The association between presence of school health personnel and youth participation in risky behaviors

Monique Gill, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between the presence of school health personnel and youth participation in risky behaviors in a sample of fifth-grade students from three major cities in the United States. Students were surveyed on various health-risk behaviors and their self-reported general health status. Schools were surveyed about the availability of school health personnel, including nurses, counselors, and physicians. Non-parametric chi-square values were calculated to examine the association between student participation in health-risk behaviors and the presence of a school nurse, school counselor, or school physician. The Mantel-Haenszel test was performed to adjust for the presence of counselors when testing the nurse variable, and vice-versa.^ This study found a significant relationship between having a school nurse and self-reported general health status (p = .003). In addition, students in schools with counselors differed significantly in their self-reported general health status than those students in schools without counselors (p < .001). There was a significant association between students that had ever kissed a boy or girl on the mouth and presence of a school nurse (p = .017). A significant relationship was found between having a school nurse and drinking an appropriate number of servings of milk each day (p = .030). Finally, students with and without school nurses were significantly different in whether or not they completed at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day (p = .011).^ The results of this study point to a need for additional research to fully understand the relationship between school health personnel and reducing risky behaviors among youth. By preventing these behaviors, serious long-term outcomes and harmful effects, such as chronic disease, teenage pregnancy, and poor academic performance may be avoided.^

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Elementary|Health Sciences, Nursing|Health Sciences, Public Health|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Gill, Monique, "The association between presence of school health personnel and youth participation in risky behaviors" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1569999.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI1569999

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