Health and Mental Health
Much of this chapter's information about teenagers' health comes from the annual Health Interview Survey, which reports for the age range twelve–seventeen years old. Adolescents are generally pretty healthy specimens. However, certain subgroups report high rates of asthma, chronic diseases, obesity, and other health problems. Problems related to unprotected sexual behavior—sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and sexual “acting out”—are also of concern. Most teenagers (93%) reported in 2002 that they had a usual place of medical care: 80% in doctor's offices, 17% in clinics, and the rest in emergency rooms or other places. An earlier study, in 1996, showed the prevalence of mental disorders among young people from nine to seventeen years of age during a six-month period, including anxiety disorders (phobias), disruptive disorders (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), mood disorders (depression), and substance abuse disorders. This chapter evaluates various programs that address the health and mental health needs of adolescents in the United States.
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