Culture Connection — A Family Ministry Resource

May 24, 2024

Teens Self-Diagnosing Mental Illness

Teenagers are increasingly using social media to self-diagnose their mental health issues, alarming parents and advocates who say actual care should be easier to access.  A poll by EdWeek Research Center released this week found 55 percent of students use social media to self-diagnose, and 65 percent of teachers say they’ve seen the phenomenon in their classrooms.

Experts said they have regularly observed the practice too, and that the solution is not as simple as taking away phones or chastising teenagers who turn to free methods to receive mental health advice when more comprehensive assistance may be difficult to get.  “Kids are all coming in and I’m asking them, ‘Where did you get this diagnosis?’” said Don Grant, national adviser for healthy device management at Newport Healthcare. Grant said he would get responses such as “Oh, there’s an influencer,” “Oh, I took a quiz,” or “Oh, there’s a group on social media that talks about it.”  

Influencers and online groups are “convincing these kids they have all these diagnoses,” he said.

And with their amateur diagnoses in hand, teenager might not only fail to understand their actual problems, they could pursue solutions — or even medications — that aren’t right for them.

This week’s Culture Connection is an excerpt from an article by Lexi Lonas posted at thehill.com titled, ‘Teens’ latest social media trend? Self-diagnosing their mental health issues.’

May 17, 2024

What it is: Gallup polling data has found a huge spike in the percentage of Americans who say they get less sleep than they need. Survey results also indicate an increase in Americans’ daily stress.

Why it’s news you can use: This data indicates that when you interact with anyone—in a store, on the road, at work, or in church—there’s a decent chance that particular human is feeling both exhausted and stressed out. The odds of this stress/exhaustion matrix are even higher if you are conversing with a young woman aged 18 to 29. In 2001, 42% of young women in that bracket said they get enough sleep, but that number has dropped to 27%. Younger women are also the most likely to say they experience daily stress. Stress and sleep have a symbiotic relationship, and parents should understand how both factors play a role in teens’ mental health.

This week’s Culture Connection comes from The Culture Translator, a weekly email sent by Axis. Axis exists to build lifelong faith by helping parents and caring adults talk with their kids about what they otherwise wouldn’t, one conversation at a time. You can subscribe to this resource here.

May 10, 2024

Under Protest

What it is: Students at several US campuses continued to protest the war in Gaza by camping out on school grounds. 

What it means for Gen Z: The stated desire of many student groups is for their universities to cut financial ties with Israel. It is worth noting that not every protestor has the same motivation, not everyone present at university protests is a student, and these protests are not limited to the United States. There has also been a spate of arrests as police worked to clear some encampments, as well as reports of violence and antisemitism on school grounds. Many Gen Zers have expressed that the crackdown on these protests is a violation of their civil liberties, a sentiment that could be fueling the fire of more protests. The Class of 2024, who entered university as freshmen during the COVID-19 pandemic are now facing a graduation season filled with political anxiety in a polarized campus environment—a particularly tumultuous conclusion to their unique academic experience that they may see as cruel and unfair.

This week’s Culture Connection comes from The Culture Translator, a weekly email sent by Axis. Axis exists to build lifelong faith by helping parents and caring adults talk with their kids about what they otherwise wouldn’t, one conversation at a time. You can subscribe to this resource here.

April 26, 2024

She Shoots, She Scores

What it is: WNBA superstar Caitlin Clark has hit the mainstream, fueling conversations about women in sports. 


Why it’s a bigger conversation: The former Iowa Hawkeye has taken the world by storm, securing a spot with the Indiana Fever as the number 1 pick in the WNBA draft on Monday. She’s also secured a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike. The contract is worth more than $20 million, boosting Clark’s starting rookie salary, which has raised criticism for its low numbers. Without said contract, her salary would have been a little over $75k, whereas in the NBA, the first draft pick is expected to make around $10.5 million in year one. Despite this discrepancy, as well as some run-ins with weird reporters and creepy fellow-athletes, Clark has maintained a level head, saying she chooses to “focus on the opinions of the people inside our locker room. That’s what I really care about. The people that I love to death. The people that have had my back every single second of my career.”

This week’s Culture Connection comes from The Culture Translator, a weekly email sent by Axis. Axis exists to build lifelong faith by helping parents and caring adults talk with their kids about what they otherwise wouldn’t, one conversation at a time. You can subscribe to this resource here.

April 26, 2024

She Shoots, She Scores

What it is: WNBA superstar Caitlin Clark has hit the mainstream, fueling conversations about women in sports. 


Why it’s a bigger conversation: The former Iowa Hawkeye has taken the world by storm, securing a spot with the Indiana Fever as the number 1 pick in the WNBA draft on Monday. She’s also secured a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike. The contract is worth more than $20 million, boosting Clark’s starting rookie salary, which has raised criticism for its low numbers. Without said contract, her salary would have been a little over $75k, whereas in the NBA, the first draft pick is expected to make around $10.5 million in year one. Despite this discrepancy, as well as some run-ins with weird reporters and creepy fellow-athletes, Clark has maintained a level head, saying she chooses to “focus on the opinions of the people inside our locker room. That’s what I really care about. The people that I love to death. The people that have had my back every single second of my career.”

This week’s Culture Connection comes from The Culture Translator, a weekly email sent by Axis. Axis exists to build lifelong faith by helping parents and caring adults talk with their kids about what they otherwise wouldn’t, one conversation at a time. You can subscribe to this resource here.

April 19, 2024

Tween’s Most Used Slang Words – According to Them

Trying to keep up with tween slang might just be the cringiest thing for all parties involved. It’s an awkward ride that often leaves adults asking, “what did they just say?!” It’s easy to get lost in a sea of “bruhs,” “slays,” and “bussins,” especially when 11-year-olds laugh at you for using it wrong. YPulse asked tweens what their most used slang words are in 2024 so brands can emerge with a newfound understanding of the youngest of consumers. Here are the 10 most-used slang words among tweens right now—according to them:

  • Bra / Bro / Bruh
  • Cap
  • Slay
  • Cool
  • Rizz
  • Sus
  • Bussin
  • Wassup
  • Lit
  • Yo

 

This week’s Culture Connection comes from YPulse. They are a company that provides research content to companies and organizations with strategic insight on how to reach the next generation. Their stated purpose is to fully and completely understand what the world looks like from the perspective of young people, demystifying youth for brands.

 

April 12, 2024

Absent Minded

What it is: Data from the American Enterprise Institute found that during the 2022-2023 school year, 26% of students met the definition of “chronically absent,” meaning they missed ten percent or more of the school year. 


Who it impacts: The AEI data shows a 75% jump in chronic absenteeism from pre-pandemic baseline attendance rates. This trend of chronic absenteeism has educators worried that middle and high schoolers nationwide are disengaged from the learning process. This increase in student absences is hitting schools in high poverty districts the hardest, but it’s happening everywhere. It’s possible that COVID school closures made school feel more optional, reordering the way that students, and their families, see in-person class time on their list of priorities. It’s also possible that these absentee rates are related to the spike in behavioral problems educators have observed since 2021.

This week’s Culture Connection comes from The Culture Translator, a weekly email sent by Axis. Axis exists to build lifelong faith by helping parents and caring adults talk with their kids about what they otherwise wouldn’t, one conversation at a time. You can subscribe to this resource here.

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