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Stages of Readiness for Changing Multiple Risk Behaviors Among Incarcerated Male Adolescents

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Objective: To determine the prevalence, age of onset, and motivational readiness to change multiple risk behaviors among juvenile offenders. Methods: One hundred eighty male adolescents were interviewed in a short-term detention center. Results: Nearly 60% of the sample reported engaging in all 5 target behaviors. Earliest risk of onset was for alcohol drinking, followed closely by marijuana use, sexual initiation, and cigarette smoking. With the exception of condom use with other partners, less than 20% of the sample were ready to change their multiple risk behaviors. Conclusion: To be effective, interventions need to be developed that target multiple risk behaviors simultaneously.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2: Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham 3: Howard University Medical School, Washington, DC 4: Department of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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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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