The health of young people shapes the future health of the whole population and,
in a broader social sense, the health of society.
The health of young people is not only important in its own right, or for their sake; it is crucial to assessing the overall state and future of Australian society. Many of the attitudes and behaviours – even the illnesses – that largely determine later adult health have their origins in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Also, the young reflect best the tenor and tempo of the times by virtue of growing up in them. Because of their stages of biological and social development, they are most vulnerable to social risks and failings. The young should be the main beneficiaries of progress; conversely, they will pay the greatest price of any long-term economic, social, cultural or environmental decline and degradation.
If young people’s health and wellbeing are not improving, it is hard to argue that life is getting better. The health and wellbeing of young people should be a focal point in the larger context because the health of young people shapes the future health of the whole population and, in a broader social sense, the health of society.
Download Youth Wellbeing Report 1
Eckersley, R, Wierenga, A & Wyn, J 2006, Flashpoints and signposts: Pathways to success and wellbeing for Australia’s young people, Australia21, Canberra.
Download Youth Wellbeing Report 2
Eckersley, R, Cahill, H, Wierenga, A & Wyn, J 2007, Generations in Dialogue about the Future: The hopes and fears of young Australians, Australia21, Canberra.
Download Youth Wellbeing Report 3
Eckersley, R 2008, Never better—or getting worse? The health and wellbeing of young Australians, Australia21, Canberra.