Course: Adolescent Health and Development

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Course Description

The course consists of lectures, readings, discussions, a mid-term examination, and individual final papers. The purpose of the lectures, readings and discussions is to explore a variety of aspects of adolescence, health, and development. The papers are meant to help students develop skills to analyze the public health issues of adolescence through developing conceptual frameworks and evidence based interventions and to recommend effective solutions and 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, behavioral, 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


Course readings are listed on the Readings page.

Course Requirements

Evaluation is assessed using a number of activity types:

Midterm (35%): Take-home multiple choice and essay exam

Final Paper (60%): Individual written report on an adolescent health concern

Participation (5%): Individual student's participation in sessions