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  • Author or Editor: Leon M Straker x
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Background:

Risk-taking behaviours are a major contributor to youth morbidity and mortality. Vulnerability to these negative outcomes is constructed from individual behaviour including risk-taking, and from social context, ecological determinants, early life experience, developmental capacity and mental health, contributing to a state of higher risk. However, although risk-taking is part of normal adolescent development, there is no systematic way to distinguish young people with a high probability of serious adverse outcomes, hindering the capacity to screen and intervene. This study aims to explore the association between risk behaviours/states in adolescence and negative health, social and economic outcomes through young adulthood.

Methods:

The Raine Study is a prospective cohort study which recruited pregnant women in 1989–91, in Perth, Western Australia. The offspring cohort (N = 2,868) was followed up at regular intervals from 1 to 27 years of age. These data will be linked to State government health and welfare administrative data.

We will empirically examine relationships across multiple domains of risk (for example, substance use, sexual behaviour, driving) with health and social outcomes (for instance, road-crash injury, educational underachievement). Microsimulation models will measure the impact of risk-taking on educational attainment and labour force outcomes.

Discussion:

Comprehensive preventive child health programmes and policy prioritise a healthy start to life. This is the first linkage study focusing on adolescence to adopt a multi-domain approach, and to integrate health economic modelling. This approach captures a more complete picture of health and social impacts of risk behaviour/​states in adolescence and young adulthood.

Open access