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  2. Adolescent Health
  3. Federal Data

Federal Data

There are 42 million adolescents in the U.S., which make up more than 13 percent of the U.S. population.1 It is important to collect data on adolescents so changes in health outcomes and behaviors (positive and negative) can be tracked. With this information, practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers can respond accordingly to important issues affecting adolescents. The following sources of federal data specifically track health health-related statistics on adolescents.

Monitoring the Future
This survey is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are surveyed. The survey has been funded with grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
NSDUH provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs), and mental health in the United States. NSDUH is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

National Survey on Children’s Health
This survey provides rich data on multiple, intersecting aspects of adolescents’ lives—including physical and mental health, access to quality health care, and the adolescent’s family, neighborhood, school, and social context. This survey is funded and directed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
This survey monitors six types of health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual risk behaviors, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and state, territorial, tribal, and local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world’s largest, ongoing telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (the Forum) is a working group of federal agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families. The Forum's annual report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, provides the nation with a summary of national indicators of child well-being and monitors changes in these indicators over time. In addition to providing data in an easy-to-use, non-technical format, the purpose of the report is to stimulate discussions among policymakers and the public, exchanges between data providers and policy communities, and improvements in federal data on children and families.

References

1 U.S. Census Bureau, 2014

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How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).