Risk-Taking Behaviors in Iranian Children and Adolescents: A Latent Class Analysis Approach: Caspian IV Study

Abbas Abbasi-Ghahramanloo, Ramin Heshmat, Saeid Safiri, Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh, Gelayol Ardalan, Armita Mahdavi-Gorabi, Hamid Asayesh, Mostafa Qorbani, Roya Kelishadi


Background: Risk taking behaviors have several negative consequences. This study aimed to identify the subgroups of students based on risk-taking behaviors and to assess the role of demographic characteristics, depression, anxiety, socioeconomic status (SES), physical inactivity and screen time on membership of specific subgroup.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: This nationwide survey was conducted in 2011-2012 among 14880 students, aged 6-18 yr, selected by multistage, cluster-sampling method from 30 provinces of Iran. The students completed two sets of anonymous and validated questionnaires, obtained from the World Health Organization-Global School Health Survey questionnaires. Latent class analysis was performed to achieve the study objectives.

Results: Overall, 13486 children and adolescents participated were enrolled (response rate 90.6%). They consisted of 50.8% boys, with a mean age of 12.47 ±3.36 year. The prevalence of physical fight, bullying, victimization, active smoking, passive hookah and passive cigarette smoking was 39.7%, 17.4%, 27.2%, 5.9%, 21.1 and 33.8%, respectively. Five latent classes were identified: (a) low risk (46.7%), (b) passive smoker (25.2%), (c violence and aggression taker with passive smoking (13.5%), (d) violence and aggression taker without passive smoking (10.8%) and (e) high risk (3.8%). Higher age (OR=1.41), being male (OR=5.21), depression (OR=4.58), anxiety (OR=3.38) and screen time (OR=3.11) were associated with high-risk class.

Conclusion: The prevalence of some risk-taking behaviors among Iranian students is high. Our findings emphasize the importance of planning and evaluating preventive interventions by considering different high-risk behaviors simultaneously.



Risk behaviors; Children and adolescents; Students; Iran

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