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Vulnerability to unhealthy behaviours across different age groups in Swedish Adolescents: A cross-sectional study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Social Medicine. (Socialmedicinsk epidemiologi)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. (Vårdvetenskap)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. (Vårdvetenskap)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Social Medicine. (Socialmedicinsk epidemiologi)
2014 (English)In: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, ISSN 2164-2850, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 296-313Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose:

There is lack of evidence on the effects of health-promoting programmes among adolescents. Health behaviour models and studies seldom compare the underlying factors of unhealthy behaviours between different adolescent age groups. The main objective of this study was to investigate factors including sociodemographic parameters that were associated with vulnerability to health-damaging behaviours and non-adoption of health-enhancing behaviours in different adolescent age groups.

Methods:

A survey was conducted among 10,590 pupils in the age groups of 13–14, 15–16 and 17–18 years. Structural equation modelling was performed to determine whether health-damaging behaviours (smoking and alcohol consumption) and non-adoption of health-enhancing behaviours (regular meal habits and physical activity) shared an underlying vulnerability. This method was also used to determine whether gender and socio-economic status were associated with an underlying vulnerability to unhealthy behaviours.

Results:

The findings gave rise to three models, which may reflect the underlying vulnerability to health-damaging behaviours and non-adoption of health-enhancing behaviours at different ages during adolescence. The four behaviours shared what was interpreted as an underlying vulnerability in the 15–16-year-old age group. In the youngest group, all behaviours except for non-participation in physical activity shared an underlying vulnerability. Similarly, alcohol consumption did not form part of the underlying vulnerability in the oldest group. Lower socio-economic status was associated with an underlying vulnerability in all the age groups; female gender was associated with vulnerability in the youngest adolescents and male gender among the oldest adolescents.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that intervention studies should investigate the benefits of health-promoting programmes designed to prevent health-damaging behaviours and promote health-enhancing behaviours in adolescents of different ages. Future studies should examine other factors that may contribute to the underlying vulnerability in different age groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 2, no 1, p. 296-313
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226085DOI: 10.1080/21642850.2014.892429OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-226085DiVA, id: diva2:723786
Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-11 Last updated: 2018-04-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Psychosocial Vulnerability Underlying Unhealthy Behaviours in Swedish Adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychosocial Vulnerability Underlying Unhealthy Behaviours in Swedish Adolescents
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim was to examine the relationship between Swedish school adolescents´ health-related behaviours and psychosocial and socio-demographic factors, with the purpose of identifying vulnerability factors for unhealthy behaviours and exploring adolescents’ own experiences and thoughts about this.

Three studies were quantitative cross-sectional studies and used data from two different questionnaires. The fourth study was a qualitative study based on focus group interviews. The sample in study I consisted of 13–18-year-old adolescents (n= 10,590) and 15–16-year-old adolescents in studies II (n=492), III (n=492) and IV (n=36). The quantitative data were analysed using a number of different statistical methods. Foremost, structural equation modelling was used in studies I and II and Poisson regression analysis in study III. Study IV used qualitative content analysis by Graneheim and Lundman.

The results indicated that nearly 60 per cent of 15–16-year-old adolescents have at least two unhealthy behaviours. Interrelated psychosocial and socio-demographic factors constituted vulnerability for unhealthy behaviours in general in adolescents. Good psychosocial relationships were strongly related with high well-being, whereas poor social relationships and low well-being were associated with unhealthy behaviours in general. Low socio-economic group was associated with unhealthy behaviours in general but the strength of this association varied between the adolescent age groups. Encouragement from parents to adopt healthy behaviours was associated with less unhealthy behaviours. Having adolescents who cared about what their parents said regarding health-related behaviours was also associated with a lower number of unhealthy behaviours. The school and family were important social environments for adolescents´ health-related behaviours. Similarly, friends and social media were important social contexts. Fellowship, and close social relationships, in particular, was important to healthy behaviours. Fellowship with others was also stated to influence high well-being. The experience of feeling pressure was stated to be associated with low well-being and unhealthy behaviours in adolescents.

The thesis brings new knowledge to the field of psycho-social and socio-demographic factors associated with unhealthy behaviours in Swedish adolescents. Findings may be useful in supporting adolescents to reach positive health-related behaviours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 67
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1460
Keyword
Adolescents, Health-related behaviours, Social environments, Social relationships, Socio-economic status, Unhealthy behaviours, Vulnerability, Well-being
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Social Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-347828 (URN)978-91-513-0322-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-28, Polhemssalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-04-08 Last updated: 2018-05-04

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Paulsson Do, UlricaEdlund, BirgittaStenhammar, ChristinaWesterling, Ragnar

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