Parents maybe breathing a sigh of relief, but is there an underlying cause of concern? "When you have fewer teens drinking alcohol, and having sex and driving, they are going to be safer," said Dr Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego University, and one of the lead authors of the study. "Fewer of them are going get hurt. But what might sound like progress, may actually be indicative of larger trends that may be harming the current generation of teenagers."
Analysing seven large surveys of 8 million American 13- to 19-year-olds between 1976 and 2016, the study suggested a broad-based cultural shift, and noted the trend may be linked to a marked increase in time spent online. The study tried to highlight the issues confronting what Dr. Twenge calls "iGen", the very "cautious" generation of adolescents born after 1995.
According to an evolutionary psychology theory that a person's "life strategy" slows down or speeds up depending on his or her surroundings, exposure to a "harsh and unpredictable" environment leads to faster development, while a more resource-rich and secure environment has the opposite effect, the study said.
Experts believe that eschewing face-to-face interaction with their peers, while delaying their entry to the workforce and looking less fondly on risky behaviour, modern adolescents may be taking longer to develop a sense of personal identity and resilience that will help them transition to adulthood. And that may have repercussions for mental health.
"A big national screening study found a 50 per cent increase in clinical-level depression between 2011 and 2015," said Dr. Twenge. "The suicide rate went up quite a bit over that same period."
While smart phones and social media have made the world more connected, but over usage has also lead to various health risks, particularly among the younger generation. Kids should be kids, and screen time shouldn't be the only mode of communicating to the outside world. Besides, a healthy diet can also play a crucial role in keeping teenagers fit, and shielding them for various health risks. Here are foods that teenage children must make a part of their daily diet -
1. Green Leafy Vegetables: As much as kids may hate greens, they are essential for their growth and development. Spinach, mustard greens, lettuce, salad greens, herbs, etc are loaded with vital vitamins and minerals.
2. Egg: It's not without reason that elders advise us to eat an egg for breakfast everyday. It is a great source of nutrients that can keep you protected.
3. Milk: A glass of milk everyday can work wonders in leading you towards good health. Being a great source of calcium, as well as other nutrients, it is an incredible health boosting drink.
4. Fruits: Fruits are often neglected in one's diet and instead we resort to junk food when those hunger pangs kick in. Seasonal fruits are the best sources of antioxidants, and make for a nutritious snack to munch on.
5. Nuts and Seeds: Rather than grabbing a packet of potato wafers, how about munching on a handful of nuts or seeds? Don't go by size, because these little treats are powerhouses of essential nutrients, and known to increase brain power.
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