Research :: The Health Status of Young Adults in the United States

The health issues of young adulthood have received relatively little attention compared with those of adolescence, although the critical issues in young adulthood parallel those of adolescence. Young adults often fare worse than adolescents on health indicators, with many measures of negative outcomes—including rates of injury, homicide, and substance use—peaking during the young adult years. The contextual factors shaping health status and access to care in young adulthood differ significantly from the context of adolescence. This article synthesizes national data to present a health profile of young adults, reviewing social indicators that describe the context of young adulthood and presenting measures of health status. We examine mortality, morbidity, risky behaviors, and health care access and utilization, identifying the most significant gender and racial/ethnic disparities. The article also identifies limitations of existing data and offers suggestions for future research and health monitoring in this area. We conclude with a discussion of current efforts to address the health and well-being of young adults and argue for creating a national health agenda for young adults that includes research, programs and policies to address health issues during this period of the lifespan.

The Health Status of Young Adults in the United States
M. Jane Park, M.P.H., Tina Paul Mulye, M.P.H., Sally H. Adams, Ph.D., Claire D. Brindis, Dr.P.H., Charles E. Irwin Jr, M.D. Volume 39, Issue 3, Pages 305-317, September 2006

TOPIC(S)

Socio-demographic disparities, Transitions & Trajectories

DATE POSTED

November 4, 2006

AUTHOR(S)

M. Jane Park, M.P.H., Tina Paul Mulye, M.P.H., Sally H. Adams, Ph.D., Claire D. Brindis, Dr.P.H., Charles E. Irwin Jr, M.D

MORE NEWS AND ARTICLES BY SIMILAR TOPIC(S)

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

Use of Mental Health Counseling as Adolescents Become Young Adults

This 2008 article uses AddHealth data to compare rates of mental health counseling use between adolescents and young adults.

Journal Articles | Mental/Behavioral Health | Transitions & Trajectories | Young Adults

The Family Environment & Adolescent Well-Being: Exposure to Positive & Negative Family Influences

In adolescence, the influence of friends and peers take on greater importance, but research demonstrates the continued significance of parents in shaping the behaviors and choices of teens as they face the challenges of growing up. This brief provides data on the influences of parents on their adolescents, addressing issues such as parental monitoring and […]

Families | Reports | Risky Behavior | Social Determinants of Health | Socio-demographic disparities

Racial/Ethnic Disparities and Culturally Competent Health Care Among Youth and Young Men

This 2008 article discusses gaps in research and offers recommendations for improving health care quality and strengthening the research base on gender and disparities during adolescence.

Guidelines/Recommendations | Journal Articles | Males | Socio-demographic disparities | Young Adults

Adolescent and Young Adult Health in San Francisco: Opportunities for Change

The Adolescent Health Working Group, based in San Francisco, held its 11th Annual Teen/Young Adult Provider Gathering. This year’s training focused on Increasing Patient-Centered Care for Young Women. Dr. Brindis was featured as the keynote speaker, and gave a presentation entitled “Adolescent and Young Adult Health in San Francisco: Opportunities for Change.” She discussed the health of […]

Clinical Preventive Services | Data and Monitoring | Overviews/Fact Sheets | Socio-demographic disparities | Young Adults