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Despite great strides in improving overall child well-being, progress has been slower in key areas of adolescent vulnerability such as exposure to violence, early marriage, school dropout and unemployment, especially among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries.

Significant evidence and knowledge gaps regarding children’s specific vulnerabilities in this critical period of development and rapid transition remain. The Adolescent Health Lancet Series (2012) highlighted links between structural determinants, such as national wealth, inequality and education systems, and outcomes for adolescents. There is also increasing evidence of the role social factors (beliefs, attitudes and cultural norms) play in interventions that aim to improve wellbeing. Greater understanding of how different determinants interact and more systematic evidence- based guidance is needed to enable an effective structural approach in programme design.

The applied research programme, Social and Structural Determinants of Adolescent Wellbeing in Low and Middle Income Countries, seeks to advance knowledge on adolescent wellbeing across cultures and contexts, to shape more effective policies and address the most urgent issues. Together with DFID, the government of Italy, Sida, UNICEF and others, the global research partnership is working with multiple national governments and institutions to improve understandings of various dimensions of adolescents’ lives.

Despite great strides in improving overall child well-being, progress has been slower in key areas of adolescent vulnerability such as exposure to violence, early marriage, school dropout and unemployment, especially among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries.

Significant evidence and knowledge gaps regarding children’s specific vulnerabilities in this critical period of development and rapid transition remain. The Adolescent Health Lancet Series (2012) highlighted links between structural determinants, such as national wealth, inequality and education systems, and outcomes for adolescents. There is also increasing evidence of the role social factors (beliefs, attitudes and cultural norms) play in interventions that aim to improve wellbeing. Greater understanding of how different determinants interact and more systematic evidence- based guidance is needed to enable an effective structural approach in programme design.

The applied research programme, Social and Structural Determinants of Adolescent Wellbeing in Low and Middle Income Countries, seeks to advance knowledge on adolescent wellbeing across cultures and contexts, to shape more effective policies and address the most urgent issues. Together with DFID, the government of Italy, Sida, UNICEF and others, the global research partnership is working with multiple national governments and institutions to improve understandings of various dimensions of adolescents’ lives.

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

This working paper presents findings from the analyses of two different observational studies of caregiver-pre-adolescent and caregiver-adolescent dyads.

AUTHOR(S)

Sachin De Stone; Franziska Meinck; Lorraine Sherr; Lucie Cluver; Jenny Doubt; Frederick Mark Orkin; Caroline Kuo; Amogh Sharma; Imca Hensels; Sarah Skeen; Alice Redfern; Mark Tomlinson
The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet.

AUTHOR(S)

Jasmina Byrne; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Sonia Livingstone; Mariya Stoilova
This quarterly digest synthesizes the latest research findings in adolescent well-being over the previous three months. Key themes in this latest edition include gender socialization and youth-led social change, and includes impressive examples of adolescents coming together to challenge predominant norms and assumptions around gender identities. The sections cover News, Upcoming Events, Resources and Latest Research to help practitioners keep informed and up-to-date in the field of working with young people.

Advocacy and action for adolescents have been hampered by the lack of a concrete results framework that can be used to describe the state of the world’s adolescents and serve as a basis for goals and targets. In order to fill this gap, UNICEF, in collaboration with key partners, is facilitating the development of an outcome-based framework that incorporates the key dimensions of an adolescent’s life and a proposed set of globally comparable indicators that will provide a common platform to track the progress of adolescent development and well-being. The domains that have been selected for measurement are: health and well-being, education and learning, safety and protection, participation, transition to work.

AUTHOR(S)

Prerna Banati; Judith Diers
This research programme aims to advance global understanding of social and structural determinants of adolescent well-being. The multi-donor research programme on social and structural determinants of adolescent well-being is working with national government partners, academics, think tanks, and institutions to improve understanding of various dimensions of adolescents’ lives. The programme is producing cutting-edge research that explores what works to improve outcomes for adolescents. Quality evidence can then inform effective policy and interventions for young people.

AUTHOR(S)

Prerna Banati
This quarterly digest syntheses the latest research findings in adolescent well-being over the previous three months. In this issue of the Adolescence Research Digest we highlight the results of the ground-breaking Lancet Commission on adolescent health and wellbeing, which were presented in London in May and Washington in June. The Digest also includes the lasts news, upcoming events, resources and the latest high profile research studies on adolescent well-being and health. Additional readings are also listed. The Digest aims to promote awareness and uptake of new adolescent well-being research findings amongst UNICEF staff, practitioners, policymakers and academics in the development and humanitarian sectors.

Adolescence is a time of transitions when experimentation, risk taking and active peer interactions can be viewed as a part of the development process. Yet, for some groups of young people with reported poor psychosomatic health, low life satisfaction or unhealthy eating habits these experiences may be different.

AUTHOR(S)

Sophie D. Walsh; Zlata Bruckauf; Tania Gaspar
The Adolescence Research Digest is a new quarterly publication by UNICEF’s Office of Research-Innocenti. This synthesizes the latest research evidence, resources and news related to adolescent well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Adolescence is a critically sensitive period in terms of growth and maturity with many rapid transitions about which too little is currently known. The Digest aims to promote awareness and uptake of new adolescent well-being research findings amongst UNICEF staff, practitioners, policymakers and academics in the development and humanitarian sectors.

Social inequalities in children’s health and well-being relate to their socioeconomic position (SEP) in society. A large body of empirical evidence shows that growing up in economically disadvantaged conditions worsens health, limits academic achievement, and shortens lifespans. This paper examines lagged and contemporaneous associations between national income inequality and health and well-being during adolescence.

AUTHOR(S)

Frank J. Elgar; Candace Currie
Using longitudinal data from the Young Lives study, this Brief summarizes research examining whether corporal punishment in schools is associated with lasting effects on children’s cognitive development. The findings conclude that corporal punishment not only violates children’s fundamental rights to dignity and bodily integrity but also undermines their capacity to learn, with lasting implications for their life chances.

AUTHOR(S)

Hayley Jones; Kirrily Pells
Approximately half of all mental health disorders begin by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24. Among adolescents, depression is one of the leading contributors to morbidity, while suicide and interpersonal violence are among the leading causes of mortality.

AUTHOR(S)

Audrey Pereira
Over the past decade, more than a dozen government-run cash transfer programmes have been launched in sub-Saharan Africa as part of national social protection strategies. Recently there has been increased interest in examining whether such programmes reduce interpersonal violence, including between partners and against children. In this Research Brief we discuss different approaches that have been implemented in evaluations supported by the Transfer Project.

AUTHOR(S)

Tia Palermo
Longitudinal research can help countries meet the challenges of sustainable development. The examples presented in this Brief serve to demonstrate the unique advantages of having access to longitudinal studies to complement cross-sectional surveys and administrative series.The Brief reviews data from the Young Lives cohorts, reflecting on evidence from the 2000-2015 Millennium Development period.

AUTHOR(S)

Paul Dornan; Caroline Knowles; Prerna Banati
Globally the use of corporal punishment in schools is increasingly prohibited in law, yet in many contexts its use continues, even where outlawed. Proponents argue that it is an effective and non-harmful means of instilling discipline, respect and obedience into children, while others point to a series of detrimental effects, including poor academic performance, low class participation, school dropout and declining psychosocial well-being. Establishing whether corporal punishment has lasting effects on children’s cognitive development and psychosocial well-being has been hampered by a lack of longitudinal data, especially from Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

AUTHOR(S)

Maria José Ogando Portela; Kirrily Pells
This publication seeks to develop a research agenda on family support and parenting support globally. An integrated and life-course approach to children is taken, considering their situation and a range of outcomes for them at different stages of their growth and development. Part 2 consists of nine country case studies.

AUTHOR(S)

Mary Daly

CO-AUTHOR(S)

Zlata Bruckhauf; Jasmina Byrne; Ninoslava Pecnik; Maureen Samms-Vaughan; Rachel Bray; Alice Margaria
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