marijuana

Frequent Marijuana Use Among Teens is Up

Heavy marijuana use among teens has increased drastically in recent years, with nearly one in 10 sparking up 20 times or more each month, according to a new survey of young Americans released this morning. The findings represent nearly an 80 percent increase in past-month heavy marijuana use among high school aged youth since 2008. Overall, the rate of marijuana use among teens has increased. Past month marijuana users, or teens that have used marijuana in the month prior to the survey, increased 42 percent, to 27 percent of teens, compared to 2008 findings. Past-year and lifetime use also increased, but not as drastically, at 26 percent and 21 percent respectively.

Meth Project Ads Effective at Preventing Drug Use, Study Says

The Meth Project’s graphic ads are effective at deterring meth use, according to new research by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The new study, “How Disgust Enhances the Effect of Fear Appeals,” compared ads that rely on disgust and fear with ads that use fear alone as the deterring element. Researchers showed a series of three ads to a group of college students. Each of the ads had an identical message, but the images were different. Those that relied only on an element of fear did not lead to immediate changes in attitudes or behavior.

Most Victims of Sexual Assault Know the Alleged Offender, Study Finds

A study conducted in a sexual assault resource center found more than 70 percent of alleged offenders were known to the victims. The report by researchers at the University of Tennessee, “Percentage of Named Offenders on the Registry at the Time of the Assault: Reports from Sexual Assault Survivors,” used one year of data from the resource center during which it provided services to approximately 1,300 people. Full names were provided for more than 60 percent of the known assailants. Of those 566 cases only 4.8 percent were found on a sex offender registry and even fewer, 3.7 percent (21 cases) were listed publicly due to the date of conviction. More than 95 percent of the alleged offenders were know personally to the victims in the 21 cases where the offender could have been identified by the sex offender registry. Researchers concluded the sex offender registries might have limited impact due to the fact that they only include convicted sex offenders.

Controlling Parents More Likely to Have Delinquent Children, Study Finds

Demanding, highly controlling, authoritarian parents are more likely to have delinquent, disrespectful children than parents who are seen by their children as legitimate authority figures, according to research from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Relying on data from the New Hampshire Youth Study, a longitudinal survey of middle and high school children, researchers identified three distinct parenting styles — authoritative, authoritarian and permissive and looked at whether those styles influenced children’s beliefs about the legitimacy of their parents’ authority, according to a press release from UNH. “The style that parents used to rear their children had a direct influence on whether those children perceived their parents as legitimate authority figures,” said Rick Trinkner, a doctoral candidate at UNH and the lead researcher. “Adolescents who perceived parents as legitimate were then less likely to engage in delinquent behavior.”

Authoritative parents, who are demanding and controlling but also warm and receptive, are more likely to raise children who view their parents as having legitimate authority. Children of authoritarian parents, on the other hand, perceived their parents as the least legitimate, according to the study.

Witnessing Violence Creates Violent Kids, Study Says

Children who witness violence often think it is normal, a development that can lead to violent behavior, says a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. The researchers, who surveyed 800 children between the ages of 8 and 12, asked the children if they had witnessed violence on television, at home or at school.  Six months later they were polled a second time.  Children who said they had witnessed violence were aggressive, according to the study. “People exposed to a heavy diet of violence come to believe that aggression is a normal way to solve conflict and get what you want in life,” the study’s authors wrote.  “These beliefs lower their inhibitions against aggression against others.” The full study is available by subscription only, but you can read more at ScienceDaily.

Benjamin Chambers: What Works with Serious Juvenile Offenders – Pathways to Desistance Study

Does the juvenile justice system really work? Reading comments from readers on news stories about youth in trouble, you’d think the juvenile justice sysem was a system designed to mollycoddle dangerous kids, turning them into super-predators. Nothing could be further from the truth. Among other reasons, we know this because of “Pathways to Desistance,” a research study led by Edward P. Mulvey, Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. (Dr. Mulvey and Carol Schubert contributed a post to us on their findings in April 2010.)

The “Pathways to Desistance” research study is a unique study of what works in the juvenile justice system.