Adolescence

 

Adolescence” literally means to ‘grow up’. It is an important milestone in everyone’s life, when the innocence of childhood ends and maturity & responsibility of adulthood start appearing. This transition is usually leads to turmoil and frustration for parents as well as children. However this also is the time for foundation of healthy habits which are most essential for their future life.

An adolescent by definition is the young person between the ages of 10 and 19 years. Although adolescence and young adulthood are generally healthy times of life, several important public health and social problems either peak or start during these years. Examples include:

  • Malnutrition (under & over)
  • Lack of fitness
  • Depression/aggressive behaviour
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Motor vehicle crashes, including those caused by drinking and driving
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Smoking
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Teen and unplanned pregnancies

Because they are in developmental transition, adolescents and young adults are particularly sensitive to environmental influences including family, peer group, school,

Family

  • Healthy habits starts at home, parent with healthy habits carry a major influence in the children’s mind.
  • Adolescents who perceive that they have good communication and are bonded with an adult are less likely to engage in risky behaviours.
  • Parents who provide supervision and are involved with their adolescents’ activities are promoting a safe environment in which to explore opportunities.
  • Parents, who guide their children with their peer group, help them keep healthy habits.
  • The children of families living in poverty are more likely to have health conditions and poorer health status, as well as less access to and utilization of health care.

School

  • Academic success and achievement are strong predictors of overall adult health outcomes.
  • High school graduation leads to lower rates of health problems
  • The school social environment affects students’ attendance, academic achievement, and behaviour.

 Neighborhoods

Adolescents growing up in distressed neighborhoods characterized by concentrated poverty are at risk for a variety of negative outcomes, including poor physical and mental health,  and risky sexual behaviour.

Parents as well as the society needs to focus on these growing children/adults. They need ‘tender loving care’ along with disciplinary hand in order to make them grow in to a healthy responsible citizen of the country.