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Am J Mens Health. 2013 Nov;7(6):475-81. doi: 10.1177/1557988313483540. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Risk-taking behaviors and subgrouping of college students: a latent class analysis.

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1Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.


Risk-taking behaviors have negative consequences on adolescent and young adult's health. The aim of this study was to identify the subgroups of college students on the basis of risk-taking behaviors and to assess the role of demographic characteristics, religious beliefs, and parental support on membership of specific subgroup. The cross-sectional study took place in Tabriz (northwest of Iran) in April and May of 2011. The randomly selected sample consisted of 1,837 college students. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data. Latent class analysis was performed to achieve the study's objectives. Four latent classes were identified: (a) low risk, (b) cigarette and hookah smoker, (c) sexual and drinking risk-takers (for males)/sexual risk takers (for females), and (d) high risk. Notably, 13.3% of the males and 4.3% of the females were in the high-risk class. The results identified evidence of protective influence of familial support and religiosity on risky behaviors. A fair number of college students, males in particular, were identified as high risk-takers. Design and implementation of preventive interventions for this segment of the population are necessary. Higher level of familial support and religiosity may serve as preventive factors in risk-taking behaviors.


college students; familial support; latent class analysis; religiosity; risk-taking behaviors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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