The findings are obvious to most observers, but nonetheless, a new study finds that violent movie characters are also likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual behavior in films rated appropriate for children over 12.
"Parents should be aware that youth who watch PG-13 movies will be exposed to characters whose violence is linked to other more common behaviors, such as alcohol and sex, and that they should consider whether they want their children exposed to that influence," said study lead author Amy Bleakley, a policy research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.
The study, which was published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics, sought to find out if violent characters also engaged in other risky behaviors in films viewed by teens.
The researchers analyzed almost 400 top-grossing movies from 1985 to 2010 with an eye on violence and its connection to sexual behavior, tobacco smoking and alcohol use. The movies in the sample weren't chosen based on their appeal to children, so adult-oriented films little seen by kids might have been included.
The researchers found that about 90 percent of the movies included at least one moment of violence involving a main character. Violence was defined as virtually any attempt to physically harm someone else, even in fun.
A main character also engaged in sexual behavior (a category that includes kissing on the lips and seductive dancing), smoked tobacco or drank alcohol in 77 percent of the movies.
It's not clear what this means for children who watch popular movies, however. There's intense debate among experts over whether violence on screen has any direct connection to what people do in real life. Even if there is a link, the new findings don't specify whether the violent characters are glamorized or portrayed as villains.
Participating in sports may have many benefits, but it also raises the chances adolescents will abuse alcohol, according to a new review of the evidence by Canadian researchers.
They analyzed 17 past studies and also found most showed that kids who participate in sports are less likely to use illicit drugs other than marijuana.
The team searched various databases and found 17 previous studies that followed people over time and were published from 1982 through 2012. All but one of the studies took place in the United States.
Overall, the 17 studies indicate that participation in sports was associated with less illegal drug use, other than marijuana. The association with marijuana use wasn't clear. They also found that alcohol use was greater among students who engage in sports, according to the results published in Addictive Behaviors.
"For a lot of young people, being in sports strengthens who they are," Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org told Reuters Health. He was not involved in the study.
"Sports can be a positive protective factor in a young person's life because of all those great things - structure, goal setting, fair play and achievement," Pasierb said, "But it's not a silver bullet."
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iTunes Top 10 Singles - 12/05/13 1. Say Something - Alex & Sierra 2. Timber (feat. Ke$ha) - Pitbull 3. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera 4. The Monster (feat. Rihanna) - Eminem 5. Counting Stars - OneRepublic 6. Story of My Life - One Direction 7. Let Her Go - Passenger 8. Royals - Lorde 9. Demons - Imagine Dragons 10. Little Drummer Boy - Pentatonix Source: Apple iTunes
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Teens are the gatekeepers of cool, always willing to try new things and setting the standard for what’s hot and what’s not. They are early adopters and an important barometer for brands.
Here are five trends that appear to be taking off with teens as we look to 2014 and beyond.
1. The End of Oversharing. As teens migrate from Facebook to new social sites like Tumblr, SnapChat, and Vine, the effect is that they’re actually saying much less online. Instead of lengthy status updates that lead to drama, they’re posting an image with a hashtag or a mini video with a brief caption. For teens, social media has become less about their personal lives and more about their personal interests and staying in the know.
2. The Use-It-Then-Lose-It Mentality. Teens have come to prefer when things aren’t permanent, a behavior they’ve learned from apps like SnapChat that erase their old messages. Teens are less attached to possessions (well, except for their phones) because they know they can always find a way to get what they need when they need it. And after an item has served its purpose, they don’t want it cluttering up their lives or becoming a burden of responsibility.
3. Tuning Out TV. Teens are saying there are very few shows they care to watch live, instead preferring to watch shows on Netflix or other online sources. And they’re quite content to watch on a computer or tablet instead of a big screen. Watching TV in the traditional sense seems archaic to teens; they can’t fathom the concept of sitting through commercials or having to wait until the next week to see what happens.
4. Spy-Level Technology. It’s no secret that teens are attached to their phones, but now their phones can literally be attached to them! The wearable tech market has expanded from devices that track athletic performance to iPod Nano watches to Google Glass. These new technologies make it possible for teens to strap their favorite device right to their wrists, bringing social media updates, text messages, and all their favorite music even closer than the palm of their hand.
5. Random is the New Funny. While adults scratch their heads at the latest video from Ylvis, teens (and the rest of the youth population) are cracking up. Random humor has become mainstream and youth marketers are starting to use it to great effect, from Skittles’s long-running campaign to Kmart’s recent commercial puns to the Dodge Durango spots featuring Ron Burgundy. The tactic is key for youth marketers today; with teens’ media saturated lives, it takes random, unexpected humor to grab their attention.
Could all those selfies sink your teen's Harvard dreams? The college application process is stressful enough; now parents also have to worry about managing their teenagers' online reputation.
Colleges are increasingly searching for applicants' names on the Internet as part of their review, according to new research from Kaplan Test Prep in which 30 percent of admissions officers say that they had Googled an applicant or visited their social networking profiles. It’s a significant increase from previous years, according to Seppy Basili, a college admissions expert at Kaplan.
However, nearly 50 percent of high school respondents said they were “not at all concerned” about online searches hurting their chances of admissions.
Since most applications are now submitted online, it’s easy for a reader to open a new tab while reviewing a student’s essay and do a background check simultaneously, said Debbie Kanter, an independent college consultant at North Shore College Consulting in Chicago.
The problem is, nobody really knows what happens behind closed doors, and colleges are tightlipped about how heavily they weigh online information. Often, school admissions offices don't have uniform policies for how to do so, leading to the potential for inconsistent treatment among applicants, the New York Times reports.
One in six teens has some degree of preventable hearing loss, but few parents warn their kids to turn down their iPods or avoid other sources of excessive noise, new research finds.
"High-frequency hearing loss, which is typically noise related, has increased among U.S. adolescents," said study researcher Dr. Deepa Sekhar, assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine.
Yet Sekhar's poll of about 700 parents found that the overwhelming majority -- more than 96 percent -- believed their teen was not at risk or only slightly at risk of developing hearing problems from too much noise. More than two-thirds said they hadn't talked to their teen about noise hazards because of that perceived low threat.
Personal music devices and concerts are a common cause of noise overdose, as is lawn-mowing, especially when listening to music at the same time, she said. Shop class and sporting events also can be extremely noisy, she said.
Whereas 13 percent of teens exhibited high-frequency hearing loss in the early 1990s, that figure had passed 16 percent by 2006, according to background information Sekhar provided.
The study, which involved parents with teens aged 13 to 17 years old, was published online Nov. 21 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery. It was funded by a grant from the Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that draws attention to children's health issues.
Sounds above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Some MP3 players can reach 110 decibels, while lawn mowers can hit 106.
Sekhar said she doesn't expect music-loving teens to give up this cherished pastime. Instead, she wants to raise awareness among parents that hearing protection is essential.
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iTunes Top 10 Singles - 11/22/13 1. Midnight Memories - One Direction 2. The Monster (feat. Rihanna) - Eminem 3. Royals - Lorde 4. Counting Stars - OneRepublic 5. Timber (feat. Ke$ha) - Pitbull 6. Let Her Go - Passenger 7. Demons - Imagine Dragons 8. Story of My Life - One Direction 9. Wake Me Up - Avicii 10. Diana - One Direction Source: Apple iTunes
Top 10 TV Shows in Prime Time - Week Ending 11/17/13 1. NBC Sunday Night Football 2. NCIS 3. The Big Bang Theory 4. The OT 5. NCIS: Los Angeles 6. Football Night in America - Pt. 3 7. Person of Interest 8. Dancing with the Stars 9. Voice 10. 60 Minutes Source: Nielsen Co
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Top 5 Movies - Last Weekend 1. Thor: The Dark World 2. The Best Man Holiday 3. Last Vegas 4. Free Birds 5. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Source: Rotten Tomatoes
Snapchat now shares 400 million snaps each day, according to its CEO Evan Spiegel.
It was only just September that Spiegel reported that the disappearing photo-sharing service was seeing 350 million snaps sent per day, up from 200 million in June. Clearly, growth on the hot new social media service is staggering.
Even more staggering, perhaps, is the fact that the 400 million/day figure surpasses the photo-sharing activity on both Instagram and Facebook.
It's not surprising that more photos are flowing through the very private, self-destructing Snapchat as opposed to the very public Facebook and Instagram, where content lives forever and is seen by many.
According to a new report, Pop Warner football, which is the United States’ largest football program for young people, saw an almost 10 percent drop in participation from 2010 to 2012.
Pop Warner football, which began in 1929, lost 23,612 players in 2012, a 9.5 percent drop from 2010. That is thought to be the largest two-year decline since the organization began keeping statistics.
Pop Warner officials say there are several factors in the decline, including the trend of athletes focusing on one sport. One doctor believes it is the concerns about head injuries that is the number one cause in the decline.
“Unless we deal with these truths, we’re not going to get past the dropping popularity of the sport and people dropping out of the sport,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, a former Pittsburgh Steelers neurosurgeon whose 10-year-old son, Clint, plays Pop Warner outside Chicago. “We need to get it right.”
The statistics, which have not been previously disclosed, are consistent with declining participation rates reported in youth football across the country. USA Football, a national governing body partially funded by the NFL, said participation among players ages 6 to 14 fell from 3 million to 2.8 million in 2011, a 6.7 percent decline.