get up and it will tell you up to three different bedtimes to try to fall asleep at and get your REM sleep cycles in. Ternyak says, “I built this calculator to help people wake up feeling energized. I hope the tool I built helps you wake up feeling more refreshed.” Research has shown that a good night’s sleep contributes to less stress, better grades, and overall health benefits for teens.
New research shows improving the lifestyle of women with obesity during pregnancy could mean long-term cardiovascular benefits for their children.
Almost seven in 10 Americans would be interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, according to a new study. But researchers say there are concerning gaps in interest, particularly among Black Americans, who suffer disproportionately from the virus.
A new study found that teen drivers and drivers 65 years and older - two age groups at a higher risk of being involved in an automobile accident - are more likely to be driving vehicles that are less safe, putting them at even higher risk of injury. The findings underscore the need for these groups to prioritize driving the safest vehicle they can afford.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse -
While teens are encouraged to turn off electronics before bedtime, a new study suggests that visiting a virtual environment may benefit their sleep health. Researchers evaluated the efficacy of a novel intervention based on virtual reality and slow breathing to promote bedtime relaxation and sleep in high school students.