teen health

Teens taking oral contraceptives may be at increased risk for depressive symptoms

Ever since birth control pills first became available, researchers have been trying to understand the connection between oral contraceptive use and mood. A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands adds important, new information by surveying young women about depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms — such as crying, sleeping excessively, and eating issues — can be far subtler than…

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Acne linked with increased risk of depression

In an analysis of one of the largest electronic medical records databases in the world, researchers found that patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, but only in the first 5 years after being diagnosed with acne. The British Journal of Dermatology analysis included data from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) (1986-2012), a large primary care database in the United Kingdom. The investigators found that the risk for major depression was…

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‘Depression education’ effective for some teens

In an assessment of their “depression literacy” program, which has already been taught to tens of thousands, Johns Hopkins researchers say the Adolescent Depression .Awareness Program (ADAP) achieved its intended effect of encouraging many teenagers to speak up and seek adult help for themselves or a peer. The program provides selected high school teachers a curriculum geared to students in ninth or 10th grade in the required health education classes. In a report of their…

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Licensing and motor vehicle crash risk among teens with ADHD

Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are licensed to drive less often and, when this group is licensed, they have a greater risk of crashing, according to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics. The defining symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity) have been linked to unsafe driving behaviors. Allison E. Curry, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and coauthors linked electronic health records to New Jersey traffic safety databases for more…

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Transgender and gender-fluid teens left with few safe harbors

Transgender and gender-fluid teens, particularly those born male, face up to three times more mental and physical abuse at school and at home than their gender-conforming peers, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. The study is one of the largest national surveys to date of sexual and gender minority adolescents who have suffered multiple forms of victimization, including child abuse, physical and sexual assault and bullying, raising their risk of…

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Later start times better for high school students: Poor self-regulation in teens linked to circadian rhythms

Chronic insufficient sleep is at epidemic levels in U.S. teens and has been associated with depression, substance use, accidents, and academic failure. Poor self-regulation or an inability to alter thinking, emotions, and behaviors to meet varying social demands is thought to be a key link between inadequate sleep in teens and poor health and school-related outcomes. However, a study led by Judith Owens, MD, MPH, at Boston Children’s Hospital and Robert Whitaker, MD, MPH, at…

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Liking on Facebook good for teens’ stress, but being liked…not so much

Facebook can have positive and negative effects on teens levels of a stress hormone, say researchers at the University of Montreal and the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal. Led by Professor Sonia Lupien, the team found that having more than 300 Facebook friends increased teens’ levels of cortisol. On the other hand, teens who act in ways that support their Facebook friends — for example, by liking what they posted or sending them…

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Innovative health program reduces depression, unhealthy weights in teens

An innovative high school health program helped students maintain healthier weights and even alleviated severe depression for a full year after the program ended. Researchers found that 12 months after completing the COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN Program, students had markedly lower body mass index than students who received a more standard health curriculum. Additionally, COPE teens who began the program with extremely elevated depression had symptoms in the normal range after 12 months. COPE (Creating…

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Teens who mature early at greater risk of depression

Youth who enter puberty ahead of their peers are at heightened risk of depression, although the disease develops differently in girls than in boys, a new study suggests. Early maturation triggers an array of psychological, social-behavioral and interpersonal difficulties that predict elevated levels of depression in boys and girls several years later, according to research by led by psychology professor Karen D. Rudolph at the University of Illinois. Rudolph and her colleagues measured pubertal timing…

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Family dinners good for teens’ mental health, could protect from cyberbullying

Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and also be beneficial for their mental health. About 1 in 5 adolescents has experienced recent online bullying and cyberbullying, like traditional bullying, can increase the risk of mental health problems in teens as well as the misuse of drugs and alcohol. It is important to understand whether cyberbullying contributes uniquely…

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