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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 August;58(4):347-55

language: Italian

Risk behaviours among young people. Evaluation and descriptive analysis

Roccella M., Turdo G., Chiarello G., Testa D., Bisconti G., Di Filippo T., Parisi L.

1 School of Infant Neuropsychiatry Department of Psychology University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
2 School of Infant Neuropsychiatry Infant Maternal Department University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


Aim. Risk behaviours - as they are defined by specialist literature for the damage these behaviours cause to young people’s health and/or life are getting more and more frequent among young people. They range from self-injuring behaviours to the consequences of a precocious, high-risk and/or promiscuous sexual activity, from abnormal eating behaviours to the deaths from fun.
Methods. The inquiry concerned a group of university students (100 males and 100 females), selected at random from the Faculties of Medicine and Surgery, Psychology, Economy and Jurisprudence of the University of Palermo, who were asked to answer a questionnaire composed of 91 questions and structured in 4 sections. The first section regards associate-identifying information; the second one inquires on the experiences and requirements concerning sexuality; the third section explores the state of health and the use of drugs and alcohol; the fourth section looks into the relations with the others.
Results. The analysis of our data revealed that young people have different high-risk behaviours (use of drugs and alcohol, non protected sexual intercourse, carelessness for one’s and one’s partner’s serological state); this is associated to poor information, as complained by the people interviewed, on the prevention of sexually transmissible diseases, use of drugs and alcohol.
Conclusions. The conclusion is drawn that the new modalities of the assumption of risk by oung people would correspond to the climate of vagueness, lack of limits, meanings and values which characterized the present society.

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