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Children's Health Council

News related to: adolescence

Only 5 Percent of Adolescents Meet Sleep, Exercise, Screen Time Guidelines

A study published in February 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics discovered that only 1 in 20 adolescents are meeting the guidelines and that a discrepancy exists between the sexes. Only three percent of girls get enough sleep and exercise and don’t exceed screen time recommendations, compared to seven percent of boys. Read more ›

Teenage Brains Can’t Tell What’s Important and What Isn’t

Adults are generally pretty good at being able to tell when a situation is worthy of extra time or concentration. Research has found that, when potential rewards or losses are higher, for example, adults will perform better on tasks. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for adolescents. Read more ›

Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults

Popularity is a loaded word. For many adults, it evokes powerful memories of jockeying for position in high school cafeterias and hallways.

“The urge to be popular among our peers reaches its zenith in adolescence,” said Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and author of Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World.  “So the messages you get at age 14 about who you are and how the world works will affect how you behave when you are 40.” Read more ›

Gender Differences in Depression Appear at Age 12

Gender differences in depression diagnosis and symptoms start to appear around the age of 12, a new study reports.

The analysis, based on existing studies that looked at more than 3.5 million people in more than 90 countries, confirmed that depression affects far more females than males. Read more ›

ADHD Medication Reduces Risky Behavior in Children, Teens, Research Finds

New research provides some of the first evidence that medications taken by millions of American children to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) offer long-term benefits.

Based on an analysis of Medicaid claims for nearly 150,000 children diagnosed with ADHD in South Carolina between 2003 and 2013, researchers including Princeton University postdoctoral associate Anna Chorniy found treatment with ADHD medication made children less likely to suffer consequences of risky behaviors such as sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse during their teen years and injuries.

Read more ›

Gunn Grad Leads Local Crisis Text Line Effort

Libby Craig, a Palo Alto native and Gunn High School graduate, spent four hours every Sunday night for several months this year as a volunteer crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential, 24/7 support service accessible nationwide by simply texting the number 741741. Recently, she joined the nonprofit organization full time and is leading Crisis Text Line’s efforts to grow the service in the Bay Area, in part in response to the youth suicide clusters in her own hometown. Read more ›

Kids in Crisis: One-Third of California 11th-Graders Surveyed Say They Are Chronically Sad

In a potential crisis crossing demographic lines, one-third of California’s 11th-graders and one-quarter of seventh-graders reported feeling chronically sad or hopeless over the past 12 months, a survey released on July 18 showed.

 The California Healthy Kids Survey also found that about 19 percent of both ninth-graders and 11th-graders seriously considered attempting suicide.

Among the questions, students were asked if they felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that it stopped them from doing usual activities — symptoms of depression. Their answers, compared with the previous survey two years ago, represented a 1 percentage-point increase for ninth-graders, and less than a percentage point increase for seventh and 11th-graders.

Read more ›

Teen Mental Health Initiative: Announcing New Opportunities and Activities for Teens

Palo Alto and the neighboring SF peninsula communities have been significantly impacted by teen anxiety, depression and suicide. Children’s Health Council’s Teen Mental Health Initiative focuses on this serious issue and what we can do about it. 

The Teen Mental Health Initiative began with CHC’s 3rd annual Breakfast in February, which included an interactive panel discussion with experts who offered a variety of perspectives, strategies, and recommendations for supporting teens in crisis.  After the breakfast, CHC extended these important discussions through a variety of community outreach efforts,  such as workshops, forum discussions, and community coffees.

Today, Children’s Health Council is pleased to announce new opportunities and activities for teens that will be offered as part of our Teen Mental Health Initiative. Led by CHC’s Dr. Anna Parnes and Bridget Stolee McCormick, LMFT: Read more ›

Youth Suicide Rates Have Climbed Since 1999, Data Show

Stunning increases in U.S. suicide rates for all ages gripped headlines today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the subject.

Overlooked in many stories: While the numbers of suicides for children remain low compared to other populations, girls aged 10-14 had the highest growth in suicide rates of any group between 1999 and 2014, the most recent year reported in federal data. In that time, the rate of suicides for girls in that age group tripled, growing from 0.5 per 100,000 people to 1.5 per 100,000 people. Read more ›

Why Do Girls Tend to Have More Anxiety Than Boys?

Why is it that girls tend to be more anxious than boys?

It may start with how they feel about how they look. Some research has shown that in adolescence, girls tend to become more dissatisfied with their bodies, whereas boys tend to become more satisfied with their bodies. Another factor has to do with differences in how girls and boys use social media. A girl is much more likely than a boy to post a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit, while the boy is more likely to post a photo where the emphasis is on something he has done rather than on how he looks. Read more ›

Preventing Teen Suicide: Schools Target Asian Parental Expectations

A growing dialogue within Asian communities is playing out in many of the Bay Area’s high-performing school districts, but the challenge of easing student pressure is also raising tensions and even a backlash from parents and highly motivated students — who worry reforms might dumb down learning.

California’s Asian teen suicide rate has fluctuated over the years, but through 2013 — the latest figures available — generally remained below the rate of white teens. Educators and doctors, however, say the signs of stress are disturbing . . . Read more ›

U.S. Panel Reaffirms Depression Screening for Adolescents

Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in the U.S. should be screened for depression, according to guidelines reaffirmed by a government-backed panel of prevention experts.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says about 8 percent of U.S. adolescents experience major depression each year. Less is known about how common the condition is among younger children, however. Read more ›

Disturbing Suicide Cluster Prompts CDC to Start Investigation in Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemiological assistance team are scheduled to begin an investigation this week on the “suicide contagion” risk in a similar way they may investigate a viral or bacterial outbreak that spreads through a community. As federal officials arrive in Palo Alto, they will face a community that is trying to find innovative ways to combat suicide when it becomes a “contagion.” Read more ›

Parents Start Local Mental-Health Support Group

A group of parents who saw a need for a locally based, ongoing group to support other parents concerned about the mental health and well-being of their teens will be launching such a group this month.

The mental-health subcommittee of parent-advocacy group SELPA 1 CAC will host its first “Parent Chat” on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Los Altos Library. The group is supposed to be peer-driven, though a licensed marriage and family therapist will attend as a facilitator, and is open to parents of any children ages 14 and up. Read more ›

‘Changing the Tide’ on Youth Mental Illness

More than 300 local parents, educators, clinicians and community members gathered Tuesday morning to discuss ways to combat what one speaker called the “new norm” for teenagers in the area: alarmingly high rates of anxiety, stress, depression and death by suicide.

The Children’s Health Council (CHC), a Palo Alto nonprofit that supports youth with anxiety, depression, ADHD and learning differences through services and school sites, devoted an annual breakfast panel to the topics. CHC billed the event as a “call to action” for a community continuing to cope and learn from two separate youth suicide clusters in the last several years. Read more ›

Report on Media Use By Tweens and Teens

On average, tweens (age 8 to 12) and teens (age 13 to 18) use many different devices and consume tremendous amounts of media. A new Common Sense Media report, Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Tweens,  uncovers patterns that could spark improvements in content, access, and learning.

The report, based on a nationally representative survey of 2,658 8- to 18-year-olds, identifies distinct types of media users with different patterns of use: Heavy Viewers, Light Users, Social Networkers, Video Gamers, Mobile Gamers, Gamers/Computer Users, and Readers. The recognition of these new user profiles can help parents understand that there’s no such thing as an “average media user” and that kids’ media use may actually be a reflection of deeper needs (for example, to connect with others or learn a new skill). Read more ›

Parental Monitoring Tied to Less Risky Sexual Behaviors in Teens

In a recent study, watchful parents had teens who engaged in fewer risky sexual behaviors.

Researchers pooled data from 30 studies published between 1984 and 2014 about adolescent sexual risk and parental monitoring. The studies were as small as 106 participants and as large as 10,575, with ages ranging from 10 to 17.

A higher level of general parental monitoring, being knowledgeable about their children’s activities and enforcing rules were tied to adolescents waiting to have sex and to increased use of condoms and contraceptives.

Read the full article on News Daily.

The Adolescent Brain Subject of Long-Term Federal Study

Every educator or parent who’s wondered what’s going on in the heads of moody, socially obsessed teenagers may soon get an answer. The National Institutes of Health will dedicate $300 million over the next decade to launch the largest, most comprehensive study to date of how children’s brains develop during adolescence.

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, or ABCD, will bring together researchers from nearly two dozen institutions across the country to track the development of 10,000 children, ages 9 and 10, over the next decade. Read more ›

Mental Health Once Again Most Common Cause of Hospital Admission Among CA Children

Nearly 40,000 California children ages 5-19, or 5 of every 1,000, were hospitalized for mental health issues in 2014, according to the most recent data available on kidsdata.org. In fact, since 2008, Mental Diseases and Disorders have accounted for the largest share of hospital admissions of children ages 0-17 in California. Read more ›