(1/746) Psychosocial factors related to adolescent smoking: a critical review of the literature.

OBJECTIVE: To extend the analysis of psychosocial risk factors for smoking presented in the United States surgeon general's 1994 report on smoking and health, and to propose a theoretical frame of reference for understanding the development of smoking. DATA SOURCES: General Science Index, Medline, PsycLIT, Sociofile, Sociological Abstracts, and Smoking and Health. Holdings of the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario Library as well as the authors' personal files. STUDY SELECTION: Reviewed literature focused on studies that examined the association of sociodemographic, environmental, behavioural, and personal variables with smoking. DATA SYNTHESIS: Adolescent smoking was associated with age, ethnicity, family structure, parental socioeconomic status, personal income, parental smoking, parental attitudes, sibling smoking, peer smoking, peer attitudes and norms, family environment, attachment to family and friends, school factors, risk behaviours, lifestyle, stress, depression/distress, self-esteem, attitudes, and health concerns. It is unclear whether adolescent smoking is related to other psychosocial variables. CONCLUSIONS: Attempts should be made to use common definitions of outcome and predictor variables. Analyses should include multivariate and bivariate models, with some attempt in the multivariate models to test specific hypotheses. Future research should be theory driven and consider the range of possible factors, such as social, personal, economic, environmental, biological, and physiological influences, that may influence smoking behaviour. The apparent inconsistencies in relationships between parental socioeconomic status and adolescent disposable income need to be resolved as does the underlying constructs for which socioeconomic status is a proxy.  (+info)

(2/746) The effects of a participative programme on Irish pupils' attitudes to HIV/AIDS.

The study is concerned with a general humanistic approach to health (lifeskills) education and its application to the specific issue of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Ireland. A programme of five classroom sessions, structured to encourage active participation, was administered to an experimental group of 20 participants (10 male and 10 female). There was an equivalent control group. Attitudes towards 10 AIDS-related person concepts were measured before and after the programme using semantic differential rating scales. Highly significant differences were found between groups in post-programme attitudes to the concepts. There were no gender differences. It is concluded that this participative programme strongly influences AIDS-related attitudes, and, in particular, promotes compassion towards those with HIV/AIDS.  (+info)

(3/746) Adolescents' pregnancy intentions: relations to life situations and caretaking behaviors prenatally and 2 years postpartum.

PURPOSE: This study explores if and how adolescents' pregnancy intentions relate to life situations and health-related behaviors prenatally and up to 2 years postpartum. METHODS: Adolescent girls who reported that they had "wanted a baby" (n = 75) as their reason for pregnancy were compared with those who reported that the pregnancy "just happened" (n = 79) at four separate time periods: prenatally, at 6 and 24 months postpartum, and at 18 months postpartum for teens who became pregnant again subsequent to the study pregnancy. RESULTS: Those who stated that they wanted a baby were more likely to be Hispanic, married, and out of school before becoming pregnant. They were less likely to receive welfare as their primary means of support and to have run away from home in the past than teens who stated that their pregnancy just happened. Self-reported reason for pregnancy was unrelated to repeat pregnancy by 18 months postpartum, but those who had wanted the study baby were less likely to undergo elective termination of a subsequent pregnancy and less likely to become pregnant by a different partner. The groups diverged at 24 months postpartum when those who wanted a baby were more likely to be married to the father of the baby, be financially supported by him, receive child care assistance from him, and have attempted or succeeded at breastfeeding the study child. CONCLUSION: Self-reported reason for pregnancy reveals many important characteristics of pregnant adolescents both at the time of presentation and up to 2 years postpartum. Young women in this study who reported intentional pregnancy seem to fare better with regard to their financial status and their relationship with the father of the baby.  (+info)

(4/746) Alcohol-related problems among adolescent suicides in Finland.

We studied 106 adolescent suicides out of a total nationwide population of 1397 suicides. Forty-four (42%) of these 13-22-year-old victims were classified as having suffered either a DSM-III-R alcohol use disorder or diagnostically subthreshold alcohol misuse according to retrospective evaluation using the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST). These victims were found to differ from the other adolescent suicides in several characteristics: they were more likely to have comorbid categorical DSM-III-R disorders, antisocial behaviour, disturbed family backgrounds, precipitating life-events as stressors and severe psychosocial impairment. In addition, they also had a greater tendency to be alcohol-intoxicated at the time of the suicidal act, which tended to occur during weekends, suggesting that drinking in itself, and its weekly pattern, each contributed to the completion of their suicides.  (+info)

(5/746) Male youth street culture: understanding the context of health-related behaviours.

In the UK growing concerns have been expressed about young people, and particularly young men, who spend large amounts of their leisure time on the streets. Problems such as vandalism, under-age drinking and drug use have all been heavily reported in local and national media. This paper reports on ethnographic (primarily participant observation-based) research which sought to explore the motivations, meanings and behaviours of young people hanging around on the streets during the evening in a Scottish town. The aim is to move beyond previous research which has largely focused on the 'risk' factors associated with health-relevant behaviours, and to provide an understanding of the roles of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco within the young people's street culture. The paper therefore provides contextualized accounts of health-relevant behaviours. In conclusion it is argued that, to be effective, health promotion programmes need to locate lifestyle risk behaviours within broader life circumstances and that without a reduction in 'risk conditions' it is unlikely that youth street culture will disappear or that 'risk behaviours' will reduce.  (+info)

(6/746) Adolescents' knowledge and attitudes concerning HIV infection and HIV-infected persons: how a survey and focus group discussions are suited for researching adolescents' HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes.

The purpose of this article is to examine how two different corpora of material are suited for researching the sexuality of youth on the basis of material gathered via a structured questionnaire (N = 1183, response rate 87%) and via eight focus group discussions (FGDs), and to investigate the knowledge and opinions of adolescents at the age of 15 years about HIV infection and HIV-infected persons. Both boys and girls showed a good level of knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS. While their level of knowledge was good, their attitude was that the threat of an HIV infection was not a personal issue. Furthermore, negative attitudes to those having HIV/AIDS became more pronounced the more socially distant the infected person was to the respondent. The FGDs presented a more sceptical view of the attitudes of adolescents than the survey, while the knowledge about HIV infection and AIDS was the same regardless of the research method. In the FGDs, girls discussed the topics more extensively than boys, they used longer sentences, there was spontaneous discussion within the groups and the participants commented on each other's opinions. Boys were often content with short dichotomous responses and the interviewers had to qualify the responses with supplementary questions.  (+info)

(7/746) Young people's understanding of mental illness.

Research exploring young people's perspectives on mental health is at an early stage of development and few studies have focused in detail on mental distress or illness. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study which used case vignettes in group and individual interviews to explore the ways in which the young people who took part constructed their understanding of what constitutes mental illness. In essence, they did so by drawing on their own experiences to distinguish between behaviours with which they could identify in some way and those with which they could not. An overview of previous relevant research is provided in the Introduction, followed by a description of the methods and sampling strategies used. The main findings of the study are then presented in relation to the ways in which young people defined unusual behaviour, their understanding of the behaviours associated with different mental health problems and their attitudes to the people concerned. Finally, some ways in which health promotion might build on the findings are identified and discussed.  (+info)

(8/746) Exploring young people's difficulties in talking about contraception: how can we encourage more discussion between partners?

Interviews were conducted with 56 young men and women aged 16-19 within the Southampton Community Health NHS Trust to explore difficulties in talking about contraception. Concern about a partner's hostile or negative reaction to any discussion about contraception was central to explaining why some people found it so difficult to initiate such discussions. Admitting the intention to have intercourse, together with a perceived association between condom use and disease prevention, were the main concerns. There was some indication of gender differences in these findings. Furthermore, this negative reaction is perceived to be exacerbated according to the partner's reputation, the potential for harming one's own reputation and whether there is a desire for a longer-term relationship with this partner. The most important outcome of the interviews was that these concerns about a partner's negative reaction were largely unjustified, with the vast majority of participants showing only positive responses to scenarios of future partners initiating discussions with them about contraception. In addition to the need to improve communication skills, the data suggest that greater awareness about the positive reactions towards such discussions should be encouraged.  (+info)