June 23, 2016

Improving the paradigm of approaches to adolescent sexual and reproductive health

Written by Kate F. Plourde, Suzanne Fischer, Joy Cunningham, Kristin Brady and Donna R. McCarraher

Abstract: Traditional approaches to improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) have focused on changing individual behavior, with little emphasis on addressing the factors that contribute to this behavior: biological changes; the influence of family and friends; the communities in which young people live; and access to economic and academic opportunities. This article provides an overview of the various factors that influence ASRH behaviors and outcomes and suggests an approach grounded in the principles of positive youth development to reduce risk factors and improve the protective factors that contribute to adolescents’ successful and healthy transition into adulthood.

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