ERIC Number: EJ812894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Which Forms of Child/Adolescent Externalizing Behaviors Account for Late Adolescent Risky Sexual Behavior and Substance Use?
Timmermans, Maartje; van Lier, Pol A. C.; Koot, Hans M.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v49 n4 p386-394 Apr 2008
Background: Health risk behaviors like substance use (alcohol, tobacco, soft/hard drugs) and risky sexual behavior become more prevalent in adolescence. Children with behavior problems are thought to be prone to engage in health risk behaviors later in life. It is, however, unclear which problems within the externalizing spectrum account for these outcomes. Methods: Three hundred and nine children were followed from age 4/5 years to 18 years (14-year follow-up). Level and course of parent-rated opposition, physical aggression, status violations and property violations were used to predict adolescent-reported substance use and risky sexual behavior at age 18 years. Results: Both level and change in physical aggression were unique predictors of all forms of adolescent health risk behavior. Levels of status violations predicted smoking and soft drug use only, while change in property violations predicted each of the health risk behaviors. The links between opposition and health risk behaviors were accounted for by co-occurring problem behaviors. Conclusions: Of externalizing problems, physical aggression is the best predictor of adolescent substance use and risky sexual behavior from childhood onwards. Possible explanations and implications of these findings, and future research directions are discussed.
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Aggression, Drug Use, Late Adolescents, Adolescents, Sexuality, Child Behavior, At Risk Persons, Substance Abuse, Health Behavior, Followup Studies, Parent Attitudes, Delinquency, Predictor Variables, Smoking, Drinking
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A