Preventing Adolescent Health-Risk Behaviors by Strengthening Protection During Childhood

Social Development Research Group, University of Washington, Seattle 98115, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.73). 04/1999; 153(3):226-34. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.153.3.226
Source: PubMed


To examine the long-term effects of an intervention combining teacher training, parent education, and social competence training for children during the elementary grades on adolescent health-risk behaviors at age 18 years.
Nonrandomized controlled trial with follow-up 6 years after intervention.
Public elementary schools serving high-crime areas in Seattle, Wash.
Of the fifth-grade students enrolled in participating schools, 643 (76%) were given written parental consent for the longitudinal study and 598 (93%) were followed up and interviewed at age 18 years.
A full intervention provided in grades 1 through 6 of 5 days of in-service training for teachers each intervention year, developmentally appropriate parenting classes offered to parents when children were in grades 1 through 3 and 5 through 6, and developmentally adjusted social competence training for children in grades 1 and 6. A late intervention, provided in grades 5 and 6 only, paralleled the full intervention at these grades.
Self-reported violent and nonviolent crime, substance use, sexual activity, pregnancy, bonding to school, school achievement, grade repetition and school dropout, suspension and/or expulsion, and school misbehavior; delinquency charges from court records; grade point average; California Achievement Test scores: and disciplinary action reports from school records.
Fewer students receiving full intervention than control students reported violent delinquent acts (48.3% vs 59.7%; P=.04), heavy drinking (15.4% vs 25.6%; P=.04), sexual intercourse (72.1% vs 83.0%; P=.02), having multiple sex partners (49.7% vs 61.5%; P=.04), and pregnancy or causing pregnancy (17.1% vs 26.4%; P=.06) by age 18 years. The full intervention student group reported more commitment (P=.03) and attachment (P=.006) to school, better academic achievement (P=.01), and less school misbehavior (P=.02) than control students. Late intervention in grades 5 and 6 only did not significantly affect health-risk behaviors in adolescence.
A package of interventions with teachers, parents, and children provided throughout the elementary grades can have enduring effects in reducing violent behavior, heavy drinking, and sexual intercourse by age 18 years among multiethnic urban children. Results are consistent with the theoretical model guiding the intervention and support efforts to reduce health-risk behaviors through universal interventions in selected communities or schools serving high-crime neighborhoods.

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    • "Author's personal copy environment, and result in lower levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness. The feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness among adolescents are significantly decreased upon individuals' higher levels of social connectedness (Beam et al. 2002; DuBois and Silverthorn 2005; Hawkins et al. 1999; Zimmerman et al. 2002). These mental health problems are postulated to be improved through enhanced social connectedness. "
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    ABSTRACT: An increase in the use of online technology among adolescents has influenced their sense of connectedness in various ways. Some studies suggest that there are positive aspects of online technology, especially in providing opportunities for youth to develop and maintain a sense of connectedness in an online environment, while other studies suggest that young people’s use of online technology creates the opposite and leads to feelings of loneliness, depression and social anxiety, and creates mental health challenges among adolescents. Although a substantial number of studies suggests that young people stay in the digital landscape for social activities, there have been few studies that have addressed its effects on feelings of connectedness and mental health. This study reports the findings of a systematic review of recent research addressing the associations between adolescents’ sense of social connectedness and Internet technology use. Adolescents are becoming accustomed to technology and remaining in the virtual playground in part to experience the positive reinforcement of social connections. Although Internet technology might provide additional opportunities for adolescents to seek emotional connection with friends and school, this study suggests that real-life social skills are still a necessary foundation for them to use technology in a beneficial way. Taken collectively, the articles reviewed suggest that adults who interact with youth should incorporate Internet technology into their work, and consider the development of a digital landscape to promote adolescents’ social connectedness.
    08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s40894-015-0013-9
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    • "Student disruptive and challenging behaviors are major concerns to teachers (Reinke et al. 2011). Considerable research has demonstrated that effective teacher classroom management strategies can reduce disruptive behavior (Hawkins et al. 1999; Kellam et al. 1998; Walker et al. 1995), and enhance academic achievement (Brophy 1996; Coladarci and Gage 1984), school readiness, and student's social competence (Webster-Stratton et al. 2008, 2004). Conversely, ineffective classroom management practices are associated with increased disruptive behavior, and negative academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for students (Ialongo et al. 2001; Kellam et al. 1998; National Research Council 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the growing evidence base for the efficacy of preventive interventions, the level of implementation of these interventions in schools is often less than optimal. One promising approach to supporting teachers in implementation of interventions is the use of coaching. In this study, teachers were trained in a universal classroom management intervention and provided ongoing coaching. The association between the type and amount of coaching activities and teacher implementation of proactive classroom management over time were investigated. Results indicated that teachers who received more performance feedback had higher levels of implementation over time in comparison with teachers who received less feedback. In addition, a significant interaction between the amount of coaching a teacher received and his or her implementation of proactive classroom management was found. Increased implementation over time was observed for teachers with lower initial levels of implementation who received more coaching, whereas implementation decreased over time for teachers who received less coaching. The importance of coaching as a support system for enhancing implementation quality of classroom-based preventive interventions is discussed.
    Journal of Behavioral Education 03/2014; 23(1). DOI:10.1007/s10864-013-9186-0
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    • "More specifically, we found that antisocial behavior among adults in the community significantly influenced the use of home-brewed alcohol among high school students in Mankweng, South Africa; with the likelihood of adolescents’ drinking home-brewed alcohol increasing as the number of adults known to engage in antisocial behaviors (such as drug use) increased. This finding is in keeping with findings from previous studies conducted among adolescents in urban settings in other parts of the world [31,32]. The social development model [14,15] may provide a partial explanation for this finding as this model argues that young people emulate the normative social behaviors of their primary socializing unit (including drinking and drug use behaviors). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Alcohol represents a major public health challenge in South Africa, however little is known about the correlates of alcohol use among rural adolescents. This article examines community influences on adolescents’ use of home-brewed alcohol in a rural region of South Africa. Method A total of 1600 high school adolescents between 11 and 16 years of age participated in this study. Seven hundred and forty (46.3%) were female and 795 (49.7%) were male. Data on gender were missing for 65 students (4.0% of the sample). The age range was 11–29 years (mean age 16.4 years; Standard deviation = 2.79). A survey questionnaire on adolescent risk behavior that examined adolescents’ use of alcohol and various potential community influences on alcohol use was administered. Factor analysis was used to group community-level variables into factors. Multiple logistic regression techniques were then used to examine associations between these community factors and adolescents’ use of home-brewed alcohol. Results The factor analysis yielded five community-level factors that accounted for almost two-thirds of the variance in home-brewed alcohol use. These factors related to subjective adult norms around substance use in the community, negative opinions about one’s neighborhood, perceived levels of adult antisocial behavior in the community, community affirmations of adolescents, and perceived levels of crime and violence in the community (derelict neighborhood). In the logistic regression model, community affirmation was negatively associated with the use of home-brew, whereas higher scores on “derelict neighborhood” and “adult antisocial behavior” were associated with greater odds of drinking home-brew. Conclusion Findings highlight community influences on alcohol use among rural adolescents in South Africa. Feeling affirmed and valued by the broader community appears to protect adolescents against early alcohol use. In contrast, perceptions of high levels of adult anti-social behavior and crime and violence in the community are significant risks for early alcohol initiation. Implications of these findings for the prevention of alcohol use among adolescents in rural communities are discussed.
    BMC Public Health 08/2012; 12(1):642. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-642 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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