|Adolescent health is influenced not only by the strengths and vulnerabilities of individual adolescents but also by the character of the settings in which they lead their lives.|
These settings - - -the schools they attend, the neighborhoods they call home, their families, and the friends who comprise their social world - - - play an important but still incompletely understood role in shaping adolescent health. They do so by influencing both how adolescents feel about themselves as well as the choices they make about behaviors that can affect their health and their future lives.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is the first national study of adolescent health designed to measure the social settings of adolescent lives, the ways in which adolescents connect to their social world, and the influence of these social settings and connections on health.
The Add Health study was undertaken in response to a mandate by the US Congress in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-43, Title X, Subtitle D, Section 1031).
the Congress asked the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a part of the National Institutes of Health, to develop a prospective longitudinal study on adolescent health. Congress asked that the study provide information about the health and well-being of adolescents in our country and about the behaviors that promote adolescent health or that put health at risk. The study was to include a focus on how communities influenced the health of adolescents.