The health and well-being of young people are important not only for their own sake, but also for the future health of populations and societies. Yet the debate about the patterns and trends in young people's well-being and their causes is marked by uncertainty and contradiction. This article draws on evidence from trend analyses, cross-sectional studies, research on explanatory factors, expert opinion, and public-attitude surveys to argue that social changes of the last half century have harmed successive generations of young people because of their developmental vulnerability and that these young people have carried their enhanced risk into later life.
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