Adolescent Health and Risk Communication

The Adolescent Health and Risk Communication Institute was established as part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center in January 2002 with a grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Originally called the Adolescent Risk Communication Institute, the program’s name was changed in 2015 to denote the inclusion of health as well as risk variables. The Institute’s mission is to promote healthy youth development by educating the public, scholarly community and policy-makers about the latest scientific advances in reducing risks to adolescent health. It does so by convening conferences of experts, conducting national surveys and performing externally funded research. The findings of these projects are communicated to both scholars and the public through books, scientific reports and on the Internet.

Risky movies, risky behaviors, and ethnic identity among Black adolescents

The present study uses survey data from an online sample of 1000 Black adolescents and content analysis ratings on top-grossing 2014 films and 2013/2014 Black-oriented films. The type of movie (i.e., mainstream or Black-oriented) through which Black adolescents are exposed to risky health portrayals is important for understanding its relationship to their behavior, and variations by ethnic identity were limited to sex content.

Digital Media and Risks for Adolescent Substance Abuse and Problematic Gambling

Digital media provide increased opportunities for both marketing and social transmission of risky products and behavior. We briefly review what is known about adolescent exposure to favorable presentations of addictive substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, as well as behaviors such as gambling, on social and other online media. Our understanding of these influences and whether they require greater regulation is still developing, and recommendations for future research to address these gaps in our understanding are described.

Executive Function Capacities, Negative Driving Behavior and Crashes in Young Drivers

Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of injury and death in adolescents, with teen drivers three times more likely to be in a fatal crash when compared to adults. One potential contributing risk factor is the ongoing development of executive functioning with maturation of the frontal lobe through adolescence and into early adulthood. This review points to an urgent need for systematic research to inform development of more effective training and interventions.