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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although adolescence is the healthiest period in the lifespan, significant health threats are present that require intervention. In this chapter we first provide an overview of developmental transitions during adolescence to provide an important context for understanding health in this period. This is followed by a review of health status and the main threats to health experienced in adolescence, noting that the majority are associated with behaviors. We then discuss in more detail the research and issues related to interventions to prevent or treat four selected health threats: (a) alcohol and illicit substance use, (b) sexual activity, (c) obesity, and (d) diabetes. These health threats illustrate the range of intervention research conducted with adolescents. We end by providing a broader perspective on adolescent health and propose that the development of social and emotional competences is important for optimizing health broadly in adolescence.

Keywords: adolescence, development, substance use, sexual activity, obesity, diabetes

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