A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for action to reduce children’s exposure to violent video games and media. The report also calls on the gaming and media industries to create shows and games for children that do not contain violence.
“Children are not only viewing violence, but with virtual reality games they are actively engaging in a realistic and immersive violent experience,” said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and lead author of the new AAP policy. “A media diet is as important as a food diet. Pediatricians and families need to have thoughtful conversations about a child’s media intake.” Read full post »
A new report on bullying describes its effects on childhood development and calls for better monitoring and understanding of cyberbullying.
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine describes the effects of bullying on childhood development and calls for a better understanding of cyberbullying. Dr. Frederick Rivara, Seattle Children’s Guild Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, chaired the report committee, and Dr. Megan Moreno, principal investigator of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, was a committee member. On the Pulse sat down with them to discuss the new findings and what families can do to protect their children from bullying.
What new information or findings does this report offer about bullying? What are the key takeaways?
Moreno: While bullying has been around for decades, there are many misconceptions about bullying. This report describes and synthesizes the current scientific evidence so that we can have a shared understanding of the current state of the science on bullying.
The first takeaway is that bullying experiences can lead to biological changes for the target of bullying, including stress response and brain activity alterations. Read full post »
A study by Dr. Megan Moreno found that 76% of the college students displayed alcohol references on Facebook, compared to just 34% who posted about alcohol on Twitter.
It’s spring break season, and that means many college students across the country will shift their focus from the classroom to having fun. Sometimes those spring break plans can include attending parties where alcohol is present, which can lead to concerning and excessive alcohol consumption. In fact, alcohol is the most commonly used substance by college students, and rates of problematic drinking are higher among college students than compared to their non-college peers.
A new study by Dr. Megan Moreno from Seattle Children’s Research Institute in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that college students are more than twice as likely to post about alcohol on Facebook than on Twitter.
The study provides researchers, school administrators and parents with valuable information on how to study and monitor social media for concerning alcohol consumption.
“This work illuminates new approaches for social media researchers and can help us understand where young people post different types of social media content,” said Moreno. Read full post »
“One of the biggest factors in a successful transplant is for the patient to follow a careful regimen afterwards so the new organ can do its job,” said Smith. “Patients often struggle to maintain their health after a transplant and need extensive support.”
To help with this problem, Dr. Smith’s transplant team is working with Dr. Jane Dickerson and Dr. Michael Astion from the Department of Laboratories on a pilot for a digital program from Health123 that focuses on the follow-up care for transplant patients at Seattle Children’s, which has one of the highest-ranked kidney transplant programs in the country. Read full post »
Dr. Dimitri Christakis says not all screen time is bad for children, but it’s important to be familiar with the content and manage the time kids spend on screen toys.
The American Academy of Pediatrics announced it is revising recommended screen time guidelines for kids. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, offers parents advice on how to manage screen time and what to consider when shopping for children this holiday season.
Q: What should parents make of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) decision to revise screen time guidelines? A: This is an acknowledgement that for kids growing up today, screen time is a constant part of their lives: At home, at school, when visiting friends, on the airplane, in cars. Digital products have permeated every part of kids’ days, so the revised guidelines ought to help families manage digital engagement.
The good news is that not all screen time is bad. But it’s important for parents to understand that kids are going through critical cognitive, social and emotional developmental phases, and screen time influences that development. Read full post »
Researchers found that drinking-related posts on Facebook increased among students studying abroad, especially for those who went to Europe.
Studying abroad is a formative educational opportunity for many young adults, myself included. My time in French Polynesia last summer as a junior in college changed my outlook on the world and made me a better student, friend and daughter. But I also know from experience that studying abroad can also be problematic for some who might take the newfound freedom a little too far.
Underage and excessive drinking was something I witnessed, and according to new data from Seattle Children’s Research Institute, where I volunteer with the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), underage and excessive drinking is often a key part of the study abroad experience, especially for those who went to Europe.
Researchers found that drinking-related posts on Facebook increased among students studying abroad, especially for those who went to Europe. Read full post »
The attendees of the summer scholars program visiting Pike Place Market.
Most teens aren’t keen on spending summer days in camp; they’ve outgrown sleeping bags and roasting s’mores. That’s why the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute is hosting this week a summer scholars program designed to help teens create their own research projects on teen health and media.
Led by Dr. Megan Moreno, principal investigator of the SMAHRT team, the summer scholars program will ask 25 teens ages 16-18, mostly from the Kent and Highline school districts, to help design and answer their own research questions such as:
How does Instagram affect adolescents’ well-being?
Can you be addicted to the Internet?
Does Facebook influence health behaviors for college students?
The students will also learn about different types of research that seek to improve child and adolescent health while experiencing different paths to a career in research or healthcare. Read full post »
Dr. Megan Moreno (top) and Dr. Annika Hofstetter (bottom)
Seattle Children’s has the honor of having over 100 doctors and researchers slated to present at the 2015 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Annual Meeting. This is the largest international meeting focused on children’s health research and clinical implications.
On the Pulse is highlighting two Seattle Children’s researchers who will be presenting their exciting new research: Dr. Megan Moreno and Dr. Annika Hofstetter.
Using media to understand mechanisms of behavior change
Dr. Megan Moreno of Seattle Children’s Center for Child Health and Behavioral Development is leading the way in adolescent social media (SM) use research. In her PAS presentation she will highlight key adolescent health issues pertaining to the SM landscape.
Over 90 percent of adolescents use SM, where they may display risky behaviors and describe their health attitudes, intentions and behaviors in ways that can be measured, Moreno said. Read full post »
A Seattle Children’s researcher is chasing an elusive goal: finding a way to know when adolescents and young adults who contemplate suicide might actually try to harm themselves.
“Suicide risk rises and falls but it’s really hard to tell when it’s rising, even when you’re regularly seeing a patient,” said Dr. Molly Adrian, a psychologist at Seattle Children’s and investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development.
Now, Adrian is pursuing an innovative solution – a computerized system that would search adolescents’ social media posts for signs of crisis and alert a medical specialist or family member when someone needs immediate help. Read full post »
A student examines DNA in the Science Adventure Lab.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Science Adventure Lab has been inspiring future scientists at schools across Washington state since 2009. When the 45-foot mobile lab rolls onto campus, students in grades 4 through 12 put on safety aprons and gloves and perform science experiments using real laboratory and medical equipment. While learning about nutrition, infectious diseases and the respiratory system, students begin to imagine career possibilities in health science.
“It’s amazing to watch their eyes light up when they first discover how fun and exciting science can be,” said Dr. Rebecca Howsmon, lead instructor on the Science Adventure Lab. “Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere all of the time, so we decided to make our curriculum available online.”
The Science Adventure Lab has launched a new website designed to provide innovative, educational experiences that ignite new passions for science and enhance science education in schools and at home. The new site features links to online games like Guts and Bolts – which allows users to progress through 12 interactive levels while learning about the interplay of human body systems – and Genome Cache, an app that allows users to explore the human genome through clues, fun facts and trivia questions. There are also animated videos created by the Science Adventure Lab team that introduce students to science concepts and vocabulary.
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