Research :: Towards Meeting the Needs of Adolescents

The overall goal of Towards Meeting the Needs of Adolescents: An Assessment of Federally Funded Adolescent Health Programs and Initiatives within the Department of Health and Human Services is to better understand the types of youth programs addressing health areas where American adolescents fare differently than their counterparts in other countries. We reviewed the existing “state of the state” information on selected adolescent health programs supported by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in seven content areas (health and well-being, fitness, family and peer relationships, school environment, smoking, alcohol and violence).

This review examines four important questions regarding federal efforts to improve adolescent health:
1. Is there a national policy that addresses the promotion of adolescent health?
2. Is DHHS making an effort to create healthier environments for adolescents through a multi-level approach?
3.  What is the status of evaluations of federally funded adolescent health programs?
4. What can we learn from existing evaluations of programs that seek to influence adolescent health outcomes?

This review aims to help policymakers and program managers in future efforts to make the most effective use of resources in meeting the varied needs of adolescents, their families, and their communities.


Families, Risky Behavior, State & Community Programs, Substance Use


December 27, 2004


Claire D. Brindis, Elizabeth C. Hair, Stephanie W. Cochran, Kevin Cleveland, L. Teresa Valderrama, M. Jane Park


Towards Meeting the Needs of Adolescents (Brief)


State Policies and Adolescent Alcohol Use

Consistent with prior research, a 2014 Research Brief from our partners at Child Trends presented mixed findings on the relationship between state policy and adolescent alcohol use. Higher beer taxes and laws requiring that beer kegs be registered are associated with decreases in adolescent drinking, laws that impose a driver’s license penalty for consumption are […]

Policy | Reports | State Policy | Substance Use

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

What Gets Measured Gets Done: Assessing Data Availability for Adolescent Populations

This 2007 paper provides an overview of the availability of data for specific adolescent sub-populations, such as rural and homeless/runaway youth, by the 21 Critical Health Objectives of Healthy People 2010.

Data and Monitoring | Journal Articles | Mortality | Risky Behavior | Special Populations

The Health of America’s Middle Childhood Population

This 2002 monograph describes the environment in which children live and presents diverse measures of wellbeing, as well as traditional measures of health.

Families | Immunizations | Mental/Behavioral Health | Middle Childhood | Mortality | Overweight | Risky Behavior

Trends in Adolescent and Young Adult Health in the United States

This article reviews health trends for adolescents and young adults, providing a single source for a national health profile. Data are presented on demographics, mortality, health-related behaviors, and healthcare access and utilization and major gender and racial/ethnic disparities are highlighted.

Access & Utilization | Data and Monitoring | Journal Articles | Mortality | Risky Behavior | Socio-demographic disparities | Trends | Young Adults