Information about health concerns of adolescents can assist in assessment and treatment of their particular medical problems. Because teachers are important figures in the lives of young people, their beliefs about student health concerns are often solicited. A survey to assess adolescent health concerns and teachers' beliefs about student health concerns was conducted in two urban high schools on a sample of 831 students and 146 teachers. An assessment of 22 health concerns among the students revealed that a moderate level of concern existed on virtually every issue (the mean percentage "very concerned" was 55%), with black students and girls reporting more concern about many topics. In contrast, teachers significantly underestimated the level of concern of the students by an average of 13%, consistently having inaccurate beliefs about the types and level of student concerns. Students are concerned about health issues and are in need of health education and counseling in these areas. Teachers are not always aware of the level and types of student health concerns and may not be good sources of information about adolescent health.
- Accepted February 25, 1987.
- Copyright © 1988 by the American Academy of Pediatrics