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Adolescent Health and Development

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Date Developed: Spring 2011. Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Population and Family Health Sciences. Presenter(s): Robert Blum, MD, MPH, PhD. Type: Online Course. Level: Advanced. Length: Self-paced.


This online course aims to help the learner explore adolescence development and health. Divided into sixteen lectures, Dr. Blum discusses physical, psychological, and brain development and its relation to decision-making. The course continues by addressing both national and international trends—including demographics, mortality rates, and participation in health care—and adolescence in the familial context and education system. He addresses relevant health issues the populations faces such as stress, mental health, substance use, violence, and obesity and the resilience framework for explaining stressor coping mechanisms. Reproductive health issues and effective youth programs conclude the course. To further learning, suggested readings and voluntary assignments accompany lectures.

Learning Objectives

• Describe the biological and psychological developmental processes that occur during adolescence and puberty.

• Identify major public health issues affecting adolescents both domestically and internationally.

• Place the major health concerns affecting adolescents within a conceptual framework to understand their key antecedents and determinates that include risk and protective factors within the biological, social, cultural, behavioral, political, and environmental domains.

• Analyze major health concerns affecting adolescents in an effort to recommend effective interventions to improve the health of adolescents.

• Explore five topical areas (adolescent depression and suicidality, youth with disabilities, juvenile violence, reproductive health, and adolescent obesity) in depth to understand the interplay of key antecedents and determinates.

• Demonstrate critical and analytical thinking by preparing a final paper on a major public health concern affecting adolescents that includes a description of the magnitude of the concern, a conceptual framework, analysis of the issue and a recommended intervention based on intervention research.

Special Instructions

To access course, use links (Syllabus, Schedule, Lecture Materials, Readings, and Assignments) in the “Course Home” menu on the left of the landing page.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.