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Children's Health Council

News related to: research

NIMH-Funded Study Finds “13 Reasons Why” Associated with Increase in Youth Suicide Rates

The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the show’s release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and in the media. The study was conducted by researchers at several universities, hospitals, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIMH also funded the study. Read more ›

New WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep for Children Under 5 Years of Age

Children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 24. Read more ›

More U.S. Youth Seeking Help During Psychiatric Emergencies

The number of young people visiting U.S. emergency rooms with psychiatric problems is rising, driven largely by a surge in teens and minority youth seeking urgent help for mental illnesses, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Social Media Linked to Rise in Mental Health Disorders in Teens, Survey Finds

Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey released on March 14. Read more ›

LGBT+ Teens in US, Rejected by Families, Struggling in Foster Care

LGBT+ teens in the United States are three times more likely than heterosexual teens to live in foster care, often after being rejected by their families over their sexuality, according to new research. Read more ›

One in Six U.S. Kids Have Mental Health Disorders, but Only Half Receive Treatment

Roughly in six U.S. kids have at least one mental health disorder, and only about half of them receive treatment from a mental health professional, a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests. Read more ›

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 ›

Executive Function Deficits in Kindergarten May Predict Academic Difficulties in Primary Grades

New Penn State research suggests that children’s executive function deficits may be an important risk factor for academic difficulties.

Preliminary findings from a three-year National Science Foundation-funded project, recently published in Child Development, show that executive functions in kindergarten predict children’s mathematics, reading and science achievement, as well as their classroom behavior, in second grade. Read more ›

Heavy Screen Time May Cause Premature Changes In Brain Structure Among Kids

Children who spend more than seven hours a day of screen time may experience premature thinning of the part of the brain that processes sensory information.

The data comes from a $300 million research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will follow more than 11,000 kids aged 9 to 10 years old. Read more ›

Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows how the effects of childhood trauma persist and are linked to mental illness and addiction in adulthood. And, researchers say, it suggests that it might be more effective to approach trauma as a public health crisis than to limit treatment to individuals. Read more ›

Autism Prevalence Now 1 in 40 US Kids, Study Estimates

A survey of parents across the United States estimates that one in 40 children has autism spectrum disorder, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Read more ›

Elementary Students with Depression Are More at Risk for Skill Deficits

Early elementary students with symptoms of depression are much more likely to be at risk for academic deficits, according to new research. Read more ›

10% of US Children Diagnosed With ADHD, Study Finds

The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has reached more than 10 percent, a significant increase during the past 20 years, according to a recent study. Read more ›

Pediatricians Sound Alarm About Food Additives and Children’s Health

When children ingest chemicals added to food and food packaging, their health may suffer, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns in a new policy statement, advising parents to be cautious about plastic containers, avoid processed meats and take other steps to limit kids’ exposure to food additives. Read more ›

Study: A Growth Mindset Helps Students Cope With Academic Setbacks

A new study finds that when students experience an academic setback such as a bad grade, the amount of cortisol—the so-called stress hormone—in their bodies typically spikes. For most students it drops back down to normal levels a day later, but for some it stays high. These students remain fixated on the setback and have difficulty moving forward. Read more ›

Minorities Much Less Likely to Access Mental Health Care, State Data Suggests

White people enrolled in Medi-Cal access mental health treatment at about twice the rate of other ethnic groups, even though they make up fewer than a quarter of plan enrollees, new state data suggests. Read more ›

With Depression and Suicide Rates on the Rise, National Survey Reveals Complex Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Well-Being

A national survey of 14- to 22-year-olds provides new evidence on the growing mental health crisis affecting young people. The survey, sponsored by Hopelab and Well Being Trust (WBT), finds that large numbers of teens and young adults experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression are turning to the internet for help, including researching mental health issues online (90 percent), accessing other people’s health stories through blogs, podcasts, and videos (75 percent), using mobile apps related to well-being (38 percent), and connecting with health providers through digital tools such as texting and video chat (32 percent).  Read more ›

Few Low-Income Children Get Mental Health Care in California, Despite Need

More Screen Time for Teens Linked to ADHD Symptoms

Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet “almost constantly,” according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center.

A study published on July 17, 2018 in JAMA suggests that such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Read more ›

YouthTruth Survey Results: Learning from Student Voice

What do California students have to say about their experiences in schools?

To answer this question, YouthTruth analyzed survey responses from over 63,000 students in grades five through twelve. The data was gathered between November 2010 and February 2018 through YouthTruth’s anonymous online climate and culture survey, administered in partnership with school districts and charter management organizations throughout the state. Read more ›

Sex and Drugs Decline Among Teens, but Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Grow

One in seven high school students reported misusing prescription opioids, one of several disturbing results in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide survey of teenagers that revealed a growing sense of fear and despair among youth in the United States.

The numbers of teenagers reporting “feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” suicidal thoughts, and days absent from school out of fear of violence or bullying have all risen since 2007. The increases were particularly pointed among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students. Read more ›

CDC: U.S. Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent. Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016. Read more ›

Can Greater Academic Demands Lead to Less Risky Behavior in Teenagers?

Strengthening high school graduation requirements in math and science could curb youth drinking, with no increase in cigarette or marijuana use, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Research: Exploring the Link Between Childhood Curiosity and School Achievement

The more curious the child, the more likely he or she may be to perform better in school — regardless of economic background — suggests a new study published in Pediatric Research. Read more ›

Rate of Depression is Double for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Youth

Kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, has released data about the emotional health of LGBTQ+ youth as part of their Youth in Schools series. Read more ›

Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 in 59 U.S. Children

One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000.

The new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report, which was based on data from 2012. The new figure was derived from 2014 estimates for 8-year-olds diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 11 communities across the nation.

Read more ›

For Teenagers, Praising ‘Effort’ May Not Promote a Growth Mindset

Teachers have long been told to praise students’ effort, rather than simply saying they are “smart,” as a way to encourage students to think of their intelligence as something that can grow over time. A new review of research in the journal Child Development suggests just praising the effort of middle and high school students to boost their “growth mindset” can have the opposite effect, with those adolescents praised becoming less likely to believe their work can improve their intelligence or skills. Read more ›

Student Bullying Is Down Significantly

The percentage of students reporting that they’ve been bullied has dropped by more than a third since 2007, according to federal data released in mid-March. 
The new figures say that 20.8 percent of students reported being bullied in 2015, continuing a downward trend that dates back to 2007, when 31.7 percent of students reported being bullied. Read more ›

New Study from Stanford University Finds That Positivity Makes Kids More Successful

Scientists from Stanford University have discovered the brain pathway that directly links a positive attitude with achievement.
 
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 240 children ages seven to 10 and found that being positive improved their ability to answer math problems, increased their memories and enhanced their problem-solving abilities. They also used MRI brain scans to map the neurological effects of positivity. Read more ›

Research: Learning to Self-Manage

The ability to exercise self-control — even with a specific, self-imposed goal in mind — is tough, even as it develops with age. New research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education illustrates just how precarious willpower can be for young people: Middle school students who want to achieve a goal and who actively agree to suffer a consequence if they don’t achieve it may still be unable to change their counterproductive behaviors. It’s a reminder for teachers that simply encouraging students to “stay focused” may not help those students cultivate positive habits. Read more ›

National Commission Builds Case for Connecting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The  Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development released an interim report today highlighting the important role that social and emotional development plays in student learning. Read more ›

Screen-Addicted Teens are Unhappy

Researchers found that teens who spent a lot of time in front of screen devices — playing computer games, using more social media, texting and video chatting — were less happy than those who invested time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction. The happiest teens used digital media for less than an hour per day. But after a daily hour of screen time, unhappiness rises steadily along with increasing screen time. Read more ›

Standard Depression Survey May Not Work As Well For Black Teens

A recent study, published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, suggests that different groups of people also talk about depression differently. In particular, poorer black kids discuss their feelings of depression differently than other demographic groups. Read more ›

Helping Strangers May Help Teens’ Self-Esteem

A study published in December in the Journal of Adolescence, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness, may raise teens’ feelings of self-worth. However, not all helping behaviors are the same. The researchers found that adolescents who assisted strangers reported higher self-esteem one year later. Read more ›

Research Roundup: 5 Things To Know About Screen Time Right Now

After another round of holidays, it’s safe to assume, a lot of children have been diving into media more than usual. They may have received new electronic toys and gadgets or downloaded new apps and games. Managing all that bleeping and buzzing activity causes anxiety in many parents. Here’s a roundup from NPR of some of the latest research. Read more ›

Early Test Scores Do Not Predict Future Academic Growth; School Quality Matters More

Early test scores do not predict future academic growth, according to new research from Stanford.

The research was performed by Sean Reardon, a professor who studies poverty and inequality in education at the university, and based upon analysis of test scores of students in grades 3-8 at 11,000 districts across the country. Read more ›

Intervention Offered in Kindergarten Readiness Program Boosts Children’s Self-Regulation Skills

Adding a daily 20 to 30 minute self-regulation intervention to a kindergarten readiness program significantly boosted children’s self-regulation and early academic skills, an Oregon State University researcher has found. Read more ›

Survey Finds Majority of Students Feel Engaged, But Less Than Half Find School Work to be Relevant

Across all grade levels, the majority of students feel engaged, according to data released today by the San Francisco-based nonprofit YouthTruth Student Survey

The findings come from a recent analysis of student perception survey data from over 230,000 students across 36 states gathered between November 2012 and June 2017. The analysis found slight differences in students’ experiences of engagement across grade levels, with elementary students slightly more likely to be engaged than secondary students. 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 ›

Bullied Teens Twice As Likely to Bring Weapons to School

One in five teens are victims of bullying, and these adolescents are about twice as likely to bring guns and knives to school than peers who aren’t bullied, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers examined how high school students answered three survey questions: how often they skipped school because they felt unsafe; how often they got in physical fights at school; and how many times they were threatened with a weapon at school. Read more ›

Universal Dyslexia Screening Improves Odds of Success in School

The Dyslexia Research Institute reports that “dyslexics have an inherited neurological difference, resulting in language, perceptual, processing, and attention/concentration differences. Since this issue affects so much of a child’s educational experience beyond just reading, it makes sense to identify and address dyslexia in students as early as possible. Doing so may not only improve the child’s chances of success in school, but may also improve the chance of other students in the classroom who may be affected by the attention an undiagnosed dyslexic student requires. Read more ›

Appearance Reported by Students as Top Reason for Bullying; Experiences Vary by Gender Identity

There are slight differences in students’ experiences with bullying across gender identities, according to a new YouthTruth survey of over 180,000 students in grades 5-12. While 1 in 4 students overall report being bullied, 44% of those who feel male or female pronouns don’t represent them say they have experienced verbal, social, physical, or online bullying. 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 ›

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. Read more ›

Depression: Major Study of College Freshman Kicks Off at UCLA

“Can we screen you for depression?”

Depending on their answer, as many as 10,000 incoming UCLA freshmen and transfer students could become part of the school’s massive study into the causes and treatments of the mental disorder.

Called the Depression Grand Challenge, UCLA’s initiative — which seeks to cut the incidence of depression worldwide in half by 2050 — is launching the screenings as new students move into their dorms and prepare for the first day of classes on Thursday. Read more ›

ADHD Kids Can Be Still – If They’re Not Straining Their Brains

Your ADHD child fidgets and squirms his way through school and homework, but seems laser-focused and motionless sitting in front of the TV watching an action thriller.

New research shows lack of motivation or boredom with school isn’t to blame for the differing behavior. It turns out that symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder such as fidgeting, foot-tapping and chair-swiveling are triggered by cognitively demanding tasks – like school and homework. But movies and video games don’t typically require brain strain, so the excessive movement doesn’t manifest. Read more ›

Autism Study: Early Intervention Pays Off Quickly

Intensive early intervention for kids with autism can be extremely costly, but new research finds that such treatment can pay for itself in short order.

Children who participated in the Early Start Denver Model — an evidence-based treatment for autism — saw the cost of treatment offset in as little as two years, according to findings published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Read more ›

Poll: Parents Not Confident Schools Can Assist Child with Chronic Disease, Mental Health Issues

Just 38 percent of parents are very confident in schools’ ability to assist a student suspected of having a mental health problem, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.

Most parents (77 percent) are sure schools would be able to provide first aid for minor issues, such as bleeding from a cut. But parents are less confident about a school’s ability to respond to more complex health situations, such as an asthma attack or mental health problem. Read more ›

NIH Awards Nearly $100 Million for Autism Centers of Excellence Program

The National Institutes of Health has awarded nine research grants totaling nearly $100 million over the next five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a program that supports large research projects aimed at understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ACE program was created in 2007 from the consolidation of previous programs. Grants have been awarded every five years, and 2017 marks the third cycle of ACE grants. Read more ›

Young Victims of Cyberbullying Twice as Likely to Attempt Suicide and Self-Harm

Children and young people under-25 who become victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to enact self-harm and attempt suicide than non-victims.

While perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors, researchers say.

The study, which is a collaboration of a number of researchers from across the United Kingdom (UK) including the University of Birmingham, looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries, over a 21-year period. Read more ›

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