characteristics are addressed in the design of health services for adolescents, these services can offer high-quality care that is particularly attuned to the needs of this age group. These characteristics helped frame the chapters of this report and, where relevant and supported by the evidence, are reflected in the committee recommendations.

  • Development matters. Adolescence is a period of significant and dramatic change spanning the physical, biological, social, and psychological transitions from childhood to young adulthood. This dynamic state influences both the health of young people and the health services they require (Chapter 1).

  • Timing matters. Adolescence is a critical time for health promotion. Many health problems and much of the risky behavior that underlies later health problems begin during adolescence. Prevention, early intervention, and timely treatment improve health status for adolescents and prepare them for healthy adulthood; such services also decrease the incidence of many chronic diseases in adulthood (Chapter 2).

  • Context matters. Social context and such factors as income, geography, and cultural norms and values can profoundly affect the health of adolescents and the health services they receive (Chapters 2 and 3).

  • Need matters. Some segments of the adolescent population, defined by both biology and behavior, have health needs that require particular attention in health systems (Chapter 2).

  • Participation matters. Effective health services for young people invite adolescents and their families to engage with clinicians (Chapter 4).

  • Family matters. At the same time that adolescents are growing in their autonomy, families continue to affect adolescents’ health and overall well-being and to influence what health services they use. Young people without adequate family support are particularly vulnerable to risky behavior and poor health and therefore often require additional support in health service settings (Chapter 4).

  • Community matters. Good health services for adolescents include population-focused as well as individual and family services since the environment in which adolescents live, as well as the supports they receive in the community, are important (Chapter 4).

  • Skill matters. Young people are best served by providers who understand the key developmental features, health issues, and overall social environment of adolescents (Chapter 5).

  • Money matters. The availability, nature, and content of health services for adolescents are affected by such financial factors as public

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