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Researchers note that the rate of mental disorders might be even worse because high school dropouts and institutionalized teens were not included in the study. Summer Numbers: Notice any labor shortages this summer? A few extra moments in line at the Dairy Queen? It could be because there were not enough high school and college students to fill all of the summer job vacancies. According to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1 million fewer 16- to 24-year-olds were looking for jobs this summer than last summer.

The bureau attributes the drop in the summer work force to the steady decline of the size of the 16-to 24-year-old population. GED Rates Down: The number of Americans receiving General Educational Development diplomas dropped sharply in 1989, according to a report issued by the GED Testing Service.

While GED officials estimate there are 50 million to 52 million adults in the United States who have not graduated from high school, only 682,728 people took the GED test last year. Of that group, only 364,287 received GED diplomas--13.4 percent fewer than received diplomas in 1988. Just Say "No'': Eight undercover police officers who posed in Los Angeles high schools as students trying to buy drugs report that many "classmates'' advised them not to use drugs.

Nevertheless, the number of drug arrests in the district's high schools has increased, say police. Last spring, 139 drug arrests were made at nine high schools. In 1989, 56 arrests were made.

Or Say "Just A Little''?: Teens who have experimented with marijuana are more likely to be psychologically healthy than their peers who either abuse the drug or have never tried it, say two psychologists at the University of California Berkeley.

Their study--which appeared in the June issue of American Psychologist--followed a group of San Francisco-area children for 15 years, from age 3 to 18. By the end of the study, they found that the teens could be separated into three distinct groups: those who abstained from marijuana or any other drug, those who had experimented with marijuana or used it infrequently, and those who abused it.

The abusers, the study found, were more typically troubled, alienated, and emotionally withdrawn than the experimenters. Abstainers tended to be overcontrolled, tense, and emotionally constricted compared with the experimenters.

All of these traits, according to the researchers, were evident during early childhood, leading researchers to believe that more effective drug prevention programs would focus less on "drug education'' and more on improving parenting skills, enhancing self-esteem, and fostering better interpersonal relationships.

--Debra Ladestro

Vol. 01, Issue 10, Page 1-24

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