teenagers

The link between vaping and severe lung problems is getting a lot of attention.

But scientists say they're also worried about vaping's effect on teenage brains.

"Unfortunately, the brain problems and challenges may be things that we see later on down the road," says Nii Addy, associate professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine.

How To Talk To Teens About Vaping

Oct 6, 2019

Vape pens are easy to conceal, they're easy to confuse with other electronic gadgets like USB flash drives, and they generally don't leave lingering smells on clothes. All these things make them appealing to underage users, and confounding to parents. Gone are the days when sniffing a teenager's jacket or gym bag counted as passive drug screening. Now if parents want to know if their teens are vaping nicotine or cannabis, their best bet is a good old fashioned conversation.

Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel

The incarcerated teen who tried to hang himself over the weekend had been on suicide watch for two days after he was arrested in late June, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Sonny David Rugani, 17, remains alive only technically — he is brain dead and on life support, according to his father, with decisions being made about where to donate his organs. He was found hanging in his cell early Sunday morning, raising questions about his supervision and the severity of the criminal charges he faced.

More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14.

These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy.

One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.

Gerard Albert III / WLRN News

While barbers swept fallen hair from the floor of Fweago Cutz barber shop, guests and volunteers set up folding chairs and a projector.

After the lights were off and the crowd was seated, Jefferson Noel pressed play.

The community organizer rented out the barbershop to screen the new Netflix series, "When They See Us." More importantly, he set up a candid panel discussion with former public defendants and activists in the community to discuss the issues that come up in the story.

Domestic violence is common among adults, and women are most frequently the victims. In fact, nearly half of women killed by homicide in the United States are killed by their former or current intimate partners.

Now a new study finds that this kind of violence also poses a risk to the lives of adolescent girls.

The study found that of the more than 2,000 adolescents killed between 2003 and 2016, nearly 7 percent — 150 teens — were killed by their current or former intimate partners.

Updated at 3:45 p.m.

A study published Thursday in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology finds the percentage of U.S. teens and young adults reporting mental distress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions has risen significantly over the past decade. While these problems also increased among adults 26 and older, the increase was not nearly as large as among younger people.

Yassiry Gonzalez goes to bed early. But often she wakes up around 1 or 2 in the morning. And from then on, sometimes all the way through dawn, the New York City high school student is on her phone — on FaceTime with close friends, or looking through Instagram.

"Sometimes, I'm so tired that I'll just fall asleep in school." She estimates the all-nighters happen once or twice a week. And on the weekends? "There's no sleep. No sleep."

Looking back, 2018 may be the year that a critical mass of people started wondering: Am I spending too much time on my phone?

Marijuana, it seems, is not a performance-enhancing drug. That is, at least, not among young people, and not when the activity is learning.

Within three days of starting high school this year, my ninth-grader could not get into bed before 11 p.m. or wake up by 6 a.m. He complained he couldn't fall asleep but felt foggy during the school day and had to reread lessons a few times at night to finish his homework. And forget morning activities on the weekends — he was in bed.

An estimated 12.8 percent of adolescents in the U.S. experience at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. According to previous studies, many of those teens' mental health is linked to depression in their parents.

If the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov were alive today, what would he say about smartphones? He might not think of them as phones at all, but instead as remarkable tools for understanding how technology can manipulate our brains.

Tom Hudson and Katie Lepri

Recent numbers released by the Justice Department show a drop in overall youth incarceration rates in the United States. But a closer look at the data shows a widening gap between black and white youth confinement. Criminal justice reform advocates say a heightened police presence in communities of color — despite little difference in crime rates between black and white youths — is to blame.

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