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Adolescent Medicine

Robert W. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD
JAMA. 1990;263(19):2621-2623. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440190077040.
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It was not long ago that the term "biopsychosocial" was linked to adolescent medicine in a somewhat pejorative manner to refer to those factors that were poorly understood but acknowledged to contribute to health status outcomes. Over the past few years there has been significant research that has increased our understanding of the interface between and among the biologic, behavioral, emotional, and social forces that influence adolescent health and well-being. This article will focus on two areas where significant advances have been made: the interface of biology and behavior, and an emerging understanding of the relationships between health status, health risk behavior, and achievement among adolescents.

The emerging field of psychoneuroendocrinology has increasingly demonstrated hormonal influence on emotional processes.1 Whereas the exact mechanisms have yet to be clearly elucidated, there is evidence that suggests that both androgens and estrogens influence brain functioning and, in turn, significantly influence behavior. From


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