Risk to health during adolescence is more likely due to behaviour than disease. Problems arise because behaviour is distally removed from its consequences and negative reinforcement is not contiguous with it. The paper reviews recent research and the problems faced by health workers in devising educational programmes when behaviour, in the cultural value system of adolescents, is present-oriented and outcomes are future-oriented. The challenge to the behavioural scientist is to develop health education programmes which have personal meaning to adolescents. Working against this aim are such processes as adolescent taboos, locus of control, the personal fable, risk behaviours and social-cognitive immaturity. Suggestions are made for research scientists to devise and evaluate programmes to change the operational liberalism of adolescent behaviour by installing more ideologically conservative attitudes in the hope that behavioural change will follow.
|Journal||Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 1|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|
- adolescent health