221096 Examining the role of adolescent socio-emotional health in being disconnected in young adulthood

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Vanessa Wight, PhD , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Yumiko Aratani, PhD , Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Literature on emerging adulthood suggests that a successful transition from youth to adulthood is marked by self-sufficiency, which generally is based on adopting a series of roles involving school and work. Yet research indicates that a significant share of young adults age 1824 are disconnected from activities that lead to achieving self sufficiency such as not being in school, not working or in the military, and not having a degree beyond a high school diploma or GED . What is less understood are the factors that might contribute to being disconnected in adulthood. Using data from multiple waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), this paper examines the prevalence of disconnection at ages 1824 and risk factors that lead to disconnectedness with a particular focus on socio-emotional health in the early teenage years. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether poor socio-emotional health when children are teenagers is related to being disconnected in adulthood, controlling for important child and family characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that poor socio-emotional health increases the probability of being disconnected as a young adult and experiencing persistent disconnection in emerging adulthood. Further, even when key characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, and social class are considered, the findings are robust. The results suggest that efforts to improve adolescents' chances of successful transition to adulthood should focus broadly on adolescents' behavioral health needs and that early prevention and intervention programs should be designed with this in mind.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of disconnection in emerging adulthood and the risk factors that lead to disconnectedness, particularly the role of adolescent socio-emotional health.

Keywords: Child/Adolescent Mental Health, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a trained family demographer with a background in child development and methodological training in longitudinal data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4206.0: Adolescent mental health