Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16624
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Changes in the socio-demographic patterning of late adolescent health risk behaviours during the 1990s: analysis of two West of Scotland cohort studies
Authors: Sweeting, Helen
Jackson, Caroline A
Haw, Sally
Contact Email: s.j.haw@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Adolescent behaviour
time-trends
drinking behaviour
smoking
illicit drugs
sexual behaviour
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2011
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Sweeting H, Jackson CA & Haw S (2011) Changes in the socio-demographic patterning of late adolescent health risk behaviours during the 1990s: analysis of two West of Scotland cohort studies, BMC Public Health, 11, Art. No.: 829.
Abstract: Background: Substance use and sexual risk behaviour affect young people's current and future health and wellbeing in many high-income countries. Our understanding of time-trends in adolescent health-risk behaviour is largely based on routinely collected survey data in school-aged adolescents (aged 15 years or less). Less is known about changes in these behaviours among older adolescents. Methods: We compared two cohorts from the same geographical area (West of Scotland), surveyed in 1990 and 2003, to: describe time-trends in measures of smoking, drinking, illicit drug use, early sexual initiation, number of opposite sex sexual partners and experience of pregnancy at age 18-19 years, both overall and stratified by gender and socioeconomic status (SES); and examine the effect of time-trends on the patterning of behaviours by gender and SES. Our analyses adjust for slight between-cohort age differences since age was positively associated with illicit drug use and pregnancy. Results: Rates of drinking, illicit drug use, early sexual initiation and experience of greater numbers of sexual partners all increased significantly between 1990 and 2003, especially among females, leading to attenuation and, for early sexual initiation, elimination, of gender differences. Most rates increased to a similar extent regardless of SES. However, rates of current smoking decreased only among those from higher SES groups. In addition, increases in 'cannabis-only' were greater among higher SES groups while use of illicit drugs other than cannabis increased more in lower SES groups. Conclusion: Marked increases in female substance use and sexual risk behaviours have implications for the long-term health and wellbeing of young women. More effective preventive measures are needed to reduce risk behaviour uptake throughout adolescence and into early adulthood. Public health strategies should reflect both the widespread prevalence of risk behaviour in young people as well as the particular vulnerability to certain risk behaviours among those from lower SES groups.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16624
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-829
Rights: © 2011 Sweeting et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy
HS Research - Stirling



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