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Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. These
are the formative years when maximum amount of physical, psychological,
and behavioral changes takes place. This is the time for them to prepare for
undertaking greater responsibilities,a time of exploration and widening
horizon and a time to ensure healthy all-round development.
• Adolescence is a Latin word derived from
the verb “Adolescence” which means to grow into
adulthood. Adolescence is divided into Early
adolescence (12-13yrs),Middle adolescence(14-
Adolescence has been defined by the WHO,
as a period of life between 10 and 19yrs.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ADOLESCENCE
• A transitional stage
• Peak intelligence and stamina
• Confused about identity
• Never accepts without Interrogation
• Loves liberty
• Tries to seek attention by any means
• Emotional instability
• Lack of self control
IMPORTANCE OF ADOLESCENT
• Intelligence is at its peak
• Permanent personality traits begin
• Decisions regarding future is made
• Period of identity crisis-physical and sexual
• Rapid changes call for support from
family,friends,teachers & doctor
TASKS TO ACHIEVE BY ADOLESCENTS
• Establishing new mature relations with
• peers of both sexes
• Playing feminine or masculine role
• Achieving socially responsible
• Preparing for a career
• Preparing for marriage and family
• Acquiring set values & guidelines for
CHANGES DURING ADOLESCENCE
• Voice changes
• Hair on chin,face & pubic region
• Genital organ develops.
• Have wet dreams (nocturnal emission)
• Curves of the body develop
• Breasts begin to grow
• Hair appears under armpit
• Cycle of menstruation begins
• Ovulation starts between 11to14years
• NUTRITION AND GROWTH SPURT
• PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES
• BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES
• MENSTRUAL HYGIENE
• ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
• Feel a lack of freedom
• Worried about future
• Lack of confidence
• Inferiority complex
• Anxiety while meeting strangers
• Depression and suicidal tendencies
• Lack of proper counseling & guidance
• Nagging by teachers
• Peer maladjustment
HEALTH PROBLEMS OF ADOLESCENTS
1.EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS AND TEENAGE SUICIDE:
• Depression,schizophrenia ,anxiety,bipolar
disorder & eating disorders.
• Serious mental health problems needs
hospitalization or placement in a group home.
• Suicide is third leading cause of death in 13-20
yrs.Girls attempt suicide more frequently than
boys,but the actual suicide rate is higher among
boys.(those that actually kill themselves)
• CHNs & Community mental health counsellors
may serve as consultants to schools in the
development of sound prevention programs.
• Gangs are often associated with teen
violence.Cultural & environmental influences include
the violence to which children and adolescents are
• Increased aggressive behaviour among teens has been
attributed to violence in the environment,the home
(spousal & child abuse) & the community.
• Many schools have metal detectors & security
guards,& some schools conduct random searchers of
student’s lockers in an effort to prevent violence.
• Drugs that have become increasingly popular
with adolescents & young adults include “club
drugs” such as Ecstasy(MDMA,a synthetic drug
with amphetamine & hallucinogenic properties).
• Rohypnol(the “date rape”drug that is often mixed
with alcohol to produce sedative hypnotic effects).
• GHB(Gamma hydroxybutyrate, a synthetic
steroid in fitness clubs that has been associated
with sexual assaults).
• Collaboration with families & schools is
essential,because transitions back to school can be
4.TEENAGE PREGNANCY AND STD:
• Teenage pregnancies,STD’s,& HIV /AIDS are
public concerns associated with the sexual activity
• Young mothers are at high risk of bearing
infants with low birth weight & are more likely to
• They are risk for a greater number of
physical,psychological,& social problems.
• Primary care providers often miss oppurtunities
to provide counseling on prevention of
• It is important for CHNs to provide education
and health counseling on these subjects.
• Acne begins during puberty (10-12yrs of
age)with the increase in circulating male hormones
that stimulate sebaceous glands in the skin.
• A red and inflammed pustule can develop
or, in serious cases of acne ,cysts or nodules
can form.This can lead to pitting and
scarring if not treated.
• Common treatment regimens include
skin cleansers,peelers & medications to
decrease sebaceous glands activity.
6.POOR NUTRITION AND EATING
• Increased fast food consumption has been tied to
the increase in obesity.
• Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia are common
problems for adolescent girls.Binge eating,which is
also a recognized eating disorder involves recurrent
episodes of binge eating without fasting,self-induced
vomiting or other compensatory measures.
• Nutrition education,psychological counselling&
cognitive behavioural techniques helps clients to
control stimuli and substitute alternative behaviours.
• 7. ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS:(RTA)
RTA and road crashes are the main cause of death
among young people world wide.
• These are often related to use of alcohol or other
drugs for every person killed in a car crash,another ten
are seriously injured for life.
• 8.POVERTY : THE LATENT KILLER
• Poverty deprives adolescents of the basic
elements of development such as schooling ,health
services ,recreational activities ,vocational training
& economic oppurtunities.
• In developing countries ,under nutrition
&stunting are prevalent in adolescent boys and
• Family size in the developing countries is above
6.competing need in the family result in
under invesment in young people.
HELP ADOLESCENTS TO OVERCOME
• Parents & teachers should be good role models
• Proper communication with them
• Involve them in family matters ,discussions &
• Educate them about body changes & safe sex
• Good habits,morals,sharing autonomy
• Instill confidence
HEALTH PROTECTION PROGRAMS
SAFETY AND INJURY PREVENTION
• Accident and injury control programs serve a
critical role in protecting the lives of school-age
children & adolescents.
• Strategies such as state laws requiring the use of
safety restraints ,installation of driver &front
passenger airbags ,substitution of other modes of
travel (air,rail,or bus),lower speed limits,stricter
enforcement of drunk driving laws,safer
automobile design & helmets for motor cyclists,
bicycle riders & skaters.
• Programs that protect school-age children &
adolescents against infections diseases encompass
efforts such as closing swimming pools that have
unsafe bacteria counts, conducting immunization
campaigns,reduce the incidence & threat of
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
• Consequences for affected children include lower
abuse, eating disorders,less empathy for others
e low academic achievement & sexual
• Community health nurses are working together
with social workers,mental health workers &
substance abuse counselors as part of a team that
provides services to families
ORAL HYGIENE & DENTAL CARE
• Fluoridation of community water supplies is
considered the most effective ,safe & low cost
means of protecting children’s dental health.
• In addition to regular dental care, good nutrition
& proper oral hygiene, community health nurses
can safely promote public water fluoridation as an
important program for protecting children’s
• School nurses often conduct dental screenings at
schools & make referrals to local dentists in an
effort to promote better dental health for children
HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAMS
NUTRITION AND EXERCISE PROGRAMS
• Being overweight during adolescence may persist
into adulthood & may increase the risk for some
chronic diseases later in life.
• The value of exercise & physical fitness programs
for young people has been recognized for
• Organised groups such as the YMCA,YWCA, boy
scouts ,girls scouts and campfire have offered
sports & character development programs .
• CHNs can promote such programs in the
schools ,as well as encouraging these activities in
EDUCATION TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE
• The well known hazards of cigarette
smoking,inhalant use, alcohol & drug abuse have
prompted the development of substance abuse
programs that target school-age children &
• Health education efforts by school nurses,teachers,
an counselors have influenced students to make
responsible decisions about smoking,drinking &
other behaviours affecting their health.
COUNSELLING AND CRISIS
• Stress control programs for adolescents do not exist in any
great number,yet they are very much needed.
• Social skills training is often needed by adolescents with
behavioural or emotional disorders.
• Crisis intervention programs & services that treat a
problem after it occurs are helpful & can prevent
problems from worsening,but many adolescents need an
emphasis on primary preventive mental health
• Programs that build coping skills early ,including conflict
resolution ,self help,peer counseling,peer intervention &
• Adolescents have specific health problems & needs
which generally are not being adequately met in
most countries.effective strategies for addressing
these problems & needs do exist.yet these
strategies are still not being applied widely enough
or in a sufficiently cohesive ,mutually supportive
• To ensure that adolescents are able to acquire the
information, build the skills , access the health
services and live in the supportive environment
they need to modify their life style.