Influencing antecedents of adolescent risk-taking behaviour in elementary school: results of a 4-year quasi-experimental controlled trial

Health Educ Res. 2010 Dec;25(6):1021-30. doi: 10.1093/her/cyq054. Epub 2010 Sep 23.


Effects of the life skills programme 'Eigenständig werden' (Becoming independent) on life skills and on identified antecedents of adolescent health risk behaviour, childhood internalizing and externalizing behaviour were tested in an elementary school setting. A quasi-experimental controlled trial with five repeated measures was conducted. Participants were 919 students from 50 elementary schools in Saxony, Germany. Outcomes were assessed by teachers' ratings. Growth-curve models revealed that the rate of decline in internalizing and externalizing behaviour was significantly higher in the intervention group-especially for students with high baseline levels of externalizing behaviour (P < 0.01). No general programme effects on the development of skills could be found (P = 0.22). The current study provides evidence that life skills programmes in elementary school may be an effective strategy in reducing antecedents of adolescent risk-taking behaviour.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Schools*