Feeds

Teens who spend time online not dorks after all – study

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
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.