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September 2016: OAH Picks: Broad Influences on Adolescent Health

OAH Picks

Adolescents grow in environments that are largely shaped by adults, who determine the availability and quality of services such as, schools, healthcare options, community centers, libraries, businesses, and parks. Adolescents’ health and growth are also influenced by social determinants of health such as poverty and access to safe housing, healthy foods, and many other factors. The recent Lancet report on adolescent health and well-being includes information on how policies and media can shape adolescent health and be used to help promote it.

Policies can support adolescents by ensuring positive, teen-friendly community supports or limiting access to items related to risky behaviors. In this way, youth-serving professionals and community leaders can do a lot to support health. For example:

The media is also a powerful tool that shapes behaviors by setting norms, providing role models, and informing the public. There are examples of using media in positive ways to support adolescent health:


The TAG Connection

Beyond the examples above, check out Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG), which provides an expanded framework and resources to promote cross-collaboration for adolescent health. You can read stories of communities and organizations that have put these ideas into practice. For example, the school system and health department in Chicago partnered to develop a city-wide action plan with 65 strategies for improving adolescent health. They also worked with youth to produce innovative public awareness campaigns


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Policies & media shape health by affecting what youth can do/get & how they see the world http://ow.ly/258L303JHeo #TAG42mil

Infographic titled "What Shapes Adolescent Health?"

Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on February 22, 2017