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Survey suggests teenagers at high risk for date violence

The Associated Press, U.S.A., August 27, 2001, published in various newspapers including The Daily Texan

MINNEAPOLIS U.S.A. - One in 10 girls and nearly one in 20 boys reported being raped or physically abused on dates, a broad survey of high school students found.

Researchers analyzing a 1998 survey of Minnesota ninth- and 12th-graders also found that the victims of both genders were much more likely than non-abused young people to report emotional problems including suicidal thoughts and eating disorders, and to have lower emotional well-being and self-esteem.

And with about 6 percent of the boys and girls reporting some type of date-related violence by ninth grade, the study shows the need to begin preventive efforts before high school, said the lead author, psychologist Diann Ackard.

Ackard, who's in private practice in Golden Valley, planned to present her findings Sunday at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco.

While previous studies had similar findings for girls, the work by Ackard and co-author Dianne Neumark-Sztainer of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is unusual in examining the experiences of boys.

Ackard said the state-administered survey didn't ask about the boys' dates.

"So we don't know if it's boys dating boys, boys dating men, or girls being Read More ..rceful," she said.

Their study also is significant for the large size of its sample 81,247 kids.

The Minnesota group isn't perfectly representative of the United States in all its diversity, but the sample is big enough to allow for some generalizations for similar populations, Ackard said in an interview. She said previous studies she knew of had samples of between 2,000 and 5,000.

The work follows a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association that suggested one in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

That study, by Jay Silverman of the Harvard University School of Public Health, was based on surveys of 4,163 public school students in Massachusetts.

Silverman said in an interview that the smaller proportion of girls reporting abuse in Ackard's study made sense. He noted that the Minnesota survey asked "Have you ever been the victim of date rape?" while the Massachusetts survey asked whether they had been "forced into any sexual contact."

"One in 10 girls identifying their experience as dating violence, identifying it as date rape, certainly should be concerning to people," Silverman said.

The findings highlight the need for professionals who work with adolescents to ask them the right questions about their dating experiences, about peer-to-peer violence, and to open up discussions about appropriate dating behavior and how young people should respond in such situations, Ackard said.

And parents need to talk with their children even before they start dating about how to protect themselves, such as by dating earlier in the day, double-dating with trusted friends and finding out more beforehand about the people they date, Ackard said.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father's death.

Some psychiatrists call it Parental Alienation Syndrome and they say that's why the son killed Doctor Rick Lohstroh last summer. The syndrome is basically caused by a bitter parent who poisons a child against the other parent, usually in cases of divorce.

Teen depression on the increase in U.K.- teen suicide statistics

Teen depression on the increase

More and More teens are becoming depressed. The numbers of young people suffering from depression in the last 10 years has risen worryingly, an expert says.

BBC, UK, August 3, 2004

Government statistics suggest one in eight adolescents now has depression.

Unless doctors recognise the problem, Read More ..uld slip through the net, says Professor Tim Kendall of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

Guidelines on treating childhood depression will be published next year. Professor Kendall says a lot Read More ..eds to be done to treat the illness.

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Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.