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Healthy living

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!

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Reports & journal articles

Associations among Physical Activity, Diet, and Obesity Measures Change during Adolescence

Janne Maier and Ronald Barry
This study evaluates the association between physical activity and diet quality during adolescence, assessing both as correlates of obesity. 2015.

Changing Adolescent Healthy Living Behavior Through Mentoring

Produced by Extension: Judith Conway, Carrie Ann Olson and Brent Jeffers
This poster presents the results of a research study on a southwest Minnesota mentoring program designed to address obesity. 2014.

Comprehensive report: Teens Take on Health

National 4-H Council
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

Brown, Noonan, et al.
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

Wexler, Jernigan, et al.
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

Wexler, Gubrium, et al.
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.

Exploring the Latino Paradox: How Economic and Citizenship Status Impact Health

Campbell, Garcia, et al.
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?

Sakari Lemola, Beate Schwarz, Andrea Siffert
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.

Social context in school: Its relation to adolescents’ depressive mood

Boulard, Quertemont, et al.
This study examines the impact of various school-related factors on adolescents’ depressive mood, including prosocial behavior, verbal aggression, and relationships with teachers. 2012.

Social–Emotional Learning in Grades 3 to 6 and the Early Onset of Sexual Behavior

Schonfeld, Adams, et al.
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.

The Politics of Physical Education

David Claxton
This paper discusses the politics of physical education. It examines how both national politics and local/campus politics affect the discipline. 2012.

Parenting and adolescent adjustment: The role of parental reflective function

Naomi Benbassat and Beatriz Priel
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

Devís-Devís, Peiró-Velert, et al.
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

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Our past presentations

Physical activity as a context for youth development

Nicole LaVoi, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Maureen Weiss
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.
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