What is Adolescent health?

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is adolescent health?”. We will learn the various aspects of adolescent health. We will also discuss the parameters of adolescent health, the ways to enhance adolescent health and the advantages of maintaining good adolescent health.

What is Adolescent health?

Adolescent health is an integral part of adolescent age. Adolescence health is composed of the various components of growth and development that are included in the human transition from childhood to adulthood. 

Adolescent health encompasses multiple domains that include majorly physical growth, social growth, cognitive growth and intellectual growth. Along the growth of an adolescent, the adolescent period is marked with a number of risks and challenges. 

The growth of adolescents occurs at different rates, at times the growth is rapid enough to make the adolescents feel uncomfortable in their own body due to the hormonal rush and increased emotional sensitivity. They tend to be more prone to get involved in risk taking situations and also appear more impulsive and reactive that can make them get involved in risky situations.

Inorder to understand the adolescent health, it is imperative to understand adolescent development, environmental influences on the adolescent health, the various risk factors related to adolescent health and the various protecting factors for adolescent health.

Why is adolescent health important?

Adolescence period is a period of drastic development in humans. It includes the biological changes related to puberty and  various developmental tasks such as normative exploration within the society, learning the cultural values and learning to be independent in life. The rapid growth of mind and body is accompanied with various challenges related to social life and economic life. 

Adolescent health is important because it prepares the adolescents for future life risks and challenges. Since adolescent health includes rapid physical, cognitive and psychosocial growth, this greatly influences the way they behave, think and feel while interacting with their environment. 

In order to maintain good adolescent health, adolescents need to have proper information and opportunities related to various changes that occur during adolescence. These include :

  • Education related to age appropriate and socially acceptable sexual practices
  • Various opportunities to develop life skills.
  • Access to health services that are effective and affordable
  • Availability of proper food and nutrition
  • Opportunities to boost self esteem and confidence
  • Availability of resources to learn vocational training

What are the various components of adolescent health?

Adolescent health is a holistic phenomena and encompasses various components. The various components of adolescent health include the following :

  • Adolescent physical health
  • Adolescent mental health 
  • Adolescent social health
  • Adolescent spiritual health 

It is necessary for adolescents to function well across all the 4 components in order to lead a healthy life that in turn is related to achieving subjective and psychological well being in life.

Adolescent health enables the adolescents to better cope with the challenges and resolve the conflicts of their life in a healthy manner. With an increased adaptive functioning, the adolescents are better able to function personally, portray positive interpersonal relations, have balanced relations, are better able to socialize and have constructive coping mechanisms that are possible only if the adolescents live a healthy life that encompasses all the four spheres.

What are the various factors that play a part in adolescent health?

The various factors that contribute in promoting positive health of adolescents are as follows :

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Neighbourhood
  • Media exposure

Family

Parents who promote positive relations with adolescents are often seen to promote better health of adolescents. The adolescents in such families tend to be more confident and social as compared to the adolescents who are nurtured in broken families.

Taking part in healthy activities, eating meals together and planning trips together are some of the small steps that parents of a family can take to enhance the physical and mental health of their adolescents.

Friends

Adolescence age is a time period that involves social activity and socialization. adolescents tend to be involved in social activities that are based on peer influence. There is a higher inclination among adolescents towards their friends as compared to their family members. 

Adolescents who are not social and fail to make good friends are often left behind and feel insecure and unloved.

Neighbourhood

The adolescents who grow up in distressed or disturbing neighbourhoods that are based on discrimination due to religion, caste and values are tend to be less healthy and mentaly unstable whereas adolesceents who grow up in neighbourhods that tend to have poritive dynamics appear to be more healthy.

Media exposure

Media exposure is an integral part of adolescents’ lives. They appear to be inseparable from their electronic gadgets and social media networks. Adolescents who use social media more often than participating in any social activities and playing games appear to have negative behaviors and are prone to destructive coping whereas adolescents who tend to balance between the screen time, social media use and their routine activities tend to be comparatively more healthy.

What are the risk factors involved in adolescent health?

Adolescent health involves the following risk factors :

  • Mental health including depression, anxiety, low academic performance, low achievement 
  • Injuries related to discords between friends and peers.
  • Violence related to learning of violent behavior from movies and games
  • Substance use including recreational drug use and addiction to various drugs
  • Drug use due to peer influence
  • Sexualy transmitted diseases due to lack of appropriate knowledge and  inappropriate sexual practices. 
  • Nutrition deficiencies due to lack of proper nutrients and intake of fast food.
  • Low physical activity due to over engagement with social media
  • Emotional Insecurities causing low self esteem, inappropriate body image and low confidence
  • Disturbed social relations due to bullying, peer influence, comparison and negative thinking
  • Distorted family relations due to conflict with parents and conflict between parents
  • Obesity leads to many physical ailments due to binge eating, unhealthy eating practices and various other eating disorders that adolescents are prone to.
  • The involvement of adolescents in unhealthy activities can cause them to fall prey to various antisocial and delinquent groups.
  • Adolescents getting involved in sexual activities with opposite genders usually develop early risks for pregnancy 
  • Low academics due to emotional disturbance 
  • Trust issues due to feelings of neglect and ignorance

What are the various steps to promote adolescent health?

The various steps to promote adolescent health include the following :

  • Provision of balanced diet and food to the adolescents for their appropriate physical growth
  • Opportunities for physical activities to develop strong body and muscles
  • Educating parents to develop positive parenting strategies for developing positive relations with adolescents
  • Counseling the adolescents to overcome their insecurities and deal with the challenges that they face
  • Advocating emotional regulation in schools be enabling the teachers to learn handling the disruptive adolescents
  • Conducting drug abuse seminars in order to help the adolescents understand the various issues that occur due to drug abuse
  • Enabling the adolescents learn healthy coping strategies and preventing them to use destructive coping strategies
  • Teaching the adolescents to effectively communicate their needs and deal with the pleasant and unpleasant needs in a positive manner

Conclusion

The current blogspot was based on the question “what is adolescent health ?” . We discussed the various parameters included in adolescent health. We also focused on the various risk factors related to adolescent health and the various factors that promote adolescent health. We discussed the key factors for promoting the health of adolescents.

Frequently asked questions : Adolescent health  

What are the health problems of adolescents?

The adolescent health problems are related to the following :

  • Injuries
  • Violence due to delinquent acts
  • Sexualy transmitted diseases
  • Mood disorders
  • Drug abuse
  • Early pregnancy

Why is adolescent health important?

Adolescent is important because it is a period of rapid growth and development in physical, cognitive and social aspects. If health is not a priority, adolescents may not be able to meet the life challenges in a constructive manner.

What is an adolescent health Programme?

Adolescent health program is a program that focuses on holistic health of the individuals and includes doctors, law making agencies, paramedical staff and policy makers to ensure that adolescents are provided with all the measures at all spheres of life to overcome any potential health hazards.

Citations

https://www.unicef.org/health/adolescent-health-and-well-being
https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Adolescent-Health
https://www.who.int/health-topics/adolescent-health#tab=tab_1

Was this post helpful?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]