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Adolescent Health: Risks and Resources
Broadcast Date: July 24, 2007
In 1988, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in order to process and identify the leading causes of mortality, morbidity, and social problems among our youth. These behaviors were identified and categorized into six risk areas: 1) behaviors that result in unintentional and intentional injuries; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and drug abuse; 4) sexual behaviors that result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancies; 5) physical inactivity; and 6) dietary behaviors. The collected data is assembled by surveying Alabama 15–19 year olds every other year. The trends that are recorded are compared to the National Average and studied by educators and health professionals to determine the prevalence of health-risk behaviors.
This data demonstrates that risk behavior patterns are usually established during childhood, persist into adulthood, are inter-related, and are preventable. These patterns can cause serious health problems and contribute to the educational and social issues that confront our state. During the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents (ages 10–24) struggle to adapt behaviors that could decrease their risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood–behaviors such as eating nutritiously, engaging in physical activity, and choosing not to use tobacco. They can be permanently and adversely affected by serious health and safety issues such as motor vehicle crashes, violence, substance use, and sexual behavior. Environmental factors such as family, peer groups, schools, and community characteristics influence the behavior patterns of our youth.
To have the most positive impact on adolescent health, government agencies, community organizations, schools, and individuals must work together in a comprehensive approach. Providing safe and nurturing environments for Alabama youth can ensure that our young people will be healthy and productive members of society.
Sue Jones, MEd
The FOCUS Program
Jamie Keith, MS
Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Henry N. Williford, Jr., EdD, FACSM
Distinguished Research Professor
Department Head, School of Education
Department of Foundations
Secondary and Physical Education
Auburn University at Montgomery
Clinicians, nurses, educators, social workers, health educators and other public health providers who counsel, educate and manage adolescent clients. This program will also be of interest to school personnel including counselors, teachers, school nurses and administrators.
None for this program
Contact for Technical Assistance
334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN
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