Countless efforts to dissuade the youth from getting involved in drugs and other risky behaviors exist, but not everyone has succeeded in changing teens' minds. Is it because someone is not doing his or her part, or are the kids simply too restless for any program to make a difference?

According to a report published in the journal Addiction, failure to get through to today’s teens is due to the lack of consistent programs and projects. Conducting a lecture once or twice isn’t going to cut it, and if the school is doing its best to keep the students out of trouble, parents and guardians should be just as conscientious in dealing with these issues at home.

Researchers led by Caroline Jackson of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy in Edinburgh reviewed 13 studies for the report—most of which were focused on North American cities with high dropout rates. Out of the 13, three had a positive impact on their respective target audiences—African-Americans with low incomes or living in high-crime neighborhoods.

These three were also the same programs that combined school and home support. Those who went through said programs showed improved perspectives on heavy drinking, smoking, and safe sex. Meanwhile, other programs which only gave classes, didn’t have much of an impact.

Brian Flay, a researcher from Oregon State University in Corvallis, believes that moral values should be given just as much importance as other lessons learned in school. "To have multiple effects, you can't just have one hour a day for a few weeks and that's it. It's just like learning Math or reading--you have to keep going over multiple years," he explained.


For more studies and articles on teen behavior, check these out:


(Photo by spitznas via sxc.hu)

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