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.

    Parents Become Less Sensitive to Violence and Sex in Movies: Study

    Parents can become desensitized to violence and sex in movies after watching only a few scenes with disturbing content, according to a new study published in Pediatrics that was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. The study comes as scenes of sex and violence become more prevalent in movies aimed at youth. A 2013 study in Pediatrics from APPC researchers showed that the amount of violence in PG-13 movies tripled in the most popular movies since 1985.
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    Experimentation vs. Progression in Adolescent Drug Use

    Abstract: Based on an emerging neuroscience model of addiction, this study examines how an imbalance between two neurobehavioral systems (reward motivation and executive control) can distinguish between early adolescent progressive drug use and mere experimentation with drugs. Data from four annual assessments of a community cohort (N = 382) of 11- to 13-year-olds were analyzed
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    Violence in Popular U.S. Prime Time TV Dramas and the Cultivation of Fear: A Time Series Analysis

    Gerbner and Gross’s cultivation theory predicts that prolonged exposure to TV violence creates fear of crime, symptomatic of a mean world syndrome. We tested the theory’s prediction in a time series model with annual changes in violence portrayal on popular US TV shows from 1972 to 2010 as a predictor of changes in public perceptions of local crime rates and fear of crime.
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    Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents

    Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents brings together many of the field’s most important scholars and media professionals to present cutting-edge theory and empirical research on both the benefits and risks to youth development. It examines the role that media play in the every-day lives of young people and their families, and considers both traditional media such as television and movies as well as “new” digital media, such as video games, cell phones, and the Internet.
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      Teen drivers need better training to counter inexperience and inattention

      Better driver training and closer parental supervision of young drivers could reduce some of the major risks that lead to teen driver crashes, according to a review of recent studies published online this month in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “A lot of crashes involving adolescent drivers are due to inexperience, as opposed to recklessness or the inability to pay attention to the road,” said the lead author, Daniel Romer.
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