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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

versão impressa ISSN 1645-0086


VINAGRE, Maria da Graça  e  LIMA, Maria Luísa. Alcohol, cigarette and drug use of adolescents: experiences and risk judgments. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2006, vol.7, n.1, pp.73-81. ISSN 1645-0086.

The elevated prevalence of substance use in adolescents associated to the change of consumer patterns are an important threat for their health, well-being and quality of life. This study attempts to contribute to a better understanding of this problem, studying some of the variables involved in this process. The current work, developed in the context of a larger study, was aimed to analyse the role of adolescents’ consumption experiences in risk judgments, and examine the influence of gender and age jointly with their practices of substance use in risk judgments. Five hundred and eighty-five students (10th to 12th grades) of high schools in Lisbon completed a questionnaire that made it possible to characterize their experiences of consumption, as well as the risk estimate faced in some constructed situations. The results showed that adolescents without experience of consumption estimated their chance of experiencing a negative outcome resulting from that behaviour as more likely than adolescents with such experience. Moreover, the higher the level of their involvement in substance use the perception of risk was actually lower. Smoking was the exception and that seemed to be, for the majority, the most health threatening substance. In spite of this, many of them will continue or would smoke. Generally, there are the girls, the younger adolescents and those that have less experience that showed a higher perception of risk. These results have emphasized some implications in developing prevention programmes and risk education linked to adolescents’ substance use.

Palavras-chave : Adolescents; Experiences; Risk judgment; Substance use.

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