Addressing the social determinants of health - such as social and economic opportunities, high-quality education, and access to nutritious food - was identified in Healthy People 2020 as a priority for improving the nation’s health. Differences in social determinants are major contributors to health disparities among communities. Environmental factors, including adverse experiences and economic stresses, have been found to disrupt adolescents’ social-emotional foundation and can impact their future wellbeing. Conversely, successful implementation of youth engagement strategies can increase adolescents’ positive social and emotional development; leadership, problem-solving, and decision making skills; a sense of belonging; and a sense of purpose, while decreasing adolescent engagement in high-risk behaviors. Engaging adolescents in identifying and addressing the social determinants of health in their communities can have a compounding impact on adolescent and community wellness.
Read about: Engaging Youth to Increase Positive Social Determinants of Health in School Communities | View Other Stories