Behavioral risk factors for injury among rural adolescents

Cheryl S. Alexander, Margaret E. Ensminger, Mark R. Somerfield, Young J. Kim, Karin E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This 3-year, longitudinal, prospective study examined behavioral risk factors for medically attended injuries among a cohort of 758 rural students from Maryland's Eastern Shore region who were 12-14 years of age in 1987. Students were surveyed annually in the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades with a self-administered questionnaire. Information was obtained on the number of injuries experienced, risk-taking behaviors, delinquency, alcohol and drug use, physical exercise and sports, parental supervision, and work experience. Information on the parents' education was obtained from a parental interview. Slightly more than half (53.5%) of the students reported having experienced one or more injuries in the eighth grade as compared with one-third of the students in ninth grade, and 38% of those in the tenth grade. Poisson regression analyses were conducted to examine the association of eighth grade variables with ninth grade injuries and ninth grade variables with tenth grade injuries. Results from these analyses indicated that, in addition to sex and race, a high degree of risk taking, frequent cruising, and having high and low parental supervision in the eighth grade significantly increased the number of injuries in ninth grade. In the tenth grade, risk taking continued to be associated with injuries. In addition, students who reported disciplinary problems in school, working 1-10 hours per week, drinking on 1-2 days during the past month, lifetime use of marijuana equal to 1-5 occasions, and involvement in sports experienced greater numbers of injuries in the tenth grade. Am J Epidemiol 1992; 136: 673-85

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-685
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 1992


  • Adolescence
  • Injuries
  • Rural population
  • Wounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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