Author(s): Langille DB, Curtis L, Hughes J, Murphy GT
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of socio-economic (SES) factors with risk behaviours among adolescents. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was carried out on students in four high schools in northern Nova Scotia, Canada. Associations between SES variables and substance use behaviours, having early intercourse and suicide attempt in the past year were examined using multivariate analysis (logit regression). Negative binomial regression was performed for associations of SES with a total risk score summing risk behaviours. RESULTS: Participants included 2,198 students (48\% males; 52\% females) ranging in age from 14 to 20 years. Almost 25\% of youth smoked regularly, 19\% of males smoked marijuana > or = 10 times monthly, more than 40\% of males regularly drank excessively, and 10\% of students > 14 years old had had intercourse before age 15. Smoking was the behaviour most often associated with lower SES in both genders. Mother's not being employed was protective against all substance use variables except driving after drinking. Living both with lone mother and in any family arrangement other than with both parents was associated with smoking, using marijuana, and early sex. Higher risk score was associated with living with a lone mother or other family arrangement. Lower risk score was associated with father having more than high school education and mother not working. INTERPRETATION: Lower socio-economic status is associated with adolescent risk behaviours. These findings point to the importance of these factors to risk-taking in youth, their relevance to social policy, and also their importance as factors to consider in targeted interventions.
This article was published in Can J Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy