What’s going on with our girls?

What's with our girls? Adolescence is fraught with stress over puberty, boys, sex, friends, drama, drugs and alcohol, pregnancy, drama, family, and school and drama, which add up to a lot of pressure in a young person’s life, not always negotiated successfully- especially when coupled with mental and behavioral health disorders, and/or past trauma. At the recent AOCC, All Ohio Counselor’s Conference, Pomegranate had the privilege of having the table next to Lisa Hinkelman, PhD, Founder/Executive Director, Ruling our Experiences Inc. (ROX). This non-profit organization trains counselors to implement 20-week programming for girls, covering self-esteem, health, relationships, negotiating social media, sexual violence prevention and developing leadership skills. It is based on evidence gleaned from researching over 3000 girls in grade 4-12. Lisa Hinkelman shared how active girls are with social media- 60% spend more than 5 hours a day on their phone. Hinkelman’s findings on sexting, and sexual violence led to a robust program on sexual violence prevention which compared and contrasted traditional messages on strategies to prevent rape or violence versus outcomes research. The findings are striking. [What you knew- or thought you had been taught correctly- is probably not true.] It’s important that our girls receive the latest and best learning. “By the time girls get to high school only 24% say that they are happy with the way they are,” Hinkelman’s research shows. According to Hinkleman’s presentation “Passive resistance is correlated with increased incidence of complete rape, increased level of physical injury to the victim, and increased level of psychological distress. Assertive resistance is correlated with interrupting a sexual assault-getting away without being raped, less physical injury to the victim, and lower levels of psychological distress.” She explained that, ‘Girls need to believe they are worth defending if we expect them to employ effective safety and violence prevention strategies.’ Her presentations debunked many standard assumptions in other areas as well, related to raising girls now. In another workshop, Hinkelman presented research on the impact of adolescent girls’ school performance, friendships, dating relationships, appearance, and family relationships-based on over 2000 surveys and 914 interview and focus group participants. ‘We’ve had a distinct increase in our female residential population,’ said Angela Nickell, CEO of Pomegranate Health Systems. ‘The need was so great, we recently added another 10 beds for them in our latest expansion,’ she added. In looking at recent diagnostic statistics captured on its’ medical software, Pomegranate is seeing a high percentage of trauma, co-morbid conditions- such as depression and anxiety disorder, borderline personality traits, or bi-polar disorder. We have seen teens who have been trafficked or have come from exceedingly challenging environments, some who came to us through the court system. “Giving them the intensive mental and physical healthcare they need is incredibly important so they develop the skills to become productive adults with promising futures,” says Pomegranate wellness nurse, Lori Harris. We reported in a previous blog that, The CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2007 report states that “Approximately one in ten high school students have experienced physical violence in dating relationships. A survey of over 13,000 U.S. 9th to 12th grade students found that 9.9% (8.8% for girls and 11.0% for boys) had been physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the preceding 12 months.” The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that “13.7% of 11-13 year old girls, 19.6% of 14-16 year old girls, and 27.2% of 17-21 year old young women had experienced verbal or physical abuse by a partner in the previous 18 months (Roberts, TA, Klein J., 2003).” There are often unintended consequences in an era of sexually transmitted diseases, and the potential for pregnancy. Statistics from The National Coalition against Domestic Violence show 73% of family violence victims are female and 86% suffer abuse at the hands of a boyfriend. There were 20,608 domestic violence cases filed in Ohio in 2006. To that end, Pomegranate released a (free) workshop module on teen dating violence prevention, which includes a power-point, instructor’s manual and exercises for facilitation in high school and community environments with an eye toward prevention. 2014 Resources: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-publications/facts/state.html?s=ohio http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/healthy-relationships/fact-sheets/state.html?s=ohio http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/mental-health/fact-sheets/state.html?s=ohio

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/02/367811777/how-girls-are-developing-earlier-in-an-age-of-new-puberty?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=202602

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About Communications

Communications and Social Media @ Sequel-Pomegranate Health Systems
This entry was posted in adolescent psychiatry, mental health, pediatric psychiatry, psychiatric care and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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