Comparison of risk-behaviors among young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) versus high school students. A cross-sectional study
Background: Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) have been identified as a vulnerable group at risk of poor social functioning, lower educational achievement, limited job opportunities and financial hardship. Being NEET has also been associated with increased risk of mental and physical health problems, but only a few studies have identified the prevalence of certain health-risk behaviors among NEET youth. The present study contributes to fill the existing knowledge gaps by investigating a broad range of risk behaviors in this vulnerable group compared to their high school peers.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 96 NEET youth and 384 age and gender-matched high school students. A self-report questionnaire was used to assess differences in several risk behaviors, including substance use, low consumption of healthy food and high consumption of unhealthy food and beverages, low leisure time physical activity and low sleep duration. Logistic regression models were adjusted for gender, age and parental education.
Results: NEET youth had higher odds of using cannabis (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1-4.3), smokeless tobacco (1.7;1.0-2.8), smoking cigarettes (2.6;1.5-4.4), having an irregular consumption of breakfast (2.6;1.5-4.5), lunch (3.1;1.8-5.4) and dinner (1.9;1.1-3.2), having low consumption of vegetables (3.0;1.3-6.7), fruit and berries (5.3;1.6-18.1) and fish (3.0;1.8-5.1) and short sleep duration on weekends (2.6;1.4-4.9) than students. On the other hand, being NEET was associated with decreased odds of short sleep duration on weekdays compared to their high school peers (0.3;0.2-0.5). No differences in alcohol intoxication, consumption frequency of evening meals, consumption of unhealthy food items and beverages and leisure time physical activity were shown between these groups.
Conclusions: NEET youth have higher odds of using tobacco, short sleep duration on weekends and lower consumption of healthy food items including vegetables, fruit and fish compared to high school students. These results contribute to identify risk behaviors that are more prevalent among NEET youth compared to students and needs to be addressed through targeted intervention studies.
Copyright (c) 2019 Tonje H. Stea
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Norsk Epidemiologi licenses all content of the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. This means, among other things, that anyone is free to copy and distribute the content, as long as they give proper credit to the author(s) and the journal. For further information, see Creative Commons website for human readable or lawyer readable versions.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).