Several positive and negative lifelong behaviors are established during adolescence including diet and exercise, sexual conduct, practices related to oral health, smoking, drinking, and the use if legal and illegal substances. The complex issues that adolescents deal with on a daily basis can turn into health problems that persist throughout adulthood. Unfortunately the adolescents who are frequently the most disconnected from routine health care services - those who lack insurance and family support - are often those at greatest risk for multiple and chronic health problems. Therefore, those that are responsible for delivering health care services to adolescents must address the health conditions that require immediate attention while preparing young people to adopt practices that can help improve their future health status and prevent unhealthy behaviors. Challenges in Adolescent Health Care studies adolescent health care in the United States, highlights critical health care needs, and identifies service models and components of care that may strengthen and improve health care services, settings, and systems for adolescents.
The book explores the nature of adolescent challenges and how they reflect larger societal issues such as poverty, crime and the prevalence of violence. These issues, in addition to lack of comprehensive health coverage, dysfunctional families and the lack of support systems, make providing adequate health care incredibly challenging. Challenges in Adolescent Health Care defines high-quality health care, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of various service models and explores various training programs. The book recommends that health care providers must be sensitive to socioeconomic factors and incorporate health care in a broad array of settings including schools, neighborhoods and community centers.