It is a pleasure to introduce Lynn Rew, lead author on one of my Edtitor’s Picks for the current issue. I suspect that most ANS readers have had some connection to the experience of adolescence, either personally or professionally! The current “Editor’s Pick” article by Lynn Rew and her colleagues Diane Tyler, Nina Fredland and Dana Hannah reports a research study that sheds light on changes that occur during this highly-charged experience. Their research provides significant evidence that can guide nursing practice, research and theory development. Their article is titled “Adolescents’ Concerns as They Transition Through High School”, and while it is featured you can download it for free from the ANS Web site!
Here is a message from Dr. Rew about her experiences of working with adolescents, and some background on the experience of conducting this study:
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for studying adolescents. Having been an adolescent and parenting two adolescents, I am always curious about how they change so rapidly and adapt (or not) to these changes. I want to know what adolescents are thinking and doing and why. I began with a longitudinal study of pre-adolescents (4-6thgraders) and found that, for the most part, they engaged in health and safety behaviors; however, when they made the transitions from grade school to middle school and then to high school, many of these behaviors were replaced with what I called health-risk behaviors.
Data for this article came from a longitudinal study of over 1200 adolescents who reside in rural areas in central Texas. For the analysis, I assembled a team that included two family nurse practitioners and a pediatric nurse practitioner. We met often to determine how we would analyze the written responses of these kids to the prompt, “My main concern is . . .” This writing experience was fun and exciting, not only because we enjoyed reading and interpreting these responses, but also we began to recognize strengths and talents in each other that we hadn’t known before.
Faculty often complain that there is never enough time to write, but when you have a team of nurses who are willing to learn, not only from analyzing the data, but also from each other, writing becomes a joy! I was blessed to be part of such a team.