Health risk behaviours amongst a selected group of adolescent girls [Gesondheidsrisikogedrag by 'n geselekteerde groep adolessente dogters]

Africa E.K. ; Van Deventer K.J. ; Barnard J.G. (2008)


The continued integration of our global society has caused a shift in human social interaction and has redefined the contexts of adolescents' lives. Adolescents are inundated with a variety of choices at a stage of their lives where they are trying to create their own identity. This article focuses on the identification of reversible health risk behaviours by means of the Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (YRBS) that was slightly adapted for this study (NCCDPHP, 2004). The mentioned questionnaire focuses on behaviours such as violence, smoking, alcohol and drug use, sexual behaviours, dietary behaviours and physical inactivity that place adolescents at an increased risk of premature morbidity and mortality. A sample of 1 805 Coloured adolescent girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years took part in this research. The sample was selected from three previously disadvantaged high schools in the Western Cape. Due to restrictive school rules, the sample could not be randomly selected and therefore the research is based on a quasi-experimental approach. The results provide evidence that during the 30 days preceding the survey 6% carried a weapon, 60% smoked a cigarette, 65% consumed alcohol, 11% used dagga, 12% had sexual intercourse, 51% considered their weight to be normal, 54% participated in insufficient amounts of physical activity, 54% watched television more than one hour per day and 71% did not spend any time per day working on a computer. The results concur with other South African studies.

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