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Health, health-compromising behavior, risk-taking behavior and sexuality in female and male high school students in vocational compared with theoretical programs in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Obstetrisk forskning/Axelsson)
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, ISSN 0334-0139, Vol. 19, no 4, 459-472 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study was to determine whether adolescents attending vocational high school programs in Sweden show unhealthy or risky behaviors to a higher extent than those attending theoretical programs, and whether there were gender differences. METHODS: All eligible adolescents 16-18 years old, after exclusion of first- and second-generation immigrants, attending high school (1,332 pupils) in a medium-sized town in Sweden completed a validated in-depth questionnaire (Q90) with 165 questions in the classroom. In comparisons, adjustments were made for socio-demographic variables. RESULTS: A significant difference was found for the variable having at least one parent with university education (odds ratio (OR 0.28) for those attending vocational programs). In girls: have bullied (OR 2.01), eat breakfast all school days (OR 0.31), have shoplifted (OR 3.46), smoking (OR 5.69), and have had more than five sexual partners (OR 4.74) all differed significantly. Some variables with significant differences in boys were; eat fruit or vegetables every day (OR 0.55), feeling depressed (OR 0.62), sports activity at least once a week (OR 0.56), vandalizing (OR 2.11), regular alcohol use (OR 1.44), and contraceptive use at latest sexual intercourse (OR 0.47). CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that preventive interventional strategies, aimed at improving health maintenance among adolescents should take into consideration the differences between students in vocational and theoretical programs, including the cluster and accumulation of health-risk behaviors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 19, no 4, 459-472 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95563PubMedID: 18348421OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95563DiVA: diva2:169831
Available from: 2007-03-09 Created: 2007-03-09 Last updated: 2010-04-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health, Risk-Taking Behavior and Sexuality in Swedish Adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health, Risk-Taking Behavior and Sexuality in Swedish Adolescents
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aims of this research were to develop methods of identifying adolescents with unhealthy and/or risk-taking behavior with special reference to sexuality, and to evaluate support measures for young people in need of such interventions. A further aim was to assess strategies for preventing unhealthy and/or risk-taking behavior. Data were obtained by questionnaires (studies I, III, IV and V) and interviews (study II).

The results showed that young men involved in unintended pregnancies would benefit from active participation in the decision making regarding continuation or termination of the pregnancy, and from support at Outpatient Clinics for Adolescents in Sweden, including information together with the partner (I).

It was also concluded that consideration should be paid to questions and problems, e.g. feelings, apprehensions, moral issues and psychosocial factors, that require individual support from personnel with knowledge and resources to help young men in this difficult situation (II).

Among the most important findings regarding young men who had been involved in an unplanned pregnancy were that in this group a high percentage had previously considered suicide and that anabolic steroids were frequently used, compared with young men without experience of pregnancy (III).

The finding that unprotected intercourse occurred in a fairly high frequency among 13- to 18-year-olds, despite massive education and easy access to contraceptives, gives reason for further considerations regarding appropriate ways of providing information to young people (IV).

Girls and boys in vocational programs in Swedish high schools exhibit more risk-taking behaviors than those in theoretical programs and these two groups differ in clustering and accumulation of these behaviors. This means that preventive interventional strategies need to be elaborated with regard to these differences, with the aim of improving health maintenance among adolescents (V).

Child-and-youth centers with a developmental and research capacity need to be established with the broad purpose of drawing up health prevention programs for children and young people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 81 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 236
Pediatrics, unplanned pregnacy, abortion, adolescents, young men, individual support, Outpatient Clinic for Adolescents, Sweden, decision making, grounded theory, health behavior, risk behavior, sexual behavior, vocational program, theoretical program, Pediatrik
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7701 (URN)978-91-554-6821-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-03-30, Rosénsalen, University Hospital, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2007-03-09 Created: 2007-03-09Bibliographically approved

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