Adolescent Multiple Risk Behavior and Health Outcomes

A longitudinal study published in Preventive Medicine (2020) examined the association between multiple risk behaviors at age 16 years and outcomes in early adulthood. 

5591 young people enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children provided data on at least one of seven adverse outcomes at age ~18 years. 

This study of 13 risk behaviors revealed a strong association between the total MRB score at age 16 and deleterious health and social outcomes at age 18.

Results showed strong associations between multiple risk behaviors and all seven adverse outcomes.

For each additional risk behavior engaged in, the odds of harmful drinking, getting into trouble with police, having depression, problem gambling, anxiety, obesity, and not in education, employment or training increased.

The authors concluded that investment in interventions and environments that effectively prevent multiple risk behavior is likely to improve a range of health outcomes in young adults.

We agree with this study’s authors that there is a great need to provide MRB programs for youth, particularly those that are brief and evidence-based (e.g., SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness) as well as environmental opportunities and supports for healthy behavior adoption (e.g., providing fun walks/runs/bikes and parks).

View the entire study article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7378566/ 

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