UNH Receives Nearly $3 Million to Research Effectiveness of Wilderness Therapy

The University of New Hampshire’s Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center will receive $2.97 million in grants to conduct a first-of-its-kind randomized study looking at the effectiveness of outdoor behavioral health (OBH), or wilderness therapy, a prescriptive treatment for teens struggling with depression, anxiety and substance use disorders.

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Mean or Nice? These Traits Could Make or Break a Child’s Friendships

While it’s logical to assume that children who are mean have friendships characterized by growing strife and that children who are nice report little of the same, these assumptions haven’t been tested in the real-world friendships. A study of elementary-school children is the first to examine the extent to which being “nice” and being “mean” shape changes in friend perceptions of their relationship. Results confirm the widespread assumption that one child’s behavioral traits drive the other child’s friendship experiences.

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Frequent soft drink consumption may make adolescents more aggressive

Soft drink consumption is a likely predictor of aggressive behavior, according to a new study from UAB.A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown that frequent soft drink consumption by adolescents may contribute to aggressive behavior over time.  Previous studies have shown associations between soft drink consumption and mental health problems in adolescents.

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Who Could Benefit From Exercise and Behavioral Treatment?

Aerobic exercise clearly benefits young adults with major depression, and a Rutgers-led study suggests it may be possible to predict those who would benefit from behavioral therapy with exercise. Unique to this precision medicine study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, is an assessment of cognitive control and reward-related brain activity, two facets of brain function that are impaired in people with depression. Like previous studies, this one showed that aerobic exercise helps young adults with major depression.

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High Reliance on Urgent Care Centers May Disrupt Primary Care in Children

A study of over 4 million children and adolescents in the U.S. enrolled in Medicaid found that those who rely on urgent care centers for more than a third of their outpatient health care needs had fewer visits to primary care providers. This may result in missed opportunities for preventative services, such as vaccinations, and identification and management of chronic conditions, such as obesity or asthma. Findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

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Tips for Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis at Home with Teens, Young Adults

Compared to young children, teenagers and young adults living and learning at home during the COVID-19 crisis may be feeling the loss of social connections and life experiences while struggling to manage their time.

Ann Murphy, director of the Northeast & Caribbean Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) and an associate professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions, addresses how to navigate five key challenges.

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Another Unintended Consequence of COVID-19: Cyberbullying Could Increase

School districts nationwide are now providing K-12 education online. Stuck at home all day, students will be using apps even more than they already do, which could cause an increase in cyberbullying among youth. Many cyberbullying targets will hesitate to get help from their parents and will suffer silently because they can’t readily stop by the guidance counselor’s office or chat with a teacher after class. A cyberbullying expert provides important tips and advice for teachers and parents.

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Time of day differences in neural reward responsiveness in children

The Reward Positivity (∆RewP) event-related potential (ERP), generally quantified as the difference between neural responsiveness to monetary gains (RewP-Gain) and

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Cancer survival disparities in minority children, adolescents greater for more treatable cancers

Racial and ethnic minority children and adolescents with cancer have a higher risk of death than non-Hispanic white children and adolescents, with evidence for larger disparities in survival for more treatable cancers, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.“The results suggest that there are modifiable racial and ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival,” said Kim Johnson, associate professor and senior author of “Associations Between Race/Ethnicity and US Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Survival by Treatment Amenability,” published Feb.

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Many Teens are Victims of Digital Dating Abuse; Boys Get the Brunt of It

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, but there is nothing romantic about new research illuminating how teen dating abuse is manifesting online. A study of U.S. middle and high school students showed that 28.1 percent had been the victim of at least one form of digital dating abuse. More than one-third had been the victim of traditional dating abuse (offline). Boys in heterosexual relationships experienced all forms of digital dating abuse more than girls and were even more likely to experience physical aggression.

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More Youth Suicide Found in Poor Communities Across U.S.

A study led by Jennifer Hoffmann, MD, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, found that higher county-level poverty is associated with increased youth suicide rates among children 5-19 years old in the United States in 2007-2016. Children and adolescents from counties where 20 percent or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level were 37 percent more likely to die by suicide, compared to communities with the lowest poverty concentration. Youth suicide by firearms was 87 percent more likely in areas with the highest poverty levels. Findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

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It’s 2020: Time to Teach Teens ‘Safe’ Sexting

Telling youth not to “sext” doesn’t seem to be reducing the prevalence of them sharing nude photos or videos. A national sample of about 5,000 youth ages 12 to 17 showed 14 percent had sent and 23 percent had received sexually explicit images. Researchers say it’s time to teach teens ‘safe’ sexting and provide important tips to avoid significant and long-term consequences, such as humiliation, extortion, victimization, school sanction, reputational damage, and even criminal charges.

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Starting drinking young predicts hospital admission for acute intoxication

In studies, younger age at first alcohol use has been associated with later alcohol problems in adult life, including heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder. That is the reason why around the world, as in the Netherlands, a key aim of alcohol policy is to postpone the age at first alcohol use. In a report published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers from the Netherlands have investigated whether age of drinking onset is a risk factor for alcohol intoxication among adolescents aged under 18 years.

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Visits + Phones = Better Outcomes For Teens, Young Women With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

A patient-centered, community-engaged program featuring home visits by nurses and mobile phone links to caregivers works better than traditional adult-focused and patient self-managed care systems for treating and managing pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, among historically underserved teens and young women, a Johns Hopkins Medicine study shows.

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