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 Posted December 4, 2003 

[Items relating to the situation of contemporary young people]

BULLYING: A MARKER FOR MORE VIOLENT BEHAVIOR
(July 2003) A cross-sectional study by TR Nansel et al, “Relationships between bullying and violence among US youth” that was published in Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, 2003, April; 157:348-53, was reviewed in Journal Watch Psychiatry, July 2003, Volume 9 Number 7 by Robert A. Dershewitz, MD, MSc. The study concludes, and Dershewitz concurs, “bullying should not be considered a normal part of growing up, but rather a risk factor for more violent behavior. Programs to reduce youth violence must address bullying.”

ADOLESCENT HELP-SEEKING BEHAVIORS
(November 2003) “Research conducted by Dubow and colleagues (1990)… found that the reasons adolescents most frequently endorsed for failing to seek help included: (a) the adolescent felt that he or she could handle the problem on his or her own, (b) the adolescent felt that no person or helping service could help, (c) the adolescent was concerned that family or friends might find out, and (d) the adolescent felt that his or her problem was too personal to tell anyone.” These statements, by Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Ph.D., appeared in The Prevention Researcher, Volume 10, Number 4, November 2003, www.TPRonline.org, pg 5. Madelyn S. Gould, Ph.D., et al, in a different article in the same periodical, on pg. 15, reports: “teenagers were as likely to access the Internet for help as they were to see a school counselor or mental health professional…it behooves mental health professional organizations…to direct attention toward improving this resource. Web sites and monitored chat rooms that are both appealing to teenagers and have verified information need to be developed.”

HELPFUL WEBSITES
(November 2003) Rob Fisher, Media Relations Manager, rob.fisher@prnewswire.com, PR Newswire, 408-365-8793, writes: “PR Newswire distributes releases from more than 40,000 members worldwide, at www.prnewswire.com/media.” One listing, www.Scholastic.com, offers the latest in national education trends for K-12 School Administrators. The Prevention Researcher, www.TPRonline.org also lists: www.girlsinc.org, with information ranging from physical and emotional health to inspiring stories of other youth; www.reachout.asn.au, created with help of a youth advisory board, providing information on family issues, eating disorders, work, grief, and pregnancy; www.teenshealth.org, provides information to improve the health and spirit of children; www.education.indiana.edu/cas/adol/adol.html, created by the Indiana University Center for Adolescent and Family Studies, is a clearinghouse of links to Web sites related to adolescent issues ranging from mental health to conflict and violence, primarily for parents, educators, researchers and health practitioners; www.nimh.nih.gov, provides information for the general public, practitioners and researchers; and www.schoolpsychology.net, is a database of links for psychologists, parents and educators, for a variety of topics including eating disorders, substance abuse, suicide, and violence.

HAZING AMONG TEENAGE ATHLETES: IT’S NOT JUST FUN AND GAMES
(November 2003) “Hazing, which has most often been linked with college fraternities and sororities, is apparently practiced by younger adolescents, including those in organized sports…hazing behaviors described in this study range from benign to dangerous. Young adolescents may be developmentally unable to predict the consequences and risks associated with these behaviors….Hazing should be added to the list of behaviors that pediatricians screen for in adolescent encounters, and this practice should not be regarded as mere youthful exuberance.” These comments, by Susan Jay, MD for Journal Watch Psychiatry Volume 9 Number 11, appeared in her review of the survey, “Hazing of suburban middle school and high school athletes” by JD Gershel et al, published in Journal of Adolescent Health, 2003, May; 32:333-5.

HIPAA REGULATIONS
(November 6, 2003) Attorney Arthur E. Beck, at a presentation at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, concluded that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) Regulations probably will not apply to most Independent Educational Consultants most of the time. HIPAA applies when bills are electronically transferred to a payer source, and/or when the referring source has a business relationship with the school or service provider, but does not apply when the business relationship is with the parent. It appears that if a referral source is paid by the school or program, rather than the parent, the referral source would be required to conform to HIPAA Regulations. In additional HIPAA news, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reported in September that the office receives about 75 complaints a week of medical-privacy breaches. Also, Herb Denenberg, professor at the Wharton School and a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner warns of HIPAA Privacy-rule loopholes, in that HIPAA does not cover worker's compensation, disability insurers, and health-care information websites.

GOVERNMENT MAPPING OUT A STRATEGY TO FIGHT AUTISM
(November 19, 2003) Jane Gross reports for the New York Times: “propelled by the skyrocketing number of diagnoses of the perplexing brain disorder autism in children, federal officials have for the first time mapped out a long-term, interagency plan to deal with the problem...Few of the nearly 150,000 autistic children and young adults now getting special education services under federal law will benefit significantly, experts say, since the most effective treatment involves early, intensive behavior therapy, which is poorly understood and in limited supply.” Dr. Fred R. Volkmar of the Child Study Center at Yale University, a leading autism researcher, now sees children as young as 12 months, gets referrals from day-care centers and has a two-year waiting list. Robert Pasternack, assistant secretary for special education… acknowledged a "critical shortage of special education teachers" and said the government was eager to "help states recruit and train them.” www.nytimes.com/2003/11/19/health/19AUTI.html?pagewanted=2&th

HELPING ADDICTED YOUTH FIND RECOVERY NOW ON DVD AND VHS
(November 21, 2003) Coalitions Online, CADCA@lb.bcentral.com, reports: “SAMHSA's recent broadcast, Helping Addicted Youth Find Recovery, is now available on DVD and video. The video features a panel of experts that explore complex issues and highlight effective and innovative treatment strategies. Several students also tell their stories of overcoming substance abuse dependence to lead healthy lives today.”

DUNDEE RANCH ACADEMY OWNER, NARVIN LICHFIELD PLANS TO RESTRUCTURE AND REOPEN
(November 28, 2003) In the print edition of the Tico Times, www.ticotimes.net, an article by reporter, Tim Rogers, trogers@ticotimes.net, entitled, “Dundee Case Still Worries U.S. Parents” reports: “Six months after the closure of Dundee Ranch Academy, tough-love program owner Narvin Lichfield of Utah once again is a free man. The restrictions on his freedom, imposed by a Costa Rican judge May 23 following Lichfield’s brief arrest on allegations of children’s rights abuse, expired last Sunday and prosecutor Marielos Alfaro said she doesn’t see a need to request a six-month extension of his prohibition on leaving the country. Lichfield, who is currently enrolled in Spanish classes as he plans to reopen his academy under a different name and a gentler, therapeutic model, insists he is not going to leave the country to avoid the on-going investigation.”

CDC: 180,000 – 280,000 IN USA UNAWARE OF THEIR AIDS INFECTION
(December 2, 2003) In the Knight Ridder news story carried in the December 2, 2003 Spokesman Review, entitled: “World is losing fight against HIV/AIDS,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention estimated that 850,000-950,000 live with HIV in the U.S., and 180,000–280,000 are unaware they’re infected with HIV. The CDC estimates 40,000 new HIV infections each year.

RESEARCH ON ECSTASY IS CLOUDED BY ERRORS
(December 2, 2003) Donald G. McNeil Jr. reports for the NY Times, at: www.nytimes.com/2003/12/02/science/02ECST.html?th, that the journal Science issued a startling retraction of a study published in 2002 that warned that "the amount of the drug Ecstasy that a typical user consumes in a single night might cause permanent brain damage. It turned out that the $1.3 million study, led by Dr. George A. Ricaurte of Johns Hopkins University, had not used Ecstasy at all…His 10 squirrel monkeys and baboons had instead been injected with overdoses of methamphetamine, and two of them had died. . It was not the first time Dr. Ricaurte's lab was accused of using flawed studies to suggest that recreational drugs are highly dangerous. In previous years he was accused of publicizing doubtful results without checking them, and was criticized for research that inaccurately contributed to a government campaign suggesting that Ecstasy made "holes in the brain.”

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