Media and Technology

All Articles in the Category ‘Media and Technology’

Facebook not so cool anymore, teens say, but they’ll still use it

Facebook homepage

Teens have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, according to the latest “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy” report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. “They dislike the increasing number of adults on the site, get annoyed when their Facebook friends share inane details, and are drained by the ‘drama’ that they described as happening frequently on the site,” the report’s authors said.

But these same teens still feel a need to stay on Facebook so that they don’t miss out on anything – a conclusion that is not a surprise to Megan Moreno, MD, who leads the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Moreno and her team’s recently-published Facebook influence study details why young people will still stick with the social networking site, despite it losing a bit of its appeal.

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Parent cultural attitudes, beliefs associated with child’s media viewing habits

Child watching television

Differences in parental beliefs and attitudes regarding the effects of media on early childhood development may help explain the increasing racial/ethnic disparities in child media viewing/habits, according to a new study by Wanjiku Njoroge, MD, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

The findings support national research that preschool-aged children spend considerable time with media, a situation that brings both risks and benefits for cognitive and behavioral outcomes depending on what is watched and how it is watched. A 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation media study, for example, highlighted that ethnically/racially diverse children—specifically African American, Hispanic and Asian children—watch more television than non-Hispanic white children. Read full post »

College students just as worried about young kids’ Facebook use as parents

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Facebook homepage

As a researcher who is barely out of college myself, it’s interesting when I run focus groups with college students to ask them their opinions about Internet use, because I often share the same views. So when we asked college students what they think about younger generations using social media, their answers weren’t all that surprising to me. Basically, like many parents and pediatricians, college students are worried about the effects of early social media use.

As we all know, the use of social media is widespread and increasing in use among all age groups. While social media provides teenagers and young adults many benefits, including improving communication skills, being able to network with friends and family and staying informed about local and world news, it can also have risks, such as exposure to content that might not be age appropriate, cyberbullying, and even sexting (sending sexually explicit texts or pictures).

In order to gain a unique perspective on this issue, we asked college students to share their thoughts about the potential effects that social media may have on younger adolescents. We chose this population because college students are heavy users of social media and because the current generation of college students did not begin using social media until they were slightly older. We thought this would give them an interesting outlook on how it affects the generation below them.

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College students more likely to drink with peers who appear responsible on Facebook

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Study group

There are two predictions that are a near sure bet when discussing the daily lives of college students. First, Facebook is an omnipresent social tool for this age group. Nearly all students use it, and it has become an important part of how they form friendships.

Second, as you’ve read in other SMAHRT posts this week, alcohol is a big part of collegiate life, to the extent that binge drinking and other dangerous drinking behaviors are often seen as normal. Taking these two factors into account, a related phenomenon is that students often post about alcohol on Facebook.

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Incoming college students who don’t plan to drink likely to remain low-risk drinkers

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Hand rejects a glass of beer

Drinking is a common activity among college students, and excessive alcohol consumption has negative consequences such as unintentional injuries and assault. College freshmen are an interesting group to observe from a research angle, as heavy drinking increases significantly from pre-college to the first semester of college.

Why do college freshmen start to drink?

Most freshmen are on their own for the first time, with increased freedom and independence. They want to fit in with new friends who drink, or they may turn to alcohol to cope with stressful situations in a new environment. Students who were heavy drinkers in high school have been found to be especially at risk in college for heavy drinking and experiencing related negative consequences.

What happens to those students who enter college planning to refrain from drinking? Do they stay away from alcohol as they had planned, or do they give in to peer pressure and change their minds about drinking? If so, do they drink heavily or just socially?

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Problematic Internet use among teens, and how to measure it

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Internet connection The concept of “problematic Internet use” has been kicked around for the last 10 years or so. Are younger people using the Internet too much? Are certain online behaviors harmful for teens and young adults? My research focuses on adolescent health and Internet use, and how we can help teens who might be struggling.

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What Facebook tells us about college students and alcohol dependence

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Alcohol bottles, distressed young adult

As a recent undergraduate at one of the top party schools in the United States – Princeton Review’s words, not mine – I have had the opportunity of witnessing worrisome alcohol use at high levels. Freshman year, I can’t count the number of times I came across a person passed out in the bathroom or the number of times I heard the phrase “I’m not drunk yet, let’s take 2,3,4,5 shots. I want to get wasted.”

In college, you definitely learn how to deal with daunting situations like this right away. Alcohol can cause people to do some scary and uncharacteristic things. I think this is what drew me to studying college students with alcohol dependence issues. Additionally, dependence has been correlated with a plethora of life problems, health problems, social problems, and emotional problems, all of which overlap to make a very interesting and worthy topic to study.

It is unique that such a small portion of the population—less than four percent in the U.S., according to a 2006 study—falls into the dependent category. Why? What is it about them? And could Facebook help us reach them before they develop a problem?

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Cigarettes are gateway to marijuana, study suggests

A team of our (smart) researchers from SMAHRT descended on Washington, D.C. last weekend for the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. SMAHRT = Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team, which is based at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This week, we’ll feature some of their new research. Megan Moreno, MD, leads the group and is a senior author on all of the research studies. Some of the researchers are based at other academic institutions, demonstrating the collaborative spirit of SMAHRT.

Cigarette

Teen smokers who rationalize the use of cigarettes by saying, “At least I’m not doing drugs,” may not always be able to use that line. New research presented Sunday, May 5, supports the theory that cigarettes are a gateway drug to marijuana.

“Contrary to what we would expect, we also found that students who smoked both tobacco and marijuana were more likely to smoke more tobacco than those who smoked only tobacco,” said study author Megan Moreno, MD, investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.

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