This Bullying Social Experiment Is Incredibly Eye-Opening (VIDEO)

No one is immune from bullying. Whether you are the oppressor, the victim or the witness, you are part of a cycle that needs to end.

A new video shows just how much power a bystander has. “By watching an act of bullying with the thought of, ‘I was going to step in if it kept going,’ you may be too late,” says a description for video, created by FouseyTUBE.

This video highlights that passive bystanders are as much to blame as the actual bully because they have the capacity to do something. This doesn’t necessarily mean directly intervening, the video points out. It could mean getting a more able-bodied person to step in, filming or calling for help.

At the end of the video, a group of people ignore the violence — perhaps because of a diffusion of responsibility, a phenomenon that psychologists say happens when a task is placed before a group of people, but each assume the other will take action. When everyone has this same thought, however, no one does anything.

Full story of the bullying experiment at the Huffington Post

Obama Announces $100M in Education Grants

President Barack Obama has announced $100 million in grants to help better prepare high school students to compete in the global economy.

The White House says the Youth CareerConnect program will help schools train students for in-demand industries, including science, technology, engineering and math.

The government will award up to 40 grants to allow high schools to team up with higher education institutions and employers. The grants will be awarded early next year.

Money for the awards will come from the Labor Department. Obama announced the program during remarks Tuesday at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting.

Full story of new education grants at ABC News

Mental Health in High School: Teach Students Link between Thinking Patterns, Emotions & Behavior

Adding a mental health component to school-based health education programs could enhance health behaviors, reduce depression and improve grades.

Teaching Students Links in Their Mental HealthResearchers from The Ohio State University College of Nursing found that a program called COPE: (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition) had a beneficial outcome for several health and behavioral factors.

The high school health classes used an intervention that emphasized building cognitive behavioral skills in addition to nutrition and physical activity.

Participants had a lower average body mass index, better social behaviors, higher health class grades and drank less alcohol than did teenagers in a class with standard health lessons.

Symptoms in teens who were severely depressed also dropped to normal levels at the end of the semester compared to the control group, whose symptoms remained elevated.

Full story of high school mental health at PsychCentral

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Pot use presents long-term danger to teens’ brains, study suggests

A new study suggests that smoking marijuana may not be as safe as many teen users seem to think it is.

Montreal researchers say they’ve found evidence that pot-smoking interferes with the healthy development of teens’ brains and puts them at risk for developing a dependence to the drug, as well as for mental health problems.

Whether marijuana is addictive or a “gateway drug” to harder drug use has long been up for debate. Researchers at the University of Montreal decided to review more than 120 studies that looked at how pot affects the biology of the brain and the chemical reactions that occur when the drug is used.

They say it’s difficult to confirm that pot use helps contribute to later drug behavior and mental health issues, such as schizophrenia. But they say there is good evidence that the brain changes seen in lab rats given marijuana also occur in humans.

Marijuana interacts with our brain through cannabinoid receptors, which are in brain areas that govern learning, motivation and reward, decision-making, and habit formation. Because the structure of the brain changes rapidly during adolescence, the researchers believe that pot use during this time can greatly influence the way those parts of the brain develop.

Full story of pot on teen’s brains at CTV News

Recession led teens to focus more on social problems, environment, psychologists report

Recession Led Teens to Focus on Social and EnvironmentDuring the Great Recession, high school students in the U.S. became more concerned about others and the environment, psychologists at UCLA and San Diego State University report in a new study.

The research, published July 11 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, focused on survey data collected on high school seniors during three time periods: the global recession (2008–10), just before the recession (2004–06) and the earliest period for which data were available (1976–78).

The study authors found that high school students’ concern for others declined significantly between 1976–78 and 2004–06, then rebounded by the period of the Great Recession. Compared with high school students who graduated in the years just before the recession, students who graduated during the recession were more concerned for others, more interested in social issues and more interested in saving energy and helping the environment.

For example, 63 percent of recession-era 12th graders said they made an effort to turn down the heat at home to save energy, compared with 55 percent in the pre-recession period; 30 percent of recession-era students said they thought often about social problems, compared with 26 percent of pre-recession students; and 36 percent said they would be willing to use a bicycle or mass transit to get to work, up from 28 percent just before the recession.

Full story of teens focus from recession at UCLA Newsroom

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Online Media and Teen Suicide

Online Media and Teen SuicideIn the wake of 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina’s suicide late last month, devastated parents and startled communities are seeking answers for how to best protect children and teens from the pressures of cyberbullying and digital harassment. Molina, a repeated victim of aggression from peers at school, also may have dealt with recurrent bullying online. A video of Molina fighting another student worked its way onto YouTube before her death, and Molina made reference to cyberbullying events in a suicide note left behind before she hanged herself in her home in Queens Village.

According to a preliminary report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38,285 deaths were attributed to intentional self-harm in 2011, which represented the 10th leading cause of death for the year. During the same year, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey found that 16% of high school students experienced some form of digital bullying within the past year.

Clearly, the pressures children and teens face online are more considerable now than in years passed. Victims are often unable to separate themselves from bullies who are just a click away online. Hateful text messages and the spreading of inappropriate content on social media, cell phones and video websites also represent serious concerns for parents, law enforcement agencies and educators. In addition to intentional aggression, today’s young people are also more aware when they are left out of social events due to real-time updates on Facebook.

Full story of teen suicide at Huffington Post

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Teen Dating Abuse

Teen Dating AbuseAbuse knows no rules, no boundaries, and does not take exception with the wealthy or the poor. Abuse doesn’t care if you are the clever one, the beauty, or the hunk down the street. Anyone can find themselves in a potentially abusive relationship. Once in one of these relationships it may place you in a trance and you may find yourself unable to extract yourself.

Domestic violence is also known as intimate partner violence. Violence is an interesting word. It can speak about physical harm, sexual harm, or an entire array of emotional repercussions. Often people think domestic violence has to do with marriage, hence the word domestic. If we use the description of  intimate partner violence we see it opens up how we think about abuse.

Can teenagers be involved in intimate partner violence? Absolutely. Teenagers date, they engage in sexual intimacy, and they spend lots of time together. Most of their time together is spent in isolation and away from the watchful eyes of others. This is clearly different than a married couple where parents, in-laws, and even neighbors or children have a viewing angle of the relationship. Teen relationships often exist in a very private setting.

Full story of teen dating abuse at Psych Central

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Anti-bullying site exposes identities of alleged Kate Gosselin cyber bullies to their employers

Kate Gosselin Cyber Bullies ExposedKate Gosselin may be a reality star who consciously subjected herself to criticism when she stepped into the spotlight several years ago, but according to one anti-bullying group, what she didn’t sign up for was constant hate-filled threatening cyber attacks.

On Monday, Radar Online reported that anti-bullying organization BullyVille.com would be publicly revealing the names of several people who have “crossed the line” in demeaning the former “Kate Plus Eight” star, and vowed to contact their employers.

“One employer, quite frankly, was stunned. [We] spoke to their director of HR and they even went directly onto Twitter to see the account in question for themselves,” site founder James McGibney told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “They had absolutely no idea this was occurring and assured us that the employee would be dealt with immediately. Based off of date/time stamps, it became apparent that the employee was conducting this harassment campaign at work.

Full story of anti-bully site at Fox News 

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Teens Who Sometimes, but Not Always Follow the Herd Fare Better

Teens Who Follow the HerdBeing popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but new research says it’s a decent indicator of how well teens will form friendships in the future. Many teens who struggle to make friends in high school continue to have problems creating lasting relationships in adulthood.

While it’s not always the case, new research from the University of Virginia says a teen’s social habits in high school can predict problems they may face as adults.

Studying Adolescent Friendships

Over the course of 10 years, researchers followed about 150 teens beginning at age 13 to learn how their interactions with peers during their teen years affected them as adults. Besides information from the teens themselves, researchers gathered data from their parents, friends, and romantic partners.

Full story of teens and the herds at HealthLine

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How Should I Handle My Teen Trying Marijuana?

Parents Handling Their Teen Marijuana useMy 15-year old son just told me that he tried marijuana a few weeks ago with his buddies. I don’t know if I should punish him or if doing so will only make him become dishonest. He said he didn’t like it, but I’m not sure I believe him.

Within the world of parenting teens, the issue you’ve raised is one of the most difficult to address. Despite all the talks we have about the dangers of drugs with our children when they are young, most of us are resigned to the fact that our kids will probably experiment with at least alcohol and pot once they arrive at adolescence. Here’s my advice:

• Assess your child’s risk. A youngster who is generally doing well in life — happy, well adjusted, engaged with the family — generally poses less risk for potential problems than one with a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression or in the midst of a family crisis. If your son falls in the high risk category, I would urge you to get outside professional help to nip any serious problems in the bud.

Full story of teens and marijuana at Huffington Post