Health & Social

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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Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression

Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Teens and How You Can Help Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. But teen…

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How Iceland Got Teens to Say No to Drugs

Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in the country. It’s a little before 3 p.m. on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a stroller, but the park’s surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school’s…

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The high levels of alcohol consumption characteristic of adolescence may be in part biologically based, given that elevated consumption levels are also evident during this developmental transition in other mammalian species as well. Studies conducted using a simple animal model of adolescence in the rat has shown adolescents to be more sensitive than adults to…

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A Guide to Youth Smoking Prevention Policies and Programs

no smoking sign

Social problems in many urban areas often lead to smoking by teenagers. They believe — wrongly — that tobacco will help reduce their stress and make them look “cool” instead of insecure. Many pressures for smoking are discussed, as well as countermeasures. The number of young people who smoke is decreasing, but one third of…

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Smoking Prevention Strategies for Urban and Minority Youth

cigarette put out

Smoking is declining among many teenagers,but one-third of high schoolers still use tobacco. This article explores the risks of smoking and campaigns to prevent it. Overall, the number of adolescents who smoke and use smokeless tobacco is decreasing, and the decrease is sharpest among minority youth. Still, about one-third of high school students use tobacco…

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