COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders served to decrease adolescent drinking

During the COVID-19 pandemic, policy interventions designed to reduce the virus’ spread included shelter-in-place (SIP) orders and phased “reopenings” of public spaces. Knowing that adult alcohol and substance use generally rose during the pandemic due to factors such as stress, boredom, worsening mental health, and increased alcohol availability, a new study sought to understand the impact of SIPs and reopenings on adolescent alcohol use in California. Analysis shows SIP decreased frequency of alcohol use. Also, compliance with SIP orders was associated with decreased frequency and quantity of use.

Teens ate less ultra-processed food consumption during pandemic, reversing trend of three decades

For the first time in the last 30 years, the consumption of ultra-processed foods among teenagers in the United States declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study presented at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

As COVID-19 and Online Misinformation Spread, Children and Teens Were Poisoned with Hand Sanitizer and Alcoholic Drinks

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as false health information spread on social media, the number of children and teens poisoned with hand sanitizer or alcoholic beverages surged in Iran. These poisonings resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and 22 deaths. Misinformation circulating on social media included the false suggestion that consuming alcohol (methanol) or hand sanitizer (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) protected against COVID-19 infection (it does not). A major alcohol poisoning outbreak sickened nearly 6,000 Iranian adults, of whom 800 died. It was not known, however, to what extent children and adolescents were affected. For the study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, investigators compared pediatric hospitalizations for ethanol and methanol poisoning during the early COVID-19 pandemic in Iran with the same period the previous year. They also looked at types of exposure and how those were linked to the children’s ages and clinical outcomes.

Teens who use cannabis frequently more likely to have premature baby, study suggests

Teenagers who use cannabis frequently may be more likely to have children born preterm, when they become parents up to twenty years later, finds a new University of Bristol-led study. The research, published in Scientific Reports, repeatedly assessed 665 participants in a general population cohort on their tobacco and cannabis use between ages 14 to 29 years, before pregnancy.

More American parents of teens are purchasing firearms during the pandemic, study finds

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10% of all households with high school-age teens reported buying a firearm, and 3% of U.S. households with teens became first-time gun owners. For households that already owned a firearm, these new firearms were more likely to be acquired by those who already reported storing at least one gun unlocked and loaded. This concerned researchers, as the single biggest risk factor for adolescent firearm injuries is access to an unsecured firearm.

Adulting 101 Course Helps Teens Transition to a Successful Future

The University of Kentucky is offering a web-based course this summer to help students hone important life skills to make the transition to adulthood easier.

Adulting 101 is an eight-week summer course beginning on June 15 and meeting every Tuesday through Zoom. Organized by the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the UK Cooperative Extension Service, the course is open to teenagers nationwide, no matter their goals. Adulting 101 originated as a county-based family and consumer sciences extension program piloted in Central Kentucky.

Recognizing signs of depression in teens as we head into a difficult winter

As National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month comes to a close, and health officials warn of a difficult pandemic winter ahead, it’s important for parents to know how to identify symptoms of depression in their teenagers — and what…

Increased attention to sad faces predicts depression risk in teenagers

Teenagers who tend to pay more attention to sad faces are more likely to develop depression, but specifically within the context of stress, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

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.

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.

Study: Teens who have a loving relationship with their mother are less likely to enter abusive relationships

A mother’s warmth and acceptance toward her teenagers may help prevent those children from being in an abusive relationship later in life, even if her own marriage is contentious, according to a new University at Buffalo study.