Changes in Risk Behavior Profiles from Adolescence to Young Adulthood

Punita Sunder, University of Texas Medical Branch
Laura Rudkin, University of Texas Medical Branch

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examined interrelatedness among health risk behaviors and change in risk profiles in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. We used latent class analysis to divide respondents into subgroups based on multiple risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, binge drinking). We identified four risk profiles (low risk, experimental drug use, drinker, high risk) at Waves 1 and 2 and three profiles (low risk, drinker, high risk) at Wave 3. We used multinomial logistic regression to describe correlates of risk profile membership and change in membership. Male, non-Hispanic white and older respondents and those living in step-parent or single-parent homes generally were more likely to be in higher risk profiles during adolescence. In young adulthood, higher risk was associated with being male, white, and coming from a higher SES family. Age and family structure effects weakened over time, but SES effects strengthened.

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Presented in Poster Session 1