Improving the Health, Safety and Well-Being of Young Adults

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Children and Families, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Select Populations and Health Equity
Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Activity Description

Young adults (aged approximately 18-26) are at a significant and pivotal time of life. They may seek higher education, launch their working careers, develop personal relationships and healthy habits, and pursue other endeavors that help set them on healthy and productive pathways that last through adulthood. However, the transition to adulthood can also be a time of increased vulnerability and risk. Some young adults are unemployed or homeless, lack access to health care, or have mental health conditions or other chronic health concerns. Others engage in binge drinking, illicit drug use, or driving under the influence. Young adults are moving out of the systems and institutions that supported them as children and adolescents, but adult systems and institutions – such as the adult health care system and the labor market – may not be well suited to support their needs.

On May 7-8, 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) held a workshop to bring together more than 250 researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and young adults. The workshop was designed to highlight research on the development, health, safety, and well-being of young adults. A published workshop summary, an infographic and videos and slides from the presentations are available.

In October, 2013, the IOM and NRC launched a consensus study on improving the health, safety, and well-being of young adults. Building on the workshop, the Committee on Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Young Adults examined the available evidence on the health, safety, and well-being of young adults; on systems and institutions that provide pathways from adolescence into adulthood; and on policies that impact young adult well-being. Based on this evidence, the committee will provide recommendations to legislatures, agencies, institutions, and organizations on actions that could enhance the health, safety, and well-being of young adults. The report was released in October 2014. Read the report here: Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults


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