Key Topics

Key Topics

Healthy Youth Development

In terms of the sheer pace of human growth and development, adolescence is second only to infancy. If you’re shaping programs and policies in support of adolescent health, you know how crucial it is to use a developmental lens. Visit these YouTube videos, webinars, and fact sheets to brush up on your knowledge and educate your decision-makers.

Summaries of developmental stages and tasks of adolescence, updated in 2023 with gender-expansive language. Spanish adaptations available thanks to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s Title V/Maternal and Child Health Program.

  • Early Adolescence 10-14
  • Middle Adolescence 15-17
  • Late Adolescence 18-24

This six-part video series from the State Adolescent Health Resource Center covers the basics of adolescent development, the developmental tasks of adolescence, and a “now what” discussion on how to apply an adolescent and young adult development lens to state public health work.

First published in 2010 by the Center for Adolescent Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, this guide incorporates the latest research about physical, emotional, cognitive, sexual, spiritual, and identity formation development in adolescence. This essential resource includes real-life tips and strategies and was developed with state and national partners, including Maryland’s  State Adolescent Health Coordinator, Christine Evans.  


Positive Youth Development

Young people are resources to be developed, not problems to be solved. We practice daily the philosophy that all young people need support, guidance, and meaningful opportunities to participate in community. When these supports are in place, they develop into thriving, productive adults.

An 11-page overview of the fundamental supports and opportunities youth need, created by the State Adolescent Health Resource Center. It includes an activity to help state-level professionals build Positive Youth Development into public health strategies.

“Operationalizing” PYD can be challenging for state level agencies as PYD is often characterized as community-level, direct-engagement activity only. This NNSAHC brief offers concrete examples and resources for state-directed initiatives to infuse a PYD approach into adolescent focused initiatives.



Young Adult Development

Young adults (18-25) transitioning from adolescence are leaving the systems designed for children and entering the systems designed for adults: neither engages them as a distinct population with unique needs. We seek to bridge this gap by building young adult-focused practices and policies into the broader field of adolescent health.

These first two videos from the State Adolescent Health Resource Center covers the basics of young adult development, the ten things MCH programs should know about young adults, and general tips for working with young adults.

This 36-page document by the Adolescent and Young Adult National Health Resource Center elevates five state-level strategies for improving young adult health. It’s based on a review of MCH policies and programs across all 59 states and territories and interviews with Title V leadership in states with a young adult outcome measure.