Adolescents are an underserved population with high rates of preventable morbidity and mortality. Improving primary care preventive services and medical homes offer opportunities to address strengths and risks of youth in teen friendly venues. However, there are gender disparities in utilization; adolescent boys and young men do not access preventive health services at the same rate as girls and young women and tend to use emergency services rather than primary care sites. Some of the disparity between genders has been attributed to a lack of appropriate settings and interview skills of providers. In 2011–2012, the Young Men’s Health Initiative in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine (LEAH) MCH Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School undertook an initiative aimed at improving communication skills of medical and mental health providers and facilitating their ability to effectively interview adolescent boys and young men during clinical visits. The project involved task force meetings and consensus building, a review of the literature, focus groups of adolescent boys and young men, filming of vignettes from office settings, and development of a teaching CD. This CD provides information and tools to help trainees learn new skills for interviewing adolescent boys and young men.

Educational Objectives:

After viewing and discussing the vignettes, learners (medical and mental health providers) will be able to:

  • Identify successful interviewing techniques with adolescent boys and young men including how to elicit their health concerns
  • Recognize challenges in communication during clinical interviews with adolescent boys and young men and suggest strategies to engage patients during visits

Table of Contents


Project Team


Facilitator guide


  1. Introduction to a Preventive Services Visit
  2. Asking about Sexual Activity in a Preventive Services Visit
  3. Asking about Depression in a Preventive Services Visit
  4. Introduction to a Mental Health Assessment
  5. Assessing for Depression in a Mental Health Appointment

Handouts (pdf)

  1. A Brief Psychosocial Assessment for Adolescent Boys and Young Men
    (Adapted from the HEADSS Assessment)
  2. The CRAFFT Screening Interview for Substance Abuse
  3. Important Elements of Communication for Clinical Interviews with Adolescent Boys
    (Adapted from the Kalamazoo checklist)
  4. Depression/Affective Dysregulation Symptoms In Adolescent and Young Adult Males

Reference list

Boston Children's Hospital © 2013