The Health of young people : a challenge and a promise
Other TitlesLa Santé des jeunes : un défi, un espoir
La salud de los jóvenes: un reto y una esperanza
AbstractIssues a call for public health action that recognizes the unique health problems of young people and responds to their special need for support. Recommended actions also underscore the contributions young people can and do make to their own health and development and that of their societies. While noting that this age group has been traditionally regarded as enjoying good health, the book draws attention to a number of radical changes in social conditions that have created new hazards in the very areas where youth are most vulnerable. The book has six chapters. The first profiles the pressures faced by today's young people. An outline of physical, emotional, and psychosocial challenges is followed by demographic data indicating the dramatic recent changes in both the relative and absolute numbers of young people. The second chapter concentrates on conditions in the sociocultural context that affect the healthy development of youth. Topics discussed include the roles of the family and education, the special problems confronting young women, opportunities for employment and spiritual development, and the support available from community organizations, legislative and other policies, and the health services. The third and most extensive chapter explains the nature of health problems that threaten this age group, showing how many of these arise from behaviour in environments that are especially dangerous for youth. Health problems described include substance abuse, some forms of sexual behaviour, eating behaviour and the consequences of an inadequately balanced diet, accidents and injuries, and suicide. Particular attention is given to health problems arising from several changes in sexual and social behaviour linked to the new pressures created by unprecedented urbanization, industrialization and migration, the growth of mass communication, and the ease of travel. Examples cited in this chapter serve to illustrate how today's youth must not only meet the challenges of growing up, but must also deal with the conditions of modern society, which are increasingly characterized by a weakened family structure, severe competition for education and employment, and exposure to alcohol and other drugs. Having illustrated the many factors that place adolescents at special risk, the book turns to the question of how policies, legislation, and programmes can be used to promote the health of young people, deter hazardous behaviour, prevent problems, and provide care and rehabilitation. A chapter citing examples of innovative programmes is also included. The final chapter, which has particular practical value, explains six methods, developed by WHO, that have been used to promote the health of young people through planning, research, training, evaluation, advocacy and direct intervention. The book, which draws on the Technical Discussions at the Forty-second World Health Assembly, was substantially expanded and updated following those discussions
World Health Organization. (1993). The Health of young people : a challenge and a promise. Geneva : World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/37353
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