Reaching high-risk adolescents in a school setting: Is it possible?
Soole, David W., Chapman, Rebekah L., Sheehan, Mary C., Siskind, Victor, & Buckley, Lisa (2007) Reaching high-risk adolescents in a school setting: Is it possible? In Australasian College of Road Safety Conference on Infants, Children and Young People and Road Safety, 2-3 August, Sydney, NSW, Australia. (In Press)
The social cost of delinquency, drug use and injury among adolescents is extensive and highlights the need for interventions aimed at preventing such behaviour among children and adolescents. The potential benefits associated with saving one high-risk youth have been estimated to be a large as $2.7 million (Cohen, 1998). High-risk adolescents engage in a number of risky traffic-related behaviours such as underage driving and motorcyle riding on public roads, driving or motorcycle riding after drinking, and bicycle riding after drinking or without a helmet. This paper examines whether a school-based injury prevention program implemented in several South East Queensland high schools and delivered to Grade 9 students, successfully reached adolescents classified as high-risk. Results suggest that of 391 students in intervention schools who provided baseline or follow-up data 24.9% (n = 88) were classified as high-risk adolescents and a further 22.9% (n = 81) as medium-high-risk. Of these youth, 64.8% of high-risk and 75.3% of medium-high-risk adolescents received the program and were retained to one-month follow-up. Preliminary results provide evidence that high-risk adolescent youth can be effectively engaged as participants in an injury prevention program implemented in high-schools.
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