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.