eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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4/2019
vol. 32
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Intense risk behaviours among students attending youth correctional centres

Krzysztof Ostaszewski
1
,
Krzysztof Jan Bobrowski
1
,
Jakub Greń
1
,
Agnieszka Pisarska
1

1.
Public Health Department, Youth Prevention Unit “Pro-M”, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2019; 32 (4): 291-316
Online publish date: 2020/04/29
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Introduction
Research on adolescent risk behaviours is conducted in two approaches: normative-developmental and clinical-criminological. In the first approach, undesirable adolescent behaviour is often treated as a manifestation of transient or adolescent-limited problems. In the second approach, the undesirable behaviour is considered as manifestations of conduct problems and antisocial behaviours. The purpose of this study that combines the above approaches was to document the characteristics of the prevalence of intense risk behaviours in the group of students from youth sociotherapy centres (MOS) and youth correctional centres (MOW) with consideration of differences due to gender and type of the centre.

Material and methods
Participants were randomly selected students of youth sociotherapy/correctional centres from all around the country (n = 1730). Data was collected by self-administered questionnaire during school lessons. The study included eight types of youth risky behaviours (alcohol use, smoking, drug use, aggressive behaviour, delinquent behaviours, risky sexual behaviours, gambling and cyberbullying). The χ2 test was used for the differences in the frequency of risky behaviours due to gender and type of the centre. In the analyses of syndrome of risky behaviours, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used.

Results
The use of psychoactive substances is one of the leading types of risky behaviours among students of youth correctional centres. In addition to psychoactive substances, the “problem” profile of the students from youth correctional centres includes many antisocial behaviours. This co-occurrence of intense problems largely determines the “clinical” nature of the studied group.

Discussion
Eighty percent of students exhibit a more or less “saturated” risk behaviour syndrome. However, in case of about 20% of students, there were no or single intense risk behaviours. This situation is a serious challenge for the psychological and pedagogical staff of youth correctional centres.

Conclusions
Youth at risk of social maladjustment demonstrates the entire spectrum of risky behaviours from single risky behaviours to a very complex syndrome of these behaviours. In order to respond to the needs of such a diverse group, one should look for greater specialisation within the system of sociotherapy/correctional centres for youth at risk.

keywords:

Risky behaviours, Syndrome of risky behaviours, Prevalence, Socially maladjusted youth, Youth correctional centres

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