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Faculty Advisor

Dr. Kim S. Amer

Abstract

Reduction of stressors and anxiety levels in adolescents with chronic illnesses is a critical concept in pediatric health care in America today. The many stressors associated with chronic illness include displaying physical and mental differences, social stigma, financial difficulty, and family stress. These stressors may affect the adolescent’s ability to learn and cope in everyday life. The current research was a critical review of the literature examining studies done with adolescents coping with chronic diseases and illnesses. The aim was to analyze the most efficacious non-pharmacological methods for reducing stressors in adolescents with chronic illness. A critical review of the literature of 10 studies was conducted after searching scholarly databases for articles studying physical interventions and their effects on the symptomology of chronic illnesses in youth. We found that physical activity programs are reported to have positive effects on the symptomology, stressors, and overall wellbeing of many children with illnesses, but concluded that more research needs to be conducted in this area before implementing trials of specific exercise interventions due to the high-risk nature of the youth population.