Adolescent health-risk behavior : a study of 15,650 images Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6682x666q

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  • Despite recognition in the literature that adolescence represents a relatively high-risk developmental period for health-risk behaviors, only limited attention has been given to the subjective meanings adolescents assign to such behaviors. One potentially fruitful avenue to explore in understanding the adolescent perspective on health-risk behaviors is the use of word association techniques. Word association techniques are an efficient way of determining the content and representational systems of human minds without requiring their expression in the full discursive structure of human language. A free-association technique was used to provide insight into the meanings adolescents give to a variety of behaviors. Using this technique, 411 high-school students (age range 14-20 years) provided up to five associations for each of nine behaviors. Six of these behaviors (drinking beer, drinking liquor, smoking cigarettes, smoking marijuana, using cocaine, and having sexual intercourse) were conceptualized as health-risk behaviors. The remaining three behaviors (exercising, using a seatbelt when riding in a car, and using a condom) were conceptualized as health-protective behaviors. Based upon a five-point scale (from 1=very negative to 5=very positive), respondents also indicated whether their associations meant something negative or something positive to them. In addition to exploring the subjective meanings adolescents assigned to a variety of behaviors, the study examined whether assigned meanings differed by degree of participation in the behaviors, by gender, and by age. Results indicated that images associated with adolescent health-risk and health-protective behaviors were linked to the anticipation of specific outcomes. The specific goals of adolescent health-risk behaviors that emerged from this study included: social facilitation, having fun, physiological arousal, relaxation and tension reduction, sexual facilitation, and positive affective change. Given that health-risk behaviors were found to be associated with specific outcomes for adolescents, the present study supported a possible shift in prevention and intervention programs from a problem-focused approach to an approach that offers less destructive alternatives for meeting adolescent needs.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-11-28T18:27:38Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 BenthinAlidaChristiana1994.pdf: 4728959 bytes, checksum: 3205dc9249a195fc50070bff31370262 (MD5)

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