- 2020Feb 19
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on ScienceDaily.
Children's average daily time spent watching television or using a computer or mobile device increased from 53 minutes at age 12 months to more than 150 minutes at 3 years, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the University at Albany and the New York University Langone Medical Center. By age 8, children were more likely to log the highest amount of screen time if they had been in home-based childcare or were born to first-time mothers. The study appears in JAMA Pediatrics.
"Our results indicate that screen habits begin early," said Edwina Yeung, Ph.D., the study's senior author, and an investigator in the Epidemiology Branch of NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "This finding suggests that interventions to reduce screen time could have a better chance of success if introduced early."
Mothers of nearly 4,000 children who took part in the study responded to questions on their kids' media habits when they were 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months of age. They also responded to similar questions when the children were 7 and 8 years old. The study compiled additional demographic information on the mothers and children from birth records and other surveys.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding digital media exposure for children under 18 months of age, introducing children 18 to 24 months of age to screen media slowly, and limiting screen time to an hour a day for children from 2 to 5 years of age. In the current study, researchers found that 87% of the children had screen time exceeding these recommendations. However, while screen time increased throughout toddlerhood, by age 7 and 8, screen time fell to under 1.5 hours per day. The researchers believe this decrease relates to time consumed by school-related activities.
- 2020Feb 18
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
More than a quarter of all opioid overdoses in the United States involve teenagers, and a full fifth of those cases were likely suicide attempts, new research shows.
The findings follow an in-depth analysis of nearly 754,000 American opioid poisoning cases that occurred between 2005 and 2018. All had been reported to the U.S. National Poison Data System. And almost 208,000 of those cases involved children 18 years old or younger.
During the 13-year study period, the pediatric overdose landscape has taken a turn for the worse, said study author Dr. Megan Land, a pediatric critical care fellow at Emory University's School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Most significantly, said Land, "the proportion of children with suspected suicide due to opioid poisoning increased dramatically over our study period," rising from just under 14% in 2005 to more than 21% by 2018. That increase, she said, "echoes findings in recent studies demonstrating that the incidence and rate of pediatric suicide attempts by [opioid] poisonings has been rising since 2011."
The study also found that during the same period, the percentage of young patients admitted to a critical care unit following an opioid overdose rose from 6.6% to 9.6%.
Similarly, by 2018 the risk that a young overdose patient would end up in life-threatening situations and/or end up with a major disability or disfigurement ticked up from .10% to .13%. And the risk that a young person would die from an overdose also rose, from .18% in 2005 to .28% in 2018.
On a more positive note, Land observed that as a percentage of all cases, pediatric opioid overdose cases peaked in 2010. Since that time, the trend has been heading in a downward direction.
Land and her colleagues are to present their findings this week at a meeting of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, in Orlando, Fla. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
- 2020Feb 17
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.
A new study may make you long for the days of notes being passed back and forth in class stating “do you like me? Yes or no.” Life is infinitely more complicated for today’s youth than it was for generations past. Adolescents are constantly in contact with each other thanks to the internet, smartphones, and social media. While all of that technology can certainly be used in a positive way, oftentimes it leads to cyberbullying and harassment. Now, researchers from Florida Atlantic University are shedding light on yet another problem the internet has created for teenagers: digital dating abuse.
Defined as using technology to repeatedly harass a love interest, partner, or crush in order to coerce, control, intimidate, threaten, or just plain old annoy, digital dating abuse has developed into a disturbingly common phenomenon. The research team analyzed over 2,200 U.S. middle and high school students, and 28.1% admitted they had been subjected to a form of online dating abuse over the past year.
Perhaps surprisingly, the study also noted that boys (32.3%) appear to be experiencing this type of abuse more often than girls (23.6%). Across all variations, boys were more likely to have experienced a form of digital dating abuse. In fact, boys were also more likely to have experienced physical aggression from their partners. Besides these gender fluctuations, researchers didn’t find any significant demographic differences regarding the rate of digital abuse among varying races, ages, or sexual orientations.
Examples of digital abuse given by participants included their partner looking through their phone without permission, having their phone flat out stolen by their partner, being threatened via text, their partner posting something embarrassing or hurtful about them online, or their partner posting a private image online without their consent.
Besides online abuse, 35.9% of participants also said they’ve been a victim of offline dating abuse (being pushed, shoved, hit, threatened physically, called names, etc).
“Specific to heterosexual relationships, girls may use more violence on their boyfriends to try to solve their relational problems, while boys may try to constrain their aggressive impulses when trying to negotiate discord with their girlfriends,” says Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., lead author and a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry, and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, in a release.
The study is published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.