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Journal of Public Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 20–28 | Cite as

Risk behaviour in adolescence: the relationship between developmental and health problems

  • Klaus Hurrelmann
  • Matthias RichterEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Current research is beginning to suggest that the descriptive knowledge base of adolescent risk behaviour is not conceptually based and is inadequate to sufficiently inform a comprehensive assessment of adolescent health and risk. The aim of this paper is to contribute towards the knowledge of adolescent risk behaviour. Building on a developmental perspective, links between health risk behaviour and the socialisation process in adolescence are discussed, and developmental functions and characteristics of risk behaviour are thereby investigated in light of a psychosocial stress model. An integrative model of adolescent problem handling is proposed that distinguishes three different forms of risk behaviour: externalisation, internalisation, and evasive risk behaviours. These are further elaborated on the basis of results from the latest World Health Organization Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. Finally, conclusions for future research and health-promoting strategies are given.

Keywords

Adolescence Developmental problems Gender Risk behaviour 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, School of Public HealthUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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