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Bloomberg American Health Initiative

Risks to Adolescent Health

The Challenge

Adolescence is one of the most critical periods of human development.

The adoption of healthy habits in the pre-teen and teen years sets the stage for a life of physical health and emotional well-being. Yet adolescents face profound risks that threaten their path to a healthy adulthood, including poor access to care, engagement in harmful behaviors and untreated mental health disorders. These problems are often inextricably linked to a range of factors, including access to health and social services, education, safe housing, as well as the role of the media.

adolescent Icon Unintentional injuries, suicide and homicide are the leading causes of death for adolescents age 15–19.

A Focus on Adolescents

The School's new efforts to address risks facing U.S. adolescents will draw strength from expertise that spans a range of disciplines and activities across the world. For example, the Center for Adolescent Health's Youth Leadership and Advocacy Network helps participants have the opportunity to directly influence youth-related policies and activities throughout Baltimore. Researchers are examining risk-taking behaviors in adolescence from perspectives that include race, gender, sexual identity and income.