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Keywords:

  • Adolescence;
  • co-occurring health risk factors

Problem

Effective prevention requires understanding vulnerable populations, early signs of health risks, and the impact of social contexts. We tested a model of co-occurring mental health risks among at-risk youth experiencing school difficulties.

Methods

We analyzed data from a random sample of 336 at-risk youth, grades 9–12, who completed a comprehensive risk/protective factors assessment.

Findings

Simultaneously controlling for correlations among health risks, we observed systematic associations among risk factors, with generally consistent patterns for males and females.

Conclusions

The findings underscore the importance of developing interventions that incorporate contextual influences and of identifying common adaptable strategies for attenuating co-occurring health risks for at-risk youth.