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Health Education: Youth Health Issues HSC4950

Resources for students, staff, and faculty in the Health Education & Behavior Department of the College of Health and Human Performance.

Best Databases for Youth Health Issues


A few quick tips for searching these databases:

  • In most cases, I recommend that you search by using subject-heading terms or the built-in database thesaurus to eliminate all but the most relevant results.  You could also search just the abstracts of the articles with good results.  Using simple keyword searching in any part of the article (as you do in Google), may turn up too much irrelevant material.
  • I frequently use our truncation symbol, the asterisk, in my sample searches.  Thus <<adolescen*>> will pick up both adolescents and adolescence.
  • Many of the articles your searches retrieve will contain a note indicating that they’re available in full text (PDF or HTML).  If you’d like to see one that is not so marked, just hit the blue “Find It @ UF” button and, in most cases, you will be redirected to the full article.


1.  Essential Medical Databases

CINAHL - the authoritative resource for “nursing and allied health professionals, students, educators, and researchers."

Subject coverage includes athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation in addition to being a good source for health issues like eating disorders, addiction, etc.


Health Resources and Services Administration ( is the public face of the National Institutes for Health. All the studies either undertaken or funded by the NIH – which includes almost all the research being carried out by the nation’s universities and hospitals -- are represented here. This is a very rich resource for your assignments and especially good for getting statistics that back up your statements.


PubMed - Medical subject headings can be complicated for non-specialists. If you plan to use this database frequently, I recommend taking one of the available online tutorials or attending a specialized PubMed library class.

PubMed comprises more than 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

Best Databases for Youth Health Issues

2.  Social Sciences Databases

Sociological Abstracts is a great database for researching the sociological factors of health issues. This database is international in scope and covers all the social and behavioral sciences disciplines. All entries have detailed abstracts, and many are available full text.  For those that are not, click on the blue “Find it at UF” button and, most of the time, you’ll  be redirected to the full text of your article.

Social Services Abstracts brings in the social-workers’ perspective and is now included in Sociological Abstracts as well. 

PsycINFO is the best source for psychological studies of your issues. It is the world's largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health. This database is produced by the American Psychological Association and is global in scope. 

SPORTDiscus with Full Text is the flagship database for many aspects of health and human performance. It provides extensive coverage in the areas of fitness, health, and sport studies.  One of its many strengths is that it covers masters’ theses and doctoral dissertations as well as the journals and conferences in the field. 

Education Collection  will be useful for many of your topics. It is geared toward educational professionals and includes the database called ERIC, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and includes coverage of conferences, government documents, dissertations, audiovisual media, and books and monographs in addition to educational journals.  

America: History and Life might not be your first thought, but of course subject terms like <<obesity>> (69 articles), dropouts (134), and <<alcohol and (youth or adoles*>> (12 articles) all have deep historical roots in this country. This database covers the U.S. and Canada and includes present day culture and life, as well as our history.

EconLit also introduces a perspective you may not have thought of initially, but economics is of course at the root of many if not most health problems people encounter.  I entered <<youth or adolesc*>> as my first subject term and then added <<drugs>> as my second (yielding 13 articles), followed by <<suicide>> (21), <<sex*>> (19), <<obesity>> (159) and so on.


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