Health Risk Behaviors by Length of Time in the United States among High School Students in Five Sites
Published Date:Dec 24 2014
Source:J Immigr Minor Health. .
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4573364
One in five public school students are from immigrant-headed households.
We used Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data from one state and four large urban school districts to examine whether length of time living in the US was associated with health risk behaviors. Logistic regression models, using weighted data, controlled for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade.
Compared to US natives, not having always lived in the US was correlated with lower risk for some behaviors (e.g., current marijuana use and alcohol use) among high school students, but higher risk for other behaviors (e.g., attempted suicide, physical activity). These findings were not consistent across the study sites.
Interventions that specifically target recently-arrived school-aged youth to prevent behaviors that put health and safety at risk, may result in the best outcomes for immigrant youth. Care should be taken to understand the specific health risks present in different immigrant communities.
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