Including at-risk adolescents in their own health and mental health care: A youth development perspective

Angela Diaz, Ken Peake, Michael Surko, Kalpana Bhandarkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As urban adolescents encounter serious health and mental health risks, they present the allied health professions with important opportunities for health promotion and risk reduction interventions. However, the prevailing emphasis on adolescents' risk behaviors rather than on their vulnerability has limited our capacity to understand and serve them. Further limiting are the widely held myths that adolescents as a whole have few health problems and that they are poor judges of their own needs. This article presents an overview of current theories of adolescent risk and vulnerability and suggests Youth Development as an overarching framework for understanding both. Experience within a comprehensive, adolescent health and mental health center demonstrates how to meaningfully engage adolescents in their own health care from the start.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical and Research Uses of an Adolescent Mental Health Intake Questionnaire
Subtitle of host publicationWhat Kids Need to Talk About
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781315821184
ISBN (Print)0789026732, 9780789026736
StatePublished - 23 Apr 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Mental health
  • Professional competencies
  • Risk
  • Vulnerability
  • Youth development


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