Assignment Help on Health issues in Australian Adolescents
By adolescents it is meant that a period from puberty to legal adulthood . Ranging from 13 to 18. From adulthood it is meant the age of maturity. Adolescent is much closer to the teenage group. Adolescents also experience special vulnerabilities, health concerns, and barriers to accessing health care. (Duran & MacKay, 2008) During the period of adolescent the person goes through biological changes – onset of puberty, cognitive changes – emergence of more advanced cognitive abilities, emotional changes – self-image, intimacy, relation with adults and peers group and social changes – transition into new roles in the society. Because of these changes in this age group, many health issues arises like; anorexia nervosa, obesity & overweight, adolescent pregnancy, micronutrient deficiency, emotional problems, behavioral problems, substance abuse & injuries, sexually transmitted infection, thinking and studying problems and problems in identifying. These problems are merely because of the changes in this age group as these changes leads to development of characteristics like fear, feeling of discomfort, poor quality perception and lack of privacy, shyness and parental stress. There are numerous effects of these characteristics on the family members of the adolescents. They may include early marriage, teenage pregnancies, unusual long lasting behaviors, sexual maturity and onset of sexual activity, transition from dependence to relative independence, lack of sense of responsibility of family, irritation and frustration on family members. The nurse needs to be aware of the prevalence of adolescent problems affecting healthy habits of daily living and must make assessments accordingly. (Funnell & Koutoukidis, 2009)
Due to the changes in the period of adolescents, many health issues occur. These health issues are reason to many circumstances, such as the unusual risk taking behavior of the teen agers as a skirmish towards independence may lead to the emergence of certain illness. The circumstances may be severe like accidents, mental health issues etc. In difficult circumstances adolescents and children as classified in the reconstruction and development Program (RDP) of South Africa, for mental health problems are at high risk. The health issues have serious health a consequence, unwanted pregnancies which is a health issue leads to risks of dangerous or illegal abortions. ”Young women in the 14, 15, 16-year-old age group who become pregnant tend to be at risk to start with,” she said. ”A lot of them don’t necessarily want to have the baby.” (Browne, 2009). Another significant issue which arises in the adolescent age is the use of drugs and alcohols. As it is an age of experimentation, it is the period when individuals start smoking, alcohol drinking and start taking drugs. Most adolescents drink in a way that puts their health and others’ at risk. There are more immediate consequences for adolescents who start to consume alcohols at an early age; these youngsters are more likely to experience health problems (Rey & Saunders, 2009). Such these there are many other issues arising due to the adolescents changes.
One of the major health issues during adolescence is teen age pregnancy which is due to the lack of awareness in the adolescences. Each year, there are around 80 million unwanted pregnancies and 30 million of these are aborted (Kaye, 2012). Significant health issues for Australian young people are unsafe sex practices and unwanted pregnancy. Pregnancy can be an devastating experience at any age but in a teenager it can generate a developmental disaster as the young girl alternates between two stages simultaneously: adolescence and parenthood. If there is poor parental supervision, limited communication between parents and teen, negative family interactions and significant unresolved conflict between families such health issues start to arise in the period of early adolescence. The late adolescence that is 18 -19 years have planned sex and pregnancies but the girls belonging to early teen put themselves into sexual activities when they are facing certain problems in their lives. And these unwanted pregnancies then lead to abortion which is affecting the health of the adolescents. One of the reasons why the adolescents put themselves into such situation is because of their friends. During adolescence, often pressure is felt by the teen agers in their surroundings to make friends and to fit in with their peer. And in many cases these adolescents who not clearly even understand the consequences of sex fall into their decisions and result in pregnancies. Not only they influence them to do sex, there are friend’s pressure which make them alcoholic drinkers which are a result of many accidents. Such environmental factors like family, friends, society etc. have significant impact on adolescent health and well-being. For young females not only is it more problematic to get pregnant right after beginning of puberty, but also when they do get pregnant, cephalic-pelvic disproportion ( whose occurrence is expected if the pelvis and its outlet are not fully established) can cause congested labor. Teenage pregnancy rates remain too high. Australia’s rate of
18.4 births per 1,000 teenage women aged 15-19 years (Issues paper: Issues, 2011). Pregnant teens under the age of 16 years are at greatest risk for obstetric complications (Luxner, Littleton & Engebretson, 2009). Another health issue which is observed in the Australian adolescents is obesity. It was found in 2010 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that nearly 30% of young people (13-17 years) are either overweight or obese.
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