Potecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health
ABSTRACT The main threats to adolescents' health are the risk behaviors they choose. How their social context shapes their behaviors is poorly understood.
To identify risk and protective factors at the family, school, and individual levels as they relate to 4 domains of adolescent health and morbidity: emotional health, violence, substance use, and sexuality.
Cross-sectional analysis of interview data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
A total of 12118 adolescents in grades 7 through 12 drawn from an initial national school survey of 90118 adolescents from 80 high schools plus their feeder middle schools.
The interview was completed in the subject's home.
Eight areas were assessed: emotional distress; suicidal thoughts and behaviors; violence; use of 3 substances (cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana); and 2 types of sexual behaviors (age of sexual debut and pregnancy history). Independent variables included measures of family context, school context, and individual characteristics.
Parent-family connectedness and perceived school connectedness were protective against every health risk behavior measure except history of pregnancy. Conversely, ease of access to guns at home was associated with suicidality (grades 9-12: P<.001) and violence (grades 7-8: P<.001; grades 9-12: P<.001). Access to substances in the home was associated with use of cigarettes (P<.001), alcohol (P<.001), and marijuana (P<.001) among all students. Working 20 or more hours a week was associated with emotional distress of high school students (P<.01), cigarette use (P<.001), alcohol use (P<.001), and marijuana use (P<.001). Appearing "older than most" in class was associated with emotional distress and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among high school students (P<.001); it was also associated with substance use and an earlier age of sexual debut among both junior and senior high students. Repeating a grade in school was associated with emotional distress among students in junior high (P<.001) and high school (P<.01) and with tobacco use among junior high students (P<.001). On the other hand, parental expectations regarding school achievement were associated with lower levels of health risk behaviors; parental disapproval of early sexual debut was associated with a later age of onset of intercourse (P<.001).
Family and school contexts as well as individual characteristics are associated with health and risky behaviors in adolescents. The results should assist health and social service providers, educators, and others in taking the first steps to diminish risk factors and enhance protective factors for our young people.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Karl E Bauman, Jan 21, 2014
- SourceAvailable from: Rachel E Kahn
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- "Indeed, risky sexual behaviors such as early sexual debut or having sex without a condom often emerge during adolescence (Fergus et al. 2007), and the consequences of this behavior, such as STDs and HIV, represent a major public health concern in the United States. Extant research indicates the quality of the parent–adolescent relationship is an important determinant of risky sexual behavior (Markham et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2001; Resnick et al. 1997). Although these direct associations are well documented, less is known about the mediating processes, such as delay discounting, that explain how parent–adolescent relationship quality may influence the decision making processes associated with risky sexual behavior. "
ABSTRACT: Parent-adolescent relationship quality and delay discounting may play important roles in adolescents' sexual decision making processes, and levels of self-control during adolescence could act as a buffer within these factors. This longitudinal study included 219 adolescent (55 % male; mean age = 12.66 years at Wave 1; mean age = 15.10 years at Wave 2) and primary caregiver dyads. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to determine whether delay discounting mediated the association between parent-adolescent relationship quality and adolescents' risky sexual behavior and how this mediated association may differ between those with high versus low self-control. The results revealed parent-adolescent relationship quality plays a role in the development of risky sexual behavior indirectly through levels of delay discounting, but only for adolescents with low self-control. These findings could inform sex education policies and health prevention programs that address adolescent risky sexual behavior.Journal of Youth and Adolescence 07/2015; 44(9). DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0332-y · 2.72 Impact Factor
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- "" We used two approaches to determine substance use. First, we created continuous variables of substance use at each wave that took into account both lifetime use and more temporary use, on the basis of prior Add Health conventions (Resnick et al., 1997). Marijuana use was coded from 0 (never tried in lifetime) to 6 (more than three "
ABSTRACT: We investigated the links between racial/ethnic marginalization (i.e., having few same-race/ethnic peers at school) and adolescents' socioemotional distress and subsequent initiation of substance use (alcohol and marijuana) and substance use levels. Data from 7,731 adolescents (52% female; 55% White, 21% African American, 16% Latino, 8% Asian American) were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. In our path analysis model, we found that adolescents who were racially/ethnically marginalized at school (i.e., who had less than 15% same-ethnicity peers) reported poorer school attachment, which was linked to more depressive symptoms. More depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of subsequent marijuana and alcohol use. These relationships showed some variation by students' gender, race/ethnicity, and age. Findings suggest that the influence of school demographics extends beyond the academic domain into the health and well-being of young people. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).Developmental Psychology 06/2015; DOI:10.1037/dev0000026 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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- " would expel them to the margins of conventional society . They lend theoretical support to targeted interventions that support vulnerable young people , as well as universal interventions that aim to tie young people more closely to their communities . These theories relating to the need for social connectedness appear to have empirical support . Resnick et al . ( 1997 ) found that family - connectedness and perceived school - connectedness were protective against every measure of health - related risk - taking except a history of pregnancy . Adolescents who feel con - nected to their family are more likely to delay sexual initiation , report lower levels of substance use and less likely to engage in "
ABSTRACT: Sociological theories seldom inform public health interventions at the community level. The reasons for this are unclear but may include difficulties in finding, understanding or operationalising theories. We conducted a study to explore the feasibility of locating sociological theories within a specific field of public health, adolescent risk-taking, and to consider their potential for practical application. We identified a range of sociological theories. These explained risk-taking: (i) as being due to lack of social integration; (ii) as a consequence of isolation from mainstream society; (iii) as a rite of passage; (iv) as a response to social constraints; (v) as resistance; (vi) as an aspect of adolescent development; (vii) by the theory of the 'habitus'; (viii) by situated rationality and social action theories; and (ix) as social practice. We consider these theories in terms of their potential to inform public health interventions for young people.Health Sociology Review 05/2015; 24(1). DOI:10.1080/14461242.2015.1008537 · 0.49 Impact Factor