A popular theory in recent neuroscience proposes that slow development of the prefrontal cortex explains teenagers’ seemingly impulsive and risky behavior. An extensive literature review challenges that interpretation.
The journal Media and Communication has published a special issue on "Adolescents in the Digital Age: Effects on Health and Development," edited by APPC research director Dan Romer.
Adolescents who have difficulty with impulse control may be more prone to risky sexual behavior, with consequences such as sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. A study finds that individual differences in working memory can predict early sexual activity during adolescence.
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.
Nearly 90 percent of the top-grossing movies over a 25-year period show main characters acting violently, and in 77 percent of the movies those characters also engage in sex-, alcohol- or tobacco-related behavior, a new study has shown. The study published in Pediatrics, by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that more than half of the biggest PG-13 movies featured a main character acting violently and involved in either drinking, sexual behavior or smoking within a five-minute segment.