Adolescent Health

Adolescent Health: Policy, Science, and Human Rights

WILLIAM BOYCE
JENNIFER ROCHE
DIANE DAVIES
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt80461
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  • Book Info
    Adolescent Health
    Book Description:

    In Adolescent Health a contemporary setting is used to illustrate the intersection of evidence and ethics in policy making. Individual chapters describe the social determinants of youth health (chronic conditions, ethnicity, family income, school and peer relationships) and youth health behaviours and outcomes (substance use, violence, sexual and physical activity). Within this broad landscape of youth health issues, the authors apply the human rights principles of the Convention to their research to illustrate the often competing frameworks of evidence and ethics. The underlying question is whether social policy, in the real world, depends on science or human rights. Current knowledge translation practices are examined to detect the pathway most likely to influence youth health policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7573-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    WILLIAM BOYCE
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. PART ONE INTRODUCTION
    • 1 Background to Health Policy-making
      (pp. 3-12)
      WILLIAM BOYCE

      Since the 1970s, the Government of Canada has been searching for a new direction in health beyond the provision of health care and in line with the World Health Organization’s defi nition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (who 1946, 1). The who’s 1986 Ottawa Charter, the result of the First International Conference on Health Promotion, which was held in Canada’s capital, led the way in conceptualizing health promotion as an essential adjunct to health services, health protection, and prevention strategies. The Charter defined health...

    • 2 Principled Policy-making: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
      (pp. 13-20)
      EMILY BOYCE

      The fifty-four articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) comprise an international treaty that codifies the human rights and freedoms of every child, defined as every person under the age of eighteen years (United Nations 1989). In its preamble, the Convention reaffirms the principles proclaimed in the UN’s own Charter: that recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world; and that the family is the fundamental unit of society and the natural environment for...

    • 3 Evidence-based Policy-making: Adolescent Health Research
      (pp. 21-32)
      IRVING ROOTMAN and WILLIAM BOYCE

      This book looks at the role of evidence in adolescent health policymaking, so it is important that we consider the meaning of evidence. The term is often contested. It is used differently by various people, and it is sometimes used in a way that is intended to discredit those who have an important role to play in the policy-making context. McQueen and Anderson (2001) discuss the issue of defining “evidence” in depth in a book that deals with evaluation in health promotion. Among the definitions of the term “evidence” are:

      “[Something a]pparent, manifest, obvious, palpable, clear, plain”;

      “Something that has...

  7. PART TWO KEY EXAMPLES OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH RESEARCH AND POLICY
    • 4 Socio-economic Status and the Health and Well-Being of Youths in Canada
      (pp. 35-66)
      LORI J. CURTIS

      The well-being of children was highlighted as a national priority in Canada in 1989, when an all-party motion of Parliament called for the elimination of child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. The following decade saw a number of changes to policies that affect families with children. In 1990, parental benefits were added to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) and the earned Income Supplement (EIS) (also known as the Working Income Supplement, or WIS) were introduced in 1993. The year 1997 saw taxation changes on child support payments (such that the recipient was no...

    • 5 Health Promotion through School Improvement
      (pp. 67-93)
      ANDY ANDERSON and WILLIAM BOYCE

      Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and realize aspirations, satisfy needs, and change the environment or cope with it. Health is therefore seen as a resource for everyday life, not the final objective of living. Health is a positive concept that emphasizes social and personal resources as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector; it goes beyond developing healthy lifestyles to...

    • 6 The Health and Well-being of Aboriginal Youths in Canada
      (pp. 94-125)
      HARRIET MacMILLAN, CORNELIA WIEMAN, ELLEN JAMIESON, ANGUS MacMILLAN and CHRISTINE WALSH

      Many reports about Canadian Aboriginal youth emphasize the importance of understanding the health status and needs of this unique and diverse group (Stout and Kipling 1999; Kidder et al. 2000), yet there is a paucity of rigorous data available (MacMillan, MacMillan, et al. 1996; Offord et al. 1989). Much of the published literature is based on studies involving United States Native groups (Offord et al. 1989). As highlighted by Waldram, Herring, and Young (1995), while many large national health surveys have been conducted in Canada over the past thirty years, most have excluded persons living on-reserve. Although the national Aboriginal...

    • 7 Sexuality and Reproductive Health in Adolescence: Policy Implications of Early Age of Sexual Debut
      (pp. 126-151)
      ROGER S. TONKIN, AILEEN MURPHY and COLLEEN S. POON

      Although adolescence may be difficult to define, it is clear that certain developmental tasks take place within the adolescent period. The development of secondary sex characteristics and the emergence of sexual identity are cornerstones of the developmental tasks of adolescence (Adolescent Medicine1991). How youths confront these challenges can become important correlates of their emerging sexuality. As Rutter notes, “Sexuality is very important to adolescents and much talk centres around the topic” (1979, 16).

      These tasks are not achieved in isolation from the other developmental challenges of the period. Cognitive capacity, emotional development, lifestyle choices, peer and other social relationships...

    • 8 Substance Use: Harm Reduction and the Rights of the Canadian Adolescent
      (pp. 152-172)
      CHRISTIANE POULIN

      Harm reduction is increasingly contemplated as an alternative philosophy and strategy to the dominant paradigm of primary prevention regarding substance use by adolescent populations. Adolescence is a life stage characterized by increasing autonomy. The wide variability in emotional, social, and intellectual development during this life stage, however, gives rise to uncertainty and/or disagreement about adolescents’ decision-making capacity both in general and concerning illegal behaviours such as substance use. Some adolescents may have neither the confidence nor the skills to achieve full autonomy, despite their need to free themselves from the authority of adults (Ames and Miller 1994).

      Proponents of a...

    • 9 Responding to Bullying and Harassment: An Issue of Rights
      (pp. 173-196)
      DEBRA PEPLER and WENDY CRAIG

      Over the past decade and a half, there has been increased concern about violence among youth. Not only adults, but youths themselves feel concerned for their safety and security (King, Boyce, and King 1999). The response to this concern within the justice and educational systems has been to establish increasingly severe sanctions for young offenders. At the same time, there has been a paucity of attention to the rights, protection, and support of victimized youths. In this chapter, we review research that highlights the nature of abuse, such as bullying, that adolescents experience at the hands of their peers. From...

    • 10 Injury and Youth: Scope of the Injury Problem and Implications for Policy
      (pp. 197-220)
      TREVOR L. STROME and LOUIS HUGO FRANCESCUTTI

      Injury is the leading cause of death and disability facing adolescents in developed countries today. In fact, injuries are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity for all people 44 years of age and under (Baker et al. 1992). The immense burden of injuries on society has been recognized by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Three and a half million people (of all ages) worldwide die every year as the result of injuries (World Health Organization 1993). Injuries accounted for 16% of the total global burden of disease in 1998 (World Health Organization 2000).

      Despite the enormity...

  8. PART THREE POLICY PROBLEMS, ANALYSIS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
    • 11 Improvements to the Policy Process to Increase Use of Evidence: Research Translation Examined
      (pp. 223-239)
      WILLIAM BOYCE

      The four stages of policy development described by Pless (1995) and presented in Table 1.2 of this book comprise the field of policy analysis and are based on the following assumptions: that experts trained in appropriate analytical techniques can systematically apply these to the political marketplace, can discover and measure the impact of policy on citizen’s interests, can project policy consequences with some accuracy, and can affect the decisions of identifiable political clients who will use the analysis to solve social problems (Shulock 1999). Scientific researchers have traditionally participated in, or contributed to, Stages 1 and 3 of Pless’s policy...

    • 12 Improvements to Research to Benefit Policy
      (pp. 240-248)
      WILLIAM BOYCE and IRVING ROOTMAN

      In this chapter, we look at research from two perspectives: we first discuss the obstacles in applying scientific evidence to policy; we then suggest improvements to research design and conceptualization that can enhance policy.

      Most Canadian policies that focus on adolescents tend to be uncoordinated, problem-specific, piecemeal, non-participatory, and rarely based on the most appropriate or solid evidence. There are many reasons why this is the case. A key one is that “adolescent problems” frequently attract the attention of the media, the public, and policymakers, often resulting in demands for immediate action. This haste makes it difficult to bring together...

    • 13 Application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to Adolescent Health Policy
      (pp. 249-276)
      EMILY BOYCE and WILLIAM BOYCE

      Rights-based approaches to policy-making are increasingly valued and applied in the Canadian context. Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (United Nations 1989) in 1991. The National Children’s Agenda, and a range of policy and program measures aimed at fulfilling it, have subsequently been developed. Policy aimed at improving children’s health has been a key focus of the broader effort to meet the requirements of the Convention. This chapter discusses and assesses the implications of the Convention as a framework for adolescent health policy in Canada. We argue that a rights-based approach to adolescent...

    • 14 Recommendations for Developing Adolescent Health Policy
      (pp. 277-286)
      WILLIAM BOYCE

      This book advocates the coordination of population-health science, rights, and policy in order to improve adolescent health and wellbeing. It attempts to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a standard for adolescent health policy development, but it also suggests that the Convention undergo critical analysis and interpretation in order to reflect the reality of adolescents. In addition, it recommends that research in the area of adolescent health and well-being, which reflects the multiple and interrelated determinants of adolescent health, needs to be conducted and disseminated on a larger scale and with attention to differences...

    • Index
      (pp. 287-289)