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April 8, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


The course consists of lectures, readings, discussions, panels of guest speakers, group and individual projects. The purpose of the lectures, readings, discussion and panels of guest speakers is to explore a variety of aspects of adolescence and adolescent health. The group and individual projects are meant to help students develop skills to work in multi-disciplinary teams and analyze adolescent health concerns through conceptual frameworks and recommend effective solutions through interventions.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the biological and psychological developmental processes that occur during adolescence and puberty
  • Identify major public health issues affecting adolescents both domestically and internationally
  • Place the major health concerns affecting adolescents within a conceptual framework to understand their key antecedents and determinates that include risk and protective factors within the biological, social, cultural, behavioural, political, and environmental domains
  • Analyze major health concerns affecting adolescents in an effort to recommend effective interventions to improve the health of adolescents
  • Explore five topical areas (adolescent depression and suicidality, youth with disabilities, juvenile violence, reproductive health, and adolescent obesity) in-depth to understand the interplay of key antecedents and determinates
  • Demonstrate critical and analytical thinking by preparing a final paper on a major public health concern affecting adolescents that includes a description of the magnitude of the concern, a conceptual framework, analysis of the issue and a recommended intervention based on intervention research
Session Topic Readings
0 Introduction, RequirementsAdolescence: a field of study None
1-2 The History of Adolescence None
3-4 Adolescent Puberty and Development Patton G., Viner R. (2007). Pubertal Transitions in Health. The Lancet 369:1130-1139Casey, P. J. Getz, S. Galvivan, A. (2008). The Adolescent Brain. Developmental Review 28:62-77.
5 Adolescent Risk Taking Sales, J. and Irwin, C.  (2009) Theories of Adolescent Risk Taking: The Biopsychosocial Model. In: DiClemente, R.,  Santelli, J., Crosby, R. (Eds) Adolescent Health: Understanding and Preventing Risk Behavior, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009:31-50.Hurrelmann K., Richter M. (2006). Risk Behavior in Adolescence: The Relationship Between Developmental and Health Problems. American Journal of Public Health. 14: 20-28
6 Adolescents in the Family Ackard, D., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., Perry, C. (2006). Parent-Child Connectedness and Behavioral and Emotional Health Among Adolescents. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 30:59�66.Amato P. (2005). The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation. The Future of Children 15:75-96
7 Social Capital and Social Contexts: the role of school Rothstein, R., Class and Schools, Chapter 5:  Reforms that could help narrow the achievement gap.  Pp 129-149.Jackson, M. (2009) Understanding Links between Adolescent Health and Educational Attainment, Demography, 46(4): 671-694.
8 Resilience in Adolescence Blum, L., Blum, R.  Resilience in Adolescence in DiClemente, R., Santelli, J., Crosby, R. (Eds) Adolescent Health: Understanding and Preventing Risk Behavior, San Francisco:Jossey-Bass, 2009:51-76.
9 Trends in Adolescent Health: US teens and young adults Mulye, T., Park, M. J., Nelson, C., Adams, S. Irwin, C., and Brindis, C.  (2009) Trends in Adolescent and Young Adult Health in the United States. Journal of Adolescent Health. 45:8-4. Setterstein, R.A., Ray, B. (2010) What's Going on with Young People Today? The Long and Twisting Path to Adulthood, The Future of Children, 20(1): 19-41.
10 Depression and Suicidality Bridge, J., Goldstein, T., Brent , D. (2006). Adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47:372-394.Thompson, M., Kuruwita, C., E. Michael Foster, E. M. (2009). Transitions in suicide risk in a nationally representative sample of adolescents.  Journal of Adolescent Health. 44:5 Pages 458-463.
11-12 Adolescent Substance Use and Abuse Hingson, R. (2009)  The Legal Drinking Age and Underage Drinking in the United States. Archives Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 163(7):598-600.Masten, A.S.,Faden, V.B., Zucker, R. A., Spear, L.P. (2008) Underage Drinking: A Developmental Framework.  Pediatrics. 121;S235-S251.
13 Juvenile Violence Ybarra, M.,  Diener-West, M., Markow, D.,  Leaf, P., Hamberger, M., Boxer, P. (2008)  Linkages Between Internet and Other Media Violence With Seriously Violent Behavior by Youth. Pediatrics. 122 (5);929-937.Ramchand R, Morral AR, Becker K. (2009)  Seven-year life outcomes of adolescent offenders in Los Angeles. American Journal of Public Health. 99(5):863-70. Vreeman R., Carroll A.  (2007) A Systematic Review of School-Based Interventions to Prevent Bullying. Arch Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine 161: 78-88.
14 Obesity in Adolescence Sharma M (2006). School-Based Interventions for Childhood and Adolescent Obesity. Obesity Reviews 7:261-269
15 Adolescent Reproductive Health and Behavior Santelli, J., Carter, M., Orr, M., Dittus, P.  (2009) Trends in sexual risk behaviors, by nonsexual risk behavior involvement, U.S. high school students, 1991-2007. Journal of Adolescent Health. 44:372-379.Jemmott, J., Jemmott, L., Fong, G., (2010) Efficacy of a Theory Based Abstinence-Only Intervention over 24 months, Arch Pediatr Adol Med., 164(2): 152-159.
16 Effective Youth Programs and Their Elements Bobek, D., Zaff, J., Li, Y., Lerner, R. (2009). Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components of civic action: Towards an integrated measure of civic engagement. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 30:615-627.Grossman J., Bulle M. (2006) Review of What Youth Programs Do to Increase the Connectedness of Youth with Adults. Journal of Adolescent Health 39:788-799
Supplemental Readings Blakemore S.J., Choudhury S. (2006). Development of the Adolescent Brain: Implications for Executive Function and Social Cognition. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47:296-312Mullis, R., Rathge, R., (2003)  Predictors of academic performance during early adolescence:  A contextual view. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 27(6):541-548. Johnson, S., Blum, R., Giedd, J. (2009) Adolescent Maturity and the Brain: Promises and Pitfalls of Neuroscience Research in Adolescent Health Policy. J Adol Health 45:216-221. Skara Silvana, Sussman Steve (2003). A Review of 25 Long-Term Adolescent Tobacco and Other Drug Use Prevention Program Evaluations. Preventive Medicine 37:451-474 Knox Kerry, Conwell Yeates, Caine Eric (2004). If Suicide is a Public Health Problem, What are We Doing to Prevent it? Am J Public Health 94:1:37-45 Weinberger Daniel, Elvevag Brita, Giedd Jay (2005). The Adolescent Brain: A Work in Progress. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. www.teenpregnancy.org Perreira Krista, Harris Kathleen, Lee Dohoon (2006). Making it in America: High School Completion by Immigrant and Native Youth. Demography 43:3:511-536 Christakis, N., Fowler J. (2007). The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years. N Engl J Med 57:370-379 Kliewer Wendy, Murrelle Lenn (2007). Rick and Protective Factors for Adolescent Substance Use: Findings from a Study in Selected Central American Countries. Journal of Adolescent Health 40:448-455 Bauer Nerissa, Lozano Paula, Rivera Frederick (2007). The Effectiveness of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Public Middle Schools: A Controlled Trial. Journal of Adolescent Health 40:266-274 Eisenberg Marla, Resnick Michael (2006). Suicidality Among Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth:  The Role of Protective Factors. Journal of Adolescent Health 39:662-668 Kirby Douglas, Laris B.A., Rolleri Lori (2007). Sex and HIV Education Programs: Their Impact on Sexual Behaviors of Young People Throughout the World. Journal of Adolescent Health 40: 206-217 Raneri Leslie, Wiemann Constance (2007). Social Ecological Predictors of Repeat Adolescent Pregnancy. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 39:1:39-47 East, Patricia, Reyes Barbara, Horn Emily (2007). Association Between Adolescent Pregnancy and a Family History of Teenage Births. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 39:2:108-115 Valente, T., Fujimoto, K., Chou, C-P, Spruijt-Metz, D. (2009). Adolescent Affiliations and Adiposity: A Social Network Analysis of Friendships and Obesity. Journal of Adolescent Health 45:202-204. Forhan, S. et. al. (2009) Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections among Adolescent Females aged 14-19 in the United States, Pediatrics, 124:1505-1512.

Course Curriculum

    • Adolescence: A Field Study 00:50:00
    • A History of Adolescence in the United States 01:10:00
    • Adolescent Development: Physical and Psychological 02:00:00
    • Adolescent Brain Development 00:50:00
    • Adolescent Risk Taking and Decision Making 00:50:00
    • Adolescence in the Family 00:00:00
    • Social Capital: The Untapped Power of Schools to Improve the Health of Youth 00:50:00
    • Resilience in Adolescence 00:55:00
    • Adolescent Trends: United States 02:00:00
    • Adolescent Trends: Global 00:55:00
    • Depression and Suicidality among Adolescents 02:00:00
    • Adolescent Substance Use and Abuse 02:00:00
    • Juvenile Violence 01:20:00
    • Obesity in Adolescence 00:55:00
    • Adolescent Reproductive Health and Behavior 01:20:00
    • Effective Programs for Youth 00:40:00
    • Adolescent Health and Development Assignment 2 weeks

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John Hopkin University