Research :: How Youth are Faring in the Transition to Adulthood

Led by our partners at Child Trends, NAHIC developed three briefs examining how youth are faring in the transition to adulthood, with respect to having problems related to heavy alcohol use, illicit drug use, criminal behavior, and financial hardship.

Encouraging news from the first brief is that most young adults avoid these problems and most of those who have moderate or multiple problems in their early 20s, have minimal problems by their late 20s.

The second brief explores adolescent predictors of these problems and suggests that supportive relationships with teachers and parents and weekly religious involvement during adolescence help youth avoid problematic outcomes in early adulthood.

The third brief provides evidence that depression and suicidality in adolescence are associated with more problems in young adulthood and unhealthy transitions during the young adult years.

Two additional Child Trends briefs prepared under a partnership with NAHIC examine the adolescent predictors of young adult function. A brief released in 2013 suggests that depression and suicidality in adolescence are predictive of unhealthy relationships in young adulthood. A 2014 brief presents findings from a study on high school health policies and young adult substance use.


Depression, Families, Mental/Behavioral Health, Reports, Socio-demographic disparities, Substance Use, Transitions & Trajectories, Young Adults


July 30, 2014


Transitioning to Adulthood- The Role of Supportive Relationships and Regular Religious Involvement
Transitioning to Adulthood- How Do Young Adults Fare and What Characteristics are Associated with a Lower-Risk Transition


America’s Adolescents: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?

This 2002 article reviews the historical trends and current status of the health of America’s adolescents.

Mental/Behavioral Health | Mortality | Risky Behavior | Sexual and Reproductive Health | Substance Use | Trends

Preventive Care for Adolescents: Few Get Visits and Fewer Get Services

This article 2009 examines rates and disparities in access to preventive care and receipt of recommended preventive services among adolescents.

Access & Utilization | Clinical Guidelines | Clinical Preventive Services | Journal Articles | Socio-demographic disparities

Who Gets Confidential Care? Disparities in a National Sample of Adolescents

This paper uses the 2001–2004 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey to examine rates of past-year adolescent time alone with a clinician by visit type, and among youths with a preventive visit, examined age, gender, and race/ethnicity differences.

Clinical Preventive Services | Confidential Care | Journal Articles | Socio-demographic disparities

Socioeconomic Patterning of Smoking, Sedentary Lifestyle & Overweight Status Among Adolescents: in Norway and the United States

This 2003 study explores differences both in prevalence and socioeconomic patterning between Norway and the United States. The results indicate that the major challenges differ between the two countries.

Data and Monitoring | Overweight | Risky Behavior | Social Determinants of Health | Socio-demographic disparities

Best Practices Brief

This 2004 brief provides an overview of Best Practices and a comprehensive listing of resources available in adolescent health.

Evidence-based programs | Reports | State & Community Programs