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Demystifying Data: A Guide to Using Evidence to Improve Young People’s Sexual Health and Rights

August 22, 2014 Comments off

Demystifying Data: A Guide to Using Evidence to Improve Young People’s Sexual Health and Rights (PDF)
Source: Guttmacher Institute

The guide aims to help health care providers, educators and advocates in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights to better understand and use evidence on adolescents’ knowledge and behaviors. The guide provides demographic and socioeconomic information about adolescents, as well as measures of their access to, need for, and use of sexual and reproductive health information and services. It is ultimately designed to provide professionals in the field with information they can use to argue effectively for and design policies and programs to meet young people’s needs for sexual and reproductive health, education and services, and information on sexual and reproductive rights.

Presenting the latest available data for 30 countries, the guide explains the practical meaning of the data in clear, nontechnical language. The guide can help those working with young people to bring about much-needed change, including
• provision of comprehensive sexuality education; increased access to sexual and reproductive health services;
• improved policies to protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people; and
• increased understanding of where the need is greatest in order to focus efforts on the most vulnerable young people.

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UK — The Communications Market 2014 (August)

August 8, 2014 Comments off

The Communications Market 2014 (August)
Source: Ofcom
From press release:

A ‘millennium generation’ of 14 and 15 year olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK, according to new Ofcom research, which shows that after our teens our digital confidence begins a long decline.

Teens born at the turn of the millennium are unlikely to have known ‘dial-up’ internet and are the first generation to benefit from broadband and digital communications while growing up.

The research – part of Ofcom’s eleventh Communications Market Report – measures confidence and knowledge of communications technology to calculate an individual’s ‘Digital Quotient’ score, or ‘DQ’, with the average UK adult scoring 100.

The study, among nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children, finds that six year olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45 year olds. Also, more than 60% of people aged 55 and over have a below average ‘DQ’ score.

It shows that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens; this drops gradually up to our late 50s and then falls rapidly from 60 and beyond.

How State Taxes and Policies Targeting Soda Consumption Modify the Association between School Vending Machines and Student Dietary Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

August 5, 2014 Comments off

How State Taxes and Policies Targeting Soda Consumption Modify the Association between School Vending Machines and Student Dietary Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Source: PLoS ONE

Background
Sodas are widely sold in vending machines and other school venues in the United States, particularly in high school. Research suggests that policy changes have reduced soda access, but the impact of reduced access on consumption is unclear. This study was designed to identify student, environmental, or policy characteristics that modify the associations between school vending machines and student dietary behaviors.

Methods
Data on school vending machine access and student diet were obtained as part of the National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) and linked to state-level data on soda taxes, restaurant taxes, and state laws governing the sale of soda in schools. Regression models were used to: 1) estimate associations between vending machine access and soda consumption, fast food consumption, and lunch source, and 2) determine if associations were modified by state soda taxes, restaurant taxes, laws banning in-school soda sales, or student characteristics (race/ethnicity, sex, home food access, weight loss behaviors.)

Results
Contrary to the hypothesis, students tended to consume 0.53 fewer servings of soda/week (95% CI: -1.17, 0.11) and consume fast food on 0.24 fewer days/week (95% CI: -0.44, -0.05) if they had in-school access to vending machines. They were also less likely to consume soda daily (23.9% vs. 27.9%, average difference = -4.02, 95% CI: -7.28, -0.76). However, these inverse associations were observed primarily among states with lower soda and restaurant tax rates (relative to general food tax rates) and states that did not ban in-school soda sales. Associations did not vary by any student characteristics except for weight loss behaviors.

Conclusion
Isolated changes to the school food environment may have unintended consequences unless policymakers incorporate other initiatives designed to discourage overall soda consumption.

See: Removing vending machines from schools is not enough to reduce soda consumption (Science Daily)

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of U.S. Youth, 2009–2010

August 5, 2014 Comments off

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption of U.S. Youth, 2009–2010
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010

  • More than three-quarters of youth aged 2–19 years (77.1%) consumed fruit on a given day.
  • Almost 92% of youth aged 2–19 years consumed vegetables on a given day.
  • Nine out of 10 children aged 2–5 years consumed fruit, while only 6 out of 10 adolescents consumed fruit on a given day.
  • More children aged 2–5 years than adolescents consumed vegetables on a given day.

Missing Makers: How to Rebuild America’s Manufacturing Workforce

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Missing Makers: How to Rebuild America’s Manufacturing Workforce (PDF)
Source: Hope Street Group

The U.S. manufacturing workforce is aging rapidly, with half of the existing workforce only 10-15 years away from retirement.1 Yet, American manufacturing employers are struggling to build a pipeline of new workers. Some 600,000 positions are currently unfilled,2 and more than three million additional positions are due to open by 2020.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate remains above 16%, with nearly four million 16-24 year olds looking for but unable to find work.4 Why does this gap continue to exist across many regions, and what challenges are preventing the U.S. education and workforce training systems from addressing these issues? How can manufacturing employers and workforce development practitioners most effectively invest in youth in their regions, so that more young people are aware of, interested in, and on the path to careers in manufacturing?

Hope Street Group and Alcoa Foundation set out to address these questions. In this report, we frame the systemic challenges that currently discourage able young people from entering manufacturing career tracks.

Hat tip: StemConnector.org

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents, 2007–2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006–2014 — United States

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents, 2007–2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006–2014 — United States
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Since mid-2006, a licensed human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been available and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for routine vaccination of adolescent girls at ages 11 or 12 years (1). Two vaccines that protect against HPV infection are currently available in the United States. Both the quadrivalent (HPV4) and bivalent (HPV2) vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cervical cancers; HPV4 also protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts (1,2). In 2011, the ACIP also recommended HPV4 for the routine vaccination of adolescent boys at ages 11 or 12 years (3). HPV vaccines can be safely co-administered with other routinely recommended vaccines, and ACIP recommends administration of all age-appropriate vaccines during a single visit (4). To assess progress with HPV vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years,* characterize adherence with recommendations for HPV vaccination by the 13th birthday, and describe HPV vaccine adverse reports received postlicensure, CDC analyzed data from the 2007–2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) and national postlicensure vaccine safety data among females and males. Vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of any HPV vaccine increased significantly from 53.8% (2012) to 57.3% (2013) among adolescent girls and from 20.8% (2012) to 34.6% (2013) among adolescent boys. Receipt of ≥1 dose of HPV among girls by age 13 years increased with each birth cohort; however, missed vaccination opportunities were common. Had HPV vaccine been administered to adolescent girls born in 2000 during health care visits when they received another vaccine, vaccination coverage for ≥1 dose by age 13 years for this cohort could have reached 91.3%. Postlicensure monitoring data continue to indicate that HPV4 is safe. Improving practice patterns so that clinicians use every opportunity to recommend HPV vaccines and address questions from parents can help realize reductions in vaccine-preventable infections and cancers caused by HPV.

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2013

July 30, 2014 Comments off

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that adolescents routinely receive 1 dose of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, 2 doses of meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine, and 3 doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (1,2).* ACIP also recommends administration of “catch-up”† vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, and varicella, and, for all persons aged ≥6 months, an annual influenza vaccination (1). ACIP recommends administration of all age-appropriate vaccines during a single visit (3). To assess vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen).§ This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which show that from 2012 to 2013, coverage increased for each of the vaccines routinely recommended for adolescents: from 84.6% to 86.0% for ≥1 Tdap dose; from 74.0% to 77.8% for ≥1 MenACWY dose; from 53.8% to 57.3% for ≥1 HPV dose among females, and from 20.8% to 34.6% for ≥1 HPV dose among males. Coverage varied by state and local jurisdictions and by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) region. Healthy People 2020 vaccination targets for adolescents aged 13–15 years (4) were reached in 42 states for ≥1 Tdap dose, 18 for ≥1 MenACWY dose, and 11 for ≥2 varicella doses. No state met the target for ≥3 HPV doses.¶ Use of patient reminder and recall systems, immunization information systems, coverage assessment and feedback to clinicians, clinician reminders, standing orders, and other interventions can help make use of every health care visit to ensure that adolescents are fully protected from vaccine-preventable infections and cancers (5), especially when such interventions are coupled with clinicians’ vaccination recommendations.

First OECD PISA financial literacy test finds many young people confused by money matters

July 25, 2014 Comments off

First OECD PISA financial literacy test finds many young people confused by money matters
Source: OECD

Around one in seven students in the 13 OECD countries and economies that took part in the first OECD PISA international assessment of financial literacy are unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only one in ten can solve complex financial tasks.

Some 29 000 15 year-olds in 18 countries and economies* took part in the test, which assessed the knowledge and skills of teenagers in dealing with financial issues, such as understanding a bank statement, the long-term cost of a loan or knowing how insurance works.

Shanghai-China had the highest average score in financial literacy, followed by the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The gender gap in financial literacy was much smaller than in OECD PISA tests in maths or reading, with there being no significant difference between the performance of boys and girls, except in Italy.

But the inequality gap mirrors that in key school subjects: more socio-economically advantaged students scored much higher than less-advantaged students on average across participating OECD countries and economies. Non-immigrant students also performed slightly better than immigrant students from a similar socio-economic status. The gap between the two groups is larger than the OECD average in the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, France, Slovenia and Spain.

The survey also revealed that skills in mathematics and reading are very closely related to financial literacy. However, high proficiency in one of these subjects does not always signal strong performance in financial literacy.
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Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2012

  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).
  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight.

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy

July 21, 2014 Comments off

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration for Children & Families)

This National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) spotlight describes the high rates of risky sexual activity and pregnancy among teenage girls in the second cohort of NSCAW (NSCAW II). According to data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 16.8% of girls ages 14-17, and 45.1% of girls ages 18-20, had experienced at least one pregnancy.

IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones

July 17, 2014 Comments off

IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Many teenagers are driving vehicles that don’t offer good crash protection and lack important safety technology, new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. To help guide parents toward safer choices, IIHS has compiled its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teens.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ isn’t in the budget. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012

July 15, 2014 Comments off

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey, 2012

  • Nearly all (98.5%) youth aged 12–15 reported watching TV daily.
  • More than 9 in 10 (91.1%) youth aged 12–15 reported using the computer daily outside of school.
  • In 2012, 27.0% of youth aged 12–15 had 2 hours or less of TV plus computer use daily.
  • Among youth aged 12–15, girls (80.4%) were more likely to use the computer 2 hours or less daily when compared with boys (69.4%).
  • Fewer non-Hispanic black youth aged 12–15 (53.4%) reported watching 2 hours or less of TV daily than non-Hispanic white (65.8%) and Hispanic (68.7%) youth.

Excessive screen-time behaviors, such as using a computer and watching TV, for more than 2 hours daily have been linked with elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and being overweight or obese among youth (1–3). Additionally, screen-time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood (4). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported Expert Panel and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children limit leisure screen time to 2 hours or less daily (5,6). This report presents national estimates of TV watching and computer use outside of the school day.

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVE:
It is unknown if “sexting” (ie, sending/receiving sexually explicit cell phone text or picture messages) is associated with sexual activity and sexual risk behavior among early adolescents, as has been found for high school students. To date, no published data have examined these relationships exclusively among a probability sample of middle school students.

METHODS:
A probability sample of 1285 students was collected alongside the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles middle schools. Logistic regressions assessed the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual activity and risk behavior (ie, unprotected sex).

RESULTS:
Twenty percent of students with text-capable cell phone access reported receiving a sext and 5% reported sending a sext. Students who text at least 100 times per day were more likely to report both receiving (odds ratio [OR]: 2.4) and sending (OR: 4.5) sexts and to be sexually active (OR: 4.1). Students who sent sexts (OR: 3.2) and students who received sexts (OR: 7.0) were more likely to report sexual activity. Compared with not being sexually active, excessive texting and receiving sexts were associated with both unprotected sex (ORs: 4.7 and 12.1, respectively) and with condom use (ORs: 3.7 and 5.5, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:
Because early sexual debut is correlated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, pediatricians should discuss sexting with young adolescents because this may facilitate conversations about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention. Sexting and associated risks should be considered for inclusion in middle school sex education curricula.

Dating Violence Among Male and Female Youth Seeking Emergency Department Care

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Dating Violence Among Male and Female Youth Seeking Emergency Department Care
Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine

Study objective
We determine prevalence and correlates of dating violence, dating victimization, and dating aggression among male and female patients aged 14 to 20 years seeking emergency department (ED) care.

Methods
This was a systematic sampling of subjects aged 14 to 20 years seeking care at a single large academic ED between September 2010 and March 2013. Participants completed a computerized, self-administered, cross-sectional survey of demographics, dating violence from physical abuse measures of the Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory, associated behaviors, and ED health service use. Separate analyses were conducted for male and female patients.

Results
Four thousand three hundred eighty-nine youths (86.1% participation rate) were screened, and 4,089 (mean age 17.5 years; 58% female patients) were eligible for analysis. Almost 1 in 5 female patients (n=215; 18.4%) and 1 in 8 male patients (n=212; 12.5%) reported past-year dating violence. Of female patients, 10.6% reported dating victimization and 14.6% dating aggression, whereas of male patients, 11.7% reported dating victimization and 4.9% reported dating aggression. Multivariate analyses showed that variables associated with any male dating violence were black race (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.26; 95% CI 1.54 to 3.32), alcohol misuse (AOR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.06), illicit drug use (AOR 2.38; 95% CI 1.68 to 3.38), and depression (AOR 2.13; 95% CI 1.46 to 3.10); any female dating violence was associated with black race (AOR 1.68; 95% CI 1.25 to 2.25), public assistance (AOR 1.64; 95% CI 1.28 to 2.09), grades D and below (AOR 1.62; 95% CI 1.07 to 2.43), alcohol misuse (AOR 1.04; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.07), illicit drug use (AOR 2.85; 95% CI 2.22 to 3.66), depression (AOR 1.86; 95% CI 1.42 to 2.44), and any past year ED visit for intentional injury (AOR 2.64; 95% CI 1.30 to 5.40).

Conclusion
Nearly 1 of 6 male and female patients aged 14 to 20 years and seeking ED care report recent dating violence, and health disparities remain among this population. Dating violence was strongly associated with alcohol, illicit drug use, and depression and correlated with previous ED service use among female youths. ED interventions should consider addressing these associated health conditions, as well as improving screening protocols to address dating violence among male and female youths.

School mental health services: signpost for out-of-school service utilization in adolescents with mental disorders? A nationally representative United States cohort

June 25, 2014 Comments off

School mental health services: signpost for out-of-school service utilization in adolescents with mental disorders? A nationally representative United States cohort
Source: PLoS ONE

Background
School mental health services are important contact points for children and adolescents with mental disorders, but their ability to provide comprehensive treatment is limited. The main objective was to estimate in mentally disordered adolescents of a nationally representative United States cohort the role of school mental health services as guide to mental health care in different out-of-school service sectors.

Methods
Analyses are based on weighted data (N = 6483) from the United States National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (participants’ age: 13–18 years). Lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed using the fully structured WHO CIDI interview, complemented by parent report. Adolescents and parents provided information on mental health service use across multiple sectors, based on the Service Assessment for Children and Adolescents.

Results
School mental health service use predicted subsequent out-of-school service utilization for mental disorders i) in the medical specialty sector, in adolescents with affective (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.01, confidence interval (CI) = 1.77–5.12), anxiety (HR = 3.87, CI = 1.97–7.64), behavior (HR = 2.49, CI = 1.62–3.82), substance use (HR = 4.12, CI = 1.87–9.04), and eating (HR = 10.72, CI = 2.31–49.70) disorders, and any mental disorder (HR = 2.97, CI = 1.94–4.54), and ii) in other service sectors, in adolescents with anxiety (HR = 3.15, CI = 2.17–4.56), behavior (HR = 1.99, CI = 1.29–3.06), and substance use (HR = 2.48, CI = 1.57–3.94) disorders, and any mental disorder (HR = 2.33, CI = 1.54–3.53), but iii) not in the mental health specialty sector.

Conclusions
Our findings indicate that in the United States, school mental health services may serve as guide to out-of-school service utilization for mental disorders especially in the medical specialty sector across various mental disorders, thereby highlighting the relevance of school mental health services in the trajectory of mental care. In light of the missing link between school mental health services and mental health specialty services, the promotion of a stronger collaboration between these sectors should be considered regarding the potential to improve and guarantee adequate mental care at early life stages.

Changes in antidepressant use by young people and suicidal behavior after FDA warnings and media coverage: quasi-experimental study

June 20, 2014 Comments off

Changes in antidepressant use by young people and suicidal behavior after FDA warnings and media coverage: quasi-experimental study
Source: British Medical Journal

Objective
To investigate if the widely publicized warnings in 2003 from the US Food and Drug Administration about a possible increased risk of suicidality with antidepressant use in young people were associated with changes in antidepressant use, suicide attempts, and completed suicides among young people.

Design
Quasi-experimental study assessing changes in outcomes after the warnings, controlling for pre-existing trends.

Setting
Automated healthcare claims data (2000-10) derived from the virtual data warehouse of 11 health plans in the US Mental Health Research Network.

Participants
Study cohorts included adolescents (around 1.1 million), young adults (around 1.4 million), and adults (around 5 million).

Main outcome measures
Rates of antidepressant dispensings, psychotropic drug poisonings (a validated proxy for suicide attempts), and completed suicides.

Results
Trends in antidepressant use and poisonings changed abruptly after the warnings. In the second year after the warnings, relative changes in antidepressant use were −31.0% (95% confidence interval −33.0% to −29.0%) among adolescents, −24.3% (−25.4% to −23.2%) among young adults, and −14.5% (−16.0% to −12.9%) among adults. These reflected absolute reductions of 696, 1216, and 1621 dispensings per 100 000 people among adolescents, young adults, and adults, respectively. Simultaneously, there were significant, relative increases in psychotropic drug poisonings in adolescents (21.7%, 95% confidence interval 4.9% to 38.5%) and young adults (33.7%, 26.9% to 40.4%) but not among adults (5.2%, −6.5% to 16.9%). These reflected absolute increases of 2 and 4 poisonings per 100 000 people among adolescents and young adults, respectively (approximately 77 additional poisonings in our cohort of 2.5 million young people). Completed suicides did not change for any age group.

Conclusions
Safety warnings about antidepressants and widespread media coverage decreased antidepressant use, and there were simultaneous increases in suicide attempts among young people. It is essential to monitor and reduce possible unintended consequences of FDA warnings and media reporting.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2013

June 13, 2014 Comments off

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2013 (PDF)
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
From press release:

Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped to the lowest levels since the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) began in 1991, according to the 2013 results released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By achieving a teen smoking rate of 15.7 percent, the United States has met its national Healthy People 2020External Web Site Icon objective of reducing adolescent cigarette use to 16 percent or less.

Despite this progress, reducing overall tobacco use remains a significant challenge. For example, other national surveys show increases in hookah and e-cigarette use. In the YRBS, no change in smokeless tobacco use was observed among adolescents since 1999, and the decline in cigar use has slowed in recent years, with cigar use now at 23 percent among male high school seniors.

Fact Sheet: American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health

June 11, 2014 Comments off

Fact Sheet: American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health
Source: Guttmacher Institute

•Fewer than 2% of adolescents have had sex by the time they reach their 12th birthday. But adolescence is a time of rapid change. Only 16% of teens have had sex by age 15, compared with one-third of those aged 16, nearly half (48%) of those aged 17, 61% of 18-year-olds and 71% of 19-year-olds. There is little difference by gender in the timing of first sex.
•On average, young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but they do not marry until their mid-20s.[3] This means that young adults may be at increased risk for unintended pregnancy and STIs for nearly a decade or longer.
•Teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did in the recent past. In 2006–2008, some 11% of never-married females aged 15–19 and 14% of never-married males in that age-group had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995.

CRS — Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Statistics and Programs

June 3, 2014 Comments off

Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: Statistics and Programs (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In 2012, U.S. teen births accounted for 7.8% of all births and 17.1% of all nonmarital births. The birth rate for U.S. teenagers (ages 15 through 19) increased in 2006 and 2007 after a steady decline since 1991. However, in each of 2008 through 2012, the teen birth rate dropped below the 2006 teen birth rate, reversing the two-year upward trend. Although the birth rate for U.S. teens has dropped in 21 of the past 23 years, it remains higher than the teen birth rate of most industrialized nations. Preventing teen pregnancy is generally considered a priority among policy makers and the public because of its high economic, social, and health costs for teen parents and their families.

Twelve Ways to Fix the Youth Unemployment Crisis

May 23, 2014 Comments off

Twelve Ways to Fix the Youth Unemployment Crisis
Source: Brookings Institution

The Great Recession was particularly devastating for America’s young workers. Nearly 6 million 16- to 24-year-olds neither have jobs nor are pursuing a degree. This disconnect can have a “scarring effect,” which can negatively impact their long-term employment prospects and lifetime earnings. In her new paper Elisabeth Jacobs analyzes the crisis of youth unemployment and America’s sprawling workforce development system. She makes recommendations for how to improve America’s higher education systems, apprenticeship programs, paid volunteering programs, primary and secondary education, and tax policy.

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