Adolescence can be a stressful developmental process even for physically healthy teens. Acute or chronic illness can further complicate adolescent development.

Medical issues, treatment requirements, hospitalization and surgery (when necessary) all intensify concerns about physical appearance, can interfere with the process of gaining independence, and disrupt changing relationships with parents and friends.

Also, adolescent developmental issues can complicate a teen's transition toward taking responsibility for managing his or her illness and learning to comply with recommended treatment.