At Child Trends, we agree with the World Health Organization’s conceptualization of health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely as the absence of disease. We believe that health is a critical state of being for children and youth to learn, grow, and develop; for families to learn, work, and parent; and for communities to thrive. Health can be influenced by a range of biological, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and societal circumstances. For children, youth, and families, the experience of health challenges and necessary access to affordable and effective treatments are not evenly distributed: Those who are Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, or LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning); those who have low incomes; or those who have child welfare and/or juvenile justice involvement often experience greater challenges due to the effects of interpersonal and institutional discrimination.
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