- I am writing this editorial during a particular busy time in the collegiate calendar: the last 2 weeks of the spring semester. In a “typical” (e.g., pre COVID-19) academic year, my undergraduate students would be pulled in many directions while they finished projects and internships, took finals, and for some, prepared for graduation and postcollege life. As those of us who work with, advise, and clinically care for college-aged adolescents can attest, the past 2 years have been anything but “typical” for these young people.
- As I write this editorial in mid-August 2021, my adolescent is entering her second school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like nearly all young people, she has spent the last 18 months balancing remote and in-person learning, canceled and/or constrained sports and extracurricular activities, and ever changing access to peer interaction and has rotated between heightened stress, anxiety, and boredom. And she is one of the more fortunate ones—some of her peers have also grappled with food insecurity, worries about housing stability, and parental job loss.
- In this issue of Journal of Adolescent Health, Giano et al.  use latent profile analysis (LPA) to examine how risk factors differentially combine to impact suicide risk among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. This article joins a fast-growing body of literature using statistical approaches to understand variability in adolescent health experiences. This editorial will focus on providing a brief review of how and when health professions researchers might use LPA or related methods in their own work [2,3].
- International health care governing bodies define the ability to achieve and maintain sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as a fundamental human right [1–3]. This rights-based paradigm places at its core—for individuals of all ages but especially for adolescents and young adults —the ability to access accurate SRH-focused information and education, as well as to receive developmentally appropriate, SRH-focused preventative counseling and clinical care [5,6]. A rights-based framework also both recognizes that many young people face multiplicative barriers to adequate care based on social or economic factors (e.g., gender-based, race-based, or sexual identity–based discrimination, poverty, residential instability, migration, military conflict) [7–9].
- Most health professionals are well acquainted with the challenges of effective sexual health promotion in adolescents, particularly among at-risk youth, who are disproportionately affected by unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) [1,2]. Despite young people's wanting guidance on sexual topics [3,4], they face significant obstacles to accessing accurate sexual health information and receiving adequate developmentally appropriate preventive counseling and clinical care screening [5,6], in a manner that affirms their rights to, and concerns about, confidentiality .