Predictive Factors of Health-risk Behaviours Among Male Adolescents

Article Title: Predictive Factors of Health-risk Behaviours Among Male Adolescents

Author(s): Damanjit Sandhu

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Punjabi University, Patiala, India.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1, 01-19

Correspondence Address: Damanjit Sandhu at Department of Psychology, Punjabi University, Patiala, India. E-mail:


Adolescent health-risk behaviours are alarmingly increasing in the developing countries. To have a broader context based understanding in the Indian scenario, the study was designed to investigate the role of the developmental context in predicting health-risk behaviours in male adolescents. Psychosocial developmental tasks of adolescence (identity formation and emotional autonomy) and the psychosocial context (family and classroom environment) were studied in relation to health-risk behaviours in 300 male adolescents (age 15-17 years) from various schools of Punjab (India). Adolescent Exploratory and Risk Behaviour Rating Scale (Skaar, 2009), Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status-2 (Bennion & Adams, 1986), Emotional Autonomy Scale (Steinberg & Silverberg, 1986), Family Environment Scale (Moos & Moos, 1986), and Classroom Environment Scale (Moos & Trickett, 1974) were administered on participants. Using Step-wise Multiple Regression Analysis, the results revealed that identity achievement, teacher support, foreclosure, affiliation, family cohesion, and moratorium contributed negatively towards adolescent health-risk behaviours, while family conflict, identity diffusion, and emotional autonomy dimension of nondependency on parents contributed positively towards the criterion variable. Results also revealed that for adolescent health-risk behaviours, major variance was explained by the selected variables. The results emphasize the need to provide supportive and congenial environment to male adolescents and the importance of identity formation in predicting health-risk behaviours especially, in the collectivistic societies marked by authoritarianism and where adolescents’ identity development is not often encouraged.

Keywords. Adolescent health-risks, identity, emotional autonomy, family, classroom environment

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