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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Children Youth and  Families
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth
Adolescent Development coverThis new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds ample evidence that changes in brain structure and connectivity that happen in adolescence present young people with unique opportunities for positive, life-shaping development, and for recovery from past adversity. The report provides multiple recommendations for policy and practice that capitalize on these developmental opportunities and address inequities–such as in health care and education–that undermine the well-being of many adolescents and leave them less able to take advantage of the promise offered by this stage of life.

Read the highlights | Read the summary | Read the full report | Read the press release | Public release webinar slides | MyVoice Commissioned Paper

Briefs: Health | Education | Justice | Behavioral Health | Parenting | Child Welfare

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Interactive Webpage


Webinar Series

Justice Webinar | Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 2PM ET

Child Welfare Webinar | Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 1PM ET

Health Webinar | Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 1PM ET

Education Webinar | April/May 2020 TBD

Articles and Press Coverage

UVA Today - UVA-led National Report Finds the Promise of Adolescence is Largely Untapped (May 16, 2019)

Education Week - How To Turn Adolescence From a 'Missed Opportunity' to a Foundation for Learning (May 18, 2019) 

THE (Technological Horizons in Education) Journal - Adolescence is Prime Time for Closing Opportunity Gap (August 13, 2019)

Spotlight on Poverty & Opportunity - Spotlight Exclusive Interviews on Fulfilling the Promise of Adolescence (August 20, 2019)

Journal of Adolescent Health - Fulfilling the Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth (August 19, 2019)

Austin American-Statesman - Opinion: Supporting LGBTQ Students Can Lead to Safer, Stronger Schools for All (September 4, 2019)

Youth Today - We Must Understand Promise of Adolescent Development to Serve Youth (October 8, 2019)

Measuring SEL - Realizing the Promise of Adolescence (October 9, 2019)

The Hill - Teens are leading movements — it's time to promote policies that reflect youths' promise (October 11, 2019)

The Milbank Quarterly - Adolescence: An Opportunity for Population Health (November 7, 2019)

Upcoming and Past Events

5/29: Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting, San Francisco
6/18: Webinar with the American Public Health Association and the Office of Adolescent Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services
8/9: APA Annual Meeting 
9/12: Webinar with Afterschool Alliance 
9/24: Webinar with the Child Welfare League of America
October: American Bar Association Webinar (TBA) 
11/7: Association of Middle Level Educators

Report Launch
The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

Archived Video

August 1, 2019

Participants will hear from the report’s authors and explore how the emerging understanding of adolescent brains and behavior can be applied to systems and society to better serve youth in this exciting developmental stage.

Agenda | Report Launch Slides

Public Release Webinar

Statement of Task:

An ad hoc committee will examine the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development, health, well-being, resilience, and agency including the science of positive youth development. The committee will also focus on how this knowledge can be applied to institutions and systems so that adolescent well-being, resilience, and development are promoted and that systems address structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity and access. The study will aim to build off the first study in the National Academy of Medicine's Culture of Health study series and outline the implications of developmental interactions with the social distribution of risks and resources identified in the first study, Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity. Read the full statement of task here.

Meetings of the Committee

Meeting 1 | March 29-30, 2018 
Washington, DC

Meeting 2 | June 6, 2018 - Public Session
Washington, DC
More InformationAgenda | Archived Webcast and Presentations

Meeting 3 | August 15-16, 2018
Washington, DC
Closed Meeting

Meeting 4 | November 1-2, 2018
Irvine, CA
Closed Meeting
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 Activity Information

Type: Consensus Study

Topics: Children, Youth, Mental Health, Behavioral Health

Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families



Staff Information

Emily Backes, Study Director
Liz Townsend, Associate Program Officer
Dara Shefska, Research Associate
Mary Ghitelman, Senior Program 



Committee Members

Richard J. Bonnie, Chair
Anna Aizer
Margarita Alegría
Claire D. Brindis
Elizabeth Cauffman
Mesmin Destin
Angela Diaz
Nancy E. Hill
Michelle Jackson
Arlene F. Lee
Leslie Leve
Jens Ludwig
Susan Vivian Mangold
Bruce S. McEwen
Stephen T. Russell
Joanna Lee Williams

Committee Biosketches



Members of the Funders for Adolescent Science Translation, including:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Bezos Family Foundation
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Ford Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Raikes Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The National Public Education Support Fund



For more information, contact:

  Mary Ghitelman

Phone: (202) 334-1654

Mailing Address

Keck Center

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001



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