Adolescent Health-Compromising Behaviors: Motivating School Counselors

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Objective: To determine middle and high school counselors' perceptions of adolescent health-compromising behaviors and motivations to intervene. Methods: Middle or high school counselors (n=432) completed a survey based on protection motivation theory. Results: Differences were found in counselors' perceptions of the severity of the risk-taking behaviors. Mean perception scores of substance abuse were highest, and sensation-seeking scores were lowest. “Personal impact” and “social noxiousness” were significant predictors of future education intent. Conclusions: Counselors have different perceptions of the importance/prevalence of adolescent risk-taking behaviors. Perceptions were highly correlated with intentions to seek out professional training.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: College of Education, Health Education Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 2: Counselor Education Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. 3: Analytical Sciences Inc., Silver Spring, MD.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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