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Journal Article


Berg-Kelly K, Kullander K. Acta Paediatr. 1999; 88(10): 1125-1130.


Department of Pediatrics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital East, Göteborg, Sweden.


(Copyright © 1999, John Wiley and Sons)






In this study, 390 students comprising 89.7% of the student population answered a questionnaire on health and health behaviours, socioeconomic status (SES), school, family and peer relationships, and intentions regarding behaviours at 13.5 and 15.5 y of age. The aim was to investigate whether there were gender differences in predictors of outcome of behaviours with impact on health at 15.5 y of age. Outcome dealt with three domains: health habits, acquisition of adult lifestyles, and problem behaviours. The material was analysed for correlations. Significant results were entered into multiple regression stepwise procedures. As expected, having already initiated adult lifestyles or exhibiting problem behaviours at 13.5 y were the most important factors associated with such behaviours 2 y later. Further analyses were then limited to those students who had not started such lifestyles to see what factors kept them from doing so in a 2-y period and what gender differences existed, if any. Results differed for the genders, with more boys being more concrete and behaviour-oriented, representing a sample of boys with late to normal puberty. Girls more often expressed intentions regarding behaviour, which predicted positive outcomes. Both genders were prudent in most areas studied: they were well adapted at school, had positive self-esteem and were not moving in circles where smoking and drinking were abundant. The conclusion is that young adolescents who do not start risky behaviours between the ages of 13 and 15 y live in a supportive context, which allows for positive interactions. The next step would be to investigate if alternative strategies may be used to implement similar options for those who lack such support in their natural environment.

Language: en


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