Policy

A heavy burden on young minds: the global burden of mental and substance use disorders in children and youth

Mental and substance use disorders are common and often persistent, with many emerging in early life. Compared to adult mental and substance use disorders, the global burden attributable to these disorders in children and youth has received relatively little attention.

Data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 was used to investigate the burden of mental and substance disorders in children and youth aged 0–24 years. Burden was estimated in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), derived from the sum ...

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Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools

Physical activity (PA) provides numerous physiological and psychosocial benefits. However, lifestyle changes, including reduced PA opportunities in multiple settings, have resulted in an escalation of overweight and obesity and related health problems. Poor physical and mental health, including metabolic and cardiovascular problems is seen in progressively younger ages, and the systematic decline in school PA has contributed to this trend. Of note, the crowded school curriculum with an intense focus on academic achievement, lack of school leadership support, funding and ...

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Defining and strengthening child well-being in child protection

Although the goals of safety and permanency for children continue as critically important mandates in child protection, the field has witnessed an increased focus on child well-being in recent years. Whereas safety and permanency have been well operationalized, child well-being appears to be a much more complex and daunting concept to define and measure. Current federal guidelines require child protective agencies to improve outcomes in the area of child well-being, and although federal regulations offer some direction on interpreting this ...

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Adverse Childhood Experiences and Mental Health, Chronic Medical Conditions, and Development in Young Children

This cross-sectional study used a nationally representative sample of children investigated by child welfare (National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II) from 2008 to 2009. Our analysis included caregiver interviews and caseworker reports about children aged 18 to 71 months who were not in out-of-home care (n = 912). We examined the associations between ACEs and mental health (measured by the Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL]), reported chronic medical conditions, and social development (measured by the Vineland Socialization Scale) in ...

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Imaging brain development: The adolescent brain

The past 15 years has seen a rapid expansion in the number of studies using neuroimaging techniques to investigate maturational changes in the human brain. In this paper, I review MRI studies on structural changes in the developing brain, and fMRI studies on functional changes in the social brain during adolescence. Both MRI and fMRI studies point to adolescence as a period of continued neural development. In the final section, I discuss a number of areas of research that are just ...

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Research on Positive Youth Development in Boys of Color: Implications for Intervention and Policy

Boys of color (BOC) face unique challenges related to the intersection of being male and an ethnic minority in our society. There is an urgent need for a more balanced view of psychosocial functioning in BOC that highlights positive developmental trajectories. In response to this need, the current chapter provides an overview of the research on positive youth development (PYD) in BOC with a focus on implications for programs and policies. The chapter presents an historical overview and the theoretical ...

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Let’s Talk After-School: The Promises and Challenges of Positive Youth Development for After-School Research, Policy, and Practice

The field of after-school programming for youth has grown substantially in the past 25 years, theoretically, methodologically, and practically. With increasingly sophisticated developmental lenses (e.g., positive youth development) and methods (e.g., mixed methods, advanced growth modeling techniques), we are now at a point where the field is ready for more and better integration of research and practice. We present an overview of both what is known and what the field needs to address to optimize program opportunities to best serve all ...

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Worldwide application of prevention science in adolescent health

The burden of morbidity and mortality from non-communicable disease has risen worldwide and is accelerating in low-income and middle-income countries, whereas the burden from infectious diseases has declined. Since this transition, the prevention of non-communicable disease as well as communicable disease causes of adolescent mortality has risen in importance. Problem behaviours that increase the short-term or long-term likelihood of morbidity and mortality, including alcohol, tobacco, and other drug misuse, mental health problems, unsafe sex, risky and unsafe driving, and violence ...

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Adolescent Males’ Awareness of and Willingness to Try Electronic Cigarettes

Purpose

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a new type of device that delivers vaporized nicotine without the tobacco combustion of regular cigarettes. We sought to understand awareness of and willingness to try e-cigarettes among adolescent males, a group that is at risk for smoking initiation and may use e-cigarettes as a “gateway” to smoking.

Methods

A national sample of 11–19-year-old males (n = 228) completed an online survey in November 2011. We recruited participants through their parents, who were members of ...

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Inclusion for Young Children With Disabilities

Issues affecting inclusion of young children with disabilities over the last 25 years are discussed. A brief history of early childhood inclusion is followed by a discussion of definition, terminology, and models for inclusive services. A summary of synthesis points derived from the research literature focuses on critical outcomes for children with disabilities, the role of specialized instruction, collaboration among professionals, necessary organizational supports, and benefits for typically developing children. Two recent directions affecting the implementation of inclusion, assessment of ...

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Children With Disabilities in the Context of Disaster: A Social Vulnerability Perspective

An estimated 200 million children worldwide experience various forms of disability. This critical review extrapolates from existing literature in 2 distinct areas of scholarship: one on individuals with disabilities in disaster, and the other on children in disaster. The extant literature suggests that various factors may contribute to the physical, psychological, and educational vulnerability of children with disabilities in disaster, including higher poverty rates, elevated risk exposure, greater vulnerability to traumatic loss or separation from caregivers, more strain on parents, ...

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