The relationship between health education and health compromising behaviour among South African adolescents attending an institution of tertiary education.
Ussher, Ingrid Linnea.
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In South Africa statistics of mortality and morbidity, pertaining to the consequences of risk taking behaviour among the country's youth, remain unacceptably high. Many of these behaviours have long as well as short term consequences, thereby, giving rise to many illnesses, lifestyle diseases, and other problems. The risk-taking activities confining this study include those that are known to concur and co-vary namely: unprotected, indiscriminate sex; nicotine use; alcohol and other drug/substance abuse; and unsafe travelling practices. The problem is that it is unknown whether South African adolescents are receiving health education that reduces risk-taking tendencies, and if they are, whether they are benefiting from the exposure. Little is known about the relationship between health-education and health-compromising behaviour in South Africa; nor the influence of other variables on this relationship. The purpose of the study was to describe and explore this relationship, among South African adolescents, attending an institution of tertiary education in the province of KwaZulu Natal. All aspects of the research were underpinned by Rosenstock's Health Belief Model (1974). The research was approached from a quantitative perspective using a descriptive/exploratory design. A sample of 155 students from all the main ethnic groups, of both sexes, aged between 17 and 24 years, who were raised and educated in South Africa, was taken from the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal. The sampling technique used was non-random quota sampling in order to meet the above mentioned inclusion criteria. The