Adolescent and Young Adult Health in the United States in the Past Decade: Little Improvement and Young Adults Remain Worse Off Than AdolescentsAdolescence and young adulthood are unique developmental periods that present opportunities and challenges for improving health. Health at this age can affect health throughout the lifespan. This review has two aims: (1) to examine trends in key indicators in outcomes, behaviors, and health care over the past decade for U.S. adolescents and young adults; and (2) to compare U.S. adolescents and young adults on these indicators. The review also assesses sociodemographic differences in trends and current indicators.
Trends in Adolescent and Young Adult Health in the United StatesThis review presents a national health profile of adolescents and young adults (ages 10–24). The data presented include trends on demographics, mortality, health-related behaviors, and healthcare access and utilization, as well as the most significant gender and racial/ethnic disparities. Although the data show some improvement, many concerns remain. Encouraging trends—such as decreases in rates of homicide, suicide, and some measures of reproductive health—appear to be leveling off or, in some cases, reversing (e.g., birth and gonorrhea rates).