Adolescent Health: Priorities for the Next Millennium1

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There have been dramatic changes in adolescent health status over the past decade that have resulted from successful interventions. Overall mortality rates are down 14%, and many morbidities have declined. Today we know many of the elements that reduce risk: parental caring and connectedness, parental expectations for school and parent availability all outweigh family structure, ethnicity, and income. Likewise, schools can be extremely protective when young people feel connectedness. Factors associated with successful interventions include: strengthening families; strengthening educational involvement; expanding economic opportunities; and supporting youth development, not just problem reduction. Priorities for the next decade include: establishing resiliency-building interventions; developing positive correlates of negative behaviors; establishing broader multisectorial interdisciplinary teams; and formulating a new, more inclusive framework for adolescent health and development.

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