Health Promotion and Unhealthy Behaviors among Adolescents in Turkey

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tulay Ortabag, PhD1
Serpil Ozdemir, MSc1
Bilal Bakir, MD2
Nuran Tosun, PhD1
1School of Nursing, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey
2Public Health, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to develop innovative primary health care strategies within the community to promote adolescent health and to prevent disease

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to advocate for legislation and policies that promote adolescent health; incorporate evidence-based practice to guide the care of adolescents

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the health-promotion behaviours and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours of the adolescents.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. The study population included a representative sample of 1.351 students who were attending both public and private secondary and high schools in Ankara. “Introductory Information Form”, “Health Related Risk Behaviours of the Adolescents Questionnaire”, “Adolescent Health Promotion Scale (AHPS)” were used for data collection.

Results:  The mean age of adolescent was 14.49 years (SD = 1.69) and 53 % of them were female. The Cronbach reliability analysis gave an a reliability coefficient of 0.92 for the total AHPS. When compared AHPS mean scores between groups based on sex, female adolescents had significantly higher scores than male adolescents (p=0.001).  The comparison of AHPS mean scores between age groups showed that adolescents in the group of 11 to 14  got significantly higher scores than adolescents in the age group of 15 to 19 (p=0.001). It was determined that 66.8% of adolescents (n=927) watched television 2 or less hour in a day and 85.9 of them (n=1160) used computer. Adolescents watching television two hours or less and adolescents using computer had significantly higher AHPS mean scores than adolescents watching television more than two hours and adolescents not using computer respectively (p<0.005).

Conclusion: This has indicated that older adolescents practiced unhealthier life styles than younger ones. It was also concluded that any health promotion activity should include the adolescents, their families and school personnel altogether.