"New Health White Paper" - Emerging Young Adults are Adrift in a Perfect Storm of Health Risks

Mar 01, 2013, 16:45 ET from University of Southern California (USC)

USC research shows adolescents ages 18 to 25 have a high prevalence, but low perception of health risks and low access to healthcare

LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The health status of emerging young adults 18 to 25 years of age is a major concern facing our nation and is the focus of an analysis developed by Lawrence Neinstein, MD, FACP, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. These "new adolescents" face the following challenges:

  • greater behavioral and non-behavioral health risks
  • a lower perception of risk
  • the least access to care and the highest uninsured rate in California and the United States.

"Emerging young adults are adrift in a perfect storm of health risks," says Dr. Neinstein. "This population needs healthcare coverage that is beyond catastrophic health issues but is broad enough to cover many health risks."

A downloadable .pdf file of this entire white paper can be found at www.usc.edu/thenewadolescents

The New Adolescents: An Analysis of Health Conditions, Behaviors, Risks and Access to Services Among Emerging Young Adults examines the health risks facing 34.6 million emerging young adults. Young adults from 18 to their 26th birthday occupy the space between adolescence and young adulthood – often separating from home and parents. This is potentially a challenging time of life and a period of increased health risks. In addition, research shows evidence of brain development still significantly occurring in this age group as well as an increased delay in their attaining traditional milestones such as completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent and having children.

This research was produced to provide healthcare providers, networks, institutions and policy makers with the data they need to make informed decisions about broad healthcare coverage and health prevention interventions in emerging young adults. A national "emerging young adult" health agenda – including thoughtful healthcare research, programs and national and state policies regarding delivery and access to healthcare – must be developed for this at risk age group.

Lawrence Steven Neinstein, MD, FACP, is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. At USC, he is executive director of the Engemann Student Health Center, a senior associate dean of student affairs, and Chief of the Division of College Health.  Dr. Neinstein is a past president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is the editor of Adolescent HealthCare, A Practical Guide, now in its 5th edition, as well as the editor of the Handbook of Adolescent HealthCare. In 2003, Dr. Neinstein worked with Euteach (European Training in Effective Adolescent Care and Health Programs) leading to the development of an adolescent health curriculum that is accessed annually by over 250,000 individuals worldwide (www.usc.edu/adolhealth).  You can contact Dr. Neinstein at neinstei@engemann.usc.edu.

USC is one of the world's leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international trade, USC enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.

This research was sponsored by a collaboration of:

The California Wellness Foundation

The Division of College Health, Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC and the Division of Student Affairs, University of Southern California

Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California

The Community, Health Outcomes & Intervention Research Program, The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles

SOURCE University of Southern California (USC)