School of Nursing
Master of Science
Many adolescents throughout the United States practice health risk behaviors that place them at risk for serious health problems. Despite the high incidence of reported adolescent health risk behaviors, no reports have been published to document the current risk to rural adolescents in individual counties of Kentucky. The purpose of this retrospective descriptive study was to identify the health risk behaviors of rural adolescents from two high schools in one county in Kentucky and to compare the two schools to determine if the health risk behaviors of these students were the same or different. The study was accomplished through analysis of data provided by Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky from Youth Risk Behavior Survey results of 151 ninth grade students from two high schools in one county in Kentucky. Students who had documented parent consent and student assent were eligible to complete the survey (N =173). The eligible students represented 24.8% of the ninth grade population from the two high schools combined. From these 173 students, 87.3% actually completed the surveys (N = 151). Students were grouped according to the school they attended. Among these were 96 students from school x (n = 96) and 55 students from school y (n = 55). Descriptive statistical methods were used to determine the frequencies of health risk behaviors of adolescents attending each of the two respective high schools in one county in Kentucky and for the two high schools combined to represent the county. T test for independent samples and Mann-Whitney U test were used to determine the difference in health risk behaviors between those students attending school x and those students attending school y. The results of this study indicated that differences in health risk behaviors for these two respective high schools were statistically significant (p <05) for some variables (rarely used a safety belt, carried a weapon during the 30 days preceding the survey, ever had sexual intercourse, not used a condom at last sexual intercourse, and eaten > 2 servings cookies, donuts, pies the day preceding the survey) and not statistically significant for other variables ( ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, drunk alcohol during the 30 days preceding the survey, used marijuana during the 30 days preceding the survey, attempted suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey, ever injected an illegal drug, smoked cigarettes during the 30 days preceding the survey, and eaten > 2 servings french fries or potato chips the day preceding the survey). The suggestion is that some health risk behaviors were different for students attending school x and those students attending school y.
Hann, Melinda, "Health Risk Behaviors in Rural Adolescents at Two High Schools Located in One Kentucky County" (1997). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 782.