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The FLASHE Study: Racial and Sex Disparities in Adolescent and Parent Modifiable Cancer Risk Behavior

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Objectives: Understanding modifiable risk factors related to cancer among adolescents and their parents may help identify at-risk populations and intervention aims for reducing cancer risk among families. Methods: Participants were 1336 adolescent-parent dyads who participated in the 2014 Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) conducted by the National Cancer Institute. Using independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA, we assessed differences in mean behavioral scores by sex and race/ethnicity, respectively. Results: For this nationwide sample, non-Hispanic black adolescents and parents were significantly (p < .05) more likely to participate in multiple dietary and sedentary behaviors than their Hispanic and non-black counterparts. Male adolescents reported significantly higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and processed and red meats than their female peers (p < .02 for all). We also found a strong positive association between adolescents' and their parents' dietary and sedentary behaviors (p < .001 for all). Conclusions: Sex and racial differences in cancer-related health behaviors among adolescents and their parents suggest current guidelines for cancer may benefit from inclusion of younger populations and families. Effective health interventions targeting adolescent-parent dyads may help reduce cancer risk among multiple populations simultaneously.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC;, Email: [email protected] 2: Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 3: Associate Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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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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