in condom use varies, increasing trends are evidenced in all countries with data.


Although young women are generally less likely than older women to obtain an abortion, they are more likely to have the abortion later in pregnancy and to choose an unsafe provider, thus putting themselves at greater risk. Reliable data on induced abortion are severely lacking. It appears, however, that young people are more likely to delay seeking an abortion even in settings in which abortion is not restricted. The need for confidentiality and privacy is the main reason that young women choose unskilled providers.


The use of tobacco among young people in developing countries is high, and the gap in smoking prevalence between young men and women small. Although few data exist on trends in smoking among young people in developing countries, indications are that smoking is increasing generally and perhaps more rapidly among young women. The marketing of tobacco to young people in developing countries, rising affluence in some countries, and the relaxation of traditional social controls, particularly on girls’ behavior are all factors implicated in these trends. The negative consequences of increasing prevalence of smoking for the future health of the current generation are considerable.


Trends in the use of illicit drugs are difficult to characterize, but it appears that incidence in much of the developing world is rising slowly. In contrast to the rest of the developing world, trends in Eastern Europe and Central Asia show rapid increases. The increase in injecting drug use among young males in Eastern and South-eastern Asia and the Russian Federation does not bode well for the health of these populations, particularly because of the double risk of the drug use itself and the transmission of HIV/AIDS.


The consumption of alcohol is greater among young males than young females, among the affluent, and among those living in urban areas. Some evidence suggests that young people in developing countries are initiating drinking earlier and are increasingly engaging in binge drinking. Marketing campaigns aimed at young people and the promotion of new types of sweeter alcoholic beverages directed at the under age 18 market, suggest the continuation of these trends.


School participation and attainment have important and mostly positive connections to young people’s health. It is expected that rising school enrollment rates should contribute to further improvements in reproductive health among young people. Grades attained as well as current enrollment



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement