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Contextual and relational determinants of health risk behaviors in adolescents from schools in São Paulo, Brazil

Grant number: 21/02334-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Preventive Medicine
Principal Investigator:Maria Fernanda Tourinho Peres
Grantee:Cézar Donizetti Luquine Júnior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):24/08208-4 - School experience and adolescent risk behaviors: a cross-cultural study in Brazil, Switzerland and Uruguay, BE.EP.DD


Adolescence is a human development stage characterized by physiological and socioemotional transitions that impact health outcomes throughout life. Behaviors adopted by individuals during this period are also subject to significant changes that may lead to health risks. Besides individual features, family and peer relationships play a role in adolescents' Health Risk Behaviors (HRB). Contextual factors related to the place of residence and study can also reflect on HRB. Hence, school environments are a cornerstone to understanding HRB in adolescence. Objective: we aim to investigate the association between HRB, contextual, and relational characteristics of 9th-grade adolescents from schools in São Paulo, Brazil. Methods: cross-sectional design study using survey data collected in 2017 by the São Paulo Project on Social Development of Children (SP-PROSO). The sample comprises 2,680 students from 119 public and private schools in the city of São Paulo. Our focus will be on the association of HRB with individual features, context (school disorder and degradation), and adolescents' relationships (with family and peers). Multilevel modeling and structural equation modeling will be performed to determine the relevant associations. Results: our hypothesis is that HRB are more frequent in adolescents in school environments with higher disorder and degradation, with negative parenting styles, and who have delinquent peers. On the contrary, positive parenting styles and receiving social support are associated with lower levels of HRB. We count on this project results to outline a comprehensive framework of health behavior determinants that include contextual and relational data from Brazilian adolescents. Therefore, it will provide new evidence to support policy-making that can adequately face complex problems such as the establishment of HRB during adolescence. (AU)

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