Multifactorial approach needed to target risky teen behavior

August 25, 2008

Programs that reduce risk-taking, improve social capital, and improve levels of affluence would work best to improve adolescent health, researchers reported in the September Journal of Adolescent Health.

Programs that reduce taking risks, improve social capital, and improve levels of affluence would work best to improve adolescent health, researchers reported in the September Journal of Adolescent Health.

The investigators analyzed data from Canada that involved 2,384 teenagers during 2001 and 2002, and measured risk-taking behavior such as smoking, drunkenness, seatbelt use, marijuana use, illicit drug use, and condom use.

Almost 32% of children from low-income families said they engaged in risky behaviors frequently, compared with 16.7% and 11% of students from moderate- and high-income families, respectively.

The study also found that a larger percentage of students with low social capital reported that they engaged in risky behavior frequently.