Family, Peers Affect Culturally Diverse Teenagers’ Preventive Health Behaviors, Study Finds
"Social and Cognitive Factors Associated With Preventative Health Care Behaviors of
Culturally Diverse Adolescents" (.pdf), Journal of the National Medical Association: Researchers from the University of Florida looked at 108 high school students -- 59.3% of whom identified themselves as a racial minority --- who were participating in health education classes. Participants completed a variety of assessments to gauge the likelihood of participating in preventive health activities. Participants' beliefs in their ability to control certain health behaviors and the value they placed on health were related to their reporting of engagement in preventive health behaviors. The study also found a stronger connection between "adolescents' perceptions of their [guardians] and their peers' frequencies of engaging in preventative health care behaviors" and participants' self-reporting of engaging in similar behaviors. The findings suggest that both family and peers are likely role models for culturally diverse teenagers' preventive health behaviors and use of the health care system (Richards et al., Journal of the National Medical Association, March 2009).