Archive for the ‘adolescents’ Category

One In Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

September 14, 2012 Comments off

One In Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

Source: Social Science Research Network (Measure of America)

An astonishing one in every seven Americans ages 16 to 24 is neither working nor in school—5.8 million young people in all. As their peers lay the foundation for a productive, fulfilling adulthood, these disconnected youth find themselves adrift at society’s margins, unmoored from the structures that confer knowledge, skills, identity, and purpose.

The cost is high for affected individuals—and for society as a whole. Lack of attachment to the anchor institutions of school or work at this stage of life can leave scars that last a lifetime, affecting everything from earnings and financial independence to physical and mental health and even marital prospects. And last year alone, youth disconnection cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue.

This brief ranks the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas as well as the nation’s largest racial and ethnic groups in terms of youth disconnection. Key findings include the following:

  • Big gaps separate major metro areas; in bottom-ranked Phoenix, 19 percent of young people are disconnected from the worlds of work and school, whereas in Boston, which tops the chart, only about 9 percent are.
  • African American young people have the highest rate of youth disconnection, 22.5 percent nationally. In Pittsburgh, Seattle, Detroit, and Phoenix, more than one in four African American young people are disconnected.
  • Young men are slightly more likely to be disconnected than young women, a reversal of the situation found in decades past. The situation varies by race and ethnicity, however. The gender gap is largest among African Americans; nationally, 26 percent of African American male youth are disconnected, compared to 19 percent of their female counterparts.
  • Youth disconnection mirrors adult disconnection: household poverty rates and the employment and educational status of adults in a community are strongly associated with youth disconnection.
  • Where a young person lives is highly predictive of his or her likelihood of disconnection. The findings break down youth disconnection by neighborhoods within cities. The disparities between wealthy and poor communities are striking. For example, in New York, disconnection rates range from 3.7 percent in parts of Long Island to 35.6 percent in parts of the South Bronx.

The report concludes with a set of recommendations for preventing youth disconnection, including moving beyond the “college-for-all” mantra to provide meaningful support and guidance both to young people aiming for a four-year bachelor’s degree and to those whose interests and career aspirations would be better served by relevant, high-quality career and technical education certificates and associate’s degrees.

Residence and teenage birth rates: A potential non-stationary process in US counties

September 11, 2012 Comments off

Residence and teenage birth rates: A potential non-stationary process in US counties

Source: Demographic Research


Limited information is available about teenage pregnancy and childbearing in rural areas, even though approximately 20 percent of the nation’s youth live in rural areas. Identifying whether there are differences in the teenage birth rate (TBR) across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important because these differences may reflect modifiable ecological-level influences such as education, employment, laws, healthcare infrastructure, and policies that could potentially reduce the TBR.


The goals of this study are to investigate whether there are spatially varying relationships between the TBR and the independent variables, and if so, whether these associations differ between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties.


We explore the heterogeneity within metropolitan/nonmetropolitan county groups separately using geographically weighted regression (GWR), and investigate the difference between metropolitan/nonmetropolitan counties using spatial regime models with spatial errors. These analyses were applied to county-level data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau.


GWR results suggested that non-stationarity exists in the associations between TBR and determinants within metropolitan/nonmetropolitan groups. The spatial regime analysis indicated that the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage on TBR significantly varied by the metropolitan status of counties.


While the spatially varying relationships between the TBR and independent variables were found within each metropolitan status of counties, only the magnitude of the impact of the socioeconomic disadvantage index is significantly stronger among metropolitan counties than nonmetropolitan counties. Our findings suggested that place-specific policies for the disadvantaged groups in a county could be implemented to reduce TBR in the US.

Europe’s Lost Generation

September 10, 2012 Comments off

Europe’s Lost Generation (PDF)
Source: TD Economics


  • Youth unemployment rates are above 50% in the beleaguered economies of Greece and Spain. These are substantially above those in the U.S. and Canada which currently fluctuate around 16% and 14%, respectively. But do these figures really give you the full story?
  • Differences in labour force participation rates can have a material impact on the way the unemployment rate portrays the labour market.
  • Other measures are available which seem to paint a different picture – the ratio of unemployment to the population for Greece and Spain is far closer to those in the U.S. and Canada.
  • However, the seemingly different measures ultimately tell the same story – that young workers are facing difficult conditions all over the industrialized world, but those in Europe are facing almost impossible conditions.

In the wake of the 2008-09 recession, there has been enormous attention on the plight of younger workers. One statistic that is thrown out on an almost daily basis is the massive 50% youth unemployment rates in Greece and Spain. Comparatively, the youth unemployment rates in the U.S. and Canada only ever peaked at 19% and 16%, respectively. But do youth unemployment rates really give you the whole story? There are alternative measures to the unemployment rate which present a seemingly different picture of youth unemployment in Europe. In this report, we discuss some of the details of Europe’s labour market data and compare it to Canada and the U.S. in order to shed light on just how poor the situation is for European youth looking for work.

National and State Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2011

September 4, 2012 Comments off

National and State Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Since 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has expanded the routine adolescent vaccination schedule with administration of the following vaccines at ages 11 or 12 years: meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), 2 doses*; tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap), 1 dose; human papillomavirus (HPV), 3 doses; and influenza, 1 dose annually (1). To assess vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years,† CDC analyzed data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen). This report summarizes the results of that assessment, which indicated that, from 2010 to 2011, vaccination coverage increased for ≥1 dose Tdap on or after age 10 years (from 68.7% to 78.2%), ≥1 dose MenACWY (from 62.7% to 70.5%), and, among females, for ≥1 dose of HPV (from 48.7% to 53.0%) and ≥3 doses of HPV§ (from 32.0 to 34.8%) (2). Vaccination coverage varied widely among states. Interventions that increase adolescent vaccination coverage include strong recommendations from health-care providers, urging consideration of every health visit as an opportunity for vaccination, reducing out-of-pocket costs, and using reminder/recall systems. Despite increasing adolescent vaccination coverage, the percentage point increase in ≥1 dose HPV coverage among adolescent females was less than half that of the increase in ≥1 dose of Tdap or MenACWY. The causes of lower coverage with HPV vaccine are multifactorial; addressing missed opportunities for vaccination, as well as continued evaluation of vaccination-promoting initiatives, is needed to protect adolescents against HPV-related cancers.

A Systematic Review of Vocational Interventions for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders

August 31, 2012 Comments off

A Systematic Review of Vocational Interventions for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are approaching adolescence and young adulthood; interventions to assist these individuals with vocational skills are not well understood. This study systematically reviewed evidence regarding vocational interventions for individuals with ASD between the ages of 13 and 30 years.

METHODS: The Medline, PsycINFO, and ERIC databases (1980–December 2011) and reference lists of included articles were searched. Two reviewers independently assessed each study against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted data regarding participant and intervention characteristics, assessment techniques, and outcomes, and assigned overall quality and strength of evidence ratings based on predetermined criteria.

RESULTS: Five studies were identified; all were of poor quality and all focused on on-the-job supports as the employment/vocational intervention. Short-term studies reported that supported employment was associated with improvements in quality of life (1 study), ASD symptoms (1 study), and cognitive functioning (1 study). Three studies reported that interventions increased rates of employment for young adults with ASD.

CONCLUSIONS: Few studies have been conducted to assess vocational interventions for adolescents and young adults with ASD. As such, there is very little evidence available for specific vocational treatment approaches as individuals transition to adulthood. All studies of vocational approaches were of poor quality, which may reflect the recent emergence of this area of research. Individual studies suggest that vocational programs may increase employment success for some; however, our ability to understand the overall benefit of supported employment programs is limited given the existing research.

Employment and Unemployment Among Youth — Summer 2012

August 28, 2012 Comments off

Employment and Unemployment Among Youth — Summer 2012
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

From April to July 2012, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old rose 2.1 million to 19.5 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This year, the share of young people employed in July was 50.2 percent. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) Unemployment among youth increased by 836,000 from April to July 2012, compared with an increase of 745,000 for the same period in 2011. (Because this analysis focuses on the seasonal changes in youth employment and unemployment that occur each spring and summer, the data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Tobacco Sales to Youth

August 23, 2012 Comments off

Tobacco Sales to Youth (PDF)

Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in the United States, with 443,000 deaths annually attributed to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2008). Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. In fact, among adults who have ever smoked daily, 88 percent report that they first smoked by the age of 18, with 99 percent reporting that they first smoked by the age of 26. Furthermore, more than one-third (36.7 percent) of adults who have ever smoked report trying their first cigarette by the age of 14 (USDHHS, 2012). These data suggest that if youth are prevented from smoking while they are young, they will be unlikely to begin smoking as adults.
Tobacco use is also highly associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Specifically, over half (52.9 percent) of youths aged 12 to 17 who smoked cigarettes in the past month also used an illicit drug compared with 6.2 percent of youths who did not smoke cigarettes. Similarly, close to half (43.7 percent) of current cigarette users age 12 and over also report binge drinking in the past month, compared to 16.9 percent of current nonsmokers (SAMHSA, 2011).

Weight Status Among Adolescents in States That Govern Competitive Food Nutrition Content

August 14, 2012 Comments off

Weight Status Among Adolescents in States That Govern Competitive Food Nutrition Content
Source: Pediatrics


To determine if state laws regulating nutrition content of foods and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs (“competitive foods”) are associated with lower adolescent weight gain.


The Westlaw legal database identified state competitive food laws that were scored by using the Classification of Laws Associated with School Students criteria. States were classified as having strong, weak, or no competitive food laws in 2003 and 2006 based on law strength and comprehensiveness. Objective height and weight data were obtained from 6300 students in 40 states in fifth and eighth grade (2004 and 2007, respectively) within the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class. General linear models estimated the association between baseline state laws (2003) and within-student changes in BMI, overweight status, and obesity status. Fixed-effect models estimated the association between law changes during follow-up (2003–2006) and within-student changes in BMI and weight status.


Students exposed to strong laws at baseline gained, on average, 0.25 fewer BMI units (95% confidence interval: −0.54, 0.03) and were less likely to remain overweight or obese over time than students in states with no laws. Students also gained fewer BMI units if exposed to consistently strong laws throughout follow-up (β = −0.44, 95% confidence interval: −0.71, −0.18). Conversely, students exposed to weaker laws in 2006 than 2003 had similar BMI gain as those not exposed in either year.


Laws that regulate competitive food nutrition content may reduce adolescent BMI change if they are comprehensive, contain strong language, and are enacted across grade levels.

Current Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011

August 11, 2012 Comments off

Current Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, with nearly 443,000 deaths occurring annually because of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke (1). Moreover, nearly 90% of adult smokers begin smoking by age 18 years (2). To assess current tobacco use among youths, CDC analyzed data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2011, the prevalence of current tobacco use among middle school and high school students was 7.1% and 23.2%, respectively, and the prevalence of current cigarette use was 4.3%, and 15.8%, respectively. During 2000–2011, among middle school students, a linear downward trend was observed in the prevalence of current tobacco use (14.9% to 7.1%), current combustible tobacco use (14.0% to 6.3%), and current cigarette use (10.7% to 4.3%). For high school students, a linear downward trend also was observed in these measures (current tobacco use [34.4% to 23.2%], current combustible tobacco use [33.1% to 21.0%], and current cigarette use [27.9% to 15.8%]). Interventions that are proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use among youths include media campaigns, limiting advertisements and other promotions, increasing the price of tobacco products, and reducing the availability of tobacco products for purchase by youths. These interventions should continue to be implemented as part of national comprehensive tobacco control programs and should be coordinated with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations restricting the sale, distribution, and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to youths (2–4).

Being Normal Weight but Feeling Overweight in Adolescence May Affect Weight Development into Young Adulthood—An 11-Year Followup: The HUNT Study, Norway

August 10, 2012 Comments off

Being Normal Weight but Feeling Overweight in Adolescence May Affect Weight Development into Young Adulthood—An 11-Year Followup: The HUNT Study, Norway
Source: Journal of Obesity

To explore if self-perceived overweight in normal weight adolescents influence their weight development into young adulthood and if so, whether physical activity moderates this association.

A longitudinal study of 1196 normal weight adolescents (13–19 yrs) who were followed up as young adults (24–30 yrs) in the HUNT study. Lifestyle and health issues were assessed employing questionnaires, and standardized anthropometric measurements were taken. Chi square calculations and regression analyses were performed to investigate the associations between self-perceived overweight and change in BMI or waist circumference (WC) adjusted for age, age squared, sex, and other relevant cofactors.

Adolescents, defined as being normal weight, but who perceived themselves as overweight had a larger weight gain into young adulthood than adolescents who perceived themselves as normal weight (difference in BMI: 0.66 units [CI95%: 0.1, 1.2] and in WC: 3.46 cm [CI95%: 1.8, 5.1]). Level of physical activity was not found to moderate this association.

This study reveals that self-perceived overweight during adolescence may affect development of weight from adolescence into young adulthood. This highlights the importance of also focusing on body image in public health interventions against obesity, favouring a “healthy” body weight taking into account natural differences in body shapes.

See: Feeling Fat May Make You Fat, Study Suggests (Science Daily)

Adolescent Expectations of Early Death Predict Adult Risk Behaviors

August 3, 2012 Comments off

Adolescent Expectations of Early Death Predict Adult Risk Behaviors

Source: PLoS ONE

Only a handful of public health studies have investigated expectations of early death among adolescents. Associations have been found between these expectations and risk behaviors in adolescence. However, these beliefs may not only predict worse adolescent outcomes, but worse trajectories in health with ties to negative outcomes that endure into young adulthood. The objectives of this study were to investigate perceived chances of living to age 35 (Perceived Survival Expectations, PSE) as a predictor of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and substance use in young adulthood. We examined the predictive capacity of PSE on future suicidal ideation/attempt after accounting for sociodemographics, depressive symptoms, and history of suicide among family and friends to more fully assess its unique contribution to suicide risk. We investigated the influence of PSE on legal and illegal substance use and varying levels of substance use. We utilized the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) initiated in 1994–95 among 20,745 adolescents in grades 7–12 with follow-up interviews in 1996 (Wave II), 2001–02 (Wave III) and 2008 (Wave IV; ages 24–32). Compared to those who were almost certain of living to age 35, perceiving a 50–50 or less chance of living to age 35 at Waves I or III predicted suicide attempt and ideation as well as regular substance use (i.e., exceeding daily limits for moderate drinking; smoking ≥ a pack/day; and using illicit substances other than marijuana at least weekly) at Wave IV. Associations between PSE and detrimental adult outcomes were particularly strong for those reporting persistently low PSE at both Waves I and III. Low PSE at Wave I or Wave III was also related to a doubling and tripling, respectively, of death rates in young adulthood. Long-term and wide-ranging ties between PSE and detrimental outcomes suggest these expectations may contribute to identifying at-risk youth.

See: Teen Survival Expectations Predict Later Risk-Taking Behavior (Science Daily)

Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 1991–2011

July 26, 2012 Comments off

Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 1991–2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

One of the three primary goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States is to reduce the number of persons who become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (1). In 2009, persons aged 15–29 years comprised 21% of the U.S. population but accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections (2). Sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse with multiple partners, sexual intercourse without using a condom, and injection drug use are behaviors that increase risk for HIV infection. To describe trends in the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors among high school students, CDC analyzed data from the biennial national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the period 1991–2011. The results of that analysis indicated that, although the percentage of students overall who had ever had sexual intercourse decreased significantly from 54.1% in 1991 to 47.4% in 2011, the prevalence of ever having had sexual intercourse did not change significantly after reaching 45.6% in 2001. Similarly, although the percentage of students who had four or more sex partners decreased significantly from 18.7% in 1991 to 15.3% in 2011, the prevalence of having four or more sex partners did not change significantly after reaching 14.2% in 2001. Condom use at most recent sexual intercourse among students currently having sexual intercourse increased from 46.2% in 1991 to 60.2% in 2011. However, the prevalence of condom use did not change significantly beginning in 2003 (63.0%). The prevalence of injection drug use among students overall did not change significantly from 1995 (2.1%) to 2011 (2.3%). The results suggest that progress in reducing some HIV-related risk behaviors among high school students overall and in certain populations stalled in the past decade. To reduce the number of young persons who become infected with HIV, renewed educational efforts and other risk reduction interventions are warranted.

Teen Sexting and Its Association With Sexual Behaviors

July 19, 2012 Comments off

Teen Sexting and Its Association With Sexual Behaviors
Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

To examine the prevalence of sexting behaviors as well as their relation to dating, sex, and risky sexual behaviors using a large school-based sample of adolescents.

Data are from time 2 of a 3-year longitudinal study. Participants self-reported their history of dating, sexual behaviors, and sexting (sent, asked, been asked, and/or bothered by being asked to send nude photographs of themselves).

Seven public high schools in southeast Texas.

A total of 948 public high school students (55.9% female) participated. The sample consisted of African American (26.6%), white (30.3%), Hispanic (31.7%), Asian (3.4%), and mixed/other (8.0%) teens.

Main Outcome Measure
Having ever engaged in sexting behaviors.

Twenty-eight percent of the sample reported having sent a naked picture of themselves through text or e-mail (sext), and 31% reported having asked someone for a sext. More than half (57%) had been asked to send a sext, with most being bothered by having been asked. Adolescents who engaged in sexting behaviors were more likely to have begun dating and to have had sex than those who did not sext (all P < .001). For girls, sexting was also associated with risky sexual behaviors.

The results suggest that teen sexting is prevalent and potentially indicative of teens’ sexual behaviors. Teen-focused health care providers should consider screening for sexting behaviors to provide age-specific education about the potential consequences of sexting and as a mechanism for discussing sexual behaviors.

See: Teen Sexting Prevalent: Nearly 30 Percent Send Nude Pictures Despite Being ‘Bothered’ by Requests (Science Daily)

Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents

July 7, 2012 Comments off

Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents (PDF)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

In Brief

  • First-time use of most substances peaks during the summer months of June and July
  • On an average day in June, July, or December, more than 11,000 youths used alcohol for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 5,000 to 8,000 new users per day
  • On an average day in June or July, more than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 new users per day
  • On an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time, whereas the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months

Intermittent Explosive Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement

July 2, 2012 Comments off

Intermittent Explosive Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement
Source: Archives of General Psychiatry

Epidemiologic studies of adults show that DSM-IV intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is a highly prevalent and seriously impairing disorder. Although retrospective reports in these studies suggest that IED typically begins in childhood, no previous epidemiologic research has directly examined the prevalence or correlates of IED among youth.

To present epidemiologic data on the prevalence and correlates of IED among US adolescents in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement.

United States survey of adolescent (age, 13-17 years) DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavior, and substance disorders.

Dual-frame household-school samples.

A total of 6483 adolescents (interviews) and parents (questionnaires).

Main Outcome Measures
The DSM-IV disorders were assessed with the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).

Nearly two-thirds of adolescents (63.3%) reported lifetime anger attacks that involved destroying property, threatening violence, or engaging in violence. Of these, 7.8% met DSM-IV/CIDI criteria for lifetime IED. Intermittent explosive disorder had an early age at onset (mean age, 12.0 years) and was highly persistent, as indicated by 80.1% of lifetime cases (6.2% of all respondents) meeting 12-month criteria for IED. Injuries related to IED requiring medical attention reportedly occurred 52.5 times per 100 lifetime cases. In addition, IED was significantly comorbid with a wide range of DSM-IV/CIDI mood, anxiety, and substance disorders, with 63.9% of lifetime cases meeting criteria for another such disorder. Although more than one-third (37.8%) of adolescents with 12-month IED received treatment for emotional problems in the year before the interview, only 6.5% of respondents with 12-month IED were treated specifically for anger.

Intermittent explosive disorder is a highly prevalent, persistent, and seriously impairing adolescent mental disorder that is both understudied and undertreated. Research is needed to uncover risk and protective factors for the disorder, develop strategies for screening and early detection, and identify effective treatments.

See: Uncontrollable Anger Prevalent Among U.S. Youth: Almost Two-Thirds Have History of Anger Attacks

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011

June 25, 2012 Comments off

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Problem: Priority health-risk behaviors, which are behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth and adults, often are established during childhood and adolescence, extend into adulthood, and are interrelated and preventable.

Reporting Period Covered: September 2010–December 2011.

Description of the System: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. In addition, YRBSS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma. YRBSS includes a national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted by CDC and state and large urban school district school-based YRBSs conducted by state and local education and health agencies. This report summarizes results from the 2011 national survey, 43 state surveys, and 21 large urban school district surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12.

Results: Results from the 2011 national YRBS indicated that many high school students are engaged in priority health-risk behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among persons aged 10–24 years in the United States. During the 30 days before the survey, 32.8% of high school students nationwide had texted or e-mailed while driving, 38.7% had drunk alcohol, and 23.1% had used marijuana. During the 12 months before the survey, 32.8% of students had been in a physical fight, 20.1% had ever been bullied on school property, and 7.8% had attempted suicide. Many high school students nationwide are engaged in sexual risk behaviors associated with unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV infection. Nearly half (47.4%) of students had ever had sexual intercourse, 33.7% had had sexual intercourse during the 3 months before the survey (i.e., currently sexually active), and 15.3% had had sexual intercourse with four or more people during their life. Among currently sexually active students, 60.2% had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Results from the 2011 national YRBS also indicate many high school students are engaged in behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among adults aged ≥25 years in the United States. During the 30 days before the survey, 18.1% of high school students had smoked cigarettes and 7.7% had used smokeless tobacco. During the 7 days before the survey, 4.8% of high school students had not eaten fruit or drunk 100% fruit juices and 5.7% had not eaten vegetables. Nearly one-third (31.1%) had played video or computer games for 3 or more hours on an average school day.

Interpretation: Since 1991, the prevalence of many priority health-risk behaviors among high school students nationwide has decreased. However, many high school students continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Variations were observed in many health-risk behaviors by sex, race/ethnicity, and grade. The prevalence of some health-risk behaviors varied substantially among states and large urban school districts.

Public Health Action: YRBS data are used to measure progress toward achieving 20 national health objectives for Healthy People 2020 and one of the 26 leading health indicators; to assess trends in priority health-risk behaviors among high school students; and to evaluate the impact of broad school and community interventions at the national, state, and local levels. More effective school health programs and other policy and programmatic interventions are needed to reduce risk and improve health outcomes among youth.

Growing Up LGBT in America: Key Findings

June 15, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Human Rights Campaign
The deck is stacked against young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in America. Official government discrimination or indifference along with social ostracism leaves many teens disaffected and disconnected in their own homes and neighborhoods. With an increase in public awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and the strikingly high number of LGBT youth who are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations, it is critical that we get a better understanding of the experiences, needs, and concerns of LGBT youth.
HRC’s report, Growing Up LGBT in America, is a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17. It provides a stark picture of the difficulties they face — the impact on their well-being is profound, however these youth are quite resilient. They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools. They remain optimistic and believe things will get better. Nevertheless, the findings are a call to action for all adults who want ensure that young people can thrive.

A multi-informant longitudinal study on the relationship between aggression, peer victimization, and dating status in adolescence

June 10, 2012 Comments off

A multi-informant longitudinal study on the relationship between aggression, peer victimization, and dating status in adolescence
Source: Evolutionary Psychology

Adolescent peer-aggression has recently been considered from the evolutionary perspective of intrasexual competition for mates. We tested the hypothesis that peer-nominated physical aggression, indirect aggression, along with self-reported bullying behaviors at Time 1 would predict Time 2 dating status (one year later), and that Time 1 peer- and self-reported peer victimization would negatively predict Time 2 dating status. Participants were 310 adolescents who were in grades 6 through 9 (ages 11-14) at Time 1. Results showed that for both boys and girls, peer-nominated indirect aggression was predictive of dating one year later even when controlling for age, peer-rated attractiveness, and peer-perceived popularity, as well as initial dating status. For both sexes, self-reported peer victimization was negatively related to having a dating partner at Time 2. Findings are discussed within the framework of intrasexual competition.

Canada — Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend
Source: Health Canada

According to the latest results of the Youth Smoking Survey, only three per cent of Canadian students in grades 6-12 said they smoked daily in 2010-2011, down from 4% in 2008-2009.

The school-based survey also found that fewer students have even tried cigarettes once; a decline among those who had ever tried little cigars; and a drop in the percent of students reporting using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.

“After seeing smoking rates hit historic lows in Canada recently, these new statistics are encouraging,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “In particular, the drop in little cigar smoking suggests that the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act is having an impact on consumption of these products by youth.”

The Youth Smoking Survey, funded by Health Canada and conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, is a survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that captures information related to tobacco, alcohol and drug use.

Canada — Perspectives on Labour and Income: Youth neither enrolled nor employed

June 8, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Statistics Canada
+ The percentage of all Canadian youth age 15 to 29 that are neither in education nor employment (NEET) has ranged between 12% and 14% over the past decade, a rate that is relatively low among the G7 countries.
+ In 2011, 44% of all youth were students and 43% were employed. The remaining 13% were NEET— 5.7% unemployed and 7.5% not in the labour force (NILF).
+ About 55,000 youth had been looking for a job for more than six months in 2011, representing 1% of all youth and 14% of unemployed youth.
+ Lower levels of education were associated with higher rates of youth unemployment and long-term unemployment.
+ Of the 82% of NILF youth who did not want a job, 5% had future work arrangements, 6% were permanently unable to work, 7% were non-traditional students, 20% had no known activity but had young children at home, and 44% had no known activity and no children at home.

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