This unit begins by looking at a definition of 'youth' and explains the importance of understanding the concept of adolescence and youth. It discusses the meaning and different concepts of adolescent welfare and wellbeing and describes the contemporary socio-economic and political context of adolescent welfare. This unit provides a definition of 'youth' as determined socially and culturally, as well as biologically whereby adolescent welfare is defined as socially constructed as well as a physical phenomenon that is integrated with social structures and processes. Using this integration of social structures and processes with the physiological challenges of adolescence this unit will canvass the range of adolescent issues that are prevalent today.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Examine adolescent welfare within the context of adolescent physical development;  
  2. Articulate the social construction of current transition patterns from childhood to adulthood;  
  3. Discuss adolescent welfare in relation to experimentation and risk taking as young men and women develop their identities and personalities based on their own judgements, and the judgment of others;  
  4. Determine current adolescent welfare issues including drugs and alcohol, anxiety and depression, peers and family relationships, social inclusion and capital and its impact on an individual's welfare; and  
  5. Investigate current policy and practices of adolescent welfare programs offered in Victoria.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Other A reflection demonstrating an understanding of adolescence. (600 words) 20%
Presentation Presentation regarding an adolescent health issue (15 mins) 30%
Report A report that links an adolescent health issue to (800 words) appropriate adolescent programs. 30%
Other Uninvigilated Quiz 20%
Total effective word limit 3000 words.

Required reading

Essential Skills for Youth Work Practice 2nd
Sapin, K (2013),
London: Sage Publications

Further readings will be provided to students via VU Collaborate.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.