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RATIONALE - Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) become cigarette smokers at twice the rate of non-ADHD adolescents, and this finding continues into adulthood. Abnormal cognitive/behavioral inhibition is one core cognitive symptom of ADHD, leading to impulsive behavior in people with this disorder. Nicotine, contained in tobacco smoke, is known to improve attention, vigilance, and short-term memory. However, little is known about how nicotine might effect cognitive/behavioral inhibition.
OBJECTIVE - This study tested the hypothesis that acute nicotine administration would improve cognitive/behavioral inhibition in non-smoking adolescents with ADHD.
METHODS - This single-dose, acute, repeated-measures, double blind study in adolescents (13-17 years) with DSM-IV confirmed ADHD assessed the effects of transdermal nicotine, oral methylphenidate, and placebo on inhibition in non-smoking adolescents with ADHD. Dependent measures included tests of cognitive/behavioral inhibition (the stop signal task), cognitive interference control (the Stroop task), and a measure of verbal learning and recognition (the hi-low imagery task).
RESULTS - Results from five subjects indicated that stop signal reaction time (SSRT), an estimate of the speed of inhibiting a response, was significantly (P<0.01) improved following both nicotine and methylphenidate treatment as compared to placebo treatment. Neither "go" reaction time nor accuracy showed any effect of drug. In the Stroop task, another task of cognitive inhibition, nicotine but not methylphenidate significantly (P<0.05) decreased the Stroop effect compared to placebo.
CONCLUSIONS - These results indicate that nicotine administration has measurable positive effects on cognitive/behavioral inhibition in adolescents with ADHD. The size of the effect is at least comparable to methylphenidate. Positive effects of nicotine on inhibitional performance may contribute to higher rates of cigarette use in adolescents with ADHD.
OBJECTIVE - To conduct a prospective case-controlled study of pediatric inpatients referred for consultation in a tertiary care children's medical center.
METHOD - Referrals (n = 104) were matched with nonreferrals (n = 104) for age (4 to 18 years), gender, and illness type/severity and completed parent- and self-report (dependent on age) behavioral rating scales to assess for adjustment/functioning. Nurses completed in-hospital ratings of behavioral/adjustment difficulties. Goal attainment and satisfaction ratings were obtained from the referring physicians, parents/guardians, and the consultant.
RESULTS - Referrals exhibited more behavior/adjustment/coping difficulties than nonreferrals by parent, nurse, and self report. Frequently employed interventions included coping-strategies intervention, cognitive and behavioral therapies, and case management. Referring physician and consultant ratings of goal attainment were high, as were physician ratings of satisfaction and parent/guardian ratings of overall helpfulness.
CONCLUSIONS - Pediatric inpatients referred by their physicians had significantly more internalizing and externalizing disturbances than their nonreferred hospitalized peers. Many of the behavioral and adjustment problems that lead to in-hospital consultation referral were evident in global behavior difficulties prior to hospitalization. Referring pediatricians, parents/guardians, and consultants rate the outcome as benefiting the patients via assisting in the overall management of their health concerns, coping, and adjustment.
OBJECTIVE - To describe human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing patterns among high-risk, uninfected adolescents and HIV-infected adolescents, and factors associated with testing.
METHODS - HIV-infected adolescents (N = 246) and high-risk, uninfected adolescents (N = 141) at 15 sites nationwide were asked about the number of times they were tested for HIV, the type of agency at which testing occurred, and reasons for testing.
RESULTS - The majority of participants reported being influenced to obtain testing by health care providers (53.1% of the HIV-infected group and 66.1% of the HIV-uninfected group, respectively). Female participants were somewhat more likely to have used a confidential or anonymous site for the most recent test, compared with male participants (73.5% and 67.5%, respectively). Among the HIV-infected group, feeling sick was the only factor associated with number of tests. Among the HIV-uninfected group, having more male partners, marijuana use in the past 3 months, white race, and having had same-gender partners in their lifetime (males only) were associated with number of tests. Multivariate analyses identified 2 significant models. Modeling the probability of having been tested 3 or more times, black participants were less likely to be tested than white participants (odds ratio [OR] = 0.4), and participants who felt sick were more likely to be tested than those who did not (OR = 1.7). Modeling the probability that the last test would be positive, black participants were more likely than white participants to test positive (OR = 2.3); those who were tested because they thought they might have gotten HIV from sex (OR = 3.0) or they felt sick (OR = 3.9) were more likely to test positive; participants who were tested because a health care professional recommended it were actually less likely (OR = 0.5) to test positive.
CONCLUSIONS - Overall, these findings highlight the importance of making HIV testing more routinely available to sexually active adolescents. More work needs to be done to normalize HIV testing among adolescents, and more innovative approaches need to be implemented on a wide scale.
PURPOSE - To characterize sexual behaviors and sociodemographic factors that are associated with douching among geographically diverse adolescent women with and without HIV infection.
METHODS - HIV infected subjects recruited preferentially and behaviorally comparable high-risk HIV uninfected subjects were enrolled in a prospective HIV study from 15 sites in 13 U.S. cities. Baseline interview data from 1996 to 1999 for females aged 12 to 19 years were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and multiple logistic regression.
RESULTS - Among the 342 females/young women, 74.9% were black (non-Hispanic), 11.1% Hispanic/Latina, and 14.0% white or other race/ethnicity; 63.5% were HIV infected. Young women who had dropped out of high school comprised 23.4% of subjects. In the 3 months before the interview, 179 (52.3%) adolescents had douched at least once. In a multivariable logistic regression model, recent douching was more common among sexually active females (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.2), Blacks (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.1 vs. Hispanics/Whites/others), females who dropped out of high school (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.2-3.7), and HIV infected females (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.04-2.7).
CONCLUSIONS - In this nationwide study, adolescents who are sexually active, African-American, dropped out of high school, and HIV infected were most likely to douche. Interventions to discourage douching should pay special attention to these populations.
PURPOSE - To investigate the association of psychological distress and health risk behaviors among HIV infected adolescents. It was hypothesized that higher levels of distress would be associated with increased sexual risk behaviors, and increased use of alcohol and drugs.
METHODS - HIV infected adolescents (N = 323) were recruited into an observational study in 15 clinical sites; for the 323 subjects, a total of 1212 visits were used in a repeated measures analysis. Data on depression (using the CES-D), anxiety (manifest anxiety scale), sexual behaviors and alcohol and marijuana use were obtained through computer-assisted self-administered interview.
RESULTS - Approximately 65% of the sample was sexually active across all six study visits, with approximately 43% consistently reporting having unprotected sex at last intercourse. Higher levels of depression were associated with frequent alcohol use and with unprotected sex at last intercourse, with depressed adolescents significantly more likely to have had unprotected sex than those who were not depressed. Health anxiety was associated with frequent marijuana use and with recent sexual activity, and physiological anxiety was also associated with recent sexual activity.
CONCLUSIONS - Despite the fact that these HIV infected adolescents are all engaged in primary care, overall the sample is maintaining its high-risk sexual behavior. In addition, these adolescents may be self-medicating to deal with health-related anxiety. Health interventions for HIV infected adolescents should examine whether psychological distress is contributing to maintenance health risk behaviors.
OVERVIEW - This review presents the findings of published research in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) Project on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within the context of the project's scientific agenda. Methods employed in the study for specimen collection, management, and laboratory analysis are presented. This review presents published analyses of cross-sectional data; longitudinal analyses are underway. In addition, baseline prevalence data on selected STIs and sexual risk profiles of the subjects in REACH are presented. High STI rates were evident in both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected and uninfected youth of both genders regardless of sexual orientation. High infection rates at baseline suggest that prevention-oriented programs for risk reduction among adolescents should focus on both HIV infected and at-risk, uninfected youth.
BACKGROUND - Little research has addressed the impact of dating violence and forced-sex victimization and perpetration on adolescent well-being. In this cross-sectional study, we provide (1) estimates of severe dating violence (SDV) by victimization and perpetration status, (2) estimates of lifetime forced-sex victimization and perpetration, (3) demographic and health behaviors correlated with SDV, and (4) associations between SDV and forced sex and well-being as assessed by (1) health-related quality of life (H-R QOL) and (2) life satisfaction measures.
METHODS - We used a stratified cluster sample of 5414 public high school students, grades 9 through 12, who responded to the 1997 self-administered South Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
RESULTS - Nearly 12% of adolescents self-reported SDV as a victim (7.6%) or a perpetrator (7.7%), and SDV rates (victimization/perpetration combined) are higher in girls (14.4%) than boys (9.1%). Race, aggressive behaviors, substance use, and sexual risk-taking are correlates of SDV. Among young women, SDV victimization, not perpetration, was associated with recent poor H-R QOL and suicide ideation or attempts, but not lower life-satisfaction scores. Among young men, SDV perpetration, not victimization, was strongly associated with poor H-R QOL and suicide attempts, and lower scores for all domains of life satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS - This research provides evidence that SDV and forced sex are associated with poor H-R QOL, low life-satisfaction scores, and adverse health behaviors in adolescent female victims and male perpetrators. Screening for dating violence is needed to identify and intervene early to reduce the impact of dating violence.