Adolescence is a time of emotional and physical change and growth. It's also the time when young people begin to make health choices for themselves.
Comments on this page? Curator: Carrie Ann Olson, Extension educator & associate Extension professor
Youth Development Insight
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
Will you try an unidentified "healthy" food item because someone tells you it's good for you? Most likely not. The same is true for young people. But if you involve youth in preparing a menu item using some not-so-familiar "healthy" food ingredients, they'll probably taste it. They may even learn to like it!Engaging youth in cooking can get them interested in trying healthy foods they might otherwise disdain, according to Susan Moores, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Read more.
More and more parents, health care providers, and educators, in both formal and informal settings, are recognizing the value of connecting children to nature. It's good for their physical and mental health and academic success. It's also good for the planet - children with meaningful, frequent nature-based experiences develop attachments to nature that lead to a desire to take care of the environment. The question is: How can we best provide these nature-based experiences? The answer depends on the age of the child and the benefits you desire. Read more.
Reports & journal articles
This study evaluates the association between physical activity and diet quality during adolescence, assessing both as correlates of obesity. 2015.
This poster presents the results of a research study on a southwest Minnesota mentoring program designed to address obesity. 2014.
Sponsored by National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare, Teens Take on Health is a first-of-its-kind, teen-led research effort that is focused on talking with young people instead of talking at them. 2014.
Developing and Piloting the Journey to Native Youth Health Program in Northern Plains Indian Communities
The purpose of this study was to develop a lifestyle change program for Native American youth by modifying the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and assess implementation indicators and short term behavioral and physiological outcomes of the intervention among a small pilot sample. 2013.
Lived Challenges and Getting Through Them: Alaska Native Youth Narratives as a Way to Understand Resilience
Because of imposed rapid social change, Alaska Native youth are growing up in a context different from their elders and suffering far worse health and behavioral outcomes. This research seeks to understand (a) their everyday struggles and life challenges, (b) the practices and resources they rely on to get through challenges, and (c) the meaning they make from these experiences. 2013.
Promoting Positive Youth Development and Highlighting Reasons for Living in Northwest Alaska Through Digital Storytelling
Using a positive youth development framework, this article describes how a 3-year digital storytelling project and the 566 digital stories produced from it in Northwest Alaska promote protective factors in the lives of Alaska Native youth and serve as digital “hope kits,” a suicide prevention approach that emphasizes young people’s reasons for living. 2013.
This article examines the contributions of economic status and citizenship status to health differences between European Americans, Latino Americans, and noncitizen Latinos. The investigation was framed using social identity and comparison theories. 2012.
Interparental conflict and early adolescents’ aggression: Is irregular sleep a vulnerability factor?
This study investigates whether (a) short and irregular sleep are related to aggressive behavior in early adolescence and (b) whether they moderate the relation between interparental conflict and aggressive behavior. 2012.
This study examines the impact of various school-related factors on adolescents’ depressive mood, including prosocial behavior, verbal aggression, and relationships with teachers. 2012.
The study explores whether evidence-based elementary social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula [Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)] focused on social problem-solving skills combined with sexual risk prevention lessons would have an impact on preventing the early onset of sexual intercourse. 2012.
This paper discusses the politics of physical education. It examines how both national politics and local/campus politics affect the discipline. 2012.
This study examines the relationship between parental reflective function and adolescent adjustment. 2011.
Brief report: Association between socio-demographic factors, screen media usage and physical activity by type of day in Spanish adolescents
This study examines the relationship between socio-demographic factors, screen media time usage, and light, moderate and vigorous activities on weekdays and weekends. 2010.
What we're reading
From journals and the popular media. Selected by our healthy living educator Carrie Ann Olson.
- Lived Challenges and Getting Through Them: Alaska native youth narratives as a way to understand resilience | Wexler, Jernigan, Mazzotti, et al | Health Promotion Practice
- Developing and Piloting the Journey to Native Youth Health Program in Northern Plains Indian Communities | Brown, Noonan, et al | The Diabetes Educator
- Promoting Positive Youth Development and Highlighting Reasons for Living in Northwest Alaska Through Digital Storytelling
- The Politics of Physical Education | Claxton | Conference of the National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education
- Exploring the Latino Paradox: How Economic and Citizenship Status Impact Health | Campbell, Garcia, et al | Hispanic Journal of Behavior Sciences
- Brief report: Association between socio-demographic factors, screen media usage and physical activity by type of day in Spanish adolescents | Devis-Devis, Peiro-Velert, Beltran-Carrillo & Tomas | Journal of Adolescence
- Parenting and adolescent adjustment: The role of parental reflective function | Benbassat, N. & Priel, B. | Journal of Adolescence
- Social context in school: Its relation to adolescents' depressive mood | Boulard, Quertemont, Gauthier & Born | Journal of Adolescence
- Interparental conflict and early adolescents' aggression: Is irregular sleep a vulnerability factor? | Lemola, Schwarz & Siffert | Journal of Adolescence
- Social-Emotional Learning in Grades 3 to 6 and the Early Onset of Sexual Behavior | Schonfeld, Adams, et al | Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Our past presentations
A panel of researchers from Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports discuss in a 90-minute video presentation how physical activity is a primary context for youth development. 2008. Read more.