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Minnesota teen pregnancy at all time low, alternate concerns remain

The 2016 Minnesota Adolescent Sexual Health Report, recently released by the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Youth Development-Prevention Research Center, (HYD-PRC) shows Minnesota teen pregnancy rates have dropped significantly since 2014.

The report highlights current trends in pregnancy and birth rates as well as trends with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study also examined how how geographic location, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and childhood experiences impacted those rates.

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Adolescents who eat regular family meals less likely to engage in eating disorder behaviors finds University of Minnesota study

As a kid, rushing home from a friend’s house to make it to dinner on time may not have been your favorite thing to do. But, it turns out that family meal time may have been worth it after all.

According to a recent study, adolescents, especially girls, who eat more family meals are less likely to engage in harmful eating disorder behaviors. Furthermore, this protection against disordered eating behaviors was found to exist in the majority of families studied, even for adolescents whose families struggled with communication or other challenges.

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When teasing goes too far: The weight of teenage harassment

The teenage years are arguably some of the most difficult. If societal pressures and a teen’s own insecurities about coming-of-age weren’t hard enough, adolescence is often ushered in alongside new levels of teasing and harassment.

Weightism, Racism, Classism, and Sexism: Shared Forms of Harassment in Adolescents,” a new study based on Project EAT 2010 data, took a closer look at harassment among middle- and high-schoolers based on weight, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, as well as sexual harassment.

“Weight-based and race-based harassment were most prevalent, followed by sexual harassment and socioeconomic status based harassment,” said Michaela M. Bucchianeri, Ph.D., lead author for the study. “The results highlight a pattern of cross-harassment such that the prevalence of the various types of harassment reported differed greatly across sociodemographic groups.”

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The role of health care services in preventing teen pregnancy

Teen birth rates have hit a historic low nationwide. However, when comparing the United States’ teenage birth rates to that of other countries, it becomes clear that the U.S. has a long way to go.

According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, 34 out of every 1000 15 to 19 year old girls gave birth in the U.S. in 2010, while in other industrialized nations, that number ranged from only 5 to 17 per 1000.

Birth and pregnancy rates are especially high among black and Hispanic youth and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the 2012 National Vital Statistics Reports.

Renee Sieving, Ph.D., R.N., F.S.A.H.M., an associate professor with the Center for Adolescent Nursing in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and adjunct associate professor in the University’s Department of Pediatrics, is investigating ways to lower U.S. teen pregnancy rates further.

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In the news: U of M researchers find program improves teen contraceptive use

A recent examination of a two-year study at the University of Minnesota is giving health care professionals an encouraging look at the future of care for girls at high risk of teen pregnancy.

The results appeared this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

Renee Sieving, R.N., Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Nursing, and an interdisciplinary team of researchers created an intervention program called Prime Time to study the effects of immediate and immersive intervention in the lives of teenage girls identified for sexual health risk behaviors.

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U of M Expert: Pressure to be sexual may be waning

For teenagers, when it comes to sex it can often feel like “everyone is doing it.” But new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a different picture.

In a report released earlier this month, the CDC broke down the latest numbers on young people’s sexual activities. The study, which looked at 6,000 survey responses of young men and women ages 15 to 24, found the following:

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