Alfgeir L. Kristjansson

Alfgeir L. Kristjansson
West Virginia University | WVU · School of Public Health

PhD

About

117
Publications
80,764
Reads
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2,604
Citations
Introduction
Alfgeir L. Kristjansson currently works at the School of Public Health, West Virginia University in the US and at the Center for Social Research and Analysis at Reykjavik University in Iceland. Alfgeir does research on adolescent health behaviors with an emphasis in primary substance use prevention, community health promotion, and school health. He also does intervention work with communities and schools in Europe and the US.
Additional affiliations
June 2018 - present
West Virginia University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2012 - present
West Virginia University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2010 - May 2012
Columbia University
Position
  • Fellow
Education
August 2007 - June 2010
Karolinska Institutet
Field of study
  • Social Medicine
August 2003 - July 2004
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Social Research Methods

Publications

Publications (117)
Article
Full-text available
Poor sleep confers significant morbidities and is highly prevalent among college students in the United States. This research assessed sleep quality and its association with health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Further, because sleep quality research often lacks a theoretical foundation, we applied a theoretical model using selected constructs f...
Article
Preventing or delaying the onset of alcohol use among children and youth is an important public health goal. One possible factor in alcohol use onset among early adolescents is caffeine. The aim of this study was to assess the possible contribution of caffeine to the onset of alcohol use during early adolescence. We used data from the Young Mountai...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Alcohol use impairs psychosocial and neurocognitive development and increases the vulnerability of youth to academic failure, substance use disorders, and other mental health problems. The early onset of alcohol use in adolescents is of particular concern, forecasting substance abuse in later adolescence and adulthood. To date, evidence...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Alcohol use impairs psychosocial and neurocognitive development and increases youth vulnerability to academic failure, substance use disorder and other mental health problems. Early adolescent alcohol use onset is of particular concern, forecasting substance abuse in later adolescence and adulthood. Evidence to date suggests that youth i...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review To review the literature on the trends in substance use among youth during the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. Recent Findings The pandemic has given rise to concerns about the mental health and social well-being of youth, including its potential to increase or exacerbate substance use behaviors. This systematic revie...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Parental support (PS) and parental monitoring (PM) are known protective factors against adolescent substance use (SU). However, little is known about whether PS and PM may affect SU outcomes differently by gender and age. This study examined the relationship between PS and PM and adolescent SU, specifically alcohol and tobacco use, str...
Article
Objective Two-step questions to assess gender identity are recommended for optimizing care delivery for gender-diverse individuals. As gender identity fields are increasingly integrated into electronic health records, guidance is needed on how to analyze these data. The goal of this study was to assess potential approaches for analyzing 2-step gend...
Article
Previous risk assessments have concluded that adolescent's caffeine exposure from energy drinks (ED) are of limited concern. Recent surveys have, however, shown substantial increase in consumption. This cross-sectional survey conducted in 2020 estimated caffeine exposure from beverages among ∼80% of all 13-15-year-old adolescents (n = 10358) relati...
Article
Full-text available
Women with substance use disorder (SUD) often have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The intergenerational nature of ACEs also put their children at risk for experiencing ACEs. However, no research has explored the prevalence of ACEs in children whose mothers have SUD. This study assessed ACE scores in mothers with SUD and their chi...
Article
Objectives: To evaluate the patterns and potential risk factors associated with mental health treatment dropout in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey (SNMHS). Methods: The SNMHS is a face-to-face community-based epidemiological survey in a nationally representative household sample of respondents aged 15–65 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)...
Article
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Background: Differential effects of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic and associated public restrictions on adolescent girls and boys are emerging but have not been elucidated. This study examined gender differences across broad indicators of adolescent well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iceland, and explored potential explana...
Article
Aims Adverse childhood experiences are known to relate positively to various health risks and adverse health behaviour in adult life, although the precise mechanisms are still debated. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a single-item measure of the quality of childhood relationships with family and household members might show a simil...
Article
Background Adolescence represents a crucial developmental period in shaping mental health trajectories. In this study, we investigated the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and substance use during this sensitive developmental stage. Methods In this longitudinal, population-based study, surveys were administered to a nationwide samp...
Article
The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of implementing the Icelandic model for Primary Substance Use Prevention (IPM) in rural Central Appalachia. Guided by the IPM’s theoretical framework, 26 stakeholders from a single county in West Virginia were purposefully recruited during the spring of 2019 and divided into four focus groups....
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Identifying and understanding modifiable risk and protective factors that can inform early detection and intervention to prevent adolescent emotional problems and harmful behaviours is among the most pressing modern-day public health challenges. This paper describes the rationale, objectives, methods, and anticipated outcomes of the LIFECO...
Article
Background: Nonmedical prescription stimulant (NPS) use is a growing problem in Europe. Poor mental health and lack of academic engagement are potent sources of risk for substance use. Studies suggest that considerable heterogeneity may characterize the risk profiles of NPS users. To understand better the potential profiles of risk that characteri...
Article
Background: Adolescent caffeine consumption has been linked to aggressive behaviors, although no longitudinal tests have been reported to date. The purpose of this study was to test the longitudinal relations between daily adolescent caffeine consumption and aggressive behaviors. Methods: Two waves of survey data collected 12 months apart in the sp...
Article
Iceland has witnessed a dramatic decline in adolescent substance use that may be partly the result of efforts related to the Icelandic prevention model (IPM). We sought to test risk and protective factor assumptions of the IPM using a prospective cohort study with 12 months separating baseline from follow-up. Participants were students in grades 8...
Article
This study aimed to examine in a longitudinal cohort design whether social media use among adolescents is related to symptoms of social anxiety, depressed mood, and physical symptoms of anxiety over time. As part of the LIFECOURSE study of risk and protective factors for healthy adolescent development, three waves of school-based surveys of adolesc...
Article
Purpose To examine the patterns and correlates of 12-month mental health service use among those who do not have a diagnosed mental health disorder during that period in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods The Saudi National Mental Health Survey used the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview to ascertain mental he...
Article
The Health Sciences and Technology Academy's, (HSTA) goals are to increase college attendance of African American, financially disadvantaged, first generation college and rural Appalachian youth and increase health-care providers and STEM professionals in underserved communities. Students enter in the 9th grade and remain in HSTA four years. They e...
Article
Background: Since the implementation of the Icelandic Model for Primary Prevention of Substance Use in Iceland (IPM), substance use has decreased steadily among 14-16-year-old adolescents and primary prevention factors have improved. Although the IPM is being implemented in several other regions around the world, information documenting its effect...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Icelandic Prevention Model (IPM) is a collaborative upstream model that was designed to influence risk and protective factors related to substance use within the community, school, peer and family contexts. By engaging whole communities, the IPM has been found to be effective in reducing youth substance use behaviours across Icelan...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Students with chronic absences tend to struggle academically and may not benefit fully from all school has to offer. A positive school climate has been shown to reduce absenteeism and promote academic success. In this study, we explored how a positive school climate and high satisfaction with school may influence absences and academic pe...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To examine barriers to initiation and continuation of treatment among individuals with common mental disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey (SNMHS). Methods: The SNMHS is a community-based epidemiological survey in a nationally representative household sample of respondents aged 15–65 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Wo...
Article
Initiation of substance use often starts during adolescence, with tobacco and alcohol use frequently preceding the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs. Studies suggest that a positive school climate may prevent substance use while promoting healthy student behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine the longitudinal associations betw...
Article
Full-text available
Resumen Esta es la segunda de una serie de dos partes de artículos sobre el Modelo Islandés de Prevención Primaria del Uso de Sustancias (MIP) en Health Promotion Practice. El MIP es una estrategia comunitaria colaborativa que ha demostrado notable efectividad en reducir el inicio del uso de sustancias entres jóvenes de Islandia en los últimos 20 a...
Article
Full-text available
Resumen El uso de sustancias por los adolescentes (i.e. el consumo de alcohol, tabaco, y otras drogas), persiste como un problema global, y se mantiene como un desafío para nuestras sociedades y autoridades de salud pública. Como respuesta a las altas tasas de uso de sustancias en adolescentes en los años ‘90, en Islandia han sido pioneros en el de...
Article
Background: Preventing student academic failure is crucial to student health and life success. Previous studies suggest a positive school climate may reduce students' risk for academic failure and contribute to academic success. The purpose of this study was to determine the longitudinal associations between school climate and academic grades in a...
Article
In two decades, the Icelandic prevention model (IPM) has been employed to dramatically reduce rates of adolescent substance use in Iceland. Briefly, the IPM is a multisectoral, community-based, collaborative system where researchers, policy makers, administrative leaders, and practitioners join forces to reduce the odds of adolescent substance use...
Article
Adolescence is a critical period for identity formation and a positive identity has a significant impact on positive health outcomes in later life. In the current study, we hypothesized that students in positive school environments are more likely to have their basic psychological needs (BPNS) satisfied and achieve positive identity development. Us...
Article
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Background Using a new needle for every injection can reduce the spread of infectious disease among people who inject drugs (PWID). No previous study has examined new needle use barriers among PWIDs residing in the rural Appalachian part of the United States, an area currently in the midst of a heroin epidemic. Objective Therefore, our primary aim...
Article
Objective/background: Poor sleep and nonmedical use (NMU) of prescription drugs (NMUPD) are both common among college students. Since lack of sleep adversely influences academic performance, this study examined the association between NMUPD and subjective sleep quality among college students. Participants: Students who completed the American Col...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescent substance use—the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful drugs—remains a persistent global problem and has presented ongoing challenges for public health authorities and society. In response to the high rates of adolescent substance use during the 1990s, Iceland has pioneered in the development of the Icelandic Model for Prim...
Article
Full-text available
This is the second in a two-part series of articles about the Icelandic Model for Primary Prevention of Substance Use (IPM) in this volume of Health Promotion Practice. IPM is a community collaborative approach that has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in reducing substance use initiation among youth in Iceland over the past 20 years. While th...
Article
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Adolescents who initiate electronic cigarette (EC) use without having ever used tobacco are more likely than those that have not initiated EC use to try cigarette smoking over time. However, whether rates of EC use coincide with cigarette smoking rates at the population level remains unknown. This study aimed to compare trends in ever, current, and...
Article
Adolescence is the primary age of onset for common psychiatric disorders and thus presents a singular opportunity for prevention, particularly in school settings. Research efforts have advanced the understanding of diverse and interacting risk and protective factors for anxiety and depression. Such factors span individual, family, school, economic,...
Article
BACKGROUND Emergent evidence suggests a positive school climate may be a promising population‐level intervention to promote academic achievement and student well‐being. However, researchers have called for expanding the school climate evidence‐base to better describe how the construct is associated with student outcomes. The purpose of this study w...
Article
The school climate measure (SCM) has demonstrated robust psychometrics in regionally diverse samples of high school–aged adolescents, but remains untested among early adolescents. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to establish construct validity and measurement indices of the SCM using a sample of early adolescents from public schools located i...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Central Appalachian region of the United States is in the midst of a hepatitis C virus epidemic driven by injection of opioids, particularly heroin, with contaminated syringes. In response to this epidemic, several needle exchange programs (NEP) have opened to provide clean needles and other supplies and services to people who inje...
Article
Objectives: The objective is to assess perceived parental reactions to cigarette smoking, vaping, drunkenness, and marijuana use among cigarette smokers, vapers, and those who neither smoke nor vape (non-users). Study design: It is a population-based, cross-sectional, school survey with all accessible 13- to 16-year-old students in Iceland (resp...
Article
Full-text available
The literature on sexual minority adolescents and young adults has highlighted a poor mental status among those groups compared to their heterosexual peers. Sexual minorities are also more likely to experience stress factors such as bullying and physical violence. However, sexual minority young adults have not been studied much in Iceland, a Nordic...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have assessed the cumulative impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) on scholastic outcomes over time. We examined the relations between MSDP and academic achievement in the 4th, 7th and 10th grades using registry data collected at birth, during the neonatal period, and at each grade level from the 2000, LIFECOURSE study birt...
Poster
It has been established, especially thanks to the studies conducted by Erikson (1986) that there is peers and the social environment they create are imperative to the social-cognitive development of the child, especially across the teenage period, as they try to solve their inner battle between identity and role confusion to settle who they are in...
Article
There is growing recognition that home visitation programs serving at-risk families may be an appropriate mechanism for detecting and reducing intimate partner violence (IPV). More research is needed about how home visitors assess and respond to IPV, especially in rural and underserved areas with unique social and geographic challenges. This study...
Chapter
This chapter describes the range of different research strategies, designs, and methods derived from education, applied psychology, and behavioral science that are used in behavioral medicine. Section one examines seven key questions that are typically addressed in behavioral medicine and illustrates how the research and program evaluation methods,...
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived impact of I am Moving, I am Learning (IMIL) on physical activity (PA) levels, along with family and community involvement in a Head Start program in Illinois. Methods: Employing qualitative methods, data were collected via a parent/caregiver survey and program staff focus group...
Article
Introduction: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue with recent intervention focus by home visiting programs with at-risk families in the United States. Home visitors are typically required to assess IPV but feel unprepared to do so and desire training. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of a daylong IPV training on the intentio...
Article
Electronic cigarette (EC) use continues to increase among adolescents. From a primary prevention point of view, an important gap in our knowledge includes determining whether young smokers that use EC maintain a distinct social profile from kids who use combustible cigarettes (CC). Survey data from middle school students in West Virginia, USA were...
Article
Background: To compare the prevalence of substance use in e-cigarette (EC) only users with combustible cigarette (CC) only users, dual users, and non-users in a large sample of middle school-aged adolescents. Methods: Population-based cross-sectional school survey conducted in 15 middle schools in three counties in West Virginia in the US betwee...
Article
The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to asset mapping as a systematic approach to facilitating increased family and community involvement in comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP). It includes a brief summary of the literature related to the importance of family and community in children's physical activity pro...
Article
Full-text available
Background: While research suggests that college courses contribute to significant health benefits, there is limited research on the effectiveness of these courses in increasing motivation and lifetime PA habits of college students. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of choice in a conceptually-based college health and wel...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research on the impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) on scholastic achievement in the offspring has shown conflicting findings. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of MSDP on scholastic achievement in a birth cohort of children in 4th, 7th and 10th grades. Methods: We analysed data from the LIFECOURSE s...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous research on the effectiveness of needle exchange programs (NEP) in preventing hepatitis C virus (HCV) in people who inject drugs (PWID) has shown mixed findings. The purpose of this study was to use the meta-analytic approach to examine the association between NEP use and HCV prevention in PWIDs. Methods Study inclusion criteria...
Article
Objectives: We examined the relation- ship between sport participation and academic achievement in a sample of adolescents, while accounting for socioeconomic status (SES) and sex. Methods: We analyzed data from a cohort of 271 Mid-Atlantic high school students who participated in a longitudinal study of risk and protective factors for substance...
Article
Full-text available
Early-life risk factors, such as family disruption, maltreatment, and poverty, can negatively impact children's scholastic abilities; however, most previous studies have relied on cross-sectional designs and retrospective measurement. This study investigated the relation between cumulative risk factors during the early life course and subsequent ac...
Article
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Younger adolescents demonstrate a greater vulnerability to negative life events than do older adolescents and adults. The authors examined whether this heightened vulnerability includes a greater likelihood for participating in problem behaviors associated with poor academic outcomes and receiving lower grades. The study was conducted using data fr...
Article
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Stress and strain among adolescents have been investigated and discussed largely within three separate disciplines: mental health, where the focus has been on the negative effects of stress on emotional health; criminology, where the emphasis has been on the effects of strain on delinquency; and biology, where the focus has been to understand the e...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Energy drink (ED) sales have increased greatly in recent years and ED is now a common topic in health behavior research. Most studies work with samples of college students and/or young adults and to a lesser degree with high school students. Research is lacking on ED consumption in younger users. The purpose of this study was to fill t...