Research :: Risky Behaviors in Late Adolescence: Co-occurrence, Predictors, and Consequences

Purpose: Advances in research have broadened our understanding of the risky behaviors that significantly threaten adolescent health and well-being. Advances include: using person-centered, rather than behavior-centered approaches to examine how behaviors co-occur; greater focus on how environmental factors, such as family, or peer-level characteristics, influence behavior; and examination of how behaviors affect well-being in young adulthood. Use of nationally representative, longitudinal data would expand research on these critical relationships.

Methods: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, a nationally representative sample of adolescents who are being followed over time, the present study: (1) identifies profiles of risky behaviors, (2) investigates how environmental characteristics predict these profiles of risky behaviors (e.g., delinquency, smoking, drug use, drinking, sexual behavior, and exercise), and (3) examines how these profiles of risky behaviors relate to positive and negative youth outcomes.

Results: Four ‘‘risk profiles’’ were identified: a high-risk group (those who report high levels of participation in numerous behaviors), a low-risk group (those who engage in very few risky behaviors), and two moderate risk taking groups. We found that profiles with any negative behaviors were predictive of negative outcomes.

Conclusions: It is important for practitioners to examine health behaviors in multiple domains concurrently rather than individually in isolation. Interventions and research should not simply target adolescents engaging in high levels of risky behavior but also adolescents who are engaging in lower levels of risky behavior.

Risky Behaviors in Late Adolescence: Co-occurrence, Predictors, and Consequences, Journal of Adolescent Health 45 (2009) 253–261, Elizabeth C. Hair, Ph.D., M. Jane Park, M.P.H., Thomson J. Ling, M.A., Kristin A. Moore, Ph.D.

TOPIC(S)

Clinical Guidelines, Journal Articles, Risky Behavior, Socio-demographic disparities

DATE POSTED

June 4, 2009

AUTHOR(S)

Elizabeth C. Hair, Ph.D., M. Jane Park, M.P.H., Thomson J. Ling, M.A., Kristin A. Moore, Ph.D.

MORE NEWS AND ARTICLES BY SIMILAR TOPIC(S)

Disparities in Adolescent Health and Health Care: Does Socioeconomic Status Matter?

This 2003 article provides an assessment of income’s relationship to health status and access to and utilization of health care services among adolescents.

Access & Utilization | Social Determinants of Health | Socio-demographic disparities

Investing in Adolescence: Building a Strong Foundation for Male Health

This 2007 article reviews the overall health of adolescent males and discusses the issues we should focus on to improve male health.

Journal Articles | Males | Risky Behavior

ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT PREVENTIVE CARE: COMPARING NATIONAL SURVEY RATES

Preventive visits among adolescents and young adults offer a key opportunity to promote healthy choices and screen for emerging potential problems. In a new article, NAHIC researchers compared rates of past-year preventive visits among adolescents and young adults across several national surveys. The study also examined survey features, including mode of administration, respondent, response rate, […]

Clinical Preventive Services | Data and Monitoring | Journal Articles | Socio-demographic disparities | Young Adults

Trends in Private and Public Health Insurance for Adolescents

This article presents data on health insurance coverage for adolescents, including trends from 1984-2002.

Access & Utilization | Journal Articles | Policy | Trends

A Guide to Evidence-Based Programs for Adolescent Health: Programs, Tools, and More

The past decade has witnessed a tremendous expansion of research and resources on “what works” to improve adolescent health. Despite the greater selection of effective programs and practical tools, this valuable implementation information is difficult to locate in one place. This resource has two aims: To serve as a guide to communities and practitioners for locating effective adolescent health interventions; To identify selected “implementing tools” designed to help communities implement evidence-based programs.

Evidence-based programs | Risky Behavior | Sexual and Reproductive Health | State & Community Programs | Substance Use | Toolkits | Young Adults