Hindin, Michelle J. (2003). Health Risk Behaviors among Filipino Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33(3)
To the Editor: Adolescents make decisions that can substantially alter their life's trajectory. Engaging in health-related risk behavior such as smoking, drinking, drug abuse, and early sexual activity can alter their economic prospects as well as their future health. Recent evidence from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that rates of smoking, alcohol use, and drug use are on the rise, particularly in the developing world and among adolescents. In addition, the evidence of ill-health effects from these behaviors is mounting. Against this backdrop, the prevalence of health-related risk behaviors are described, and the risk and protective factors associated with these behaviors are explored in a cohort of Filipino adolescents. In the United States and Western Europe, and more recently, in a small subset of developing nations, researchers have begun documenting both the risk and protective factors for adolescent health risk behaviors 1, 2 and 3. While these developing nation studies look at a wide range of outcomes and predictors, peer influence and behavior consistently emerges as a risk factor for adolescent health risk behavior 2 and 4. Good parent–child relationships 1 and 2 and school connectedness or engagement 1 and 3 emerge as protective factors. In the rapidly urbanizing setting of Cebu, Philippines, it is hypothesized that staying in school and connectedness to parents will emerge as protective factors and peer behaviors will emerge as risk factors for smoking, drinking, drug use and sexual activity. It is anticipated that the degree to which these factors are influential will vary by gender.
Journal of Adolescent Health
Hindin, Michelle J.