Evaluate the relationship between the literature and real-world practice in relation to the chosen topic in adolescent development.

Write a  white paper that provides an overview of current, peer-reviewed research on an issue affecting adolescent development and recommends steps for further action.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

Professionals are often asked to support their organizations’ research on issues, present their findings, and recommend next steps.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Analyze how theories of development and related research explain aspects of adolescent growth and behavior.
Evaluate current research related to the chosen topic in adolescent development.
Competency 2: Assess the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on adolescent development.
Evaluate the relationship between the literature and real-world practice in relation to the chosen topic in adolescent development.
Competency 3: Assess evidence-based interventions to address adolescent developmental issues.
Recommend best practices for positive adolescent development.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology.
Use grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of graduate-level composition and expression.
Use APA format and style in written documents, with only minor errors that do not detract from meaning.

While there is a myriad of potential problems in adolescence, some of the more common issues include increased participation in risky or delinquent activity, increases in physical and mental health issues, and issues related to socialization (such as peer group dynamics, sexual identity, and body image).

Risky behaviors, such as crime, substance use, unprotected sex, and reckless driving, reach their peak during adolescence as compared to other stages of life (Steinberg, 2014). To date, the research indicates few empirically supported programs for reducing risky health behavior during adolescence (Steinberg, 2015).
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are other major areas that offer health-enhancing or health-comprising behavioral choices for adolescents (Santrock, 2019). Adolescents and young adults have less access to health care than other age groups due to a variety of factors (Cobb, 2007).
Socialization for today’s teens looks very different from just a few decades ago. Adolescents spend more waking time in a school setting than in any other environment (Eccles & Roeser, 2011). Navigating the balance between peer groups and individual identity, sexuality, and body image are sources of intense stress for many adolescents. The way in which issues of loyalty, compassion, and acceptance are dealt with during this period often forms the templates for subsequent adult relationships (Santrock, 2019).
Cobb, N. J. (2007). Adolescence: Continuity, change, and diversity (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Eccles, J. S., & Roeser, R. W. (2011). Schools as developmental contexts during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 225–241.

Santrock, J. W. (2019). Adolescence (17th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Steinberg, L. (2014). Age of opportunity: Lessons from the new science of adolescence. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Steinberg, L. (2015). How to improve the health of American adolescents. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 711–715.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the professional community.

Identify what you consider to be the most under-addressed adolescent health issues, problem behaviors, or social/identity issues in the United States today.

Why are these issues so crucial to the present and future health of adolescents?
What might be an ideal approach to ensuring related healthy interventions for American teens?
What venues and organizations might be the most effective at executing the proposed intervention (or interventions)?
How might adolescent social relationships (friendships, intimate relationships, or relationships with parents) affect the approach to interventions?