Adolescent Health Education (A 3 point guide)

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is adolescent health education?. It will elaborate on the various aspects of adolescent health education, the advantages of adolescent health education and the mental, physical, social and reproductive health education of adolescents.

What is adolescent health education?

Adolescent health education is concerned with providing adolescents information about the drastic physical, hormonal, biological,social and psychological changes that result in adolescence and have an effect on how adolescents view their life and their interactions with other people in their life.

Health education among adolescents involves educating them about their physical and psychological health and how they need to take care of themselves. 

Since adolescence is the peak time where an individual develops physically and metnally into an adult human being, it is a crucial period for developing insight about individual health. Health education aims at promoting subjective well being of adolescents across all fields and teaching them that health is not merely the absence of a disease or illness.

Advantages of adolescent health education

Following are the advantages of adolescent health education:

  • Promote the necessity of proper nourishment in adolescent phase.
  • Promote reproductive health care among adolescent boys and girls.
  • Promote the education related to puberty and the changes associated to puberty among the adolescent boys and girls.
  • Create an insight about the sexual rights among adolescent boys and girls.
  • Create an insight about the sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent boys and girls.
  • Counsel adolescents about available treatment options in case of any sexual disorders.
  • Create an awareness related to sexual relations among the adolescents.
  • Create an awareness about taking care of the genitalia among adolescent boys and girls.
  • Teach the adolescents about side effects of malnourishment.
  • Educate the adolescents about the importance of mental health.
  • Educate the importance of play and physical activity in the life of adolescents.
  • Help them develop through adolescence towards adulthood as healthy adults.

The various aspects of adolescent health education

Following are the various aspects of adolescent health education:

  • Healthy nutrition and dietary practices
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Reproductive health
  • Social health
  • Personal hygiene
  • Access to health care systems

Healthy nutrition and dietary practices

Healthy nutrition and dietary practices involve educating the adolescents about educating the male and female adolescents about the healthy eating patterns. It is mandatory to teach the adolescents about healthy nutrition as adolescence is marked with an increase in physical development. The body adopts changes related to adulthood and puberty. 

In order to support the increase in body mass and height, it is mandatory for an adolescent to take a healthy diet based on all proportions of a food pyramid that includes all portions of a healthy diet including vitamins, minerals, iron and other relevant food groups like proteins and carbohydrates. They need to be educated about the ways the dietary intake has to be changed in accordance to age and physical activity.

Adolescents need to be educated about:

  • The various side effects of junk food on the physical and psychological health of adolescents in long term
  • The effects of under nourishment or malnourishment on the physical development of adolescents.
  • The effects of over nutrition and eating alot and gaining weight resulting in obesity during the puberty period.
  • The effects of not eating a specific food group resulting in a specific deficiency in the body of adolescents. Alot of adolescents undergo anemia and vitamin d deficiency as a result of iron deficiency and vitamin d deficiency.
  • Dental health issues that result as the adolescents eat a lot of sweets or candies and don’t take proper care of their teeth.

Physical health

The education of physical health among the adolescents is related to taking proper care of their body development and growth. They are taught to be concerned about the changes in their body and talk to a significant other or a medical health care or a doctor about any signs or symptoms that appear abnormal to them.

They are taught about the various physical changes in the body that occur during the adolescent period due to the puberty changes. The appearance of acne, pimples on the face, oily face, increased growth of body hair, thickening of voice, development of masculine and feminine traits are educated to the adolescents as normal bodily changes that happen to every male and female during puberty.

As a result of education about physical health, adolescents are better able to accept themselves  and the changes that occur to their physical appearance and thus do not develop a low self image and self esteem issues.

Mental health

Mental health education is a crucial aspect of adolescent health education. Since adolescence is marked with a high emotional vulnerability, adolescents are at a higher risk of experiencing emotional anxieties.

A sound mental health is as necessary as physical health to develop through the adolescence phase.educating the adolescent’s about various health issues that may occur during the adolescent period prepares them for taking any professional help and seeking medical aid when necessary.

Following are the mental health issues related to adolescent period:

  • A lack of self awareness
  • Self esteem issues
  • Anxiety related features
  • Depression features
  • Low confidence
  • Social anxiety
  • Communication issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Low tolerance level
  • Emotional anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Peer influence
  • Hopelessness related to future
  • Disoriented sense of self
  • Concentration issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Parental conflicts
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Low academic achievement
  • Bullying 
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Identity crisis
  • Childhood trauma

A part of mental health education to adolescents also deals with destigmatizing seeking counseling and psychotherapy to resolve emotional anxiety and psychological issues. Since adolescents are very cautious about their self image, they don’t want to take any step that hinders their impression in front of their peers. 

Normalizing counseling and psychotherapy is important and is a part of health education programs at schools so that adolescents are able to resolve their conflicts before they reach adulthood.

Reproductive health education of adolescents

Educating adolescents about reproductive health and informing them about the primary and secondary sexual characteristics that appear in the body is an important aspect of adolescent health education.

Adolescents need to know the ways to take care of their reproductive health. Proper hygiene of their genital organs and cleanliness related to the excretion functions is also included in reproductive health education of adolescents.

The sexual rights of adolescents, the pleasure related to sexual parts and the effects of puberty on sexual health are also of concern when educating adolescents about reproductive health.

Since adolescence is the period when male and female teenagers beign to mastrubate or watch porn, it is important to teach them about the side effects of self pleasing practices. The various diseases related to sexual practices and physical relations with same gender and opposite gender partners are also an important factor related to reproductive health education of the adolescents

Informing the adolescents about right to personal privacy and important of consent in sexual relations are also related to reporductive health education of adolescents. 

Teaching the adolescents about sexually transmitted diseases as a result of inappropriate or dysfunctional sexual relations is another important part of adolescnet rhealth education.

Personal hygiene

Grooming and personal hygiene are important features related to adolescent health education. Teaching adolescents about ways to take appropriate care of their body and maintain hygiene is important to healthy development.

Adolescents are informed about the advantages of taking showers daily, maintaining oral hygiene, maintaining physical hygiene and grooming themselves.

Cleaning the genital area properly is also an important aspect of personal hygiene to avoid the development of any infections or bacteria that are harmful.

Alongside the information regarding maintaining proper hair, nails and clothes including the inner wear of boys and girls is also imparted during adolescent health education.

Social health

Social health education to adolescents includes providing them information about their social rights and the community values. It includes teaching them moral principles and etiquettes. 

The adolescents better know the ways to interact and behave in various social settings as a result of social health education. 

Adolescents develop better interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as a result of social health education. 

Adolescents know the deteriorating effects of peer influence, drug abuse and social media addiction as a result of social health education.

Adolescents know their rights to personal privacy and personal boundaries as a result of social health education

Adolescents are better able to identify and report physical, social and emotional abuse as a result of social health educaiton.

Access to health care systems

Imparting knowledge and developing insight among adolescents about their rights and access to health care systems is an important aspect of adolescent health education.

The adolescents are well aware of which place to reach in times of any physical or psychological disorder as a result of education related to health care systems. 

Adolescents are made aware of the various community support programs, health facilitation centers, dispensaries, primary and secondary health setups and drug rehabilitation centers, so that they know which place to reach in which sort of emergency.

Conclusion

The current blogspot focused on the advantages and importance of imparting health education to adolescents. It discussed the various aspects of adolescent health education. We learned that providing health education is of immense importance for adolescents. It prepares them for the various developmental changes as their body grows from childhood to adulthood. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Adolescent Health Education

Why is adolescent health important?

Adolescent health is important as a healthy body in adolescence is better prepared for taking up the physical and psychological changes that occur during the adolescent period while developing from teenage to adulthood.

Why is adolescent education about health important?

Adolescent health education is important. It prepares them mentaly for the various developmental changes that occur in their body. It also enables them to cope up with the challenges of transition to adulthood.

How can adolescents promote health?

Adolescents can promote health by sharing the knowledge they have about the physical and psychological milestone of adolescents among their peers. They can adopt healthy food options. They can promote health by taking a positive perspective on life.

Citations

https://youth.gov/youth-topics/tag/about-tag/five-essentials
https://jech.bmj.com/content/72/6/465

http://www.scielo.br/j/ean/a/wyHpK9Nm4p4wjjp7sHKbkLw/?lang=en#

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC552817/
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/119824/dsa723.pdf;jsessionid=CF5C9BE19F11CD76BCEB1525B0B0676B?sequence=1

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