From: Cathy Ahiyite [outreach@nmtpc.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:46 PM
To: Cathy Ahiyite
Subject: November 2008 News Flash
Attached is the November 2008 edition of the News Flash. Our list serve is continually being updated. If you want to be removed, please reply back with REMOVE in the subject line and include your contact information in the message.

 

New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition

 

NEWS FLASH

November 2008

 

Welcome to the November issue of the New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition’s

NEWS FLASH

 

If you would like to be removed from the NEWS FLASH list, please use the connection at the end of this issue to communicate with us.

 

 

 

This Month’s Contents:

 

MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA RUIZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

 

NATIONAL RESOURCES

 

1.  New from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy

2.  New from Advocates for Youth

 

 

LOCAL RESOURCES -  EVENTS AND NOTICES

 

New Mexico Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Center for Non-Profit Excellence

New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico Community Foundation

 

Message from the Young Father’s Project

 

 

 

MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA RUIZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

There are a number of topics I want to share with you this month.  At the Healthy Teen Network National Conference held in Albuquerque in October, I had the honor and privilege to present the Spirit of Service Award to Lt. Governor Diane Denish and Senator Linda Lopez.  They couldn’t have selected two more deserving women for the awards.

 

We had a most productive NMTPC Board meeting. This was the last meeting for David Connolly, our Board member from Las Cruces, who has provided leadership and tireless service in the Las Cruces area.  He is very much appreciated.  We welcome Mary Carter of Anthony, NM in his place and look forward to working with her.

 

NMTPC was just notified that we have been selected for the New Mexico Women’s Forum’s 2008 Leadership, Empowerment and Advocacy Program Award which has the stated goal of preparing future generations of women leaders.  We appreciate the opportunity.  The young women who will participate in the NMTPC program will be trained as health promotion specialists and will work with their peers and professional staff in educating other teens about sexual health and responsibility, educating legislators, and learning leadership skills to prepare themselves for future leadership positions.  

 

Hasta Luego,

 

Sylvia Ruiz

Executive Director

New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition

505-254-8737

505-254-8741 Fax

 

 

 

1. New from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy

 

  1. The National Campaign recently released a fact sheet entitled “Funding Sources for State and Local Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs,” which highlights the resourceful and sometimes unique ways in which some organizations and communities are funding teen pregnancy prevention efforts.  You can download the fact sheet at www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/Briefly_TPPP_Funding_Sources.pdf.

 

  1. The National Women’s Law Center is hosting a free webinar for educators, service providers, advocates, and individuals on helping pregnant and parenting students stay in school.  The webinar will feature speakers from two high school programs:  Project Opportunity at Bryant Adult Alternative High School in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Teen Parent Program at New Horizon High School in Pasco, Washington.  For more information, or to register for the webinar, visit http://action.nwlc.org/dropoutwebinar.

 

 

 

2. New from the Center for Law and Social Policy

 

Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2008
The Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2008 (P.L 110-351), signed into law on October 7, 2008, includes a number of provisions that will help hundreds of thousands of children and youth in foster care. This summary, developed collaboratively with the Children’s Defense Fund, includes information on those provisions that are particularly relevant to children and youth raised by relatives in the context of the child welfare system. To view more information on all of the provisions in the new law, click
here.

 

Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts

by Linda Harris and Evelyn Ganzglass. This paper advocates expansion and better integration of efforts to connect high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 to pathways to postsecondary credentials that have value in the labor market. The paper highlights examples of innovations in policy, program delivery, pedagogy in adult education, youth development and dropout recovery, and postsecondary education that should be built upon in developing more robust and successful dropout recovery and postsecondary education policies and practices to open the door to higher wages and career opportunities for this population. The authors urge federal officials, governors, school administrators, college officials, workforce leaders and employers to provide leadership in building the supports and pathways at scale to bring dropout youth back into the education and labor market mainstream. The paper was prepared for the Center for American Progress. 30 pages. 10/29/2008

 

CLASP Seeks Policy Analyst for Paid Sick Days Initiative

The Center for Law and Social Policy is seeking a policy analyst to work on our paid sick days initiative that emphasizes engaging employers in state efforts to establish new laws.  This position is new to the organization and will report directly to the Deputy Director. The Policy Analyst will be tasked with working with colleague organizations around the country to help identify, engage, and provide technical assistance to interested employers. To view the job description and requirements, click here.

 

 

 

 

Each month the New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition provides a review of the research and policy reports distributed by National and Local Resources for your information only.  The information, and comments expressed in this News Flash as well as any of the information distributed do not necessarily reflect the position of the NMTPC or its funders.  Therefore, NMTPC assumes no responsibility for the concepts expressed in this NEWS FLASH.

 

 

Local Events & Notices

From the New Mexico Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

NMAFCS ANNUAL MEETING

SAVE THE DATE!   MARCH 12-13, 2009!!!

The New Mexico Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NMAFCS) Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, 2009, at the Albuquerque Radisson Hotel.  The theme is “Celebrating the Past – Sustaining the Future” and we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of AAFCS by enjoying an exquisite Thursday evening gala dinner.  Opportunities to reminisce and celebrate abound!

 

Friday, March 13, is dedicated to “sustaining our future”.  Dr. Lowell B. Catlett, Dean of Agriculture and Home Economics at New Mexico State University, will jump start the day as our internationally famous, visionary keynote speaker.  Many workshops covering a variety of tantalizing topics, such as using nanotechnology in our lives; navigating the eldercare maze; distance education and dual enrollment; immigrant Mexican parents’ involvement with their children; and green construction, are being planned.  Mark your calendars NOW, apply for professional leave, and join us for a truly exciting conference!  For registration information, contact Marie M. Duryea at mduryea@unm.edu or 505-828-0768.

New from The Center for Non-Profit Excellence

Employee Retirement Plans Compliance Changes Effective January 1, 2009

 

December 2, 2008, 2:00-3:30 PM
Albuquerque

Center for Nonprofit Excellence, United Way of Central New Mexico office, 2340 Alamo SE  Register

December 3, 2008 8:30-9:30 AM
Santa Fe
Open Hands, 2976 Rodeo Park Drive East
Register: 473-9572

Are you a nonprofit with an employee retirement plan?  Are you re-evaluating the performance and level of compliance of your current plan provider?

Whether your plan is a 401k, SEP-IRA, or 403b plan, your organization (not the plan provider) has compliance obligations that you are REQUIRED to meet under the 2006 Pension Protection Act.

Failure to comply with these new rules can result in PERSONAL LIABILITY to the plan's administrator(s), penalties administered by the IRS and/or the Dept. of Labor, and the potential of lawsuits by employees.

Additional NEW rules take effect January 1, 2009 for 403b plans.

Come and learn about these largely unpublicized rules and obligations at two free sessions. 

Here are some
Frequently Asked Questions.

Presenters:
Neil Swain, CFC, owner and principal of Structured Portfolio.  He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and a Certified Financial Consultant.  Mr. Swain is one of the founders of the New Mexico Project for Financial Literacy.

Marta Nystrom, Certified Retirement Financial Advisor (CRFA), and Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), is an independent financial advisor and planner.  She has taught numerous workshops to employees in the workplace, at the Lt. Governor's past two Conferences on Financial Literacy, and at various local Senior Centers.  Her financial advice has appeared on occasion in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

 

Visit our website www.centerfornonprofitexcellence.org for more information and resources!

 

 

Grant Related Trainings:

Training

Date

More Information

Request for Proposal Training, Compassion Capital Fund Subawards

12-4-2008 Silver City
12-5-2008 Las Cruces
12-9-2008 Socorro
12-12-2008 Abq

Organizations must attend training to apply for HELP-New Mexico Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) subawards.

SCHIP/Medicaid Enrollment "INREACH" Program Grants Workshop

12-3-2008
El Paso

Paso del Norte Health Foundation grants workshop re: strategies to enroll children within the organization in Dona Ana and Otero counties.

Researching Government Grants

12-16-2008
Santa Fe

Identify government funding opportunities appropriate for your organization. Santa Fe Community Foundation Workshop

Grantsmanship Training Program

Week of 1-26-2009 Albuquerque

Covers the complete grant proposal development process, from researching funding sources to writing and reviewing grant proposals.


Upcoming Grant Opportunities:

 

Focus Area

Agency or Grantmaker

Link - Contact Information

Name of Grant

Deadline

Award Size-Funding Range

Arts

New Mexico Arts

Click here

New Mexico Arts Funding

12/5/2008

Max Grant:  $20,000  Total $ Available: N.A.

Community Development

 HELP-NM

Click here

Compassion Capital Fund Subgrants

12/19/2008 LOI

Max Grant:  $22,000 Total $ Available:  N.A.

Health

 Dept of Health & Human Services

Click here

Parenting Capacities and Health Outcomes in Youths and Adolescents

1/3/2009

Max Grant:  N.A.

Total $ Available:  N.A.

Community Development

Economic Development Administration

Click here

Economic Development Assistance Programs

Through 9/30/2009 

Max Grant: N.A.

Total $ Available:  N.A.


Go to the Center's website for 60 more upcoming grant opportunities.

Visit the
New Mexico Grantmakers Directory-a searchable database of funders that support New Mexico nonprofits, a partnership project of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers

 

www.centerfornonprofitexcellence.org

 

New Mexico Department of Health

TDV News Flash: 2008 TDV Study Advocates for Holistic View of Teen Experience in Framing Prevention Efforts

 

A new investigation sheds light on the possible factors that push teenage boys to abuse their girlfriends.  In their own words, the young men often describe facing challenges such as growing up with troubled family lives, having little or no support when they began to fail at school, and witnessing violence in their own homes and communities.

The study advocates broadening the view of abusive behaviors within dating relationships to explore the myriad environments - school, home and community - that affect boys' lives and actions.  "Until now, we did not have much information on young men who hurt their partners," said Elizabeth Miller, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of pediatrics at UC Davis Children's Hospital.   "This is a critically important piece of the puzzle in terms of designing meaningful prevention and intervention programs to prevent adolescent relationship violence."

It is the first qualitative study to document the social and environmental factors experienced by adolescent males who have abused dating partners.  Despite multiple studies on the consequences of dating violence for girls, Miller said researchers still lack an understanding of the fundamental social and environmental factors that promote male violence
within dating relationships - information that is crucial to guiding its prevention.

"While less is known about what leads to male violence within dating relationships, existing studies have often pointed to individual characteristics of males, such as substance abuse or having traditional attitudes towards women," said Elizabeth Reed, the study's lead author and a graduate student at Harvard University at the time the research was conducted.   "However, we need to also conduct research that considers aspects of environments - such as family life, school, peer environment and communities - that might promote such characteristics among boys.  Violence in dating affects certain groups of boys more than others.   "We need to look beyond individuals to see how environments play a role in this important public health problem, and address the issue in a way that considers factors much larger than individual choices and behaviors."

For the study, Miller and Reed conducted in-depth interviews with 19 boys, ages 14 to 20, with known histories of perpetrating intimate partner violence and who lived in mostly urban neighborhoods in metropolitan Boston, where Miller worked before moving to Sacramento, Calif., two years ago.

The researchers identified common themes - from listening to boys who had been referred by their schools or families to an intervention program for abusive behavior with girlfriends. They also gathered information from their previous work. 

 

In 2007, Miller and her colleagues completed a survey of 825 Boston-area youth that was designed to assess the prevalence of and factors related to teen dating violence among those who utilize confidential adolescent health clinics. The current study was part of this larger research project on adolescent relationship violence and health.

For the interview-based study, researchers identified common themes - from listening to boys who had been referred by their schools or families to an intervention program for abusive behavior with girlfriends. "The themes that often came up in interviews included problematic home environments, inadequate support at school, community contexts characterized by violence and peer interactions that encourage the sexual maltreatment of girls," said Reed, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

"The findings of our study suggest that it will not be effective to focus on the influence of one of these contexts alone. We need to understand the complex interplay of how they influence boys' behavior within intimate relationships.   Intervention programs that aim to address boys' abusive behaviors toward their girlfriends may be more effective if they also address a broad array of difficulties faced within boys' lives. However, we need more research on this topic to know for sure."

Miller and Reed said that the study is from an urban sample of boys in programs for dating violence perpetration and, therefore, does not represent all boys who perpetrate abusive behaviors toward girlfriends.  However, it offers some important, initial insights into the life contexts of boys that may contribute to dating violence.

"Many intervention studies have assumed that talking to students in schools about dating violence will do the trick," Miller explained.  "It's not that simple. We really need to do meaningful prevention that addresses the failures of the structures and systems in place that are supposed to support these boys.

For example, the lack of positive mentorship and support at home and in school are key factors. Given staggering high school drop-out rates, school-based programs cannot reach those males who have already dropped out of school."  "We need to design dating violence prevention programs that meet these young men and women where they are and that speak directly to their needs - emotionally, socially, academically - and literally at the places where they hang out. That might be on a sports field or in a Planned Parenthood clinic," Miller said.

The study, "The Social and Emotional Contexts of Adolescent and Young Adult Male Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence: A Qualitative Study," appeared online in the September issue of the American Journal of Men's Health.

Source: University of California - Davis - Health System
www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/index.html%20

 

Related News Articles

 

*Assess for Date Violence

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/04/03/assess-for-date-violence/724.html

 

*TV Wrestling Increases Teen Date Violence

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/08/07/tv-wrestling-increases-teen-date-violence/157.html

 

*Teen Suicide After Date Violence Or Assault

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/06/teen-suicide-after-date-violence-or-assault/878.html

 

*Domestic Violence Can Trigger Asthma

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/03/domestic-violence-can-trigger-asthma/797.html

 

*Witnessing Marital Violence

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/10/17/witnessing-marital-violence/337.html

 

 

Teen Suicide After Date Violence Or Assault
http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/06/teen-suicide-after-date-violence-or-assault/878.html

 

Wednesday, Jun 6 (Psych Central) -- A new report discovers recent dating violence among urban teen females and lifetime history of sexual assault among urban teen males may be associated with suicide attempts.

Background information from the article found in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine lists suicide as the third leading cause of death in adolescents.

"In 2003, 6.5 per 100,000 U.S. teenagers aged 14 to 19 years committed suicide."  In 2005, more than 8 percent of high school students reported one or more suicide attempts in the previous year. Childhood sexual assault has been linked with depression, alcohol use and violence, making it a likely risk factor for a suicide attempt.

"Dating violence has also been shown to be associated with depressive symptoms and multiple health-compromising behaviors," the authors write.  Elyse Olshen, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues analyzed self-administered, anonymous questionnaires completed by 8,080 students (age 14 and older) from 87 New York City public high schools in 2005. The surveys measured different risk behaviors such as use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, unintentional injury and violence, sexual behaviors, dietary behaviors and physical activity.

Students were also asked how many times they had attempted suicide, if they had experienced dating violence and if they had been sexually assaulted in the past 12 months.  Females made up 51 percent of the students and those who responded were primarily not white (40.1 percent Hispanic, 36 percent black, 16 percent Asian/other and 7.9 percent white).

"Persistent sadness (feeling sad or hopeless daily for two weeks in a row during the past year) occurred in 40.2 percent of female students and 24.2 percent of male students; also, 19.9 percent of females and 10.3 percent of males reported suicidal ideation [suicidal thoughts or behaviors] or seriously considering attempting suicide in the past year."

A lifetime history of sexual assault was reported by 9.6 percent of the females and 5.4 percent of the males in the study. In the past year, 10.6 percent of the girls and 9.5 percent of the boys reported that they had experienced dating violence and 11.7 percent of adolescent girls and 7.2 percent of adolescent boys reported that they had attempted suicide one or more times.

For girls, violence in the past year was associated with suicide attempts, while lifetime history of sexual assault was not. Other significant factors influencing suicide attempts among females included sexual orientation, persistent sadness, disordered eating, feeling unsafe at school, being in a physical fight and binge drinking.

For male students, lifetime history of sexual assault was associated with suicide attempts, while dating violence in the past year was not.  Other factors influencing suicide attempts among boys included sexual orientation, persistent sadness, disordered eating, drug use and gun possession.

"While our study focused on public high school students in a single urban area, our results are likely generalizable to urban youth across the United States," the authors conclude.
"Questions about violence, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidality are all extremely important and should be included as part of a comprehensive health assessment of adolescents. Furthermore, clinicians, educators and other professionals working with youth should be trained to routinely screen for violence victimization and should have a low threshold for referring these at-risk teenagers for mental health services."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals
http://pubs.ama-assn.org/media/%20

 

Related Articles

*Assess for Date Violence

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/04/03/assess-for-date-violence/724.html

 

*TV Wrestling Increases Teen Date Violence

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/08/07/tv-wrestling-increases-teen-date-violence/157.html

 

*Teen Suicides - Another Look

http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/09/12/teen-suicides-%e2%80%93-another-look/1268.html

 

*Teen Date Violence Studied

http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/10/15/teen-date-violence-studied/3133.html

 

*Family Support After Teen Suicide

http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/22/family-support-after-teen-suicide/2174.html

 

 

New Mexico High School Survey Shows Decreases in Drug Use, Suicide Attempts

 

(Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health and the Public Education Department released results today from the 2007 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey that surveyed about 11,300 high school students across the state about healthy and risky behaviors. The survey found several positive trends in risk behaviors, including decreases in drinking and driving, suicide attempts, alcohol and drug use and television viewing from 2003 to 2007.

 

“We are pleased to report that fewer teenagers in New Mexico are participating in behaviors that put their health at risk,” said Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil. “This survey helps us measure important factors so we can work with community partners to build on students’ strengths and reduce their risky behaviors.” 

 

Every other year, the Department of Health collaborates with the New Mexico Public Education Department to invite New Mexico’s 89 school districts to participate in this survey. It asks students about their risk behaviors and their protective factors, which include relationships with family, school, adults and peers, community involvement, life skills and constructive use of time.  

 

The data clearly demonstrate an important link between risk behaviors and academic performance. Students who do not engage in risk behaviors have much better academic outcomes than other students. For instance, while 74.9% of nonsmokers report getting high grades in school, only 51.4% of smokers report getting good grades. Similar relationships exist between academic performance and drug use, alcohol use and other risk behaviors.

 

“Healthy students make better learners,” Education Secretary Veronica C. García said. “This survey provides local school districts information that they can use to determine school health programs and policies that will contribute to students’ academic success.”

 

Survey results also illustrate the relationship between protective factors and risk behaviors. Students who reported high levels of protective factors were far less likely to engage in risk behaviors. For example, students who had a low level of caring and supportive relationships with parents were more likely to use marijuana compared to their peers who reported high levels of caring and supportive relationships with their parents.

 

Key findings:

  • Rarely or never wore a seatbelt (2003 – 11.9%; 2007 - 8.9%)
  • Drinking and driving (2003 – 19.1%; 2007 – 12.5%)
  • Riding with a drinking driver (2003 – 34.9%; 2007 – 31.2%)
  • Suicide attempts that resulted in an injury (2003 – 7.5%; 2007 – 4.8%)
  • Ever smoked cigarettes (2003 – 64.8%; 2007 – 59.9%)
  • First cigarette before the age or 13 (2003 – 24.7%; 2007 – 18.0%)
  • Current cigarette smoking (2003 – 30.2%; 2007 – 24.2%)
  • Cigarette smoking on school property (2003 – 13.6%; 2007 – 7.5%)
  • Current use of any form of tobacco (2003 – 34.0%; 2007 – 30.2%)
  • Current alcohol use (2003 – 50.7%; 2007 – 43.2%)
  • Binge drinking (2003 – 35.4%; 2007 – 27.4%)
  • Alcohol use before the age of 13 (2003 – 35.8%; 2007 – 30.7%)
  • Current cocaine use (2003 – 8.9%; 2005 – 7.9%; 2007 – 5.4%)
  • Current methamphetamine use (2003 – 7.3%; 2007 – 4.4%)
  • Current use of chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip (2005 – 8.5%; 2007 – 11.8%).
  • Having been offered, sold or given drugs on school property (2003 – 41.2%; 2007 – 31.3%)
  • Television viewing 3 or more hours daily (2003 – 34.2%; 2007 – 27.9%)

 

“While we are making progress in reducing risky behaviors among teenagers, we are concerned that our rates for drug and alcohol use, violent behavior and suicide attempts are among the highest rates in the nation,” Dr. Vigil said. “We must continue to focus on our prevention work so we can support our young people in leading healthy lives,” Dr. Vigil said.

 

In other areas, New Mexico students fare better than the national average. New Mexico students have higher rates of physical activity and lower rates of sedentary behaviors than the rest of the nation. In comparison to other students across the country, a higher percentage of New Mexico students met the recommended levels of physical activity (NM – 43.6%; U.S. – 34.7%).

 

A smaller percentage of New Mexico students:

  • had no days of at least 60 minutes of physical activity (NM – 17.2%; US – 24.9%.
  • watched television for 3 or more hours daily (NM - 27.9%; US – 35.4%)
  • spent 3 or more hours daily at a computer for non-school related activities (NM – 18.7%; US – 24.9%).

 

Thirty-nine states collect and report this data to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiles the information into national data. The University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center and the CDC provide technical assistance with New Mexico’s survey. To view New Mexico’s county reports, visit the Department of Health’s website, http://www.nmhealth.org/epi/yrrs.html. Other reports on specific topics from the survey will be posted in coming weeks.

 

For the first time this year, the Department of Health and the Public Education Department also conducted a survey among middle school students. Results from that survey will be available in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

Study First to Link TV Sex To Real Teen Pregnancies
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 3, 2008; A01
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/02/AR2008110202592.html

 

Teenagers who watch a lot of television featuring flirting, necking, discussion of sex and sex scenes are much more likely than their peers to get pregnant or get a partner pregnant, according to the first study to directly link steamy programming to teen pregnancy.

 

The study, which tracked more than 700 12-to-17-year-olds for three years, found that those who viewed the most sexual content on TV were about twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy as those who saw the least.  "Watching this kind of sexual content on television is a powerful factor in increasing the likelihood of a teen pregnancy," said lead researcher Anita Chandra. "We found a strong association." The study is being published today in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

There is rising concern about teen pregnancy rates, which after decades of decline may have started inching up again, fueling an intense debate about what factors are to blame. Although TV viewing is unlikely to entirely explain the possible uptick in teen pregnancies, Chandra and others said, the study provides the first direct evidence that it could be playing a significant role.

 

"Sexual content on television has doubled in the last few years, especially during the period of our research," said Chandra, a researcher at the nonpartisan Rand Corp.   Studies have found a link between watching television shows with sexual content and becoming sexually active earlier, and between sexually explicit music videos and an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. And many studies have shown that TV violence seems to make children more aggressive. But the new research is the first to show an association between TV watching and pregnancy among teens.

 

The study did not examine how different approaches to sex education factor into the effects of TV viewing on sexual behavior and pregnancy rates. Proponents of comprehensive sex education as well as programs that focus on abstinence said the findings illustrate the need to educate children better about the risks of sex and about how to protect themselves, although they disagree about which approach works best.

 

"We have a highly sexualized culture that glamorizes sex," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association. "We really need to encourage schools to make abstinence-centered programs a priority."  But others said there is no evidence that abstinence-centered programs work.

 

"This finding underscores the importance of evidence-based sex education that helps young people delay sex and use prevention when they become sexually active," said James Wagoner of Advocates for Youth. "The absolutely last thing we should do in response is bury our heads in the sand and promote failed abstinence-only programs."

 

Chandra and her colleagues surveyed more than 2,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17 three times by telephone from 2001 to 2004 to gather information about a variety of behavioral and demographic factors, including television viewing habits. Based on a detailed analysis of the sexual content of 23 shows in the 2000-2001 TV season, the researchers calculated how often the teens saw characters kissing, touching, having sex, and discussing past or future sexual activity.

 

Among the 718 youths who reported being sexually active during the study, the likelihood of getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant increased steadily with the amount of sexual content they watched on TV, the researchers found. About 25 percent of those who watched the most were involved in a pregnancy, compared with about 12 percent of those who watched the least. The researchers took into account other factors such as having only one parent, wanting to have a baby and engaging in other risky behaviors.

 

Fifty-eight girls reported getting pregnant and 33 boys reported being responsible for getting a girl pregnant during the study period. The increased risk emerged regardless of whether teens watched only one or two shows that were explicit or surfed many shows that had occasional sexual content, Chandra said.

 

"It could be a child wasn't watching that much TV per week but was watching shows that got a pretty high rating on sexual content, or it could be a kid who was watching a lot of hours but on average was getting just moderate amounts of sexual content from each show," Chandra said.

Among the shows the teens watched were "Sex and the City," "Friends" and "That '70s Show." Chandra would not identify the others but stressed that they included dramas, comedies, reality shows and even animated programs on broadcast and cable networks. "We don't want to single out any individual programs," Chandra said.

 

The researchers recommended that parents spend more time monitoring what their children watch and discussing what they see, including pointing out the possible negative consequences of early sexual activity. Programmers should also include more-realistic portrayals of the risks of sex, such as sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, the researchers said.  "Unfortunately, that continues to be relatively rare compared to the portrayals of the positive aspects," Chandra said.

 

Critics of television programming and experts on teen pregnancy said the research provided powerful new evidence about the role of TV in youth behavior.  "This is very significant," said Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group. "It gives us plenty of reason for concern."

 

Kelleen Kaye of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy praised the study but stressed that the causes of teen pregnancy are complex.  "We need to be cautious about overreaching in our expectations about the role the media can play in our effort to prevent teen pregnancy," she said. "We don't want to assume this is the whole story."

 

Several experts questioned whether the study had established a causal relationship."It may be the kids who have an interest in sex watch shows with sexual content," said Laura Lindberg of the Guttmacher Institute. "I'm concerned this makes it seem like if we just shut off the TV we'd dramatically reduce the teen pregnancy rate."

 

Chandra acknowledged that other factors might play a role but said the findings are compelling because the researchers were able to track the teens over time and found such a striking relationship.

 

"The magnitude of the association we did see was very strong," she said.

 

From the New Mexico Community Foundation

The New Mexico Community Foundation is pleased to inform you that the New Mexico Integrated Services in Schools Initiative (NMISSI) is now known as Elev8 New Mexico, with the tagline: Support.Learn.Achieve. Our new logo is available in both English and Spanish.  An event at Gadsden Middle School was held on November 13, 2008 to both dedicate our new school-based health center and to launch our new name and logo.

 

The integrated services in schools work that we implement in partnership with you, serving hundreds of middle school students across the state, will continue to be led by New Mexico Community Foundation. The new Elev8 New Mexico identity better reflects our role in the national Elev8 initiative. Elev8 is a national movement dedicated to providing middle-school youth and their families with an integrated array of services to help students succeed in school and life. Elev8 offers high-quality, out-of-school time learning opportunities, comprehensive, age-appropriate school-based health care, and connects parents with economic and other resources for which they are eligible, also engaging them in schools. By delivering these program components in a carefully coordinated way, Elev8 strives to ensure that by the time students complete 8th grade, they are prepared for high school and will go on to graduate.

 

Working with middle-school youth, parents, teachers, local program directors and policymakers, elements of the new identity—from the texting style of the name, to the graffiti logo—was developed with youth in mind to best capture the spirit of this ambitious national program. The name and logo were selected through a process of intensive audience research that began last spring, with the groups mentioned above. Youth suggested the original program names tested with these audiences. In New Mexico, attention was paid to the views of populations such as Native Americans, immigrants, Hispanics, middle/low-income, and rural youth and families.

 

Schools, local nonprofits and community partners like you currently work together in Elev8 programs in New Mexico, Chicago and Oakland. Elev8 will share lessons from its work with local, state and national policymakers to help influence supportive policies and ways to prepare young people for the future. Elev8 was developed by The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Disadvantaged Children & Youth Program, which has made a substantial investment in the four-year implementation at each local initiative. As Elev8 moves to launch its national website, Elev8 New Mexico will follow suit, implementing communication strategies to better inform you and other New Mexicans about this movement and our work.

 

 

Message from the Young Fathers’ Project

 

The New Mexico Conference on Boys and Young Men held in Albuquerque at the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 was a great success.  Thank you to all of the people who worked so hard to make the Conference a success.  Special thanks to two of NMTPC’s Board members, Paul Golding and Dave Breault, and the Young Fathers’ staff members Carlos Balladares and Robert Valencia who participated.

 

Referral form for the New Mexico Young Fathers Project

 

If you know a struggling young father under the age of 26 – We can help! Download the form and send your referral to Cathy Ahiyite, Fax (505) 254-8741 or email to outreach@nmtpc.org, in the Albuquerque Area.  If you are in the Las Cruces area, send the referral form to Gary Madrid, DA-YFP@nmtpc.org or call (575) 532-1536.   If you are in the Santa Fe area, send to Mr. Barry McIntosh, SF-YFP@nmtpc.org or call (505) 428-1412.

For information on the Young Fathers’ Project please call:

 

Albuquerque

(505) 254-8737

(505) 254-8741 Fax   

 

Barry McIntosh                       Carlos Balladares                                Robert Valencia

Parent Educator                      Santa Fe Site Case Manager             Santa Fe Site Case Manager

(505) 699-7431                       (505) 930-4578                                   (505) 428-1412

 

Gary Madrid                           

Dona Ana County Director                 Gilbert Ramirez, MSW

of Programs                                        Clinical Consultation

(575) 532-1536                                   (505) 254-8737

 

 

 

 

 

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New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition

PO Box 35997

Albuquerque, NM 87176

Physical Address: 540 Chama NE, Suite 11, Albuquerque, NM 87108

 

Phone: (505) 254-8737

Fax: (505) 254-8741

Email: nmtpc@nmtpc.org

Web site: www.nmtpc.org

 

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NEWS FLASH is funded by grants from

New Mexico Department of Health Family Planning Program