From the onset of puberty until a teenager has reached maturity, the period of adolescence can be fraught with social, emotional, and physical health and welfare challenges. RAND's research on adolescents includes studies on mental and physical health, substance use, violence, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and educational outcomes.
A cost-benefit analysis of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program, a program serving high school dropouts, indicates that every dollar invested in the program yields $2.66 in social benefits, an estimated return on investment of 166 percent.
RAND's evaluation of Safe Start Promising Approaches identified program successes and challenges in implementing programs for children exposed to violence. The evaluation results, though largely inconclusive, can inform similar efforts going forward.
Summarizes research on Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, a worksite-based parenting program designed by RAND and University of California at Los Angeles researchers that improves communication between parents and their adolescents on sexual health.
School-based program helps children cope with violence
This study of middle school students in Southern California found that racial and ethnic variations in substance use among young adolescents are influenced by individual, family and school factors.
California's Paid Family Leave Insurance program, the first of its kind, has not increased the percentage of parents who took leave to care for a sick child. Fewer than 15 percent of parents who were qualified for the program knew about it.
Examines parent-child discussions of sexual behavior. Finds consistency in the timing and content of such discussions; however, many parents and children do not discuss key topics, such as birth control, before adolescents become sexually active.
Describes a decisionmaking framework, focused on the intersection of needs, assets, and best practices, designed to help the Louisiana community of Shreveport-Bossier prioritize its investments in children and families.
Presents findings from the Teen Depression Awareness Project, which explored how depression affects teens, the factors that influence teens' readiness to seek treatment for depression, and the barriers that teens and parents face when seeking care.
Two recent studies led by RAND Health behavioral scientist Rebecca Collins examined the impact of TV sex on teenagers’ sexual beliefs and activities.
Examines the unique challenges faced by children of HIV-infected parents and indicates how some of the negative effects of parental HIV on children could be ameliorated.
Describes Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET), a cognitive-behavioral program intended to be delivered in schools by teachers or school counselors rather than clinical personnel.
Offers some practical implications based on the first study to demonstrate a link between exposure to sexual content on TV and subsequently becoming pregnant or being responsible for a pregnancy before the age of 20.
This research brief reports the results of a study examining the implementation and effectiveness of a middle school reading coach program in Florida.
An analysis of substance use among teens in the 10th grade found a strong association between working for pay and smoking. Even after adjusting for other factors that influence teen smoking behavior, the study found a clear link between the amount of time teenagers worked and their current use of tobacco.
Despite strong initial efforts to support the mental health needs of students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many schools have not been able to fulfill students' mental health needs over the long term.
This research brief describes evidence RAND researchers use to challenge findings from 1990 report on marijuana use and emotional and social adjustment in teens.
Underage drinking is a significant problem in the United States. To address this problem, RAND researchers developed guides to provide key accountability questions, worksheets, tools, and examples to help communities plan, implement, and evaluate their efforts to reduce and prevent underage drinking.
This study explored using outcome data to assess adolescent substance abuse treatment program performance. However, this approach may be problematic. A more promising approach may be to identify quality-of-care indicators for assessing performance.
As the obesity epidemic worsens, researchers are zeroing in on environmental factors that may contribute to the problem or, conversely, help to prevent it. It is increasingly clear that neighborhoods play an important role in stimulating exercise and reducing the risk of obesity.