Adolescence is a time when attitudes toward health and health care develop that can affect lifelong wellbeing. During these formative years, the extent of access to the health care system can either strengthen or undermine health care habits, as well as determine to whom young people turn for support and information about health issues. The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls raises warning signs that too many young girls and boys face significant barriers to getting the health care they need.
Of all the adolescents surveyed, one-quarter of girls and one-fifth of boys reported a time when they had not gotten care when they needed it. Of the adolescents in high school, nearly 29 percent of girls and 23 percent of boys reported an instance of not getting needed care. Of all the girls surveyed, those particularly at risk for not getting needed care were uninsured, from low income families or minority groups, or suffering from depressive symptoms or abuse.