Correlates among Disruptive Behavior, Mental Health, Substance Use, and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors in Hispanic High School Adolescents
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Session presented on Sunday, July 26, 2015: Purpose: In adolescence, disruptive behavior, which includes defiance towards adults, bullying and fighting, can occur for a multitude of reasons and is associated with unhealthy behaviors (e.g., substance use) and poor academic performance. Although adolescents with co-morbid mental health conditions are at a higher risk of disruptive behavior (Reinke, Eddy, Dishion, & Reid, 2012), the correlates among disruptive behavior, mental health, substance use, and healthy lifestyle behaviors in Hispanic youth are largely unknown. The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to examine the correlates among these variables in Hispanic teenagers from the southwesteRNnited States. Methods: The data was comprised of baseline measures from 522 urban high school Hispanic teens who participated in a full-scale clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the 15-session COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN Program which included mental health, social skills, and substance use. Valid and reliable measures included the Beck Youth Inventory with all of its subscales (disruptive behavior, anger, depression, anxiety, self-concept), the Healthy Lifestyles Behavior Scale, and additional substance use questions. Pearson's correlation coefficients were conducted to evaluate relationships among the study variables. Results: Significant positive correlations were found among disruptive behavior, anger, depression, and anxiety. Disruptive behavior also positively correlated with alcohol and substance use. Significant negative correlations were found among self-concept and disruptive behavior, anger, depression, and anxiety. In addition, significant negative correlations were found between healthy behaviors and disruptive behavior, anger, depression and anxiety. Conclusion: Disruptive behavior in Hispanic adolescents is strongly positively associated with other mental health conditions, including alcohol and drug use and negatively associated with healthy lifestyle behaviors. Thorough mental health assessments, specifically for anxiety, depression and substance use, and early interventions are warranted for Hispanic youth who exhibit disruptive behavior in schools.