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Pot-smoking teens less likely to finish high school

Laura Goodall posted in on September 11th, 2014.

Frequent teenage cannabis use is linked with less educational achievement and other problems later in life, according to New Zealand and Australian research. Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared with those who have never used the drug, new research published […]

Sleep a weighty issue for boys

John Kerr posted in on September 20th, 2013.

Poor sleep habits have been linked with teen weight gain in a new study, but the findings only seem to apply to boys. Researchers from the University of Otago examined the sleeping habits and physical measurements of almost 700 secondary school students, identifying a link between less sleep and higher body fat, but only in […]

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Cannabis and IQ debate in the media

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2013.

A Norwegian economist has questioned the findings of a highly publicised New Zealand study which found a causal link between heavy adolescent cannabis use and a decrease in IQ. However, the authors of the original research have backed their conclusions in the ensuing media coverage. Research published last year, based on data from the Dunedin […]

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Teen cannabis IQ impact questioned – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2013.

Heavy cannabis use during the teenage years may not be directly responsible for lower IQ, says a researcher questioning the findings of a highly-publicised New Zealand study. However, the authors of the original study remain confident in their findings. Research based on the internationally-renowned Dunedin longitudinal study drew a causal link last year between adolescent […]

Adolescent Health Report Sparks National Discussion

John Kerr posted in on June 2nd, 2011.

A comprehensive government report on adolescent health has highlighted the extent of difficulties faced by New Zealand youth, drawing national media attention. On Wednesday the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, launched the report, ‘Improving the Transition: Reducing Social and Psychological Morbidity during Adolescence‘. The document draws on the expertise of dozens of […]

Podcast: Adolescent Health Report Launch

John Kerr posted in on June 1st, 2011.

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, today released a comprehensive report on the health and social issues faced by New Zealand’s teenagers. The Prime Minister last year asked his Sir Peter Gluckman to explore the factors underlying adolescent behaviour and to indicate where there may be evidence-based opportunities for changes to policy […]

Colin James on evidence-based policy

John Kerr posted in on May 30th, 2011.

Writing his final column for the  Dominion Post, Colin James examines some recent and upcoming situations that highlight a potential shift in government away from “kick-and-punch personality politics” and towards policy with a more scientific basis. An excerpt (read in full here): Science or old politics: a test for John Key On Wednesday, two reports […]

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