Connected Teens Become Healthier Adults

Teens who feel connected with others at home and school have fewer serious health problems and risks as young adults, a new study suggests.

Young adults who had higher levels of connectedness — feeling engaged, supported and cared for at home and at school — when they were teens were as much as 66% less likely to have mental health problems, to experience violence, to take sexual risks, and to engage in substance use.

That included a 65% lower lifetime risk of prescription drug misuse and other illegal drug use, a 54% lower risk of ever having been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and a 51% lower risk of having been a victim of physical violence in the past 12 months.

“What happens in middle and high school doesn’t stay in middle and high school. What we experience as adolescents can set us up for success — including avoiding serious