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Adolescent risk-taking behaviour in India: The influence of socio-economic characteristics and living arrangement
Authors: Sutapa Agrawal, and Praween Agrawal
Source: Journal of Community Nutrition & Health, 1:26-31.
Topic(s): Alcohol consumption
Tobacco use
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2013
Abstract: Background: There is an increasing trend of risk-taking behaviour among adolescents in India but little empirical evidence exists on its determinants. We examined the effect of socio economic characteristics and living arrangement on adolescent’s risk-taking behaviour in India. Methods: Cross sectional population based data of 1,11,077 adolescents aged 10-19 years included in India’s second National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2,1998-99) were analysed. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used for analysis. Risktaking behaviour was assessed in terms of tobacco chewing, tobacco smoking, and alcohol drinking and a combination of these three as ‘any risk behaviour’. Results: Prevalence of chewing, smoking and drinking among adolescents was 3.3%, 1.2% and 0.9% respectively. Adolescents who were dropped out from school (OR:6.6;95%CI:6.08-7.20) or had never been to school (OR:7.32;95%CI:6.65-8.06), adolescent living in a female headed household (OR:1.19;95%CI:1.07-1.33), or in household where more than three related adults stays (OR:1.52;95%CI:1.37-1.68) were more likely to indulge in any risk-taking behavior than their counterparts. However, female adolescents, adolescents belonging to scheduled tribe, other backward class and other category (ORs ranges from 0.79 to 0.89) and adolescents belonging to household with a medium or higher standard of living (ORs ranges from 0.45 to 0.87) were less likely to indulge in any risk-taking behavior. Conclusion: The findings of this study calls for a comprehensive prevention and control programs for all adolescents in general and adolescent never been to school or dropped out from school in particular for addressing risk-taking behaviour in India.