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Understanding Youth's Health-Compromising Behaviors in Germany

Understanding Youth's Health-Compromising Behaviors in Germany In this article, we analyze German youth's health-compromising behaviors from the perspective of risk-taking behaviors. As with American youth, peer influence is found to be important not only on smoking and drinking behavior, but also on the perception of these behaviors as socially appealing (an opposite measure of risks) among German youth. Moreover, association with friends who smoke leads to less concern about one's own health and an over-assessment of one's own control over health behaviors, both of which contribute to other health-compromising behaviors—alcohol consumption, unhealthy nutrition, and lack of physical exercise. Concern about one's own health, though directly preventing unhealthy nutrition and low level of physical activity, does not have significant effects on smoking and drinking behavior. It reflects the fact that smoking and drinking are not considered by German youth as healththreatening behaviors; rather, these behaviors are seen as socially appealing and desirable. Implications for health education are discussed in the conclusion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Youth & Society SAGE

Understanding Youth's Health-Compromising Behaviors in Germany

Youth & Society , Volume 30 (3): 19 – Mar 1, 1999

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References (19)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0044-118X
eISSN
1552-8499
DOI
10.1177/0044118X99030003004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this article, we analyze German youth's health-compromising behaviors from the perspective of risk-taking behaviors. As with American youth, peer influence is found to be important not only on smoking and drinking behavior, but also on the perception of these behaviors as socially appealing (an opposite measure of risks) among German youth. Moreover, association with friends who smoke leads to less concern about one's own health and an over-assessment of one's own control over health behaviors, both of which contribute to other health-compromising behaviors—alcohol consumption, unhealthy nutrition, and lack of physical exercise. Concern about one's own health, though directly preventing unhealthy nutrition and low level of physical activity, does not have significant effects on smoking and drinking behavior. It reflects the fact that smoking and drinking are not considered by German youth as healththreatening behaviors; rather, these behaviors are seen as socially appealing and desirable. Implications for health education are discussed in the conclusion.

Journal

Youth & SocietySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1999

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