youth

When teenagers drink, it's all too often all out, downing five or more beers in a session. But some teenagers are drinking even more, a study finds, boosting the upper limits of binge drinking to 15 drinks or more.

In a poll of high school seniors, 20 percent said they'd had five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks. That's what health officials consider binge drinking.

But 10 percent said they'd had 10 or more drinks at a time, and 5.6 percent said they'd had 15 or more drinks.

Chion Wolf

After a series of fatal accidents a few years ago, Connecticut passed distracted driving laws aimed at keeping teen drivers safe. Since the first kid got behind the wheel of a car, it’s been a challenge for parents and law enforcement.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by ccarlstead

In 2008, 4,000 students were arrested in school. A new report from Connecticut Voices For Children finds that by 2011, the arrest rate had declined by 13.5 percent.

That's good news, according to report author Sarah Esty, but problems remain, such as schools that arrest kids for minor things, like using a cell phone, or missing class. CT Voices recommends state education officials and the legislature actually define "student arrest" to avoid circumstances that don't warrant hand-cuffing a kid.

John Brawley on Flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week and tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day, both intended to call attention to a serious public health issue.

We were recently shocked by the suicide of a 15-year-old Greenwich High School student after his first day of school.

But the numbers prove this is not an isolated incident. Every 15 minutes, someone dies by suicide in the U.S. For every one of the almost 40,000 people who died this year, there are many more who think about, plan, or attempt suicide.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by State Farm

This summer saw several deadly crashes involving young drivers with passengers in the car.  The latest was a crash in Hartford in August where two teens were killed. In 2008, a series of fatal accidents involving teens  spurred state lawmakers and the DMV to tighten teen driving laws. Now, the DMV is partnering with the Injury Prevention Center at CT Children's Medical Center to raise awareness about passenger safety.

Why?

A Greenwich High School student committed suicide this week, just hours after his first day of classes. A preliminary investigation revealed that 15-year old Bart Palosz died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

Greenwich Police Lieutenant Craig Gray told WTNH that Palosz used a weapon that was stored inside a gun locker at his home. "The firearm was a family firearm, and it had been secured inside a gun safe," said Gray.

The New Middle Age

Aug 21, 2013

They were gutted by the economy, saddled with existential angst, and on today's Colin McEnroe Show, a few Generation Xers tweeted us about what it's like to live in a world inherited from the Baby Boomers. Our idea to dedicate a whole show to Generation X started with a great article. (Wasn't Matt Dillon's hair delightful?)

Chion Wolf

A common thread running through any type of interpersonal conflict in whether it’s bullying in school or online, gun violence on a street corner, or abuse in a home,  is a need for safe places to live, work, and learn. It’s a fundamental human need.

Chion Wolf

Young teens and “tweens” are plenty comfortable with technology and networking - and they use iPhones to explore brands they’re interested in, and what they’d like to buy. But they can’t be manipulated easily - experts say they’re more independent and fickle than previous generations.

Chion Wolf

Young teens and “tweens” are plenty comfortable with technology and networking - and they use iPhones to explore brands they’re interested in, and what they’d like to buy. But they can’t be manipulated easily - experts say they’re more independent and fickle than previous generations.

A Portrait Of The 'Bro' As A Young Man

Jun 26, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, starmanseries

Sujata Srinivasan

U.S. student loan debt is at $1 trillion and growing. The average college-related debt for a graduate is now $35,000. That has some students questioning the value of a college degree. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan met some entrepreneurs who began their companies fresh out of high school.

 

Tony Bacewicz/C-HIT

Ten-year-old Joey Smith shared a celebratory high-five with Heather Kunkel, a mental health professional who was visiting the boy’s Thomaston home. “Things are great, spectacular even,” he said, as the two chatted at the kitchen table.

It’s a dramatic turnaround for Joey who met Kunkel when she was summoned to Thomaston Center School because he had threatened to harm himself. Now Joey, who has autism, is back at school with a modified curriculum to suit his individual needs and his parents have access to an educational advocate and community resources.

Howard Chandler Christy, 1940

It seems that money and power always get in the way of democracy. Compromise can water down idealism, but no compromise results in gridlock. So, a lot of people ask, what’s government good for?

Agelessness

May 13, 2013
Peter Løvstrøm/flickr creative commons

What does it mean to be ageless, no matter how young or old you are? Do you have parents or grandparents who want to be independent even in old age? Don't miss our story on the village-to-village network spreading across our region and the country. How to help your family age in place, and how to volunteer from village to village. Bruce Clements also talks about whether being ageless is a goal that makes any sense for anybody at any age.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, advocates are pushing to extend foster care from 18 to 21 years old.

Chion Wolf

How is science serving us? And how do we keep kids interested in the field? Those are the big questions we’re tackling today on the program with a panel of scientists and educators.

Microbiologist Arturo Casadevall says “all the major problems facing humanity are scientific problems” -- problems like climate change, pandemics, meteors. He says we need good scientists to deal with these problems. But how do we train the next generation of scientists?

Flickr Creative Commons, Jhaymesisviphotography

Let's define our term. Millennials are the generation currently between the ages of 18 and 30. They are often mocked for being soft, cosseted, narcissistic smart phone addicts. And worse. And part of the issue is that it's just fun to talk about them that way.

Chion Wolf

Many students aren’t getting the help they need, but could flourish with a little help.

"Every student needs to know there’s some adult out there who’s looking out for them. Even if it’s not a biological parent. It makes a huge difference in outcomes."

That was leading education reform scholar Pedro Noguera on Where We Live.

A new report shows that Connecticut has sharply cut the the rate at which it puts young people behind bars.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's the sharpest decline in the nation.  When it comes to rate at which they've slowed the incarceration of young people over the course of a decade, five states fare the best -- Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Minnesota and Connecticut.  And our state is at the top of the list, cutting its incarceration rate by more than 50 percent.  That's according to a report released this week by the DC-based Justice Policy Institute.  Spike Bradford is it's author.

Jeff Cohen: This is Where We Live. I’m Jeff Cohen, in for John Dankosky. What’s an adult? And when it comes to crime, should a teenager be treated like one? Those are a couple of the questions we’ll be considering as we talk about young people in prison.

Jaqueline Rabe Thomas/Connecticut Mirror

Connecticut has a new judge in charge of its juvenile courts. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Carol Wolven began the job earlier this month.

Before Carol Wolven was a lawyer, she was a nurse. And now that she's a judge, those nursing skills -- assessing a person's needs -- still come in handy when a child or a family come into her courtroom.

Chion Wolf

Here's how we see it. We get an hour a day on this amazing medium of public radio.On average, we do about 20 new shows a month, give or take. Do the math and that's about 230 or 240 episodes a year. To do that, we need to go pretty fast, and we started to worry that the countryside was flashing past us.

Child Sex Trafficking a Growing Problem

Jul 20, 2012

Child sex trafficking is a growing national problem. Congress wants to toughen federal laws against this exploitation, and its looking to Connecticut for help.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Ira Gelb

Students from Norwalk are raising awareness about human trafficking in an unusual way. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, they're taking their campaign to rest areas on Interstate 95.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The U.S. Supreme Court says it's unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for murder. The ruling will have limited effect in Connecticut. Connecticut has something called capital offenses -- things like murdering a police officer or a young person.  And the penalty for capital offenses is mandatory -- either death or life in prison without parole.  But because the Supreme Court already outlawed the death penalty for juveniles, those young people who are convicted of capital felonies can only be sentenced to life without parole. Until, it seems, now.

Sujata Srinivasan

Most people wait till adulthood to discover their knack for business. But others tap into their entrepreneurial spirit before they even hold a drivers license. In the second of a two part series on young inventors, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan meets the teen entrepreneurs.

Sujata Srinivasan

Some young people seem driven to invent. And if that spirit is nurtured it can become the basis for a successful business career.  In the first of a two part series on early entrepreneurship, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan met some of the state’s very youngest creative minds at Connecticut’s Invention Convention.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There's a big change coming this summer. Most 17-year-olds charged with crimes will go from being treated like adults to being treated in the juvenile justice system. It was called the "raise the age" effort, and the major effects were this: in 2010, 16-year-olds were taken out of the justice system designed for adults. As of this summer, the same thing will happen for 17-year-olds.

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