A report card on adolescents from UNICEF

April 24, 2012

In a Comment with The Lancet Series on Adolescent Health, Dr Tessa Wardlaw, Chief of Statistics and Monitoring, UNICEF, New York, USA, and colleagues discuss the forthcoming UNICEF publication Progress for Children: A Report Card on Adolescents.

They say: "The successes achieved in in recent years mean that more children have moved into older . Yet too little attention and too few resources are devoted to issues facing older children. Historically, there has also been a serious shortage of data and analyses on —a key barrier to understanding this group and their needs, and to identifying appropriate programmes to improve their lives."

The report covers a wide range of health indicators in adolescents. One telling aspect is that adolescents, particularly girls, are often forced to abandon their childhoods and take on adult roles before they are physically ready. Early marriage is a common experience for many girls and raises the likelihood of early childbearing. More than a third of young women aged 20 - 24 years in developing countries, excluding China, were married or in a union by the age of 18 years, and more than one in ten were married before they reached the age of 15 years. Despite a decline in the overall birth rate in developing countries, adolescent birth rates remain relatively high, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In Niger, for instance, half of young women aged 20 – 24 years gave birth before age 18.

They authors conclude: "It is our hope that the rich base of statistical data and evidence presented in Progress for Children: A Report Card on Adolescents will greatly contribute to making adolescents more visible within a child rights agenda. Indeed, a lasting change in the lives of children and young people needs investments in both the first and second decades of their lives to ensure that adolescents have the abilities, skills, values, and experiences to negotiate multiple life domains, become economically independent, protect themselves from exploitation and abuse, mitigate risk, and participate positively in their families and communities. Only then will the promise of the Millennium Declaration be fulfilled for children, including adolescents, the world over."

Explore further: Rates of suicide attempts and hospitalizations in children and adolescents

Related Stories

Rates of suicide attempts and hospitalizations in children and adolescents

October 17, 2011
Although children and adolescents in the child welfare system are at increased risk of attempted suicide compared with the general population, rates are highest before they enter care then begin to decline, states an article ...

Up to 1 in 5 children in developing countries has a mental health problem, yet treatment is woefully inadequate

October 16, 2011
Mental health problems affect 10-20% of children and adolescents worldwide. Despite their relevance as a leading cause of health-related disability in this age group and their longlasting effects throughout life, the mental ...

Fall in deaths related to child abuse suggests improvement in child protection services

May 5, 2011
The number of children dying a violent death has fallen substantially in England and Wales over the past 30 years, reveals research published ahead of print in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Recommended for you

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.