In this review, we aim to focus attention on the interaction between adolescents with chronic conditions and the health systems that support them. At least 12% of adolescents live with a chronic condition. Some conditions are characterised by increasing incidence (eg, diabetes) or improving survival rates (eg, cystic fibrosis), while others are concerning because of differentially poorer outcomes in adolescents in comparison to both children and adults (eg cancer). Growing evidence suggests that young people with chronic conditions are doubly disadvantaged--engaging in risky behaviours to at least similar if not higher rates as healthy peers, while having the potential for greater adverse health outcomes from these behaviours. In addition to efforts at improving survival, in order to improve their life chances, we need to better understand how the social and emotional outcomes of young people with a chronic disease can be improved, and better support young people's emerging capacity for self-management.