Adolescent Health Workgroup

Objective Status

  • 0 Target met or exceeded
  • 2 Improving
  • 2 Little or no detectable change
  • 3 Getting worse
  • 3 Baseline only
  • 3 Developmental
  • 11 Research

Learn more about objective types

Adolescent Health Workgroup Objectives (24)

About the Workgroup

Approach and Rationale

Healthy People 2030 focuses on supporting young people to achieve optimal development and well-being while avoiding behaviors that can lead to acute and chronic health risks. Creating environments where adolescents have access to adolescent-appropriate health care, are supported by caring adults,1,2 and are encouraged to enjoy learning and achieve school success can help promote optimal adolescent development.3,4

The main developmental task of adolescence is to transition from childhood to adulthood. Transitions during this period include biological and physical development associated with puberty. Significant neurodevelopmental growth allows adolescents to master more complex sets of inquiry and negotiate new ideas and challenges. Families, peers, schools, communities, and care systems can help shape the physical and mental health of adolescents in positive ways. For example, they can encourage the development of strong and positive relationships with peers while maintaining loving, supportive connections with family and other caring adults.

The objectives selected by the AH Workgroup are based on research that links experiences in adolescence with improved lifelong health. Preventive health care that addresses the emerging need for confidentiality and progressive independence sets the stage for successful transitions to adult health care settings.5 Supporting school success by encouraging mentorship from caring adults2,6,7 and limiting food insecurity by offering school breakfasts8 are ways to enhance learning. Obtaining higher education and gaining employment are associated with improved health and well-being, as well as reduced risk for premature death.3,4 Ultimately, supporting the positive development of young people can help ensure a healthy and productive future adult population.9



English, A., & Gudeman, R. (2016). Understanding Legal Aspects of Care. Retrieved from


Sieving, R., & McRee, et al. (2017). Youth–Adult Connectedness: A Key Protective Factor for Adolescent Health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 52(3 Suppl 3), S275-S278. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.037


Community Preventive Services Task Force. (2013). Promoting Health Equity Through Education Programs and Policies: High School Completion Programs. Retrieved from [PDF - 279 KB]


Rasberry, C.N., et al. (2017). Health-Related Behaviors and Academic Achievement Among High School Students – United States, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66, 921-927.


Adams, S. H., Park, M. J., Twietmeyer, L., Brindis, C. D. & Irwin, C. E. (2018). Increasing Delivery of Preventive Services to Adolescents and Young Adults: Does the Preventive Visit Help? Journal of Adolescent Health. Retrieved from


Bayer, A., Grossman, J.B., & Dubois, D.L. (2015). Using Volunteer Mentors to Improve the Academic Outcomes of Underserved Students: The Role of Relationships. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(4), 408–429.


DuBois, D. L., Portillo, N., Rhodes, J. E., Silverthorn, N., & Valentine, J. C. (2011). How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 12(2), 57-91. Retrieved from


Food Research & Action Center. (2018) Increasing Breakfast Participation to Improve Student Health. Retrieved from [PDF - 123 KB]


University of Colorado Boulder, Institute of Behavior Science, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. (2018). Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. Retrieved from