The Application of Salutogenesis to Health Development in Youth with Chronic Conditions

In: The Handbook of Salutogenesis [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2017. Chapter 32.


This chapter briefly defines and articulates the developmental task of identity formation and the medical task of developing autonomy and self-care capacity in adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions. The psychological challenge of integrating one’s identity as an ill person with other dimensions of one’s identity, in order to feel healthy and experience life and illness as challenges worth living, is discussed. Literature is reviewed in order to provide insight on how Antonovsky’s sense of coherence construct has been shown to relate to important medical as well as psychosocial outcomes that are relevant to adolescent health and development: (1) adherence and self-care; (2) general health behaviors; (3) perceived health, quality of life, and general well-being; and (4) a sense of self and identity. With reference to the concepts of health-promoting hospitals, clinical health promotion, positive psychology, and healthy youth development, we advocate that salutogenesis should be more systematically put into practice for young people in healthcare settings.

Publication types

  • Review