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Risk Behaviours in Adolescence: Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Behaviours in Adolescence: Risk and Protective Factors
Valentina C. Chitas
Programa de Doutoramento em Comportamento Desviante / Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciencias da Educacao / Universidade do Porto
vchitas@netcabo.pt

Abstract
This presentation put forward the preliminary results of a study undertaken in the context of a PhD dissertation on risk and protective factors linked to deviant behaviour in adolescence. The study employs a sample of 1042 adolescents (mean age 16 years), drawing from elementary and high schools of Lisbon’s suburban area. Measures of deviant behaviour include drug use (alcohol, tobacco and marijuana) and antisocial behaviour (physical and verbal violence, crimes against propriety and indiscipline). Independent measures assess individual, interpersonal and contextual factors: expectations about drug use, self control, motivation and academic achievement, parenting, peersf relations, social control and social support from neighbourhood.

A summary of epidemiological local data is presented and the risk factors for each one of the categories of deviant behaviour are examined through a regression analysis. Statistically significant associations were found for most of the factors considered. Peer relations and expectations about drug, and sensation seeking appear to be the strongest predictors for drug use and antisocial behaviour. Parental monitoring and positive bounding to school are negatively related to both drug use and antisocial behaviour.

Key Words: Drug use, antisocial behaviour, risk factors, protective factors


Author

Valentina C. Chitas

Valentina C. Chitas
Programa de Doutoramento em Comportamento Desviante / Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciencias da Educacao / Universidade do Porto
vchitas@netcabo.pt


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Keywords: Drug use, antisocial behaviour, risk factors, protective factors