Health and Nutrition

Adolescent Health

Adolescence is an important time for promoting health and preventing disease; one that is sometimes overlooked. Most of the nation’s 42 million adolescents,1 who are between the ages of 10 and 19, are generally healthy. In recent years, the United States has seen declines in sexual risk behaviors, teen births, smoking, and use of some substances, as well as higher academic achievement for younger adolescents.2,3 However, all adolescents can benefit from guidance on how to improve their health and development during these years—and for some, serious challenges remain.

Adolescent health encompasses changing transitions within multiple domains, including the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and intellectual. The fast-paced development of these different domains can lead to phenomenal growth during this period. This growth can also occur at different rates, which can put adolescents at a higher risk for risk-taking behaviors and emerging mental health issues. It is important to understand adolescent development, environmental influences, and the risk and protective factors that can affect adolescent health so that organizations and individuals who work with youth can support the health and healthy development of all adolescents.

Resources

Got Transition
This program, from The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, is funded through a cooperative agreement from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration. Its aim is to improve the transition from pediatric to adult health care through the use of evidence-driven strategies for clinicians and other health care professionals; public health programs; payers and plans; youth and young adults; and parents and caregivers.

Promoting Positive Adolescent Health Behaviors and Outcomes: Thriving in the 21st Century
This report identifies key program factors that can improve health outcomes related to adolescent behavior and provides evidence-based recommendations toward effective implementation of federal programming initiatives. This study explores normative adolescent development, the current landscape of adolescent risk behavior, core components of effective programs focused on optimal health, and recommendations for research, programs, and policies.

2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Results
These reports present information about the percentages of high school and middle school students who engage in certain risk behaviors, along with the status of school health policies and programs designed to address those behaviors.

Facts & Stats
On this Office of Population Affairs webpage, you can access the latest numbers and facts about adolescent health at the national and state levels. Find information on changing demographics and how adolescents spend their time.

The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents
This webpage from the Office of Population Affairs gives a comprehensive overview of adolescent health topics such as health outcomes, health disparities, and regional differences.

Division of Adolescent and School Health
The Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer additional information on adolescent health topics including fact sheets, data and statistics, and publications and other resources.

Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
This report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides the latest results from the survey, covering key indicators of substance use and mental health in the U.S. including findings on adolescents.

References

1 U.S. Census Bureau, 2014
2 Martin, Hamilton, Osterman, & Driscoll, 2019; Johnston et al., 2019; National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
3 Kann, et al., 2018

Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board

For 30 years the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) has coordinated the efforts of the four largest Minneapolis Public Jurisdictions: The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, and the Minneapolis Public Schools. YCB continues to remain a unique collaborative model that convenes and connects organizations in Minneapolis and across jurisdictions, with the goal of implementing and coordinating policies, opportunities, and services that benefit Minneapolis children and youth.

Opportunity for Involvement: Participants Needed for National Survey on Supports Families Received During the Transition Years

This survey will document the kinds of support provided to family members and young adults with behavioral health challenges during the transition years (16–25). Family members and other allies who provide/provided support to young people and young adults who receive/received support are invited to complete the confidential survey.

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG)

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG) is a national call to action to improve adolescent health in the United States. TAG calls upon organizations and individuals to prioritize activities that can support the health and healthy development of all of America's 42 million adolescents.

About TAG
Learn about the goals of TAG, its roots in positive youth development, its Five Essentials for Healthy Adolescents, and risk and protective factors that can influence adolescent health.

Using TAG
You can make a difference by taking actions to improve adolescent health! Learn more about the recommended actions steps and resources, and then get others to join TAG.

TAG in Action: Successful Strategies
See how communities across the country have used TAG's Five Essentials to make real, positive, change for adolescent health.

Game Plan for Engaging Youth
Find ideas for engaging adolescents and young adults in taking ownership of their health. Help them take the lead!

TAG Resources
Check out these resources to empower adults and adolescents. TAG, you're it!

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® and the logo design are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Resource: Youth Thrive Survey

The Youth Thrive Survey is a valid and reliable web-based instrument that measures the presence, strength, and growth of the Youth Thrive Protective and Promotive Factors as proxy indicators of well-being.

Summer and Youth Employment Resources

Download the resource list (PDF, 4 pages).

Online Communities & Resources

  • Sponsored by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, WorkforceGPS provides workforce professionals, educators, and business leaders curated communities of interest, useful training resources, promising practices, and evidenced-based research.
  • Summer Jobs Community of Practice provides a space to share promising practices and knowledge and expertise about summer programming.
  • Youth Connections Community of Practice is an online learning destination for public workforce system staff and partners who connect youth to employment, training, and educational opportunities.

Finding Resources for Youth

  • Map My Community Tool on youth.gov helps locate Federally-funded youth programs in a designated area by ZIP code search.
  • Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success is a curriculum developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability and Employment Policy focused on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities.
  • Museums for All was launched in 2014 as a cooperative initiative between Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS) and the Association of Children's Museums, as a way to reach out to underserved communities and encourage all families to visit museums regularly. The program allows individuals with an EBT card free or reduced (up to $3.00) admission for up to four persons per cardholder during normal operating hours.

Finding Employment Opportunities

  • GetMyFuture.org connects young adults to career, education, and job search resources sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Protecting Young Employees

Recruiting & Engaging Young Workers

  • Youth Resources on Engagement provides lists of technical assistance resources to help state and local workforce leaders, youth program practitioners, stakeholders and partners get prepared to successfully implement a high-quality summer youth employment programs.

Resources on Work Experiences, Leadership, & Training

Financial Literacy

Summer Meals

Listening Session: What Big Decisions are Youth Facing Today?

Twenty-one young people shared the important decisions in their lives, including the people who support them and resources they use to make decisions.