What Teen Health Means for Adult Success

Poor teen health may lead to an even poorer future.


As if health shouldn’t already be a top priority for teens (and for everyone ever), new research has furthered its importance. Teens with mental health or chronic physical health issues are less likely to be high achievers in their adult lives, according to a report just published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed data from previous studies that tracked 11- to 18-year-olds into their 20s and 30s and found that teens with mental or chronic physical health conditions were less likely to graduate from high school or college, and more likely to be unemployed or hold a low-paying job than their healthier teen counterparts.

The report also revealed that teens with mental health ailments are prone to a rougher economic future than teens with health problems of the physical nature, which researchers suggest is due to the social isolation linked with poor mental health. This news is important, considering that 1 in 5 teens struggles with mental illness and access to treatment is becoming more common than ever. 

Essentially, a teen with poor health can evolve into a financially poor adult. Daniel Hale, a University College London research associate who co-authored the study, explains the significance of the results:

"The findings show that good health is extremely important for maximizing a young person's chances of having good educational and employment outcomes.”

To read more about how to improve teens’ futures, visit the Your Health tab of our webpage. We cover everything from doctor's visits to dealing with stress