Clustering of health-related behaviours and its relationship with individual and contextual factors in Portuguese adolescents: results from a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Background: Health behaviours are shaped early in life and tend to occur in complex specific patterns. We aimed to characterise these patterns among Portuguese adolescents and their association with individual and contextual factors. Methods: This study was based in the Portuguese 2009/10 survey of Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Study, comprising 4036 adolescents. Individuals were grouped using two-step cluster analysis based on 12 behaviours regarding diet, physical activity, screen use and substance use. The association between clusters and individual and contextual factors was analysed using multinomial regression. Results: The median age was 13,6, and 54% were female. Overweight and obesity were highly prevalent (25%). We identified four behavioural clusters: "Active screen users", "Substance users", "Healthy" and "Inactive low fruit and vegetable eaters". Sociodemographics varied across clusters. The "Substance users" and "Active screen users" clusters were associated with poor family communication, academic performance and school attachment and violent behaviours, and the "Inactive low fruit and vegetable eaters" were associated with lower socioeconomic status. Conclusion: The understanding of these health-compromising patterns and their social determinants is of use to Public Health, allowing tailored health-promoting interventions. Further research is needed to understand how cluster membership evolves and its influence on nutritional status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247
JournalBmc Pediatrics
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Cluster patterns
  • HBSC
  • Health-related behaviours
  • Public health
  • Social determinants

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