Prevalence and predictors of risk behaviors in adolescence: The role of weight status, clinical status and psychosocial dimensions
AbstractThe aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of risk behaviors (self-injurious behavior and alcohol/tobacco consumption) among adolescents (n=370) aged 14 to 19 years in three groups: 205 adolescents with normal weight, 82 adolescents from the community with excess weight or obesity, and 83 adolescents with excess weight or obesity and in outpatient treatment for weight control. We also examined the roles of gender, weight, treatment condition, and psychosocial variables (psychopathological symptoms, social support, and emotional skills) in the presence of those risk behaviors. The prevalence of most risk behaviors in the overweight community group and in the overweight clinical group were similar or even lower than their healthy weight peers. Male gender, non-treatment for weight control, higher psychopathology, less ability to regulate emotions, lower family support and higher intimate support predict, at least, one of the three studied risk behaviors. This study discusses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings
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