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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


SENA, Cláudia Alves de  and  COLARES, Viviane. Health risk behavior among young offenders. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.10, pp.2314-2322. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective of this study was to investigate health risk behavior among teenage offenders committed to a social-educational institution in a city in Greater Metropolitan Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil. The sample included 241 males 12-18 years of age. Data were collected with a brief self-completed questionnaire used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, translated and adapted for young Brazilians. 79.7% of subjects reported having carried a gun and 52.7% had been in fights involving physical aggression in the previous 12 months. Most of the young offenders smoked cigarettes (87.6%) and consumed alcohol (64.7%). The majority reported having sniffed inhalants (68.9%), and 81.3% had smoked marijuana. The vast majority (95.4%) reported being sexually initiated, most having had sex with more than one partner. Young offenders showed high rates of various health risk behaviors.

Keywords : Health Behavior; Adolescent; Social Behavior.

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