School Conditions Matter for Student Achievement, New Research Confirms
A new study on New York City schools could make school climate the next frontier in the ongoing quest to boost student learning. A study found that significant gains in key measures of a school’s climate, like safety and academic expectations, can be linked to the equivalent of an extra month and a half of math instruction and, in some cases, a 25% reduction in teacher turnover. (Chalkbeat, 3/24) 
Non-Hormonal Male Contraceptive Vasalgel has Proven Efficacy in Rabbits
Vasalgel is a high molecular weight polymer being developed by Parsemus Foundation as a non-hormonal, long-acting, potentially reversible male contraceptive. It is injected into the vas deferens and works by blocking sperm. The study revealed that rabbits had no sperm in their semen as early as 29 days post-injection and the contraceptive effect was durable throughout the 12 month study. (EurekAlert, 3/29)
The Tech Innovation That Might Make It Easier For Women Everywhere To Get Abortions
Although surgical abortions require clinic visits, roughly one quarter of abortions are done with medication and might be provided with telemedicine, using webcams and video chats to diagnose and treat these patients, providers argue in this recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine. (Huffington Post, 3/29)
Breakfast in School Classrooms Expands Participation, Not Waistlines
The number of NYC kids eating free breakfasts in public school classrooms is growing, but the obesity rates are not, a new study finds. 80% of students in 400 schools take part, compared to 25% when the program began. Despite critics’ concerns, there has been no increase in student obesity rates. The study also found that students’ attendance and school performance did not improve. (HealthDay News, 3/30)
U.S. Autism Rate Unchanged at 1 in 68 Kids
The autism rate among school-aged children in the United States has held steady in recent years, but it’s too early to determine whether rates are stabilizing, according to a CDC report. The autism rate was 1 in 68 children in 2012, the same as it was in 2010, according to the latest data. (HealthDay News, 3/31)
Teen Addicts Have Low Appreciation of Others
Emerging research discovers adolescents with severe alcohol and other drug problems have a very low regard for other individuals. Their lack of sensitivity exceeds normal adolescent ego-centric behavior and can compromise proven rehabilitation methods. Findings also showed that they are less likely to volunteer their time helping others, an activity that she has been shown to help adult alcoholics stay sober. (Psych Central, 4/1)
Child Mental Health Care Varies Widely in Primary Care Settings
For children aged 4 to 18 years, mental health diagnoses and psychotropic medication prescribing vary across practices in the United States, according to a recent review. The researchers found that 15% of 294,748 children received a mental health diagnosis and 14% were prescribed psychotropic medications. The most commonly diagnosed disorder was ADHD. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/1)
HIV-Positive Children and Adolescents: Added Benefit of Rilpivirine Not Proven
Under the trade name Edurant, rilpivirine as single agent has been approved already since 2011 for adults who are infected with HIV-1. Since 2015, HIV infected children and adolescents from the age of 12 years have also been allowed to be treated with rilpivirine but according to a one-arm study, such an added benefit of rilpivirine is not proven. (EurekAlert, 4/1)
Booze-Branded Merchandise May Spur Teen Drinking
Teens who own caps, shirts, and other merchandise displaying alcohol logos are more likely to drink, a new study finds. Australian researchers reviewed results from 13 studies looking at alcohol-branded merchandise and teen alcohol use. The research included more than 26,000 kids and teens, mostly from the United States. (HealthDay News, 4/1)
Kids’ Grades Can Suffer When Mom Or Dad Is Depressed
When parents suffer depression, there can be a ripple effect on children. Kids may become anxious, sad, and may have behavior problems. Recently, a large study showed that grades may decline too when a parent is depressed. At age 16, children of mothers and fathers who had experienced depression scored about 4.5 and 4 percentage points lower in their school grades respectively. (NPR, 4/4)
Study Finds Surprising Reason Why More Black, Latino Children Aren’t Insured
Medicaid and CHIP were developed to give society’s most vulnerable kids a chance at health care. But there’s a catch: In many states, parents must sign their kids up for the programs to receive coverage. A new study found a distressing information gap among parents of uninsured Latino and African American kids. More than half didn’t realize that they were eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. (The Washington Post, 4/4)
Infection-Related Hospitalizations Decreasing Among US Children, Study Finds
Between the years 2000 and 2012, hospitalization rates related to infectious disease in children under 19 years old declined significantly, according to a recent study. From 2000 to 2012, researchers determined that the infectious disease rate dropped from 91 per 10,000 children to 75.8 per 10,000 children. (Becker’s Infection Control and Quality, 4/4)
Poverty to Blame for Most Youth Homelessness Worldwide
In most cases, poverty is the main reason children and teens worldwide end up homeless or living on the streets, according to a new review of past research. About 40% of youths reported poverty as the main reason they were homeless, according to the report. Family conflict and abuse were also among the most commonly reported reasons for living on the streets. (Reuters, 4/4)
Rare Syndrome Causing Intellectual Disability Identified
Researchers in Philadelphia identified a genetic mutation causing a rare, specific type of intellectual disability in children, according to a new study. In a DNA analysis, changes in TBC1-domain-containing-kinase, or TBCK, causes the developmental disability in children, suggesting a genetic treatment may be possible for it at some point. (UPI, 4/4)
Study Supports Single-Question Alcohol Screen for Adolescents
A single screening question about drinking frequency in the past year could help doctors identify adolescents at risk for alcohol problems, according to a new study. Screening for AUD based on the 3-day guideline demonstrated 91% and sensitivity 93% specificity. (Medical Xpress, 4/7)
Adolescents Like to Share High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Food Items in Social Media
A new study shows that adolescents like to present foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients in social media. Overall, these types of high-calorie and low-nutrient food items could be found in 68% of the images posted on Instagram. Previous studies have found that interactions around food in social media can influence adolescents’ consumption of candy and their willingness to try unfamiliar foods. (News Medical, 4/7)   




Smoking-Age Bills Aim To Keep Youngsters Away From Tobacco (And Vapors)
According to Sen. Ed Hernandez who wrote California’s age-21 legislation, about 90% of tobacco users start smoking before they turn 21, and 80% of lifetime users start before the age of 18. The national Institute of Medicine estimated there would be a 12% drop in teen and young adult cigarette smoking if all states raised the minimum age to 21. (California Healthline, 4/1)
Medi-Cal Expands To Immigrant Children
In a few months, California will begin providing full Medi-Cal coverage to all low-income children, regardless of their immigration status. Anywhere from 170,000 to 250,000 children who live in California and are in the country illegally will qualify. State officials expect coverage to start May 16. (Kaiser Health News, 4/4)
Florida Agrees to Improve Poor Children’s Access to Health Care, Settling Suit
Florida health officials agreed to improve access to health care for poor children, ending a long-running class-action lawsuit that had accused the state of shortchanging doctors and leaving low-income families to trek long distances to visit specialists. The state reimbursed doctors so little for Medicaid services that many doctors refused to treat the patients, causing hundreds of thousands of children to never receive checkups. (The New York Times, 4/5) 
U.S. States Should Ban Solitary Confinement for Kids, Doctors Say
Too many incarcerated U.S. children serve time in solitary confinement even though the U.N. and many physician groups believe this form of punishment amounts to torture and should be banned. President Obama recently banned solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in the federal prison system, but most incarcerated kids are housed in state and local facilities that aren’t covered by this ban. (Reuters, 4/5)
Louisiana House Agrees to 72-Hour Wait Period for Abortion
The Louisiana House voted Wednesday to triple the wait time for women seeking an abortion to 72 hours, an increase that would match Louisiana to five other states with the longest waiting periods in the country. The change to Louisiana’s abortion restrictions is supported by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and sailed through the House with an 89-5 vote. It moves next to the Senate for consideration. (The New York Times, 4/6)




Protesters Want Poland to Abandon a Plan to Outlaw Abortion Completely
Thousands of people took to the streets in Poland Sunday to show their opposition to the conservative ruling party’s plan to completely outlaw abortion. Abortion is already proscribed in the Catholic-majority country in all cases except when a pregnancy is the result of a crime like rape or incest, if the mother’s health is at risk, or when the fetus seriously malformed. (Time, 4/4)
Hero Condoms Uses Fake Tinder Profiles Featuring STIs to Spread Safe Sex Awareness
An Australian ethical condom company has tapped into online dating to swipe away STIs.Hero Condoms have wrapped up a week-long campaign in which it set up fake Tinder profiles in an attempt to promote safe sex and their brand among young adults. Ten profiles were created on Tinder and thrown into the mix of singles in the Sydney area. Each name was a cheeky play-on-words to represent different STIs. (ABC Net, 4/6)
NHS Eating Disorder Treatment Wait Discrepancies Revealed
According to new data, waiting times for outpatient treatment have risen by 120% in some areas over the past 4 years, with patients routinely waiting more than 100 days for a specialist. The DOH is investing £150 million to develop community services in every area of the country for children and young people, and have set a target for routine care to be available within 4 weeks and urgent care within one week by 2020. (BBC News, 4/7)




Parents Need to Talk to Their Daughters About the Joys of Sex, Not Just the Dangers
In Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, the author talked to numerous experts and interviewed more than 70 girls to get the inside scoop on teen girls’ sexual lives and how they feel about them. She found a perplexingly ambivalent culture in which girls seem to be empowered in every sphere except the sexual one. (The Washington Post, 3/29)

Sales Decline for Cigarettes, Increase for Smokeless Tobacco
The good news is the number of cigarettes sold in the U.S. declined but the spending on advertising and promotion by the major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. mirrored the boom in the smokeless tobacco industry during this time, increasing from $435.9 million in 2012 to $503.2 million in 2013, according to a report from the FTC. (AAFP, 3/30)




What it’s Like to be a Male Survivor of Sexual Assault
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network has released a new video campaign. In the videos, sexual assault survivors share their stories and show that sexual violence does not discriminate by sex or age. (CNN, 3/29)
Free Streaming of the “The Raising of America” Childhood Documentary Series
The Raising of America Series is a five-part documentary series that explores the question: Why are so many children in America faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we, as a nation, do better? The series investigates these questions through a variety of lenses. (Raising of America, 4/5)

National Youth Violence Prevention Week
Visit the Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE) website to learn more about youth violence prevention. STRYVE is a national initiative led by the CDC to prevent youth violence before it starts among young people ages 10 to 24. The goal is to increase awareness about violence prevention, promote prevention techniques and provide guidance to communities. (CDC, 4/6)




ASHA Webinar: Teaching Happiness in our Classrooms
Join the American School Health Association for a webinar on Tuesday, April 19, at 3:00pm EST that will provide tools and resources to encourage school health professionals and teachers to incorporate happiness/positive psychology principles into their classrooms and personal lives. (ASHA, 4/6)

Putting Youth Relationship Education on the Child Welfare Agenda: Findings from Research and Evaluation
Join the Dibble Institute on Wednesday, May 11 at 4:00pm EST for a webinar that will provide participants with a better understanding of the importance of healthy relationships for youth in foster care. This webinar also will summarize current research and evaluation evidence on relationship education for youth in foster care. (The Dibble Institute, 4/6)




CDC Funding Announcement for Teen Dating and Youth Violence Prevention
The purpose of this funding announcement is to support local health departments with high-levels of capacity and readiness to prevent teen dating violence and youth violence to expand existing prevention efforts to address shared risk and protective factors. The due date to apply is June 6, 2016. (CDC, 4/4) 

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