Health literacy (HL) is recognized as an important health construct that is correlated with various health-related outcomes, but outside of the United States there is limited HL research available, particularly among youth. This study looked at the HL and harmful health behavior (i.e., substance use) of 210 youth across 10 schools in Guatemala City. Based on results from the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) HL assessment, fewer than one third of youth sampled had adequate HL. Training/education to improve adolescent HL is needed in Guatemala City, and the unique skillset of social workers could be an idea method of reaching at-risk youth.
Keywords: Public health; adolescent health; global health; health literacy; social work.