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Health and risk taking behaviors of freshmen in college

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2006;49(10):1042-1049.
Published online October 15, 2006.
Health and risk taking behaviors of freshmen in college
Hong Ki Ko, Jae Joon Han, Yoon Lee, Young Yoo, Kee Hyoung Lee, Ji Tae Choung, Sang Hee Park
Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
대학교 신입생들의 건강위험행태
고홍기, 한재준, 이윤, 유영, 이기형, 정지태, 박상희
고려대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Sang Hee Park, Email: shpark@ns.kumc.or.kr
Abstract
Purpose
: This study was conducted to survey the preliminary data on risk behaviors and to identify the factors that prevent risk-behaviors in late adolescence.
Methods
: Freshmen(n=1,297) beginning the first semester in Korea University, Seoul, Korea completed self-administered risk behavior questionnaires, comprising 5 domains : demographics, smoking, drinking, drug abuse and sexual behavior.
Results
: The rate of smoking experience was higher in people having friends who smoke and the predictors of transition to current smoking were male gender, urban residence, friends' smoking, and nicotine dependence. The rate of high risk drinking was higher among students who are male and who had experience of heavy episodic drinking. The study group showed a low prevalence of narcotic users, but two-thirds of students could get medicine easily without prescriptions. The prevalence of sexual experience was 6.5 percent, and the sexual education was not a predictor of contraceptive behavior. The prevalence of homosexuality was 1.6 percent, and the rate of mostly heterosexuality was higher in female students.
Conclusion
: The main targets of youth health education should be campaigns aimed at atcessation of reinforcing risk behaviors and the development of a surveillance system for the prevention of chronic disease. These results can be used to find risk factors of health-risk behaviors among late adolescents.
Key Words: Risk taking behaviors , Adolescent , Smoking , Alcohol drinking , Drug abuse , Sexual behavior


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