Associations amongst Mental Health Indicators and Adolescent Risk Behaviors: The 2003 North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Gscheidle, Tonya
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This investigation examined the relationship between self-reported mental health difficulties and risk behaviors in adolescents. The first question asked whether or not gender, race, or disability status predicted adolescent responses to selected mental health indicators from the 2003 North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The second question examined whether or not the experience of mental health indicators predicted engagement in the selected risk behavior indicators. Finally, the third question examined interactions between the mental health indicators and gender, race, and ethnicity to determine whether those interactions would predict experience of the risk behavior indicators. Participants were 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade high school students (N=2553) from randomly selected high schools in North Carolina. While all of the models analyzed showed that the data itself demonstrated a good fit statistically, none of the models using mental health or risk behavior indicators as an outcome were successful for predicting group membership. Although significant contributions to the outcome variables were found for all models, the variance explained by the predictor variables was very small, ranging from 1% to 13%. Among the most consistent predictors were gender, disability status, and suicidal ideation. These results support the need for further research on the relationship between mental health and risk behaviors as the basis for defining prevention and intervention programs.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Gallagher, James
  • Song, Samuel Young
  • McMillen, Janey
  • McMillen, Bradley
  • Simeonsson, Rune
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2007

This work has no parents.