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Title: Exploring factors in relation to adolescent risky behaviours : a focus on sexual activity
Author: Penfold-Taylor, Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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Owing to evidence for numerous determinants of risky sexual behaviours, the likelihood that risky behaviours co-occur, and continuing poor effectiveness of sexual health interventions, this research aimed to identify the factors most strongly associated with early sexual intercourse and other risky behaviours (smoking, drunkenness and drug use). Subjects were 4,379 adolescents (mean age 14 years 8 months) from 16 Scottish schools. Cross-sectional data were collected using anonymous and confidential school-based questionnaires. Secondary analysis using logistic regression identified significant associations between self-reported risky behaviours and factors selected on research evidence. Multivariate models identified factors independently associated while accounting for other influences. Models of social, psychosocial and combined (social and psychosocial) factors were developed. Many univariate associations with risky behaviours were identified. The combined model for reported sexual intercourse contained social and psychosocial variables. Factors present in the models for all four risky behaviours showed many similarities, which remained after accounting for involvement in other risky behaviours. Factors associated with an increase of reporting sexual intercourse mainly related to aspects of school (decreasing enjoyment of school and aspirations to continue education) and family life ( family type, decreasing parental monitoring and spending money). Measures of socioeconomic status and self-esteem were not associated with the likelihood of reporting any risky behaviour. Factors associated with individual or co-occurring risky behaviours were similar. These results may help to identify adolescents likely to engage in risky behaviours, thus allowing targeted interventions. Interventions could include family-based interventions, aiming to raise general academic enjoyment, and address risky behaviours in combination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available