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Why focus on youth?
The adolescent years build on the foundations established in childhood and set the course across the lifespan. In focusing on "youth," we are referring not only to a specific developmental period, but also to the childhood experiences that influence youth, as well as the early adult years that are determined by successful adolescent passages.
Investments in adolescents, or conversely the failure to address their needs at this stage of development, can result in lifelong consequences for youth and for our society.
The young adult population must deal with countless transitions – leaving home to attend university, co-habiting with a partner for the first time, entering the workforce, and becoming new parents. Dr. Ryan Rhodes, Professor in the Department of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, recognizes that these transitions often act as barriers for young adults’ physical health, and he is working on a number of research projects to create more understanding about the unique challenges faced by youth and young adults in keeping fit and staying healthy.
“I see my research as an advocacy piece,” said Dr. Rhodes. “My hope is to gather enough evidence to bring young adults’ health issues onto the research agenda.”