Improving the transition: reducing social and psychological morbidity during adolescence
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
The passage from childhood to adulthood is complex. In New Zealand a large number of children do not make this transition easily, which leads to an unacceptably high level of poor social and health outcomes for our young people. The Prime Minister asked his Chief Science Advisor to explore the factors underlying adolescent behaviour and to indicate where there may be evidence-based opportunities for changes to policy and practices that might help to mitigate these negative outcomes.
The report of the Taskforce that Sir Peter established to consider these issues was released at an event in Wellington on 1 June.
Discussing the key messages from the Taskforce, Sir Peter said that the report does not pretend there is any magic bullet to solve the problems of adolescence. Rather, it points out that a holistic approach taking a life course investment focusing on the earlier phase of development is likely over a decade or so to pay real dividends for our young people. Particularly for young people in situations of disadvantage from early life, such interventions can be shown to have long-term benefit and to be highly cost-effective.
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