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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2010 Apr-Jun;16(2):216-22.

The unique developmental considerations of youth-related work injuries.

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Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Adolescents and young adults experience higher risks of occupational injuries and fatalities compared to adult workers. Consequently, understanding the risk and protective factors for young workers through a developmental lens is all the more compelling. This study describes the developmental processes of adolescence using a bioecological framework. It describes how factors such as neuromaturation, pubertal development, physical growth, and social contexts may place youth at greater risk of injury and other negative outcomes in the work environment. While the emphasis of the paper is on the developmental processes specific to adolescence, this is discussed in the larger contexts of macro forces such as policies, schools, and families. Implications of developmental factors on work-based practices and policies are also discussed.

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