• Adolescents;
  • Health behaviour;
  • Sense of coherence;
  • SOC


Aim:  To explore associations of Sense of coherence (SOC) with health behaviour and social competence among 15-year-old adolescents.

Methods:  Study population is a prospective cohort of a randomized cluster sample of families and their first-born children from south-western Finland in 1986–1987. In this study, cross-sectional data of the 15-year-olds were used. The present data were based on mailed, pretested questionnaires. The outcome variable, SOC, was based on the 13-item scale of Antonovsky’s Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ). The principal explanatory variables were health behaviour, including experienced oral health, and social competence. The statistical analysis was performed using linear regression modelling.

Results:  Strong SOC of adolescents associated significantly with lighter use of alcohol, being a non-smoker, better care of oral health and better social competence compared with the others.

Conclusion:  Sense of coherence is a useful tool for identifying adolescents in need of extra support and motivation for their health behaviour.