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South African Medical Journal

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Risk-taking behaviour of Cape Peninsula high-school students. Part I. Introduction and methods

A.J. Flisher, C.F. Ziervogel, D.O. Chalton, B.A. Robertson

Abstract


In this study, risk-taking behaviour of Cape Peninsula high-school students was investigated. Suicidal behaviour, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, road-related behaviour, violent behaviour and sexual behaviour were included. This article, the first in a series, describes the rationale and methodology of the project. Sixteen schools were selected so as to yield a representative sample of schools in the three major education departments in the Cape Peninsula (administered by the Department of Education and Training and the Houses of Assembly and Representatives). The final sample size was 7 340 school students. A self-administered questionnaire was completed in a normal school period. Estimates for each education department were weighted to produce an overall estimate. The results are presented by standard and home language(s), and gender. Limitations of the study include its cross-sectional nature; the possibility of under- and over-reporting; the exclusion of important groups of adolescents such as absentees and dropouts, and those attending specialised and private schools; and not being able to present the results separately for each education department.




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