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Society for Adolescent Medicine Meeting to Focus on 'E-Teens' and How Adolescents Incorporate Technology and Health

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's adolescents have the dubious distinction of being the most "wired" generation to date. They somehow complete homework while simultaneously texting on mobile phones, listening to iPods, IM-ing from computers and posting photos and video to Facebook. These young people are able to bring the world to their fingertips in a way that previous generations never imagined. The Society for Adolescent Medicine is examining "e-teens" and how they incorporate technology into their personal health at their annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles, March 25-28, 2009. It will be the first meeting ever to address technology and health in teens.

One of the "hot topic" sessions specifically focused on "e-teens" is entitled "Can We Use the Internet to Screen Adolescents for Chlamydia? Satisfaction and Results of the" This session will examine results from the Web site, which provides free home testing kits for sexually transmitted infections, including Chlamydia. What researchers have found is that the adolescent girls recruited for home sampling demonstrated a high prevalence of Chlamydia, and reported high acceptability for confidential, in-home private testing. Girls are able to access results privately and are then encouraged to seek treatment should test results be positive. The program provides access to high-risk populations who do not access clinic services.

The term "helicopter parents" has been around for more than a decade to describe parents who pay an undue amount of attention to their children in college, checking in daily via cell phone and even negotiating grades with professors. But increases in technology mean more methods for parents to be involved in their college students' lives, and hovering seems to have increased. The Hot Topic session, "Helicopter Parents: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," will examine how beneficial or detrimental "helicoptering" can be to a student, whether students resent their parents' behavior, what topics kids talk about with their parents and when a parent's behavior crosses the line from being involved to being embarrassing. Also discussed will be how care providers can encourage parents to be involved at a level beneficial to them and their kids.

Another topic being addressed in this venue is adolescent and young adults returning from military service. About half of the enlisted U.S. military personnel are under 25 years old. This population has unique needs such as injury evaluation, psychosocial screening and mental health issues because of their military service. "To Iraq and Back; How Can We Help Those Returning?" will examine the military health system's efforts to examine the mental health issues facing our young military population from an adolescent and young adult perspective. Care providers will be reminded that service members and their families would benefit from routine screening for health risk behaviors while keeping deployment cycles in mind.

The session "Preventing Animal House: The Quaker Bouncers" deals with students helping other students limit alcohol consumption on college campuses. Annually, more than 1,400 college age students die from alcohol-related injuries and 1.1 million more students are injured. At Haverford College in Pennsylvania, the "Quaker Bouncers" train students to be non-threatening monitors at social events, including campus parties and concerts, and to act as liaisons between students, school administration and campus security. This student-run organization provides a trained, reliable, and sober presence at student parties. SAM members will examine the "Quaker Bouncers" as a role model for other programs around the country to get students involved in making campus life safer for themselves and their peers.

For more information on the above topics, or to attend the meeting in Los Angeles, please contact Vaughn Rickert, SAM Program Committee, at 212-304-5766 or via e-mail at or visit the SAM website at

For more information, contact: Hollis Heavenrich-Jones at 773-878-7473 or via e-mail at

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SOURCE The Society for Adolescent Medicine
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