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Variations in associations of health risk behaviors among ethnic minority early adolescents

Viner, R.M.; Haines, M.M.; Head, J.A.; Bhui, K.; Taylor, S.; Stansfeld, S.A.; Hillier, S.; (2006) Variations in associations of health risk behaviors among ethnic minority early adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health , 38 (1) 55.e15-55e.23. 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.09.017.

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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate patterns of vulnerability and protection factors associated with risk behaviors and the co-occurrence of risk behaviors in minority ethnicity early adolescents. Methods: Analysis of data from the Research with East London Adolescents Community Health Survey (RELACHS), a school-based study of a representative sample of 2789 adolescents age 11–14 in 2001 (sample 73% non-Caucasian, 21% born outside the United Kingdom). Questionnaire data were obtained on sociodemographic variables, ethnicity, smoking, drinking, drug use, psychological well-being, physical health, and social support from family and peers. Models of associations for each behavior and co-occurrence of risk behaviors (defined as engaging in ≥ 2 behaviors) were developed by hierarchical stepwise logistic regression. Results: Two hundred ninety-two (10.9%) reported 1 risk behavior, 84 (3.1%) reported 2, and 25 (0.9%) reported 3 behaviors. In multivariate models, psychological morbidity was associated with higher risk of all behaviors and co-occurrence, while higher family support was associated with lower risk in all models. Non-Caucasian ethnicity was associated with lower risk of regular smoking and co-occurrence but not drinking or drugs. Birth outside the United Kingdom was associated with lower risk for individual behaviors but not co-occurrence. Religion and religious observance were associated with lower risk of smoking and drinking but not drug use or co-occurrence. Peer connectedness was associated with drug use, but with increased risk. Socioeconomic status was associated only with smoking. Conclusions: Patterns of associations of personal, family, and environmental factors appear to differ between smoking, drinking, lifetime drug use, and the co-occurrence of these behaviors. Hypotheses regarding common factors related to health risk behaviors may be misleading in ethnic minorities and immigrants. Co-occurrence may represent a distinct behavioral domain of risk that is partly culturally determined.

Type: Article
Title: Variations in associations of health risk behaviors among ethnic minority early adolescents
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.09.017
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.09.017
Language: English
Keywords: Smoking, alcohol, drug use, health risk behaviors, co-occurrence of health risk behaviors, ethnicity, acculturation, mental health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8681
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