Navigation Links
15 Percent of U.S. Teens Think They'll Die Young
Date:6/29/2009

Link between risky behavior and pessimistic outlook surprises experts,,

MONDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Challenging the notion that risky behavior reflects a youthful sense of immortality, a new study has found almost 15 percent of American teens believe they will die before age 35 -- a perspective strongly linked to risky behavior.

"Prior research has shown that typically teenagers are no worse than adults in terms of viewing their own vulnerability, and, thankfully, most adolescents in this country do not believe that their risk of early death is high," noted study author Dr. Iris Wagman Borowsky, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. "But we found that more than one in seven youths do have a pessimistic view about their future mortality and are more likely to take risks."

"So as a pediatrician, this says to me that I need to assess my young patients' ability to see themselves in the future," Borowsky added. "And, when I see a problem, to try to figure out how to instill optimism and hope, knowing that a pessimistic view may be an indicator of future risky behavior."

The findings, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, are based on a three-year tracking of attitudes and behaviors among 20,594 teens who were in 7th through 12th grade at the start of the study.

The teens were interviewed periodically to gauge their views on personal mortality and to tally the degree to which they engaged in such behaviors as attempting suicide, using illegal drugs, sustaining fight-related injuries that required medical care, engaging in unprotected sex, being arrested by the police and contracting HIV or AIDS.

The interviews revealed that nearly 15 percent of the teens believed they had just a 50-50 chance of living to age 35.

Race and wealth appeared to affect the risk for that belief. About 10 percent of white teens bore this pessimistic view, compared with 15 percent of Asian youth, 21 percent of Hispanic teens, 26 percent of African American teens and 29 percent of Native American teens.

The study also found that a teen's mental state and behavior were mutually influential. A teen who predicted a short lifespan, for instance, during an early interview was more likely to engage in subsequent risky behavior, and teens who engaged in risky behavior throughout the first year of the study were more likely to develop a pessimistic view of their future.

Borowsky suggested that efforts to prevent such a cycle of skewed perceptions and risky behavior among teens should focus on factors critical to instilling youthful optimism.

"We know that schools matter, and homes and parents matter," she said. "The concept of parents and family connectedness is so important with youth: having fun with your family and having parents you can communicate with and who tell you they love you. And having schools that create a climate where students feel connected and safe is very important. Positive media messages also play a role. These are all things that might prevent the development of a pessimistic view among youth."

Freya Sonenstein, a professor and director of the Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, said that addressing the perceptual problems highlighted in the study requires both one-on-one counseling and a recognition of those larger societal issues that could be driving adolescent optimism downward.

"Particularly where there's a high concentration of people who live in poverty -- often minority youth living in blighted neighborhoods with very high violence rates and drug use -- this kind of finding is certainly not surprising," Sonenstein said. "All you have to do is look around in the city of Baltimore, where I am myself, to understand why."

"So it's important to think about strategies -- intervention programs like the ones we have that work with kids around mental health issues -- to get kids to be more optimistic," she said. "And it's also very important to have physicians and other clinicians recognize that these expectations of an early death as a marker for high-risk behavior."

"But you also have to dig down a little deeper and look at the structural situation that make kids lose optimistic in the first place," Sonenstein said. "That's equally important."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on adolescent mental health.



SOURCES: Iris Wagman Borowsky, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Freya Sonenstein, Ph.D., professor and director, Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; July 2009 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
2. 13 percent of women stop taking breast cancer drug because of side effects, U-M study finds
3. Ninety Percent of Polled Pain Care Professionals Express Fear of Regulation
4. Health Insurance Premiums Rise 6.1 Percent in 2007, Less Rapidly Than in Recent Years But Still Faster Than Wages and Inflation
5. Less than 3 percent of UK 11-year-olds take enough exercise
6. Tyco International Increases Quarterly Dividend 36 Percent to 15 Cents per Share; Initiates New $1 Billion Share Repurchase Program
7. Hospitals See Infection Rates More Than Halved, Patient Stays Shortened by 27 Percent in New Study Announced by I-Flow
8. Iomai Patch-Based Vaccine Cut Rate of Travelers Diarrhea by 75 Percent in Phase 2 Field Study
9. New research shows ACTOS is associated with a 38 percent lower risk of heart attack
10. New research shows ACTOS is associated with a 38 percent lower risk of heart attack
11. Sixty Percent of Americans Cannot Name Top Killers of Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
15 Percent of U.S. Teens Think They'll Die Young
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Association of Home Care Coding & ... Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition Workgroup are working closely with the American Hospital ... to address concerns over the use of 'A' as the seventh character indicating ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Guruji Mahendra Kumar Trivedi is offering 3 days of ... of his birthday on February 10th. During this time, people can achieve better ... over 250,000 people from over 40 different countries as an ÔÇťordinary man with an ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... February 07, ... ... correct pelvic organ prolapse with the latest techniques and the most minimally invasive ... for pelvic organ prolapse, particularly after menopause. Other risk factors include surgery to ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 ... ... & Neck and Facial Plastics, has added Kybella® to his medical and surgical ... is a newly approved FDA injectable medication used as a non-surgical alternative for ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... , ... With the FCPX LUT: Summer pack from Pixel Film ... LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula for modifying an image. ... By manipulating each pixel, LUT's can change each color range differently, it gives the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Labvantage Lx, a newcomer to the ... sexual enhancement product, EnduramenT. Setting a new standard ... a patented biomedical breakthrough molecule that promotes the ... responsible for many biological functions including erectile function. ... Forgoing the use of prescription medications, scientists working ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) ... quarter and year-end 2015 results after the Nasdaq market ... host a live conference call and webcast to discuss ... afternoon, February 11, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time ... --> http://www.neurocrine.com . --> Participants can ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 --> ... "Ablation Technologies Market by Product (Radiofrequency, Ultrasound, Irreversible Electroporation, ... Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology) - Global Forecasts to 2020", published ... the forecast period of 2015 to 2020. The market ... CAGR of 10.5% from 2015 to 2020. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: