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Why your teen's life includes less drinking and more texting

Teens have slowed down on drinking. But they’ve picked up their cellphones and have increased the amount of texting, so much so that they’re doing it while they’re driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a new study of 13,000 American high school students that found some interesting trends, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Not only are teens smoking, drinking and fighting less, but they’re also cutting back on “risky sex,” a trend that’s been consistent since 1991, The Inquirer reported.

"Overall, young people have more healthy behaviors than they did 20 years ago," said Stephanie Zaza, who oversaw the CDC’s study, to the Inquirer.

But, as Time magazine reported, texting has picked up for teens. And many of them are texting while driving. Four out of 10 teens admitted to texting while driving, Time reported.

“But texting and driving isn’t the only risky business teens are engaging in,” wrote Maya Rhodan for Time. “Though teens aren’t watching as much TV as they were in 1999, more are using the computer for longer periods of time. And sitting in front of screen does little to help the nearly 21% of adolescents considered obese.”

Teens may not strive to be popular anymore, either, Deseret News National reported on Thursday. Multiple articles looked into how there are actually problems later in life for those who are popular in high school.

"It appears that while so-called cool teens' behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool," said Joseph P. Allen, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, according to Business Insider.

If teens are trying to act older, then they’re more likely to develop alcohol- and drug-related problems as they reach adulthood, Business Insider reported.

Business Insider’s report was based on a new study published in the journal Child Development that looked at the state of teenage life.

Popularity is fleeting, too. NPR reported that the study found that teenage popularity fades by the time teens are 22, NPR reported.

"We call it the high school reunion effect," Allen said to NPR. "The student who was popular and was running with the fast crowd isn't doing as great later on.”

So instead of trying to be popular, teens might want to invest in a summer job, according to Michigan Radio. The teen unemployment rate is expected to hit 26.5 percent during summer 2014, which is close to last year’s numbers.

And this could impact a young person's future, Michigan Radio reported.

“Not having a job in your teenage years may have negative effects for some, such as those who dropped out of school and did not work,” according to Michigan radio. “They would have a harder time finding employment as adults.”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner