This book is devoted to identifying the precursors of adolescents' health problems and risk taking behaviors and the developmental processes that accompany them. It presents data on lay conceptions of health and illness, physical maturity, causes of mortality and morbidity, and patterns of utilization of medical and psychosocial health care services. Developmental changes in risk perception, self-disclosure behavior, and in dealing with nudity are linked with doctor-patient communication to illustrate the typical obstacles health experts are faced with when trying to assess diagnostic information in this age group. Developmental barriers that hinder adolescents' compliance are highlighted and factors accounting for their aversion to counseling are reviewed.
This book also presents findings on typical stressors occurring during adolescence and their effect on health status as well as factors mediating the effect of stress on health. Throughout, readers gain valuable insight into gender differences, physical and psychological symptoms, and help-seeking behaviors. Special attention is directed to deficits in coping behavior, social support, and network structure of distressed adolescents and the current state of research relative to coping with chronic illness in adolescence is reviewed. Implications of these findings for the development of intervention strategies or for improving the health care of chronically ill adolescents and particularly troubled adolescents are detailed.
This volume will appeal to clinical and school psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, counselors or other healthcare professionals working with adolescents as well as researchers in the field of adolescent health. It also serves as a text in graduate level courses on adolescent health, psychopathology, and developmental pediatrics.
Contents: Preface. Theoretical Perspectives on Health and Illness. Problems in Assessing Health-Related Information. Epidemiological Findings on Health Problems, Diseases, and Health-Risk Behavior. Dealing With the Body. The Links Between Stress and Health. Social Support and Coping Style as Risk and Protective Factors. The Challenge of Coping With Chronic Illness. Health Care-Seeking Behavior in Adolescence. Some Implications for Prevention, Intervention, and Future Research.