Objective: To develop and test a method for identification and early management of the health and social problems of adolescents, many of which go undetected and untreated.
Methods: Picture-and-word charts for the measurement of health and social problems formed the core of a brief, self-teaching lesson. Other sections of the lesson were designed to help teenagers interpret, invent solutions for, and communicate concerns about these problems. We examined the impact of the lesson on teenagers' understanding of themselves, their feelings, and their actions. Two hundred ninety-one adolescents served as subjects for this research.
Results: Less than 5% of the respondents found the chart-based lesson difficult or bothersome in the way it probed personal topics. Ninety percent reported that the lesson would have some positive impact on their actions or feelings. Three to six weeks after completing the lesson, their opinion of its impact remained high, and 36% of the students reported that they had shown it to others outside the school.
Conclusion: A chart-based lesson is well accepted by adolescents and can be used to overcome obstacles for the detection and early management of adolescents' health and social problems.