Feeds

Teens who spend time online not dorks after all – study

Get more sex, drink more. Don't wear seatbelts either

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

News today which upsets the stereotype of teenagers who spend a lot of time online or otherwise fooling with computers: rather than being lonely dorks with poor social skills who seldom leave their bedrooms, such kids are in fact more likely to get squiffy, have sex and even to take drugs than their less tech-savvy peers.

The revelations come in research conducted lately in Canada among 10 to 16-year-olds by epidemiology PhD candidate Valerie Carson.

"This research is based on social cognitive theory, which suggests that seeing people engaged in a behaviour is a way of learning that behaviour," explains Carson. "Since adolescents are exposed to considerable screen time – over 4.5 hours on average each day – they're constantly seeing images of behaviours they can then potentially adopt."

Apparently the study found that high computer use was associated with approximately 50 per cent increased engagement with "smoking, drunkenness, non-use of seatbelts, cannabis and illicit drug use, and unprotected sex". High television use was also associated with a modestly increased engagement in these activities.

According to Ms Carson this is because TV is much more effectively controlled and censored in order to prevent impressionable youths seeing people puffing tabs or jazz cigarettes while indulging in unprotected sex etc. The driving without seatbelts thing seems a bit odd until one reflects that old episodes of the The Professionals, the Rockford Files etc are no doubt torrent favourites.

"TV and video games have more established protocols in terms of censorship, but internet protocols aren't as established," says Ms Carson. "Parents can make use of programs that control access to the internet, but adolescents in this age group are quite savvy about technology and the internet. It's possible that these types of controls aren't effective in blocking all undesirable websites."

If you want to you can read Carson and her colleagues' paper here, courtesy of the journal Preventive Medicine. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.