This review is divided into two parts. The first part discusses an approach to the management of adolescents with asthma and provides practical tips for health professionals to enable them to work more effectively with this group. The second part focuses more specifically on the latest literature relating to asthma in adolescence, highlighting relevant articles which address the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of adolescent asthma. Key points: • It is important to spend time with adolescents to develop rapport and to find out how asthma fits in with the rest of their life. • Time should be spent seeing adolescents on their own, separate from their parents, with some assurance of confidentiality given. • Consultations should include discussions of adherence to treatment, self-management, health risk behaviours and mood. • Paediatricians should help adolescents to prepare for the transition from paediatric to adult care.