Teen Health

A picture of a young couple.
Kelly Boone / Wikipedia

The nonprofit SHIFT NC has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to help health centers coordinate and improve services for teens in Durham.

The Bull City's pregnancy rate is above the state average.

A picture of beer bottles
Pixabay

Psychiatrists at Duke University have found that administering high doses of alcohol to adolescent rats could limit their learning and memory into adulthood.

Their research shows binge drinking by adolescents can cause lasting changes in the hippocampus.

A picture of a girl smoking a cigarette.
medicaldaily.com / creative commons

People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are much more likely than the rest of the population to take up smoking. But a new report out today from Duke University shows that kids who are treated consistently for their ADHD with stimulant medication are less likely to take up the habit.

Lead author Scott Kollins said nicotine often becomes a comfort for young people who are socially awkward or have trouble concentrating.

“The treatment for ADHD addresses a lot of these things,” Kollins said.

“What are they Thinking: The Straight facts about the risk taking, social networking, still developing teen brain” by Aaron M. White and Scott Swartzwelder
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc

    

While the verdict has long been out that adolescents are irrational and impulsive, recent research has shown that hormones are not the primary culprit for this behavior; the brain is also at fault.

A new study finds that black teens have fewer babies by using birth control, practicing less sex, or having abortions in response to job loss. Contraception.
Bryancalabro via Creative Commons

While there are many studies that highlight the irrational nature of teenagers’ decisions, a new study conducted by researchers at Duke University has just found evidence of the opposite. The study shows that when a community experiences job loss, fewer African-American teenagers have babies.

Christina Gibson-Davis is an associate professor of public policy, sociology and psychology and neuroscience at Duke and one of three authors of the study.

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University have been studying the affect of poverty and parenting on substance abuse in adolescents.  The findings suggest self-control for teens is influenced by economic status earlier in life.  The study shows children growing up in poverty are more likely to smoke as adults. 

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

Duke University is opening a new center dedicated to research on how to curb teen substance abuse. The new Center for the Study of Adolescent Risk and Resilience or "C-StARR" is benefiting from a $6.7 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Pregnant woman.
Montse PB via flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's teen birth rate is down significantly as more of them wait to have children. 

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about four percent of North Carolina teens are having children.  That's down more than one percentage point since 2007. 

teen driver
State Farm Insurance, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Johnston County teenagers will lead a discussion today aimed at stopping deadly crashes involving young drivers.  Organizers of the Teen Driving Summit will welcome students from 12 other counties to discuss safer driving practices among teens.  Johnston County currently has the 4th highest number of deaths among high school-age drivers. 


Lynda Carroll is with the county's Teen Driving Committee.  She says the dialogue will focus on five areas of risky behavior behind the wheel.

Budget Could Eliminate Teen Anti-Smoking Campaign

Jun 10, 2011
Tobacco Reality Unfiltered
realityunfiltered.com

  The budget on Governor Bev Perdue's desk would eliminate the Health and Wellness Trust Fund. And that has some public health experts worried. 

One of the Fund's best known programs is an aggressive teen anti-smoking campaign called Tobacco Reality Unfiltered, or T-R-U. The budget would allow for some of the fund's money to go to the department of health and human services which could create a similar program. 
But Doctor Adam Goldstein, from the tobacco prevention and evaluation program at UNC Chapel Hill says their research shows T-R-U has reached most of the kids in the state and makes a difference. 

Teenagers who binge drink may do long-term damage to their brains, according to a study from UNC Chapel Hill. Scientists administered alcohol to adolescent mice and measured changes in brain matter. They found adolescent mice exposed to alcohol lost brain matter in the frontal cortex and were less proficient at memory tests. Dr. Fulton Crews is a professor of pharmacology at UNC. He says the human adolescent brain functions in much the same way:

There could be some help coming for victims of bullying in North Carolina. A symposium at N.C. State today highlights the different types of bullying and what can be done to protect students.

Dr. Tina Hancock is the head of the Department of Social Work at the University and one of the organizers of the event. She says the internet will be a big focus of today's meetings.

"They will be addressing the various forms that bullying can take place from social media and the responsibilities of professionals in schools settings to protect children from cyber-bullying."