The online world is full of risky situations for teens, but allowing them to gradually build their own coping strategies may be a better parental strategy than forbidding internet use, according to a team of researchers.
With research and programs aimed at changing risky behaviors, Penn State's Prevention Research Center promotes well-being in children, teens, and families.
Established in 1997 with an endowment by alumna Edna Bennett Pierce, the Prevention Research Center is the largest of its kind in the nation. It also is recognized as one of the best. "What sets us apart is our broad range of focuses," says acting director Ed Smith. "While we're similar to other prevention centers in that we promote effective programs and work in communities to ensure they're being done well, we incorporate a strong research component."
The popular perception that college students are reaching new levels of self-indulgence and risky behavior during spring break excursions may be based on media coverage and scholarship that oversimplifies what has become an annual rite for many young adults, according to researchers.
The researchers, who reported their findings in the current issue of Tourism Review International, said that since much of the research is based on data derived from self-reporting surveys, students may skew their actual behaviors.