Longitudinal effects of health-harming and health-protective behaviors within adolescent romantic dyads

Matthew Aalsma, Melissa Y. Carpentier, Faouzi Azzouz, J. Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most models exploring adolescent health behavior have focused on individual influences to understand behavior change. The goal of the current study was to assess the role of adolescent romantic partners on the expression of health behavior. Our sample utilized two waves of data from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which included 80 romantic dyads (160 individuals). A longitudinal multilevel analysis was conducted. We assessed individual and romantic partner health-harming behaviors (i.e., delinquency, alcohol use, smoking, and marijuana use), health-protective behaviors (i.e., physical activity, physical inactivity, sleep patterns, seatbelt use, and contraception motivations), as well as the role of gender and age. Participants average age was 16 years at baseline. We found evidence for partner similarity and partner influence with the majority of health-harming behaviors. Specifically, partner influence was evident for smoking and alcohol use with partner influence approaching significance for marijuana use. We found limited evidence for partner similarity and partner influence for health-protective behaviors. The importance of assessing romantic dyads was evident in these data. Interventions focusing on health-harming behavior for adolescent populations are important public health goals. It is recommended that future intervention efforts with adolescent health-harming behaviors should target not only peers, but also consider the role of romantic partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1451
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume74
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Fingerprint

Adolescent Behavior
health behavior
dyad
adolescent
Health
health
Health Behavior
smoking
alcohol
National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
Marijuana Smoking
Alcohols
Multilevel Analysis
multi-level analysis
Cannabis
contraception
delinquency
sleep
Contraception
evidence

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Health behavior
  • Romantic couples
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Longitudinal effects of health-harming and health-protective behaviors within adolescent romantic dyads. / Aalsma, Matthew; Carpentier, Melissa Y.; Azzouz, Faouzi; Fortenberry, J.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 74, No. 9, 05.2012, p. 1444-1451.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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