Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Professionals working with adolescents require contemporary knowledge, understanding and skills to reflect on and engage with issues related to adolescent health and wellbeing from a socio-cultural perspective. In this unit, students will learn about and put into practice the skills to analyse determinants of health, seek out adolescent agencies, investigate health promotion strategies, and evaluate priorities and recommendations that support adolescent health. Students will be equipped with the knowledge, reflective experiences, observations and strategies required in the professions of adolescent health and teaching for their future practice. The unit aims to raise awareness, inform and develop harm minimisation, and prevention/intervention strategies around the challenges and opportunities in adolescent health. In addition, the unit will provide students with an appreciation of social justice, an understanding of equity and a respect for the human person.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Evaluate an agency providing services to young people and explain theories/approaches informing the service/agency, and reflect on the learnings gained.(GA1, GA2, GA4)

LO2 - Plan and develop an adolescent health promotion campaign to raise awareness, using prevention and/or intervention strategies (GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Plan and design a vehicle to suggest priorities and recommendations in adolescent health and wellbeing (GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Analyse and evaluate the determinants of health related to adolescent health and wellbeing (GA4, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Adolescent identity – Challenges and opportunities
  • Socio-cultural, physical, political and socioeconomic determinants of health. Burden of disease and risk factors (eg cancer, mental health,)
  • Socio-cultural influences on adolescent health: Analysis of risk factors (eg smoking, alcohol, drug use, unsafe sexual practices, risk behaviours, personal and environmental factors, analysis of protective factors)
  • Life skills and consumer health (eg accessing adolescent health services, media literacy)
  • Road safety
  • Personal safety and child protection issues
  • Understanding theories of health behaviour changes (Health Belief Model, Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour, transtheoretical or Stages of Change Model, Social Cognitive theory)
  • Adolescent health issues (eg cybersmart, nutrition, body modification, male mental health, grief and trauma)
  • Health Promotion (Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention)
  • Teaching pedagogy principles
  • Strategies and activities for the classroom
  • ICT (eg blogs, e-portfolio’s)

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Student centred teaching and learning strategies will be the focus in the unit based on the constructivism theory and reflective practice. Students will construct new meaning (build on prior knowledge) and make sense of what they are learning, why they are learning this and how this learning is applied. These strategies encourage independent and life long learning, where students take responsibility for their learning. The learning tasks are authentic (engage in tasks that are real), reflective (deep learning) and collaborative (engaging and working with peers). Student centred strategies include reflective writing, critical thinking activities, co-operative/ collaborative learning, incorporating ICT and peer/independent learning. These strategies link directly to the assessment tasks, as the assessments are a teaching and learning strategy in itself. These strategies have been chosen to give students opportunities to actively engage with the content and to provide variety within the tutorial and assessment tasks. The knowledge and skills acquired can be applied and are relevant to what is required in real world situations and for future profession/practice/workplace.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Employers today seek more than knowledge from students, they want them to transfer learning to real situations, and problem solve and have higher order thinking skills. Authentic assessment provides students with these skills, because the tasks are real, meaningful, require judgment and innovation and are related to one’s workplace, personal and social life. Students learn in different ways, professionally we need to explore and provide opportunities so they perform to their very best, feel worthwhile, empowered and enjoy learning. In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilized, consistent with University assessment requirements. Arrange of assessment strategies are used including: 

Assessment 1 : Reflection on Agency visit 

Reflective Writing strategy 

Reflective writing is a personal response to an experience, situation and new learning. It involves students to think deeply, identify with their feelings, values and assumptions. It relates to ones prior knowledge/ideas and what they can then apply, review, reconstruct, and interpret from the experience. 

What? Why? How? 

This assessment provides opportunities for students to visit agencies/organisations that support young people facing challenges and provide coping strategies eg Father Chris Riley YOTS, Headspace, Autism/Aspect, domestic violence support, driver education programs, drug rehabilitation, special education schools, CANTEEN etc.  

Students reflect on what they have learnt/ observed from this experience and how this knowledge, and skills can be applied to their future professions. Students learn much about themselves and reflect on how this experience may have changed /influenced their earlier perceptions and assumptions about the challenges and opportunities in adolescent health. 

Assessing Learning Outcome 1 

Concise, relevant information on each agency 

Well balanced information and personal reflection 

Analysis of what was learnt as a person 

Skills/ideas that could transfer over into future profession. 

Depth of understanding of each agency 

Reflection on range of views/positions on issues about each agency 

 Reflection on theories and ideas informing each agency’s practices 


Assessment 2 : Health Promotion Presentation 

Collaborative Learning strategy 

The concept of collaborative learning, students work in small groups for the purpose of achieving the learning outcome by engaging together in a task. This involves shared learning with opportunities for critical thinking, oral communication, planning, interaction and responsibility for ones own learning.  

Presentation skills are part of todays workplace practice. They are real world skills required for students to succeed in their future careers – communication, planning, asking questions, explaining, creative thinking, organizing information, confidence etc. 

In groups students will plan and present an Adolescent Health Promotion Campaign and develop prevention/intervention strategies for current adolescent health issues. This assessment type will prepare students for real life situations in their future practice/profession. 

Assessing Learning Outcome 2 and 4 

Aim/purpose of the campaign 

Appropriateness and appeal for target audience 

Creativity of ideas represented  

Message/main idea 

Overall collaboration and flow of presentation 

Health determinants identified 


Assessment 3 : Reflective Blog  

Reflective Blog strategy  

Reflective writing is a personal response to an experience, situation and new learning. It involves students to think deeply, identify with their feelings, values and assumptions. It relates to ones prior knowledge/ideas and what they can then apply, review, reconstruct, and interpret from the experience. 

What? Why? How? 

Blog – using technology, online, developing a website to upload posts and entries. 

This assessment strategy is a means to capture reflective thinking and writing using technology. Students will plan and develop a reflective digital blog about adolescent health as evidence of learning in the unit. Students can showcase their resources /materials, share their thoughts and ideas. This can be further developed for future practice to reflect, share, help others, raise awareness and stay connected digitally with others in their profession or interest groups. 

 Assessing Learning Outcome 3 and 4 

  • Suitability of introduction and professional profile which includes a realistic yet inspiring philosophy
  • Two blog entries related to the health and wellbeing of young people
  • Insightful reflections and recommendations addressed
  • Evidence of inquiry and critique evident in each reflection
  • Clarity and coherence of writing through proper English expression, correct grammar and spelling
  • Demonstration of acquisition of ICT skills and digital elements
  • Health determinants identified

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflection on Agency visit 

Each student or in group will visit an agency related to adolescent health and wellbeing.

  • Reflection on the agency visit - Background information / overview about the agency  
  • Reflect on what you have learned about the service/agency, the people they support and yourself from the visit, the skills/ideas that could transfer over into your future profession



GA1, GA2, GA4

Health Promotion Presentation  

In groups of 3 you are to plan and present an Adolescent Health Promotion Campaign for either schools or a local community group aimed to raise awareness, for prevention and or intervention (eg nutrition, bullying, mental health, road safety, skin cancer, drug use,).


LO2, LO4

GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Reflective blog 

Design and develop your own blog site using a web 2.0 application of your choice, for example, edublogs, weebly, wordpress, glogster, etc. The site structure should reflect clearly the introduction and your professional profile/philosophy, as well as two critical reflections (posts/entries) related to the health and wellbeing of young people.


LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bennett, D, Towns, S, Elliott, E & Merrick, J. (2009). Challenges in adolescent health: An Australian perspective. Nova Science Publishers: New York.

Costin, C. (2007). The eating disorder sourcebook. McGraw Hill:U.S.A 

Di Clemente, R.J, Santelli, J.S & Crosby, R.A. (2009). Adolescent health: Understanding and preventing risk behaviours. Jossey Bass: San Francisco 

Hamilton, M. (2008). What’s happening to our girls? Penguin Group: Australia 

Hamilton, M. (2009). What’s happening to our boys? Penguin Group: Australia 

Healey, J. (2007). Child poverty. Issues in society, Vol. 279.The Spinney Press: NSW, Australia 

Hopkins, B. (2004). Just schools: A whole school approach to restorative justice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 

Keleher, H., & Murphy, B. (2004). Understanding Health: A determinants approach. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 

Moodie, R., & Hulme, A. (2004). Hands-on Health Promotion. Melbourne: IP Communications. 

Rew, L. (2005). Adolescent health: A multidisciplinary approach to theory, research and intervention. Sage Publications: London 

Shariff, S. (2008). Cyber- Bullying: Issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home. Routledge: New York

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