Risks, Assets, and Negative Health Behaviors Among Arkansas' Hispanic Adolescents

Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, Wendie Choudary, Anne Kearney, Bettina F. Piko

Research output: Article


This study examined the relationship between risk, assets, and negative health behaviors among a large sample of Hispanic adolescents. Data were collected from over 1,000 Hispanic youth in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 attending school in a moderate size school district in Northwest Arkansas. Logistic regression models examined the variation in the odds of youth engaging in negative health behaviors (antisocial or drug use). Within the context of a risk-assets framework, depressive symptomatology, negative peer networks, and community disorganization were related to higher odds of engaging in negative behavior. Knowing the difference between right and wrong-having some sense of a moral order-and having parents who exerted some control (curfew, etc.) were important assets lowering the odds of engaging in negative behavior. Risks and assets help to explain negative health behaviors among Hispanic youth not unlike their non-Hispanic counterparts. The findings in this article reemphasize the need for continued focus on special populations and the framework for understanding risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-446
Number of pages19
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - aug. 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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