Health Behavior in the Context of Perceived Social Support in Late Adolescence

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Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Psychology
Keywords percieved social support; healt behavior; adolescence
Description The presented study is a part of a grant research project: "Health-enhancing and health-threatening behavior: determinants, models and consequences" (n° 13-19808S). It follows up on the results of foreign research on possible connections between health behavior and the perceived level of social support. The primary aim was to identify the key components of health behavior in the developmental stage of late adolescence, map their relation to perceived social support and to explore if there are also some possible significant gender differences in health behavior or in perceived social support of adolescents which would be projected into their health behavior. The quantitative research design based on one-time questionnaire survey was used to carry out the research. Health behavior was assessed by the Health behavior scale, and the level of social support was assessed by the Close relationships and social support scale. The research file contained 825 adolescents aged 15-19 years (the average age was 16.89 years and the median was 17 years); there was a slight predominance of women (457;55.4%) over men (368;44.6%). By carrying out factor analysis of Health behavior scale, 4 factors explaining the 35.2% of the overall spread were extracted and they were named as: 1. Healthy eating; 2. Health protection; 3. Positive thinking; and 4. Illness prevention. In most of these factors, statistically significant gender differences were found, which are reflected in the reported health behavior. The results have demonstrated that two of the identified components of health behavior: Positive thinking and Illness prevention are in a positive manner statistically significantly related to the level of perceived social support. Also differences in perceived social support in the given developmental stage have been mapped, and the highest level of social support has been found in 18-year-old respondents.
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