HSC Option 1: The Health of Young
This option module is concerned with the health needs of young
people. In this module, students examine the nature of young people’s
lives and the developmental factors that significantly influence their
health. They consider the health status of young people and examine a
number of related health issues. Students discover that there is much
that can be done to support the health of young people and they
critically analyse the level of support currently available. Students are
encouraged to develop a positive view of the future and a
preparedness to contribute towards that future.
A Picture of Australia’s Children 2009
• Young People's health and wellbeing
Youth is a period of rapid emotional, physical and intellectual change,
where young people progress from being dependent children to
independent adults. Young people who are unable to make this
transition smoothly can face significant difficulties in both the short
and long term. All levels of governments are interested in positively
influencing the environment of young people by providing support
in areas such as health, education, welfare, work and safety.
Prevention and early intervention are the key themes for current
policies. Data which support a better understanding of the needs of
young people and their families are therefore of critical importance.
3 questions?????
• What is good health for young people?
• To what extent do Australia’s young people
enjoy good health?
• What skills and actions enable young people
to attain better health?
What is good health for young people?
the nature of young people’s lives
•how the developmental stage can vary in motivations,
values, sociocultural background
•the influence of family/peers
•the influence of prevailing youth cultures
•the influence of global events and trends
•the influence of technology
How would you describe a young
persons life?
- how the developmental stage can vary in motivations, values,
sociocultural background
Rate of Physical development
mature at different rates, growth
spurts, physical maturity often comes
before emotional maturity.
Level of motivation
motivation is result of mental attitudes
and emotional maturity, labelled lazy,
leisure conflict with family expectations
Socioeconomic background
uneven distribution of wealth
Sociocultural background.
Multicultural variety – customs, beliefs,
- the influence of family/peers
The family can have a positive or negative influence on the development of the adolescent –
rules, expectations, care, communication .
Your peers too can influence attitudes and behaviours. As for conflict between the two!!!!
How does your family / peer group influence you in the way you live your life and the adult you
are becoming?
- the influence of prevailing youth cultures
Identify youth cultures that you know of:
goth, skateboarder,
surfie, emo, punks,
ravers, rockers,
nerds, gamers.
Originally subcultures were
identified with transport
(bikes etc) then with music
(grunge) but then the
commercial world identified
the profit potential of
cashedup youth and the
symbols that represent a
certain youth culture.(Nike,
Young people need to feel that they belong and strive for the
required look – to confirm identity and maintain self esteem and
self confidence.
Identifying with a certain youth culture is not necessarily
They can provide support and security until the confidence of
adulthood is gained.
the influence of global events and
Identify the global events that
have happened in the last few
months and how quick did you
find out about them.
Bad news travels fast and this can
lead young people to have a
pessimistic view of the future and it
needs to be balanced with the idea
that good news is rarely reported.
Global issues though
have prompted young
people into action –
streamwatch, forums,
competitions can
influence young
people to participate
in various sports but
also lead to negative
attitudes towards
officials and the rise of
violence in schools.
the influence of technology
Identify all of the ways you can use technology to communicate
Technology has influenced job
creation, access to
information, music, games,
videos regardless of
classification, and language. It
has led to a generation driven
to stay in touch while
developing the ability to
expensive contracts, pressure on parents to supply mobiles to young children, theft
of phones, uncensored material desensitising young, copy cat behaviour, medical
conditions (RSI, obesity), cyberbullying, identity theft, gate crashing.
• epidemiology of the health of young
is the study of disease in groups and populations in
general over a period of time.
lower rates of mortality
higher level of morbidity
mental disorders, injury
and poisioning
. the effects of the determinants of health
on young people
- individual
- sociocultural factors
socioeconomic factors
Young people of low SES...
practice unhealthy behaviours
develop poor eating habits
live in large families
unable to defer gratification
use physical violence to solve
higher unplanned pregnancies
anti-work ethic
lack up to date health
move house more frequently.
• Unemployed
• part time or casual
• lower rates of pay
• lower standards of living
Conditions that contribute to ill
drive less safe cars
shared accommodation
resort to crime
do not have health insurance.
• Employment
high rates of
unpaid overtime
dole bludger labels
dangerous part time work
late hours / fatigue
budgeting, resilience.
• Education
stay on longer (no jobs)
closer relationship
between education and
health lessons
institutions provide safe
- environmental factors
Geography – young people living in or
coming from rural and remote
communities suffer worse health
due to
reduced employment opportunities,
reluctance to wear
rural poverty
harsher climate
exposure to chemicals
and a ‘tough’ attitude.
Access to health services –
long distances
separation from family for treatments
waiting times
need strong health literacy skills.
- Use of technology
• more socially connected
• develop highly sought after
specialised skills
which can benefit their quality
of life and therefore health
• reduce activity leading to
• lead to addiction
• reduce face to face
communication skills
• detached from reality
• cost
• developmental aspects that affect
the health of young people
revising roles within relationships
clarifying self-identity and self-worth
developing self-sufficiency and autonomy
establishing education, training and
employment pathways
- establishing personal support structures
- determining behavioural boundaries.
- revising roles within relationships
• infancy..childhood..adolescence..adulthood..parenthood
Equal / submissive / dominant role?
Protective / nurturing role?
Increasing responsibility / expectations / autonomy / freedom?
Role ambiguity?
Balance of power?
Platonic / sexual / sexual orientation / committed relationships?
Unwanted pregnancies, bullying, stress from too much responsibility, family conflict.
clarifying self-identity and self-worth
play description game
• Our self identity is how we describe ourselves.
• Schools can provide positive experiences which develop a
positive sense of self. Perceived failure can have the
opposite effect.
• Society’s norms, values and beliefs also influence during
socialisation process – specific roles, commercialisation of
‘identity’ e.g. clothing labels, problem for low SES.
• Implications?
Mental health issues, hiding sexual identity, bullying, eating
disorders, anxiety.
- developing self-sufficiency and
Analyse the concept of ‘student voice’ in PE
(which is part of the Girls In Sport
project..\Documents\SENIORS\HEALTH OF
establishing education, training and
employment pathways
• A solid education provides the foundation for reaching
personal potential and positive self esteem.
• Today’s young have many options – TAFE, School-based
apprenticeships, VET.
• Part time work can lead to
career pathways
high self esteem
job skills
transition options
time management skills.
establishing personal support
• A good support structure is based on mutual
respect, trust and shared responsibility offering
financial, emotional, physical and mental
support. They are able to cope with stress and
have someone to turn to. Alternative support
(from family) is available from government
agencies and in the community, though the
family is the best for promoting good health.
• What support is available at WHS?
determining behavioural boundaries
• This is the time to test boundaries and learn acceptable limits.
Families that set limits and impose consequences will help. Some
families though do not and these adolescents often develop a belief
in their own impunity
• Laws are developed to protect young people from themselves and
• Describe laws which apply to young people and not adults.
Sexual activity, driving, drinking, use of car restraints, licensed
premises, smoking.
Why are they in place?
• Young people who are unwilling to accept family, school and
society’s boundaries and who cannot set their own often engage in
negative health behaviours and end up isolated (juvenile justice,
school phobia, suspensions) often compelled by peers.
• Implications? Injury, disability, dysfunction, stress related disorders.
think critically about how young people’s
priorities and values relate to their health by
considering questions such as:
• Is health a priority for young people?
• What would young people view as the indicators
of good health?
To what extent do Australia’s young
people enjoy good health?
the major health issues that impact on young people
mental health problems and illnesses
alcohol consumption
road safety
sexual health
body image
other relevant/emerging health issues, eg gambling,
cyber-bullying, party crashes, drink spiking
Areas in which young Australians are faring well
• Life expectancy at birth has improved over the last 20 years: a gain of 5.6 years for
males and 4 years for females. A boy born in 2002–2004 would be expected to live
to 78.1 years, on average, while a girl would be expected to live to 83.0 years, on
• Death rates among young people aged 12–24 years halved between 1980 and 2004,
largely due to decreases in deaths due to injury (including poisoning). Suicide and
transport accident deaths declined by 40% and 35% respectively between 1995
and 2004 and deaths due to drug dependence disorder decreased from 142
deaths in 1997 to 3 deaths in 2004.
• Over 90% of young people rate their health as excellent, very good or good.
• Young people are less likely to have a ‘severe disability’ than people in other age
groups (2% of young people).
• Asthma prevalence, although still higher than the general population, has declined
from 16% to 13% between 2001 and 2004−05 for young people and hospital
separation rates for asthma have more than halved between 1996–97 and
Between 1993–97 and 1998–2002, the rate of melanoma incidence decreased by 23% (from 7.6 to 5.9
per 100,000 young people) for males and by 14% (from 9.1 to 7.8 per 100,000 young people) for
• The incidence of most vaccine-preventable communicable diseases is low. There has been a large
decline in the notification rates for measles and rubella over the last decade and for meningococcal
disease since 2003. The notification rates for meningococcal diseases, rubella and mumps were less
than 3 per 100,000 each in 2005. Large declines have also been observed in notification rates for
hepatitis A and B between 1995 and 2005 (a rate of 2.1 and 1.4 per 100,000 respectively in 2005).
There has been an overall fall in the HIV notification rate since 1995, although a slight upward trend
has been observed in recent years (a rate of 2.5 per 100,000 in 2005).
• Increasing proportions of young people are free from clinical tooth decay. Sixty per cent of those aged
12 years and 40% of those aged 15 years were decay free in 2001, an almost 1.7 fold increase since
• Young people aged 15–24 years accounted for 8% of the total disease and injury burden in 2003, with
71 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100,000 young people. This was half the rate for all
• Of young people living in families, most (80%) were living in couple-parent families in 2003. Young
people in couple parent families were more likely than young people from lone-parent families to
have an ‘employed’ parent or one that had completed secondary school.
• The vast majority (90%) of young people were living in households that were not considered to be
overcrowded in 2001.
• Most Year 7 students met the national benchmarks for reading, writing and numeracy (91%, 94% and
82%) in 2004.
• The apparent retention rate to Year 12 has increased substantially from 49% in 1986 to 75% in 2006
and the proportion of those aged 15–24 years with post-school qualifications rose from 23% to 26%
between 1996 and 2006.
• The majority of young people (85% of those aged 15–19 years and 76% of those aged 20–24 years)
were participating full time in education and/or work in 2006.
• analyse TWO of the major health issues
listed by examining:
– the nature and extent of the major health issue
– the risk factors and protective factors
– the sociocultural, socioeconomic and
environmental determinants
– young people most at risk
Significant areas of concern for young
Mental disorders accounted for almost 50% of the total disease burden
Injury (including poisoning) continues to be the leading cause of death for young people,
accounting for two-thirds of all deaths of young people
Crohn’s disease, diabetes increasing
25% of young people in 2004–05 were overweight or obese, increasing.
less than half of young people (46% of males and 30% of females) were meeting recommended
physical activity guidelines
Less than half (47%) meeting the daily vegetable consumption guidelines
Melanoma remains the type of cancer with the highest incidence rate among young people.
Almost one-third (31%) of young people drank alcohol in amounts that put them at risk or high risk
of alcohol-related harm in the short term, and 11% at risk of long-term harm.
Around 17% of young people were current smokers in 2004. Young mothers smoke more.
The unemployment rates for 15–19 and 20–24 year olds were 12.5% and 6.3%
Around 13% of young people were exposed to tobacco smoke
The proportion of young people on care and protection orders and in out-of-home care continued
to increase.
Young adults (those aged 18–24 years) accounted for 20% of the total prison population
Know them all but know 2 in depth.
TWO of the major health issues listed by
– the nature and extent of the major health issue
– the risk factors and protective factors
– the sociocultural, socioeconomic and
environmental determinants
– young people most at risk
• the major health issues that impact
on young people
– mental health problems and illnesses
What causes stress in your life?
What about 6 weeks time???
What are your ‘symptoms’?
General Nature
Experience of loss Schizophrenia
Group of disorders –
hallucinations, delusions,
disordered thought
Self harm
From reading your notes from the ‘snapshot’ suggest
what the risk factors are. Are you right?
Low level of education
Sexuality issues
Low self-esteem
Social alienation
Access to firearms –
rural males
• Incarceration
Family breakdown
Substance abuse
Sexual abuse
Family history of
mental illness
Family disharmony
Changing family structure
Peer expectations – or +
Media stereotypes
Conflict: culture & society
Racism, homophobia
Low level of education
Slow economic growth
Workplace contracts
Economic globalisation
PT and Casual’
National literacy and
numeracy benchmarks
Geographic location – city
vs rural
Access to health services
Access to technology
Supply of nutritious food
Inadequate housing
Poor infrastructure.
From reading your notes from the ‘snapshot’ suggest
what the risk factors are. Are you right?
• Strong personal support •
• Personal skills –
assertiveness, resilience •
• Laws
• Access to health services •
• Education of youth
workers and professionals •
• Societal and cultural
norms protecting young
Participation in decision
Adequate nutrition
Positive school
Economic security
Completion of Yr 12
Youth allowance
• major health issues cont’d
– body image
• major health issues cont’d
- alcohol consumption
major health issues cont’d
- violence
• major health issues cont’d
- road safety
• major health issues cont’d
– sexual health
• major health issues cont’d
– other relevant/emerging health issues, eg
gambling, cyber-bullying, party crashes, drink
What skills and actions enable young
people to attain better health?
• skills in attaining better health
– building self concept
– developing connectedness and support networks
– developing resilience and coping skills
– developing health literacy skills
– developing communication skills
– accessing health services
– becoming involved in community service
•connectedness with community
skills in attaining better health cont’d
- building self concept
Self concept involves 3 areas:
self worth, healthy body image and self efficacy.
How could a young person’ feelings of self worth be
Positive experiences, leadership training, wilderness
type challenges, volunteer work, praise, positive
behaviour strategies, less emphasis on winning.
How could a healthy body image be developed?
Media standards, role models, workshops,
A person needs confidence that they are capable of
carrying out a task. How could such confidence or self
efficacy be developed?
Skill development, workshops, cooperative / team
activities, ropes courses, camps, challenges, a role in
decision making eg via forums, SRC, youth councils
skills in attaining better health cont’d
-developing connectedness and support
o connectedness with community
o Positive Interpersonal relationships
o Supportive networks..\Documents\SENIORS\HEALTH OF
YOUNG PEOPLE\canteen.mp4. ..\Documents\SENIORS\HEALTH
OF YOUNG PEOPLE\Hannah_s_Story_[www.keepvid.com].mp4
Why might a young person not seek or accept support?
Fear of labelling / repercussions, macho image, stereotyping,
language/cultural barriers, family issues, poor health literacy,
parental expectations, isolation, ‘handle it’ attitude e.g. Hanna
How could these barriers be overcome?
Cultural exchange programs, media role models, balanced
representation of young people, health professional outreach
programs, support family, health promoting curricula, sensitive
health and counselling services., parent education, lobbying for
What do young people need?
Counselling, advice, money, accommodation, legal advice,
employment help, medical, mentoring.
• skills in attaining better health cont’d
developing resilience and coping skills
• skills in attaining better health
– developing health literacy skills
Intersectoral collaboration?
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation???
• skills in attaining better health cont’d
– developing communication skills
• skills in attaining better health cont’d
– accessing health services
• skills in attaining better health cont’d
– becoming involved in community service
• critically reflect on their own personal health and
health behaviours including both positive and negative
influences and indicate future courses of action for
better health
• actions targeting health issues relevant to
young people
– legislation and public policy
• actions targeting health issues relevant to
young people
- health promotion initiatives.
• evaluate a range of strategies that have been
implemented by government and nongovernment agencies that target TWO major
health issues impacting on young people
– social action

HSC Option 1: The Health of Young People