Currently viewing the tag: "teenagers"

Sexual harassment is a prevalent form of victimization that most antibullying programs ignore and teachers and school officials often fail to recognize, said bullying and youth violence expert Dorothy L. Espelage.

Espelage recently led a five-year study that examined links between bullying and sexual harassment among schoolchildren in Illinois. Nearly half — 43 percent — of middle school students surveyed for the study reported they had been the victims of verbal sexual harassment such as sexual comments, jokes or gestures during the prior year…

…While verbal harassment was more common than physical sexual harassment or sexual assault, 21 percent of students reported having been touched, grabbed or pinched in a sexual way, and 18 percent said peers had brushed up against them in a suggestive manner.

Students also reported being forced to kiss the perpetrators, having their private areas touched without consent and being “pantsed” — having their pants or shorts jerked down by someone else in public.

About 14 percent of the students in the study reported having been the target of sexual rumors, and 9 percent had been victimized with sexually explicit graffiti in school locker rooms or bathrooms.
Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a middle school child who is being sexually harassed.

Journaling Prompt: Journal about an embarrassing incident that happened when you were in middle school.

Art Prompt: Sexual harassment

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem with sexual harassment among teens.

Photo Credit: Judite B on Flickr


While many people view college drinking as the norm, less understood is that how students drink can place them at a higher risk for multiple problems. Drinking on an empty stomach usually means that someone will get drunk faster, given that food helps to absorb alcohol, slowing down alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. A growing trend among college drinkers is called “drunkorexia,” a non-medical term that refers to a combination of alcohol with diet-related behaviors such as food restriction, excessive exercising, or bingeing and purging…

The association between gender and drunkorexia is a complex one, she noted. “While it is clear that college women who drink more are more likely than men to engage in bulimic-type behaviors, and with greater frequency, and to experience more alcohol-related problems as a result of these behaviors, there were no gender differences for engaging in drunkorexia to increase the effects of alcohol or engaging in bulimic-type behaviors to compensate for alcohol-related calories. In some cases, men were more likely to engage in bulimic-type and diet/exercising/calorie-restricted eating behaviors to reduce alcohol-related calories. Further research is needed to more fully understand these differences,” she said. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which drunkorexia plays a role.

Journaling Prompt: What was the riskiest thing you did when you were in college or at that age?

Art Prompt: Risky drinking

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about problem drinking on  college campuses today.

Photo Credit: amy on Flickr


Suicide is the third most common cause of death among American adolescents, and poisoning is the leading method of attempted suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike more violent methods, survival following self-poisoning is common, providing an opportunity to prevent subsequent suicide. However, little progress has been made in suicide prevention in the past 50 years. In fact, hospital admission rates for suicidal ideation and attempts by American children have more than doubled in the past decade…

Factors associated with suicide included recurrent self-poisoning episodes, being male and psychiatric care in the preceding year. Adolescents hospitalized for self-poisoning were also more likely to die from accidents than youths in the general population. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a suicide attempt.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever considered suicide? What do you feel about suicide?

Art Prompt: Suicide attempt

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Teach your audience the signs that someone may be considering suicide, and give them strategies for handling the situation.

Photo Credit: Jason Kuffer on Flickr

Walking Snoop Dogg

Low levels of self-esteem and poor emotional processing skills were significantly correlated with gang involvement, as were low levels of parental monitoring, poor parental communication and housing instability.
“Adolescents who have strained relationships with positive family and community members and have displaced housing may find a sense of belonging with gangs,” Voisin said. “It may be that the gangs satisfy the need for social connections and survival for these teens. At the same time, there are certain behaviors and norms within some gangs that are associated with increased social and health risk factors for their members.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the character sketch of a young person who grew up to join a gain. Create the back story for this character.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about gangs? Even if your only experience is through the media, what do you think we should do to stop the spread of gangs?

Art Prompt: Teen gang member

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Talk about the problem of gangs and the preventative measures we can take as a society.

Photo Credit: Lauren Grant on Flickr


I acquired my first (and only, so far) Ouija board when I was 12 or 13 years old. I don’t remember exactly where I got it—whether I bought it with babysitting money or received it as a gift. I called my mom to ask if she remembered, and she wasn’t totally sure either. She was, however, suspiciously insistent on assuring me she “wouldn’t have had a problem” with me having it. She then asked my dad whether heremembered how I got it, and he said, “Tell her I ordered it online from a coven of witches.”
So I think I got it as a birthday present. -Katie Heaney

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene involving a pre-teen and an Ouija board.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you played with an Ouija board.

Art Prompt: Ouija board

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a teenage exploration into the mystical realms.

Photo Credit: Dave Winer on Flickr

Teens who were romantically involved at an early age, engaged in delinquent activity, and placed a premium on hanging out with physically attractive peers were thought to be popular by their peers at age 13. But over time, this sentiment faded: By 22, those once-cool teens were rated by their peers as being less competent in managing social relationships. They were also more likely to have had significant problems with alcohol and drugs, and to have engaged in criminal activities, according to the study.
“It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens,” says Joseph P. Allen, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, who led the study. “So they became involved in more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed. These previously cool teens appeared less competent — socially and otherwise — than their less cool peers by the time they reached young adulthood.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of a teen who is working hard to appear cool.

Journaling Prompt: What did you do as a teen to appear cool?

Art Prompt: The In Crowd

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story of how you tried to be cool as a teen and how it failed.

Photo Credit: Khánh Hmoong on Flickr


“Anorexia nervosa principally onsets during adolescence, with 14- to 15-years-old being one of the peak periods,” said Zucker, who is also a faculty member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. “If the state of the body is uncoupled from what is important to us, then this period may be a ‘window of opportunity’ for those with anorexia nervosa to engage in behaviors that are starkly in contrast to the body’s need.”
This study’s findings could help design prevention and treatment interventions that hone in on risky decision-making or help adolescents with mental illness rely more on themselves to make decisions.
“Our ability to use our bodies to guide optimal decisions may go through some risky developmental windows,” Zucker said. “Knowing these periods, we can better educate adolescents about how to maneuver the challenges of adolescence.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a teen’s descent into anorexia or about recovery from anorexia.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your relationship with food, now and when you were a teen.

Art Prompt: Anorexia nervosa

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about anorexia and tell the the warning signs to look for in a loved one.

Photo Credit: Mary Lock on Flickr

Pro Juventute Aufklärungskampagne ‚Sexting’ Themenbild_09

Adolescents revealed that they sext for attention, to lower the chances of catching STDs, and to find a romantic partner. The concepts of receiving a bad reputation, or of being blackmailed, did not appear to influence their motivations. The authors note that “Remarkably, only the behavioral beliefs that expected positive outcomes of sexting were significant in predicting adolescents’ willingness to engage in it.”

Friends and romantic partners were found to be the only significant social pressures that affect an individual’s motivation to sext: “The more positive the perceived social pressure that originates from these two categories of referents — who mostly belong to the peer group — the more adolescents will be inclined to engage in sexting.” Negative pressures from parents and teachers did not affect motivations. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving teen sexting.

Journaling Prompt: Write about sexting and how you feel about it.

Art Prompt: Teen sexting

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the ramifications of teen sexting.

Photo Credit: Pro Juventute on Flickr

NO son quinceañeras

Teenage girls were a strange breed of animal, prone to strange trends and behaviors. – Bradley Convissar, Blink

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, or poem that features the exotic creature known as the teenage girl.

Journaling Prompt: What is the strangest trend you have seen in teenage girls, whether in this generation or your own generation.

Art Prompt: Teenage Girls

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous piece about teenage girls and their strange trends and behaviors.

Photo Credit: Eneas De Troya on Flickr

Is this the perfect girl?

Rates of dieting, fitness, plastic surgery and eating disorders are at an all time high, but why do so many women, and an increasing number of men, feel insecure about their bodies? A famous study of teenage girls in Fiji, before and after the television was introduced to the island in 1995, is telling: “After three years with TV, the girls who watched it the most were 50% more likely to describe themselves as ‘too fat’; 29% scored highly on a test of eating-disorder risk.” Body images presented by the media are increasingly unrealistic while being presented as an achievable, even necessary, goal. -Orion Jones, Big Think

Writing Prompt: How does your character feel about his or her body? Include this in your character sketch.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel about your body.

Art Prompt: Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Photo Credit: daniellehelm on Flickr