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J Adolesc. 2010 Oct;33(5):663-71. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.11.004. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Health-risk behaviors in adolescents as indicators of unconventional lifestyles.

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1
Department of Clinical, Experimental and Social Psychology, University of Huelva, Avda. Fuerzas Armadas s/n, Huelva, Spain. leon@uhu.es

Abstract

This study analyses the dimensions of health-risk behaviors in adolescence. Based on the Theory of Problem Behavior, the study hypothesises that the structure of relations between risk behaviors may be explained in terms of their level of social transgression or unconventionality. With a sample of 771 adolescents, this study explores the association between the behaviors which, according to the WHO, have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality. The results of these analyses point to the existence of a latent variable grouping the risk behaviors that lead to greater confrontation with the norms of conventional society. The analysis of the relation of this latent variable with indicators of academic failure and satisfaction with peers and adults also produces findings that are consistent with the proposed interpretation. Finally, some recommendations are made for the planning of preventive interventions as a result of the findings.

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