Adolescents are generally healthy; however, they face challenges to their health and well-being that are different from those of children and adults. The OAH website’s new feature, America’s Adolescents, profiles who America’s adolescents are, what they do, and what health issues they face. Below is a snapshot of the information you can expect to find.
- Adolescents are continuing to become more racially and ethnically diverse. Compared to previous generations, a greater share of adolescents are minorities: over one in five identify as Hispanic, and about one in seven identify as black. By 2050, more than half of U.S. adolescents will identify as persons of color. Visit The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents to understand the demographic characteristics of U.S. youth.
- Nearly one in five adolescents lives in poverty. Poverty rates are highest among youth growing up in single-parent households. Growing up in poverty significantly affects adolescent health and is linked to poorer school performance. Learn more in The Changing Face of America’s Adolescents.
- Ninety-two percent of teens report going online daily. Teens spend about two hours a day on weekdays (and more than four hours a day on weekends) interacting with some form of media (including TV or video/computer games). Learn more about how teens spend their time in A Day in the Life.
- Adolescents spend up to 14 hours a week with friends and family. Peer and parent relationships can have a substantial effect on teens’ behaviors and attitudes. These social connections can have positive effects on social, cognitive, and emotional development. Visit A Day in the Life to learn with whom adolescents spend their time.
- Adolescents are generally healthy, but still have issues with physical and mental health. More than one in three adolescents are considered overweight or obese, 31 percent have at least one chronic condition (such as asthma, diabetes, or autism), and 30 percent of teens report having symptoms of depression in the last year. Without proper support and treatment, these issues can negatively affect other parts of adolescents’ lives. Learn more about adolescent health data in A Picture of Adolescent Health.
For additional information about adolescent health topics, please visit the OAH website. You can also learn more about what you can do as a professional, parent, or other caring adult through OAH’s new call to action, Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow℠(TAG).