Adolescence is a critical stage of development during which physical, intellectual, emotional, and psychological changes occur. While adolescence is a relatively healthy period of life, adolescents begin to make lifestyle choices and establish behaviors that affect both their current and future health. During this transition from childhood to adulthood, serious health and safety issues such as motor vehicle crashes, violence, substance use, and risky sexual behaviors can adversely affect adolescents and young adults. For instance, in 2013, over 1 in 5 reported current tobacco use, and among those sexually active, almost 2 out of 3 reported not using condoms regularly.
Parents have an important role in helping their adolescents stay healthy, but there are other influences on the choices adolescents make. Of the 42 million U.S. adolescents, age 10-19 years, 91% are enrolled in school, making schools and academic institutions an ideal place to foster lifelong healthy behaviors. Other community level interventions can also make the healthy choice the easy choice. Interventions that improve adolescent health care delivery are needed. Healthcare systems should continue to improve access to and use of clinical preventive services and provide opportunities for young patients to learn to manage their own health.
This session of Grand Rounds explored adolescent health, specifically how families, community organizations, schools, and government agencies can work together to encourage adolescents to avoid risk and adopt health-promoting behaviors.
Click HERE to view the PowerPoint for this CDC Grand Rounds session.
A recorded webcast of this session is also available on the CDC website.
New! Check out the latest CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report based on this Grand Rounds session.