Stories tagged teens

Jul
23
2007

We post this photo with great reluctance: We know that teenagers have no will of their own, and a single media image of smoking, or sex, or violence, or ANYTHING will instantly turn them into anti-social hooligans.  Yeah, right. Photo by ronsho at flickr.com
We post this photo with great reluctance: We know that teenagers have no will of their own, and a single media image of smoking, or sex, or violence, or ANYTHING will instantly turn them into anti-social hooligans. Yeah, right. Photo by ronsho at flickr.com

Hot on the heels of our scathing expose that teenage girls talk too much, comes another shocking report from the No Duh! Department: teenagers don’t listen.

A study at the University of Georgia shows that middle school students who have seen anti-smoking ads are actually more likely to smoke. In fact, the more ads they see, the greater the chance they will light up.

Hye-Jin Paek, an assistant professor at the University, speculates the ads backfire because of the natural instinct for kids and teens to do the opposite of what they are told. (See: Beans Up Your Nose, Don’t Put.)

Paek suggests

[A]ds should focus on convincing teens their friends are heeding the anti-smoking warning because peer pressure has the most direct effect…. "It doesn't really matter what their peers are actually doing."

More damn adult lies.

Meanwhile, here’s a review of an anti-drug campaign which the writer suspects is more effective than the typical “horror story” approach.

Jul
19
2007

All you do to me is talk talk: A new study finds that too much sharing can actually be a bad thing. Photo by Steffe from flickr.com
All you do to me is talk talk: A new study finds that too much sharing can actually be a bad thing. Photo by Steffe from flickr.com

No surprise there. Every parent of a teen could tell you that. But now, thanks to a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, science has confirmed what we already knew.

The study found that girls who talk to their friends extensively about their problems are unlikely to resolve those problems, but instead are more likely to become anxious and depressed.

This reminds me of a study I read about years ago (sorry, no link) about the different communication styles used by men and women. That long-ago study found that when a man asks a question, he is generally seeking information. But often when a woman asks a question, she is seeking validation. (These are just broad trends – obviously, this does not hold true for all people or for all questions.) Women are more likely to use questions as a form of social bonding, and making sure everyone is in agreement.

Connecting these two studies, I would postulate that when the girls talk about their problems with friends, the friends confirm and validate each other's feelings, making the problems seem more real and more important.

Keeping your feelings bottled up inside is the route to mental health. Stoicism rules!

(I also have a theory as to why men never ask for directions, if anyone is interested.)