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Acculturation, Adolescence, Adolescent health, Risk taking



  1. Christopherson, Toni Michelle EdD, RN
  2. Jordan-Marsh, Maryalice PhD, RN, FAAN


Adolescents constitute the only segment of the population in the United States that has not seen a decrease in its mortality and morbidity over the last 4 decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified six risk-taking behaviors that place adolescents at risk: unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. This list is of particular concern for the increasingly diverse racial and ethnic youth of America who have been disproportionately affected by both morbidity and mortality from risk behaviors. To effectively care for this segment of the population, healthcare professionals need to become culturally competent. In so doing, it is also important to recognize traditional cultural values, and to acknowledge personal attributes of adolescents to promote healthy lifestyle choices and deter risk-taking behaviors.