Adolescent Health Home

Critical Adolescent Health Issues


Although adolescence is a time of great growth, new adventures and opportunities to build youth's strength, there also are a number of risks and health issues that adolescents face. The National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health by 2010 (NIIAH) determined 21 Critical Health Objectives from the Healthy People 2010. These 21 objectives fit into six broad content areas:

Sexual Health



Chronic Disease

Mental Health and Substance Abuse


What is the National Initiative to Improve Adolecscent Health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics is one of 25 partners and affiliates in the federally-faciliated National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health. The National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health by the Year 2010 (NIIAH) is a collective effort to improve the health, safety, positive development and well being of adolescent and young adults (ages 10-24). Facilitated by two federal agencies, NIIAH partners collaborate to:

  • Elevate the focus on and committment to the health, safety, positive development, and well being of adolescents,young adults and their families.
  • Increase access to quality health and safety education and health care.
  • Address the influence of social deteriminants.
  • Improve health and safety outcomes.
  • Eliminate disparities in order to achieve equity.

    To learn more about NIIAH, further information is provided on the CDC Web site. The information includes:
    · an overview,
    · list of partner organizations,
    · a list of the 21 critical health objectives for adolescents,

Improving the Health of Adolescents & Young Adults: A Guide for States and Communities is a practical guidebook that helps states and agencies develop adolescent health programs. The guidebook developed through the NIIAH comes in a print version or on CD-Rom and copies can be viewed through the NAHIC Web site here.

Report Documents Needs for Improving Adolescent Health Services

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine (NRC/IOM) Board on Children, Youth and Families published a report, Adolescent Health Services: Missing Opportunities, to guide those interested in advancing an integrated health system for adolescents. A summary of the report is available, as well as a link to read or purchase the full report.


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