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J Adolesc Health. 2013 Nov;53(5):559-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.08.014.

Young adults remain worse off than adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. Electronic address:


On a broad range of indicators pertaining to risk taking and access to care, young adults fare worse than younger adolescents or older adults. Vulnerable groups, such as those facing chronic illness and those with unstable living arrangements, fare especially poorly as they transition to adulthood. Fortunately, a confluence of factors, particularly the changing nature of the transition to adulthood in modern society, has led to renewed interest in this critical period of the life cycle. Health science research is increasingly focused on issues faced by young adults, and public health policies designed specifically to address the health and well-being of young adults--notably the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the United States--are now being implemented. Successful efforts at improving the health and well-being of adolescents should be mirrored in efforts to support young adults. A new report based on a broad range of United States national datasets lays out the challenges that must be addressed in these efforts.

Copyright © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Institute of Medicine; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Transition to adulthood; Young adult

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