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.

mRNA Vaccinations vs COVID-19 Risk in Teens – Vaccinations are Safer

Case Western Reserve University researchers have demonstrated that the risk for myocarditis/pericarditis (heart inflammation) among male teens (12-17) diagnosed with COVID-19 is nearly 6 times higher than their combined risk following first and second doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
The risk for myocarditis/pericarditis among girls (ages 12-17) is 21 times greater from COVID-19 than from vaccines.

Nurturing an early interest in neuroscience

Last year’s lockdowns confined most people to their homes. For teenagers on summer break, a season usually dedicated to recreation and outdoor exploration, this meant long days of boredom. But for Nikhita Kaushik, who just finished her sophomore year at Irvine’s Arnold O. Beckman High School, the free time was a blessing. It enabled her to dive into her passion for neuroscience and establish the Southern California Youth Neuroscience Association.

Sexual violence raises e-cigarette use among sexual minority teens, but not heterosexual peers

Experiencing sexual violence is significantly linked to increased e-cigarette use among sexual minority high school students, but not heterosexual students, according to a University at Buffalo study.

How Kids Eat: Five New Insights on Daily Habits and Childhood Obesity

What we eat during childhood can affect the health of individuals—and populations—for years to come. As rates of childhood obesity continue to rise, five studies being presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE bring new insights into the diets of children and teens around the world.

Smartphone Use Associated with Unhealthy Eating and Overweight in Teens

Even moderate smartphone use may influence teens’ diet and weight, according to a new study of more than 53,000 Korean adolescents. Teens who used a smartphone for more than 2 hours per day were significantly more likely to eat more junk food and fewer fruits and vegetables than those spending less time on their phone. Teens spending more than 3 hours per day on a smartphone were significantly more likely to be overweight or obese.

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.

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.

Virginia Tech researchers show teens with risk-averse peers make safer choices

In a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Virginia Tech neuroscientists at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC show that observing peers making sound decisions may help young people play it safe. The discovery may one day inform measures to help teens make healthy decisions.

Trick-or-treat for Halloween? Here’s What You Need to Know

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and offers helpful tips regarding COVID-19 and “trick-or-treating” during the pandemic.

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.

Being Fun is No Laughing Matter

A longitudinal study examined whether children who are well-liked and children who are popular got that way by being fun to hang around with. Results clearly underscore the importance of being fun. Across a two-month period, primary school children perceived by classmates as someone who is fun to be around experienced an increase in the number of classmates who liked them and the number who rated them as popular. In the eyes of peers, “fun begets status and status begets fun.”

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.

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.

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.

Concussions in high school athletes may be a risk factor for suicide

Concussion, the most common form of traumatic brain injury, has been linked to an increased risk of depression and suicide in adults. Now new research published by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) suggests high school students with a history of sports-related concussions might be at an increased risk for suicide completion.

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.

Expert Available to Discuss Back-to-School and Mental Health: Helping students handle stress of a new school year

WHO: Cindy Jones, director, Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) at Children’s of Alabama, is available for interviews about coping with the stress and anxiety that a new school year can cause for students and parents. WHY: Returning to school can…