Does better health‐related knowledge predict favorable health behavior in adolescents?

Gabriella Nagy‐pénzes, Ferenc Vincze, János Sándor, Éva Bíró

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The importance of puberty on later health status and behavior is indisputable, which also means that it is worth making intervention efforts during this period of life. However, whether better health‐related knowledge is correlated with favorable health behavior in adolescents is an important, still unanswered question. Our objective was to examine this relationship. The participants were ninth‐grade secondary school students. Data were collected using anonymous, self‐administered questionnaires. The knowledge‐related questions were compiled by the authors, while the questions concerning eating habits, physical activity, demographic and socioeconomic data were taken from the Health Behavior in School‐Aged Children survey. The relationship between knowledge and behavior was investigated with structural equation modeling adjusted for gender, age, and socioeconomic status. The results demonstrated a good fit to the data, but better knowledge was not related to behavior in our sample. This finding suggests that adolescents’ health behavior is highly influenced by the living context; therefore, appropriate knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to improve adolescents’ behavior. Hence, comprehensive health promotion programs could provide solutions for encouraging healthy behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1680
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Health behavior
  • Health‐related knowledge
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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