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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

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High-risk behaviors and demographic features: a cross-sectional study among Iranian adolescents

Leila Ghahremani / Mahin Nazari
  • Corresponding author
  • Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
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/ Maryam Changizi / Mohamad Hossein Kaveh
  • Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2019-09-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0212


Background and objectives

High-risk behaviors are considered to be a serious threat among adolescents. This study aimed to investigate the frequency of unhealthy and high-risk behaviors and their relationship with demographic features in adolescents living in Shiraz, Iran.

Materials and methods

The present descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted on 483 students in the 10th grade of high school. The data were collected using a demographic information form and a modified adolescents high-risk behaviors questionnaire. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed using the test-retest method. Afterwards, the data were entered into the SPSS statistical software (IBM), version 22 and were analyzed using the chi-square (χ2) test, logistic regression analysis and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).


High-risk health behaviors were significantly correlated to adolescents’ gender, parents’ occupations and education levels, length of residency in Shiraz and talking about important things with one’s parents (p < 0.03). Gender predicted 52% of variance of bullying behaviors at school [Exp(B) = 0.502, p < 0.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.261–0.996]. In fact, most high-risk behaviors were associated with gender (p < 0.001). Indeed, bullying was mostly reported in boys, while being hopeless or sad, suicide attempts and appropriate weight loss behaviors were mostly reported among girls. Additionally, the frequency of smoking cigarettes and using hookahs was higher among girls compared to boys (23.1% for smoking cigarettes and 39.6% for using hookahs). However, no significant correlation was observed between gender and smoking cigarettes and using hookahs (p > 0.704 for smoking cigarettes and p > 0.118 for using hookahs). The most prevalent high-risk behaviors were physical fighting (51.1%), being sad or hopeless (35.2%), alcohol abuse (26.7%), overweight (14.7%) and obesity (8.1%) in both genders. Based on the results, only 26.5% of the adolescents had sufficient physical activity. Besides, the adolescents’ weight scores were significantly correlated to eating green salads (p < 0.01), which was seen more among overweight adolescents.


The findings indicated that adolescents’ gender and their parents’ roles should be taken into consideration in designing health promotion programs, such as mental health and its related skills. This would eventually result in the prevention and reduction of unhealthy habits.

Keywords: adolescents; gender; high-risk behavior


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About the article

Received: 2018-09-15

Accepted: 2018-11-19

Published Online: 2019-09-18

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180212, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0212.

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