Involvement in multiple problem behaviors of young urban adolescents
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This paper examines four areas of “problem behavior” (i.e., delinquency, high-risk sexual behavior, school failure, and substance abuse) in a sample of urban sixth and seventh grade students. We report descriptive statistics regarding rates of problem behaviors in each of the four categories and examine their interrelationships. The results suggest that the prevalence of problem behaviors in this sample is substantial. Data show a high degree of co-occurrence among problem behaviors in different areas, although many individuals also exhibit more limited involvement. These results underscore the importance of studying younger adolescents in poor, urban communities who may have different patterns and rates of problem behavior involvement than older youth from other contexts. The data also suggest that efforts to prevent high-risk involvements for youth in poor, urban communities should be broad-ranging and be implemented prior to middle school.
Key WordsUrban adolescents high-risk behavior co-occurrence
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