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      Serious physical fighting and gambling-related attitudes and behaviors in adolescents

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          Background and aims: Physical fighting and gambling are common risk behaviors among adolescents. Prior studies have found associations among these behaviors in adolescents but have not examined systematically the health and gambling correlates of problem-gambling severity amongst youth stratified by fight involvement. Methods: Survey data were used from 2,276 Connecticut high school adolescents regarding their physical fight involvement, gambling behaviors and perceptions, and health and functioning. Gambling perceptions and correlates of problem-gambling severity were examined in fighting and non-fighting adolescents. Results: Gambling perceptions were more permissive and at-risk/problem gambling was more frequent amongst adolescents reporting serious fights versus those denying serious fights. A stronger relationship between problem-gambling severity and regular smoking was observed for adolescents involved in fights. Discussion and conclusions: The more permissive gambling attitudes and heavier gambling associated with serious fights in high school students suggest that youth who engage in physical fights warrant enhanced prevention efforts related to gambling. The stronger relationship between tobacco smoking and problem-gambling severity amongst youth engaging in serious fights suggest that fighting youth who smoke might warrant particular screening for gambling problems and subsequent interventions.

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          Youth risk behavior surveillance - United States, 2011.

          Priority health-risk behaviors, which are behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth and adults, often are established during childhood and adolescence, extend into adulthood, and are interrelated and preventable. September 2010-December 2011. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. In addition, YRBSS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma. YRBSS includes a national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted by CDC and state and large urban school district school-based YRBSs conducted by state and local education and health agencies. This report summarizes results from the 2011 national survey, 43 state surveys, and 21 large urban school district surveys conducted among students in grades 9-12. Results from the 2011 national YRBS indicated that many high school students are engaged in priority health-risk behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among persons aged 10-24 years in the United States. During the 30 days before the survey, 32.8% of high school students nationwide had texted or e-mailed while driving, 38.7% had drunk alcohol, and 23.1% had used marijuana. During the 12 months before the survey, 32.8% of students had been in a physical fight, 20.1% had ever been bullied on school property, and 7.8% had attempted suicide. Many high school students nationwide are engaged in sexual risk behaviors associated with unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV infection. Nearly half (47.4%) of students had ever had sexual intercourse, 33.7% had had sexual intercourse during the 3 months before the survey (i.e., currently sexually active), and 15.3% had had sexual intercourse with four or more people during their life. Among currently sexually active students, 60.2% had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Results from the 2011 national YRBS also indicate many high school students are engaged in behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among adults aged ≥ 25 years in the United States. During the 30 days before the survey, 18.1% of high school students had smoked cigarettes and 7.7% had used smokeless tobacco. During the 7 days before the survey, 4.8% of high school students had not eaten fruit or drunk 100% fruit juices and 5.7% had not eaten vegetables. Nearly one-third (31.1%) had played video or computer games for 3 or more hours on an average school day. Since 1991, the prevalence of many priority health-risk behaviors among high school students nationwide has decreased. However, many high school students continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Variations were observed in many health-risk behaviors by sex, race/ethnicity, and grade. The prevalence of some health-risk behaviors varied substantially among states and large urban school districts. YRBS data are used to measure progress toward achieving 20 national health objectives for Healthy People 2020 and one of the 26 leading health indicators; to assess trends in priority health-risk behaviors among high school students; and to evaluate the impact of broad school and community interventions at the national, state, and local levels. More effective school health programs and other policy and programmatic interventions are needed to reduce risk and improve health outcomes among youth.
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            Video-gaming among high school students: health correlates, gender differences, and problematic gaming.

            Video game playing may negatively impact youth. However, the existing literature on gaming is inconsistent and often has focused on aggression rather than the health correlates of gaming and the prevalence and correlates of problematic gaming. We anonymously surveyed 4028 adolescents about gaming and reported problems with gaming and other health behaviors. A total of 51.2% of the sample reported gaming (76.3% of boys and 29.2% of girls). There were no negative health correlates of gaming in boys and lower odds of smoking regularly; however, girls who reported gaming were less likely to report depression and more likely to report getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school. Among gamers, 4.9% reported problematic gaming, defined as reporting trying to cut back, experiencing an irresistible urge to play, and experiencing a growing tension that could only be relieved by playing. Boys were more likely to report these problems (5.8%) than girls (3.0%). Correlates of problematic gaming included regular cigarette smoking, drug use, depression, and serious fights. Results suggest that gaming is largely normative in boys and not associated with many health factors. In girls, however, gaming seems to be associated with more externalizing behaviors and fewer internalizing symptoms. The prevalence of problematic gaming is low but not insignificant, and problematic gaming may be contained within a larger spectrum of externalizing behaviors. More research is needed to define safe levels of gaming, refine the definition of problematic gaming, and evaluate effective prevention and intervention strategies.
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              Zinc supplementation reduces the incidence of acute lower respiratory infections in infants and preschool children: a double-blind, controlled trial.

              Increased acute lower respiratory infection incidence, severity, and mortality are associated with malnutrition, and reduced immunological competence may be a mechanism for this association. Because zinc deficiency results in impaired immunocompetence and zinc supplementation improves immune status, we hypothesized that zinc deficiency is associated with increased incidence and severity of acute lower respiratory infection. We evaluated the effect of daily supplementation with 10 mg of elemental zinc on the incidence and prevalence of acute lower respiratory infection in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial in 609 children (zinc, n = 298; control, n = 311) 6 to 35 months of age. Supplementation and morbidity surveillance were done for 6 months. After 120 days of supplementation, the percentage of children with plasma zinc concentrations <60 microg/dL decreased from 35.6% to 11.6% in the zinc group, whereas in the control group it increased from 36.8% to 43.6%. Zinc-supplemented children had 0.19 acute lower respiratory infection episodes/child/year compared with 0.35 episodes/child/year in the control children. After correction for correlation of data using generalized estimating equation regression methods, there was a reduction of 45% (95% confidence interval, 10% to 67%) in the incidence of acute lower respiratory infections in zinc-supplemented children. A dietary zinc supplement resulted in a significant reduction in respiratory morbidity in preschool children. These findings suggest that interventions to improve zinc intake will improve the health and survival of children in developing countries.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                September 2013
                14 June 2013
                : 2
                : 3
                : 167-178
                1Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
                2School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
                3National Center for PTSD, Evaluation Division, VA CT Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA
                4Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, CT, USA
                5The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Clinton, CT, USA
                6Connecticut Problem Gambling Services, Middletown, CT, USA
                7Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
                Author notes
                *Corresponding Author: Marc N. Potenza, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Phone: +1-203-974-7356; Fax: +1-203-974-7366; marc.potenza@
                © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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