Cannabis Use and Driving Performance

Increased legalization of medical and recreational cannabis has led to concern about a possible proliferation of cannabis-impaired drivers. Dahlgren and colleagues noted that most of the research on the effects of cannabis for driving have focused on acutely intoxicated individuals rather than the non-immediate effects of heavy recreational use. They administered tests in a driving [...]

How Undocumented Status Shapes Parenting

Approximately seven percent of children in the United States live with at least one undocumented parent. Cardoso and colleagues (2018) conducted semi-structured interviews with undocumented adults in Texas between 2012 and 2013 to better understand how undocumented status shapes parenting behaviors. Several common experiences were identified in these interviews. First, parents reported that everyday tasks, [...]

Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Reasons for Using E-Cigarettes

Recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics indicate that the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is a serious threat to efforts to reduce nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults. Kong and colleagues (2015) conducted a serious of focus groups with students at the middle school, high school, and college level to better understand [...]

A Developmental Neuroscience Approach to Sex Education for Adolescents

High rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among American teens have cast doubt on the effectiveness of current models of sex education in the schools. Suleiman and Brindis (2014) suggested that these models view sexual behavior as the result of a rational decision making process and ignore emotional and motivational factors. They [...]

The Effects of the Recession on Child Development

The “Great Recession” of 2007-2009 brought decreases in real household income as well as sharp increases in unemployment, home foreclosures, and rates of food insecurity. Kalil (2013) reviewed empirical studies of the effects of the economic downturn on children’s development. Among key findings were: (1) Young people whose parents experienced job loss were more likely [...]

How Effective are Mentoring Programs for Youth?

According to DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverthorn, and Valentine (2011) there has been a dramatic increase in the number of, and funding for, mentoring programs over the past decade. In order to investigate the effectiveness of these programs, these authors conducted a meta-analysis of 73 studies evaluating mentoring initiatives for children and adolescents. They found that [...]

Your Brain on Violent Video Games

As video games become increasingly violent and realistic, researchers have sought to determine whether – and how—they may affect aggressive behavior. Engelhardt and colleagues tested desensitization theory, which states that repeated exposure to violent images results in a decrease, or habituation, of emotional, cognitive, and physiological responses to violence. The authors measured previous video game [...]

The Effect of Jury Deliberation on Juvenile Offender Stereotypes

Although jurors are instructed to focus on the evidence presented and to remain open-minded, pre-existing stereotypes may influence jurors’ attention, encoding and recall of evidence, and ultimately their judgments about the case. Haegerich and colleagues (2012) investigated the impact of pre-existing and experimentally activated juvenile offender stereotypes on the decisions of mock jurors who heard [...]

Violence Exposure and Sexual Risk

African American adolescents are at increased risk for violence exposure, which includes being the victim of violence as well as witnessing violence. Wilson and colleagues (2012) observed that few studies have addressed the impact of violence exposure on African American girls. They were particularly interested in the relationship between violence exposure and sexual health, since [...]

Adolescents Living the 24/7 Lifestyle

Calamaro, Mason, and Ratcliffe (2009) investigated the association between technology use, caffeine intake, and sleep behaviors in adolescents. The authors noted that sleep duration has decreased markedly for adolescents over the past 40 years and that insufficient sleep in that age group has been linked to a variety of psychological and physical health problems, ranging [...]