Lifestyle values of adolescents: results from Minnesota Heart Health Youth Program

Adolescence. Fall 1993;28(111):637-47.


As a part of the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP), a seven-year cohort study of adolescents in two different communities was conducted. A school-based intervention was implemented in one of the communities which addressed aspects of cardiovascular health promotion and risk-factor prevention. This paper focuses on changes in the adolescents' values and the importance of their behaviors and lifestyle patterns over the study period. Physical appearance was found to be the most valued characteristic of adolescents in both communities, the only value which grew in importance over time. The least valued behavior was the amount of TV they were allowed to watch. Students who participated in the intervention community tended to retain their positive values about physical exercise, whereas the reference community demonstrated gradual reductions. Girls in the intervention community tended to value the kinds of food they eat to a greater extent than did girls in the reference group. The study data might contribute to the search for more meaningful incentives in future preventive programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Primary Prevention
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • School Health Services
  • Social Values*