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)


Improving the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults: Out-of-School Time Programs That Have Significant Positive Impacts

This brief by Child Trends (created through a partnership with NAHIC) identifies 46 out-of-school time programs that have shown positive impacts on adolescent or young adult outcomes. Outcome categories include behavior problems, substance use, reproductive health, social-emotional health, life skills, education, and physical health.

Evidence-based programs | Mental/Behavioral Health | Reports | Sexual and Reproductive Health | State & Community Programs | Substance Use | Young Adults

Profiles of Adolescents Who are Not in Good Health

Only a small proportion of American adolescents are described by a parent as being only in fair or poor health. However, a 2014 brief from Child Trends, presents national data showing that these youth differ from their reportedly healthier peers on several health, family, school and neighborhood characteristics. This brief provides a comprehensive portrait of […]

Data and Monitoring | Families | Reports | Social Determinants of Health | Socio-demographic disparities | State Data

Health Care Reform: Opportunities for Improving Adolescent Health

This report is the result of a working seminar in 1994 that brought together experts to make recommendations on how health care reform can best address the needs of adolescents.

Confidential Care | Families | Guidelines/Recommendations | Health Care Reform | Special Populations | Youth-Centered Care

How High School Policies Shape Substance Use

In partnership with NAHIC, researchers at Child Trends used national longitudinal data to examine how high school policies shape substance use in young adulthood. The brief examines several policies, as well as individual, family and peer factors relevant to substance use. Research findings suggest that policies to promote a positive school environment are more likely […]

Policy | Reports | Social Determinants of Health | State Policy | Substance Use | Transitions & Trajectories | Young Adults

AYA Marketing Series

In May 2016, two webinars on ‘marketing the well-visit‘ were hosted by the State Adolescent Health Resource Center (SAHRC), core Center partner. Click here to view to the first webinar on ‘market disruptors‘, and here for the second webinar on ‘co-creation.’

Access & Utilization | State & Community Programs | Webinars/Presentations