Health and Wellness

  • Faye Z. Belgrave
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


What is more valuable than good health? Good health is often taken for granted especially by children and adolescents. However, good health practices, including a nutritious diet and physical activity, instituted during childhood carries over into adulthood. In this chapter, health, wellness, chronic illnesses, and related topics among African American girls are discussed. The chapter begins with definitions followed by a discussion of puberty. Areas of health concern for African American girls include obesity and other chronic health problems, such as asthma and diabetes. Drug use is not as much of a problem for African American girls as for other groups. However, the consequences of drug use are much worse among African American youth, so drug use is discussed along with programs for substance abuse prevention. As illustrated in the quote, drugs such as marijuana, are available. Mental health and psychological well-being is a component of overall health and is also discussed in this chapter. Also included is a discussion of cultural perspective on achieving good mental health.


Physical Activity African American Youth African American Child Food Stamp African American Adolescent 
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  1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture contains information about steps that can be taken to maintain a healthy weight. The website has links to appropriate food groups, food portions, nutrient-packed foods, and how to use physical activity in achieving a healthy weight. The address is:
  2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a website for parents and caregivers. The site provides information that helps parents make smart eating choices as well as how to maintain an active lifestyle in order to be good models for children. Resource includes sample menus and how fun and exercise can be incorporated into family play time. The web address is:
  3. The Office of Women’s Health has a web site for girls between the ages of 10–16. This site provides information to help girls learn about health and related topics including fitness, nutrition, drug and alcohol, and relationships,

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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