Association of multiple behavioral risk factors with adolescent willingness to engage in eHealth promotion.

Tercyak, K.P., Abraham, A.A., Graham, A.L., Wilson, L.D., & Walker, L.R. (2009). Association of multiple behavioral risk factors with adolescent willingness to engage in eHealth promotion. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34(5), 457-469.

Objective:This study examines adolescents’ willingness to use the internet and other forms of technology for health promotion purposes (i.e., ‘‘eHealth promotion’’ willingness) and determines if a relationship exists between adolescents’ behavioral risks and their eHealth promotion willingness. 

Methods:A total of 332 adolescents provided data at a routine medical check-up, including assessments of technology access, eHealth promotion willingness, and multiple behavioral risk factors for child- and adult-onset disease (body mass index, physical activity, smoking, sun protection, depression). 

Results:The level of access to technology among the sample was high, with moderate willingness to engage in eHealth promotion. After adjusting for adolescents’ access to technology, the presence of multiple behavioral risk factors was positively associated with willingness to use technology for health promotion purposes (b = .12, p = .03). 

Conclusions:Adolescents with both single and multiple behavioral risk factors are in need of health promotion to prevent the onset of disease later in life. eHealth appears to be an acceptable and promising intervention approach with this population. 

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