Pediatricians play a crucial role in counseling adolescents about numerous aspects of health and well-being. Anticipatory guidance for this age group includes discussion of risk-taking behaviors; drug, tobacco, and alcohol use; depression and suicide; sexuality and safe sex practices; family planning and dynamics; eating disorders; and a wide variety of other health and developmentally related topics.1–4  Counseling this age group may also include issues related to planning for higher education and future vocation. I propose that anticipatory guidance of adolescents should also include discussion about military service and alternatives, the laws regarding registration (and consequences for failure to register) with the Selective Service System (SSS), and the medical and psychological effects of war. Specific developmental challenges face adolescents who opt for (United States) or are required to participate in (many other countries) military service. By late adolescence, individuals have usually developed the ability to think in abstract...

You do not currently have access to this content.