The state of adolescent health: Looking back and planning ahead

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Robert W M Blum, Claire D. Brindis, Trina Menden Anglin, Charles E. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: A decade has passed since the 1986 Health Futures of Youth policy-making conference was held. The present study aimed to examine perceived changes in the field of adolescent health since this conference, as a basis for further planning in adolescent health and consideration of a possible follow-up conference. Methods: The study included two parts: (a) a mailed survey which was completed by 68 of 90 conference participants; and (b) telephone interviews with a sample of leaders from federal agencies and major foundations and one professional organization serving youth in the United States. Results: Respondents perceived that small to moderate improvements have occurred for 10 key recommendations made at the 1986 conference. There appears to be increased recognition of the special needs of youth and a greater understanding of the period of adolescence. Improvements in health-related activities and in research of health behaviors have occurred. However, perceived setbacks have occurred at the intersection of health and social welfare. The conference was viewed by respondents as having had a moderate influence on the field of adolescent health and on the participants' own work and working relationships. In addition, policy-making conferences were listed as the strongest source of influence on the agenda of national agencies and foundations serving youth. Conclusion: A follow-up conference is recommended and should focus on both health-related topics and issues of social welfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-286
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1997


  • Adolescent health
  • Conference
  • Evaluation
  • Health behaviors
  • Health concerns
  • Health services


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