Year Published: 2009

Author: Georgia Hall, Ph.D. and Andi Genser

Reprinted with permission from School-Age Notes, the most trusted publisher and provider of quality, innovative resources designed to elevate the skills of adults who create learning opportunities for children and youth.

Youth today face numerous, complicated challenges to achieving a healthy adulthood. Out-of-school-time programs, schools and community centers are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges as youth arrive on their doorsteps engaged in or at-risk for multiple-risk behaviors that threaten not only their immediate health but also their ability to achieve healthy adulthood. Engagement in risky behaviors is associated with academic underachievement, including higher high school dropout rates and a barrier to social well-being. Although many studies have focused on a single risk behavior facing youth populations, a number of recent studies have revealed that the majority of adolescents participating in one health risk behavior were found to be engaging in other risk behaviors.

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