Healthy People Consortium Meeting and Public Hearing
"Building the Next Generation of Healthy People"
November 12 and 13, 1998
Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.

Select Populations:
Adolescents andYoung Adults

Major Themes:

1. Objectives:

  • Critical Objectives—adolescents with disabilities, an important but often neglected group, should be included as a critical objective. Data are already available to track these adolescents. Inclusion of objective as a "critical objective" needs careful consideration.
  • Access to care—should be included as an objective to emphasize that adolescents are often not getting the care that they need. Managed Care needs to be brought into the conversation about addressing adolescents' health care needs, as often recommended counseling is not covered by insurance plans and is, therefore, not provided.
  • Ties to other chapters—should have stronger links with the MICH, Injury/Violence, and Physical Activity chapters.

2. Data Issues:

  • Are we collecting data that is specifically tailored for the objectives, or do our objectives simply reflect what can be collected from the most relevant data sources? Does the latter produce the most useful objectives? Better behavioral data are needed for adolescents as well as for younger adolescents. A suggestion was made to broaden the BRFSS to include all family members.
  • Age Breakdowns—should follow the definitions as delineated by the Society of Adolescent Medicine (early, middle and late adolescents). Objectives should be formulated to reflect developmental stages of adolescence. National data sources do not follow these age breakdowns, and it would be costly to change them. This is problematic, as objectives might not accurately reflect the specific health problems of adolescents. Objectives for teen pregnancy, for example, only focus on 15-17 year olds, though other ages may experience high rates of pregnancy.

3. Programmatic Issues:

  • Funding—more block grant programs are needed - this could allow for communities to decide what is important and what will be successful programs in individual communities. Examples of successful and unsuccessful programs should be shared.
  • Health Education Programs—More comprehensive school health programs are needed, including more school nurses and programs that comprehensively address the needs of adolescents. These programs could include parenting classes beginning in junior high/middle school. Also, more comprehensive health education programs for incarcerated youth are needed.
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