Literature review: Adolescents risk taking, health and safety

Topic: EducationSchool
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Last updated: March 29, 2019

The lives of the adolescents are threatened by several factors. One of the major problems faced by teens in secondary schools is the involvement into risk behavior which includes substance abuse, alcohol consumption, and possession of illegal weapons, suicide and risky sexual activities. According to Sean, risk taking behaviors have harmful effects, hence students who  engage into such behaviors not only become rejected from schools but they are unfit in the society. Besides this, there are intimate relations between the health status of individuals and risk-taking behavior (Ponton, 1996)Risk- taking behavior as well as health and safety among students is fundamentally based on four major factors. Risk taking is varied among races and ethnic groups both in time and frequency.  For instance, Hispanics have got a delayed introduction to active sexual activities than the blacks, who have even longer delay than the whites. According to the previous research sources, white and blacks have got early introduction to sexual activities which might make them to be at higher risk than the Hispanics, however, this is reversed by their high use of contraceptives such condoms than the Hispanic group. This might be encouraged due to low socioeconomic status.

(Torres, 2001)According to Kaplan and his colleagues (2007) dropping out of school for the Hispanic girls’ students is elevated. Despite the increase in population of both boys and girls among the Hispanics, risk taking behavior among them was rated the highest in the national study (1998). In the millennium year, Sean asserted that there was declining trend of the teen’s engagement in the risk-taking behavior for the previous past decade of 1990s; however, there was inverse trend among the Hispanics. Debra’s report (2003) indicated that the adolescent overall attitude on sexual behavior was on transition to the positive side. This was encouraging as it showed that the teenagers’ decrease on risk taking behavior involving sexual activity. Depending on their information, they found that, a good proportion of teenagers engage in immoral behavior annually, which consequently makes them to be at risk of pregnancy and infections of sexually transmitted diseases. Approximately, one fifth of adolescents of the age brackets of 15-19 are reported to bear unwanted or unplanned pregnancies.

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Generally, the birth rate for young Hispanics has remained to be the highest at 94 per every a thousand teen aged youths, while this is at 35 and 85 for whites and blacks respectively. This is in correlation with the little usage of contraceptives. (Christle et al, 2007)A numbers of studies have shown that illicit drug use, alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking are high rated among the adolescent Hispanics. Some reports indicate that heavy drinking and drug abuse is prevalent among the Hispanics whose proportion is much comparable to that of the whites, but this proportion is incomparable to the blacks.  A national survey which was conducted in 1997 established that Mexican American and the whites would get engaged into risk acts such drug abuse, excessive drunkenness and addiction to cigarette smoking more than the blacks and Asian-Americans (Kolbe and Collins, 1999)Language fluency is cited as a problem among the Hispanic community.

As result of language deficiency among the Hispanics, most of the community members have lagged behind technology and information. Due to heavy reliance on the rudimentary Spanish language, doctors and nurse cites this as an obstacle to the community services delivery. In the struggle to mitigate the healthy service delivery to the community, there are programs which have been established so that interpreters are provided in healthy care institutions, (Sharon Boles, 1994). Despite the endeavor to have effective communication among the healthy providers and the patients from Hispanics, complains from numerous number of parents show that language barrier is denying better health care for the Hispanic children. High drop out from school is thus propelled by risk taking behavior which are linked to poor healthy and safety. However, peer influence plays a major role in risk behaviors.

Hanson  established in his report that adolescent pregnancy are mostly peer influenced as well as drug and substance abuse, and these coupled together diminishes the educational goals and achievements. (Thornton-Little, 1996)


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