Adolescent impulsivity phenotypes characterized by distinct brain networks

The impulsive behavior that is often characteristic of adolescence may reflect underlying neurodevelopmental processes. Moreover, impulsivity is a multi-dimensional construct, and it is plausible that distinct brain networks contribute to its different cognitive, clinical and behavioral aspects. As these networks have not yet been described, we identified distinct cortical and subcortical networks underlying successful inhibitions and inhibition failures in a large sample (n = 1,896) of ...

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Let’s Talk After-School: The Promises and Challenges of Positive Youth Development for After-School Research, Policy, and Practice

The field of after-school programming for youth has grown substantially in the past 25 years, theoretically, methodologically, and practically. With increasingly sophisticated developmental lenses (e.g., positive youth development) and methods (e.g., mixed methods, advanced growth modeling techniques), we are now at a point where the field is ready for more and better integration of research and practice. We present an overview of both what is known ...

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Adolescent Stress–Induced Epigenetic Control of Dopaminergic Neurons via Glucocorticoids

Environmental stressors during childhood and adolescence influence postnatal brain maturation and human behavioral patterns in adulthood. Accordingly, excess stressors result in adult-onset neuropsychiatric disorders. We describe an underlying mechanism in which glucocorticoids link adolescent stressors to epigenetic controls in neurons. In a mouse model of this phenomenon, a mild isolation stress affects the mesocortical projection of dopaminergic neurons in which DNA hypermethylation of the tyrosine ...

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Child and adolescent obesity: part of a bigger picture

The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has risen substantially worldwide in less than one generation. In the USA, the average weight of a child has risen by more than 5 kg within three decades, to a point where a third of the country’s children are overweight or obese. Some low-income and middle-income countries have reported similar or more rapid rises in child obesity, despite ...

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Worldwide application of prevention science in adolescent health

The burden of morbidity and mortality from non-communicable disease has risen worldwide and is accelerating in low-income and middle-income countries, whereas the burden from infectious diseases has declined. Since this transition, the prevention of non-communicable disease as well as communicable disease causes of adolescent mortality has risen in importance. Problem behaviours that increase the short-term or long-term likelihood of morbidity and mortality, including alcohol, tobacco, ...

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Adolescent Behavioral, Emotional, and Cognitive Engagement Trajectories in School and Their Differential Relations to Educational Success

The current study used a multidimensional approach to examine developmental trajectories of three dimension of school engagement (school participation, sense of school belonging, and self-regulated learning) from grades 7 to 11 and their relationships to changes in adolescents’ academic outcomes over time. The sample includes 1,148 African American and European American adolescents (52% females, 56% black, 34% white, and 10% others). As expected, the downward ...

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Interventions Using New Digital Media to Improve Adolescent Sexual Health: A Systematic Review

New digital media (e.g., the Internet, text messaging, and social networking sites [SNS]) have dramatically altered the communication landscape, especially for youth. These communication platforms present new tools for engaging youth in sexual health promotion and risk reduction. We searched eight public databases across multiple disciplines for all peer-reviewed studies published between January 2000 and May 2011 that empirically evaluated the impact of digital media-based ...

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Adolescent Males’ Awareness of and Willingness to Try Electronic Cigarettes

Purpose

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a new type of device that delivers vaporized nicotine without the tobacco combustion of regular cigarettes. We sought to understand awareness of and willingness to try e-cigarettes among adolescent males, a group that is at risk for smoking initiation and may use e-cigarettes as a “gateway” to smoking.

Methods

A national sample of 11–19-year-old males (n = 228) completed an ...

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The Teenage Brain: Peer Influences on Adolescent Decision Making

Research efforts to account for elevated risk behavior among adolescents have arrived at an exciting new stage. Moving beyond laboratory studies of age differences in risk perception and reasoning, new approaches have shifted their focus to the influence of social and emotional factors on adolescent decision making. We review recent research suggesting that adolescent risk-taking propensity derives in part from a maturational gap between early ...

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