TitleThe mediating role of risk proneness on the ecology of adolescent health risk behavior
NameAgre, Lynn Ann (author), Peterson, Andrew (chair), Akincigil, Ayse (internal member), Munch, Shari (internal member), Avi-Itzhak, Benjamin (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Youth--Health and hygiene,
Health behavior in adolescence,
Risk-taking (Psychology) in adolescence
DescriptionThe co-occurrence of sexual behavior and substance use among adolescents–both licit and illicit–is well substantiated in the socio-medical literature. However, limited studies have been published which focus on the context and psychosocial relationships which predispose youth to engage in risk behavior. The interaction between environment and health risk behavior during teen years can set the stage for later-life deleterious health outcomes. Thus, this research examines how adolescent self-rated risk proneness in conjunction with underlying psychosocial mechanisms predicts the likelihood of engaging in concurrent sexual behavior and alcohol use.
The current literature has demonstrated the strong association between the co-occurrence of illicit drug use and sexual behavior. However, tantamount to this relationship are, psychosocial factors which, when examined concomitant with health risk behaviors grouped by maternal educational attainment, will help elucidate differences between categories of youth at risk for compromised mental and physical well-being. The Bronfenbrenner ecological framework is utilized to substantiate the relevance of health risk behaviors, environment and the importance of studying psychosocial factors in multivariate models.
The data selected for analysis to both demonstrate these relationships and identify risk profiles originate from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), Young Adult 1998 cohort. Partitioning the NLSY 1998 cohort by mother’s education tests how risk proneness as a mediator differs by maternal highest grade completed, as it affects adolescent deleterious behavior. These data are renowned for an oversampling of African Americans and are nationally representative of other ethnic groups such as Hispanics and Asians, requiring the application of an algebraic weight to normalize against the US population. Therefore, the key findings discovered in this study are: (1) the mediational effect in the pathway to health risk behaviors is risk proneness; (2) reported depressive illness symptoms are the underlying mechanism of risk proneness; (3) the path model is robust when tested among different groups using the Bronfenbrenner ecosystem paradigm; and (4) the weighting technique is vital to preserving the original distribution of the population, since the study sample needs to reflect the actual proportion of racial/ethnic groups in the US population.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 109-134)
Noteby Lynn Ann Agre, M.P.H.
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.