Teens and young adults not ready to manage their healthcare, parents say

Gaining responsibility and independence is part of growing up. But according to their parents, managing their own health care isn’t something all teens and young adults are ready to do.

We asked parents of 13- to 30-year-olds when they think children should switch from a pediatric to an adult-focused health care provider. Most parents said age 18 was the right time to make this transition, but only about a third of parents of young adults reported that their own teens actually transferred to adult health care at age 18.

We also asked parents about their own teens’ and young adults’ ability to manage different aspects of health care independently. Less than half of parents of 18- to 19-year-olds said their teens know how to make a doctor’s appointment. Parents overall were least confident about their teens knowing what their health insurance covers. Read the full report: Can their 18-year-olds make a doctor’s appointment? Half of parents say no.

Figure 1: Parent's perception of their adolescent's/young adult's ability to manage health care needs
View full size image | See other health infographics

Emily Fredericks, PhD, collaborated with the National Poll on Children’s Health on this report. Watch this short video, where Dr. Fredericks discusses these results:

What do you think?:
Does your teen know how to make a doctor’s appointment? What do you think parents and doctors can do to help teens get ready to manage their own health care? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!