Youth who feel engaged and supported at school and at home in adolescence are less likely to experience negative health outcomes in adulthood.
CDC findings published today in Pediatrics suggest that youth who feel connected at home and at school were less likely to experience health risk behaviors related to mental health, violence, sexual health, and substance use in adulthood.
These findings suggest that increasing both school and family (i.e. parents and caregivers) connectedness during adolescence through school, family, and community-based approaches can potentially have a powerful impact on health outcomes later in life.
Connectedness refers to a sense of being cared for, supported, and belonging, and can be centered on feeling connected to school, families, or other important people and organizations.
Schools, families, and healthcare providers have a major role in ensuring that adolescents feel engaged and connected. Concrete actions schools and families can take, as well as resources, are available on the CDC’s new adolescent connectedness webpage.