240242 Effects of Youth Assets on Adolescent Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana Use, and Sexual Behavior

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Michael Dunn, PhD , Health Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and sexual behaviors are consistently reported by high school student in the United States and can contribute to reduced quality of life. Empirical research finds that many assets may act as a protective factor for adolescent risk behaviors. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the associations of youth assets and adolescent engagement in alcohol, cigarette, marijuana use, and sexual behavior among students 14-18 years in a rural state. Participants consisted of a random sample of 834 students aged 14-18 years attending two public school districts in rural Tennessee. A survey that assessed behaviors, knowledge, and youth assets was administered to these students during the spring of the school year. Analysis found that a large percentage of students had engaged in alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and sexual behaviors. Additionally, it was discovered that some youth assets were associated with a lower prevalence of adolescent substance use and sexual behavior. Furthermore, assets seems to be more protective in this sample of 14-18 year olds for past-30 days behavior compared to ever having used a substance (i.e., alcohol, tobacco, marijuana) or ever having had sexual intercourse. The results suggest that substance use and sexual behaviors among adolescents vary by youth asset. As such, it is important to realize that interventions designed to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and sexual behavior using an asset development framework needs to be tailored.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and sexual behavior of rural adolescent students. Describe the relationship between alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and sexual behavior and youth assets among rural adolescent students. Discuss the implication of the results as a means for intervening in adolescent risk behaviors.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 10 years of experience in high education and over 12 years of health behavior research experience. Additionally, I have presented at past APHA conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.