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Summary: Youth Health Risks Lessened Through Parental Involvement

During a developmental stage of great physical health, many youth are facing a number of problems that have negative health outcomes. Violence, suicide, and teenage pregnancy continue to be a problem for many young people. Adolescent/parent "connectedness" reduces emotional distress and lessens the likelihood of risky behaviors.

  • According to an article written by Robert W. Blum and Peggy Mann Rinehart, numerous reports have documented the health status of youth in America. After more than a decade of downward trends in the health of America’s youth, significant improvements were reported in the decade of 1980-1990. There were reductions in juvenile motor vehicle deaths, the use of alcohol, cigarettes and illicit substances, and the incidence of some sexually transmitted diseases (including gonorrhea and syphilis). Overall, the death rate for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 decreased by 12 percent during that time period. However, since 1990, some of those risky behaviors have again increased. Teenage cigarette smoking is up by as much as 2 percent per year since 1992. Until recently, marijuana use had increased for three straight years among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. More teens live in poverty now than during the previous decade. Violence, suicide, and teenage pregnancy continue to be a problem for many young people. During a developmental stage of great physical health, many youth are facing a number of problems that have negative health outcomes. Adolescent/parent "connectedness" reduces emotional distress and lessens the likelihood of risky behaviors.1

1Reducing the Risk: Connections That Make a Difference in the Lives of Youth, Blum, Robert W.; Rinehart, Peggy Mann, 1997, pp. 1-39.

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