Adolescents are over a quarter of the world’s population. This generation faces new and different health problems and risks to previous generations. Our population health studies focus on the health and wellbeing of adolescents in the places where they live and work.
In Australia, we undertake internationally unique studies of how children grow into adolescence, the common health problems that emerge in the teens, and the persistence of these problems into later life. Our prevention research addresses questions about how schools and local neighbourhoods can become healthier places for adolescents.
Young people and adults who come into contact with the criminal justice system are among society’s most vulnerable. They are distinguished by a high prevalence of complex, co-occurring health problems, typically set against a backdrop of entrenched disadvantage.
The Justice Health Group seeks to generate world-class evidence regarding the health and health service experiences of justice-involved young people, and to advocate for evidence-informed policy to improve their health outcomes. Addressing the health needs of justice-involved young people is important to addressing health inequalities at the population level.
The Health Services for Adolescents research group focuses on two key areas:
- How to orientate health services to better meet young people’s health needs
- How to improve health outcomes for adolescent with complex health conditions, such as eating disorders, obesity, gender dysphoria and chronic physical conditions.
The world now has the largest group of young people there will ever be on the planet. How they grow during the adolescent years will affect not only their own health later in life but the contribution they will make to their societies in the future.
The world in which adolescents are growing is changing rapidly due to globalisation, urbanisation, digital media, and more accessible education. This creates many opportunities for the health and wellbeing but also some risks. Our global research describe these changing patterns of health and growth as countries undergo major transitions economically, nutritionally, demographically and epidemiologically.