[Editorial] The challenges of adolescence

Kelsey, Janet and Simons, Joan (2014). [Editorial] The challenges of adolescence. Journal of Child Health Care

URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/pb-assets/cmscontent/...


Adolescence is seen in many cultures as different to any other stage of development with influences on young people at this stage having consequences on both their fulfilment and their progression into adulthood. It is a stage where the boundaries are blurred; definitions of the age range differ across contexts spanning 10-19 years, 15-24 years and 10-24 years (UNICEF, 2011). The latter extended age range is credited to an extended transition into adulthood with young people often not independent until their mid-20s, particularly in terms of housing and financial support. It is accepted that during this time young people experience pronounced physical, psychological and behavioural changes which have health care implications unique to this age group. The interaction of these developmental changes and the social determinants of health may have long lasting effect on adolescents’ eventual outcomes. This has been recognised for over forty years, spanning the Black Report (DHSS 1980) through to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO 2014) review of ‘Social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region’. Although this review emphasizes the importance of early childhood, it reiterates that action is needed at every stage of life to reduce inequality and create more equality of access to services. Social factors identified as affecting health include family assets, housing, social exclusion, lack of education during adolescence and unemployment (Wilkinson and Marmot, 2003).

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