Research Suggests Blogs Can Be Therapeutic Outlet for Teens

A new study out of Ohio State University has found that most teenage bloggers use their on-line journals to stay connected with peers, and nurture relationships.

Dawn Anderson-Butcher, an associate professor of social work at Ohio State, and her students studied the posts of 100 teen bloggers, to get a sense for what teenagers were talking about online.
Most blogs were about positive activities like studying, extracurricular activities, and time spent with family.
Anderson-Butcher sees potential for social workers, who often struggle to find effective ways of helping teens connect socially.
While blogging can’t replace face-to-face interaction, it can give teens a much-needed creative outlet.

“This preliminary study suggests that blogging could be used therapeutically to help troubled teens express themselves in positive ways,” Anderson-Butcher said in a ScienceDaily article about the research.

Mom’s Lifestyle May Put Kids at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

A mother’s lifestyle and methods of parenting her children are factors in whether they are likely to drink alcohol as young teenagers, according to a new study from the University of Queensland.

Dr. Rosa Alti and her colleagues studied 4158 mothers and children and found that if a mother exerted a low-level of parental control when her child was under age 5 years old, and if the mother had more two or more partners before her child was 14 years old, the child was more likely to drink alcohol. The risk for problem drinking at age 14 years old was twice as high in children of mothers that had both factors.

The study appeared in the journal Addiction

Teen Boys Most Likely to Try Dangerous ‘Car Surfing’

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

“Car surfing” involves riding on top of a moving automobile or truck as a way of thrill seeking.

Between 1990 and 2008, 58 people died in car surfing incidents, and 41 people suffered non-fatal injuries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most cars surfers live in the Midwest and the South, and are boys between the ages of 15 and 19 years old.

CDC experts believe that cars surfing dates back to a scene in a movie called “Teen Wolf,” which was released in 1985.

Olympic Swimmer Speaks Out About Abuse

Deena Dearburff Schmidt was on the 1972 Olympic swim team. During her training in the 1960s, she was molested repeatedly by her coach. Though she told USA Swimming officials, the coach was allowed to continue training young girls, and was even inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

She told of her experience a day after a lawsuit was filed in Santa Clara County alleging that a woefully inadequate background check policy has fostered sexual molestation in youth swimming. Schmidt is not a plaintiff in the case but her story is included in it. [Source: The Associated Press].

The Santa Clara lawsuit was originally filed on behalf of a teenage girl who said she had been molested by her coach. The coach eventually pled guilty to 20 separate charges and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus told the Associated Press that the organization takes allegations of abuse very seriously, and that each allegation is immediately investigated. He also stated that, though USA Swimming offers guidance and support, hiring decisions rest with each local club.

More Middle School Students Abusing Inhalants

A survey from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition found that 12-year-old children are more likely to abuse inhalants than alcohol or marijuana.

Inhalant abuse, sometimes called “glue sniffing” or “huffing,” is more prevalent among middle school students than older teenagers.
The new survey indicated that sniffing household products such as shoe polish, air fresheners, paint thinner, gasoline, and glue is second only to alcohol abuse among 12-year-olds.
The survey indicated that almost 7 percent of 12-year-olds use inhalants — compared to 5 percent who abuse prescription drugs and 1.4 percent who used marijuana.

Children have died from inhalant abuse, usually when they place paper or plastic bags over their heads to increase the effects of the inhalants.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 20 percent of all eighth graders have tried inhalants.

Warning signs of inhalant abuse are glassy eyes, slurred speech, confusion, and behavioral changes.