This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Children's mental health was the subject
of two recent studies. One involved treatment of anxiety disorders, the other
examined long-term effects of alcohol use in teenagers.
first study involved about five hundred children in the United States, ages
seven to seventeen. They had moderate to severe disorders involving worries and
For treatment, one group received Zoloft, an antidepressant
drug. Another group received cognitive behavioral therapy, sometimes called the
talking treatment. Therapists taught the children about anxiety and guided them
through structured tasks to help them face their fears.
third group received both the medicine and the therapy.
Walkup at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Maryland was the lead
author. He says the study clearly showed that combination treatment was the
most effective. Eighty-one percent of the children treated with both medicine
and cognitive behavioral therapy improved.
Doctor Walkup says the medicine or therapy alone also showed good results. Sixty
percent of the therapy-only group improved, as did fifty-five percent of the
comparison, a fourth group received a placebo. The children took sugar pills
thinking it was medicine. Twenty-four percent of them also improved.
Institute of Mental Health paid for the study. The New England Journal of
Medicine published it.
alcohol study appeared in the journal Psychological Science. The lead
researcher was Candice Odgers of the University of California, Irvine. She used
records from a major health study of one thousand people born in New Zealand in
the early nineteen seventies.
She found that people
who experiment with alcohol before they are fifteen are more likely to become addicted
to alcohol or other drugs. This was true even in teens with no family history
of drug dependence. They are also more likely to have behavior problems, fail
in school, commit crimes and get pregnant at a young age.
this week, a Rand Corporation study in the journal Pediatrics linked sexual
content on television shows to teen pregnancy. Girls and boys who watch a lot
of it were twice as likely as others to be involved in a pregnancy over the
following three years.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. For more
health news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.