Health & Social

How to resist the pressure to buy young children a smartphone

The holidays are upon us–the season of giving gifts, a time when it’s especially difficult for parents to resist the clamor of children begging for a smartphone. Research into cellphone use among young children suggests that this technology is doing real damage. Smartphone use by the young has been linked to increasing depression, sense of…

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Making A Splash

(Note: This is a talk given at an academic awards ceremony to students, parents and teachers.) In the ‘60s during the flowering of the hippie generation, young people didn’t trust anyone over 30. We didn’t like adults, didn’t want to become one. I recall vividly vowing that I would be dead before I turned 30,…

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How Does Technology Affect Teen Health and Well-Being?

When I was teenager, my parents worried about how much and what I watched on television. They could monitor that pretty effectively, as there were only three network channels and limited options. For parents today, not only are there hundreds of channels to monitor, but teens have access to the internet, video games, social media,…

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Middle school suicide

USA Today Network has published an important, troubling article, “America sees alarming spike in middle school suicide rate.” “The suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014, for the first time surpassing the death rate in that age group from car crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014…

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Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting

Social Media Today’s teens and tweens are connected to one another, and to the world, via digital technology  more than any previous generation. Recent data suggests that social media venues like Facebook and Twitter have surpassed e-mail as the preferred method of communication in all age groups. While today’s tweens and teens may be more digitally…

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The cult of eating disorders

I was admitted to the eating disorder ward at a psychiatric hospital the day after my junior prom. By the time I decided to enter treatment, I had been struggling with anorexia for two years. Two years of disordered behaviors took a toll on my health: My medical complications included malnutrition, dehydration, lanugo, insomnia, hair…

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Peer Influences on Adolescent Risk Behavior

Evidence overwhelmingly points to adolescence as a period of heightened risk-taking in multiple domains, including experimentation with alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, unprotected sexual activity, and reckless driving (Reyna & Farley, 2006).  Although risk-taking behavior declines as youth transition into mature adult roles, the public health consequences of the adolescent spike in risky decision-making are severe. …

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Smartphone Addiction Tips for Breaking Free of Compulsive Smartphone Use

While a Smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with your daily life, work, and relationships. When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, news…

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