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Improving the Odds for Adolescents

Improving the Odds for Adolescents is a multi-year project to improve health outcomes for adolescents – with a special focus on disadvantaged youth – through the strengthening of state policies.

The project’s core goals are to:

  • Deepen the knowledge base about how state policies promote or inhibit access to and quality of comprehensive care and services for disadvantaged youth;
  • Support state and local policymakers to promote preventive health care and comprehensive services for disadvantaged youth; and
  • Facilitate informed public policy decision-making through dissemination of critical research and relevant practice and policy information.

Through a range of research and public information strategies, this project responds to six core challenges, including limitations in health insurance coverage; scarcity of developmentally appropriate, high quality care and services; gaps in information and poor dissemination; and the lack of a strategic, data-driven framework across systems and funding agencies to guide the implementation of comprehensive care and services for adolescents.

Specifically, the project:

  • Synthesizes knowledge about effective state policies through the development of state and national policy profiles and disseminates this knowledge widely;
  • Implements a series of public information strategies to engage the media, disadvantaged youth, and policymakers in a more informed public dialogue on adolescent health and well-being.

Among the topics examined here under the umbrella of comprehensive adolescent health and well-being are adolescent primary care, mental health, reproductive health, violence and unintentional injury, substance use disorders, nutrition and obesity, youth development, juvenile justice systems, and the transition to adulthood.

Improving the Odds in Adolescent Health is funded by a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies.