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Differential associations of health literacy with Austrian adolescents' tobacco and alcohol use.
Public Health 2019; 174:74-82PH

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Tobacco use and alcohol use have their origin in adolescence, and risky use of these substances is amongst the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality. Health literacy (HL) encompasses the skills that are decisive to make appropriate health decisions in this context. Given the paucity of evidence on the link between HL and adolescents' health behaviors, the present study examined overall HL and different components of HL and their associations with smoking and alcohol use among 13 to 17-year-old Austrian students.

STUDY DESIGN

Data were obtained from a national survey carried out in Austria (N = 4219; 56% females) as part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative cross-national study.

METHODS

We tested two structural equation models, one including the overall HL scale as the predictor and one with the three subscales of HL 'finding,' 'understanding and appraising,' and 'applying' health-related information as predictors of smoking and alcohol use.

RESULTS

Although overall HL was related to all indicators of adolescents' smoking and drinking, the three HL components had differential effects on these behaviors. The easier it was for the participants to 'understand and appraise' and 'apply' health-related information, the less frequently they had smoked and drunk alcohol and the less was the amount of alcohol they had consumed. Contrarily, the easier it was for the participants to 'find' information, the more they had smoked and drunk alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS

Our results indicate that availability of health-related information may be insufficient on its own to prevent or reduce risky substance use. This is of particular importance for the development and improvement of primary prevention programs targeting adolescent populations.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy, Austria. Electronic address: laura.brandt@univie.ac.at.University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy, Austria.University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy, Austria.Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Vienna, Austria.University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy, Austria.University of Vienna, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Applied Psychology: Work, Education and Economy, Austria.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31323600

Citation

Brandt, L, et al. "Differential Associations of Health Literacy With Austrian Adolescents' Tobacco and Alcohol Use." Public Health, vol. 174, 2019, pp. 74-82.
Brandt L, Schultes MT, Yanagida T, et al. Differential associations of health literacy with Austrian adolescents' tobacco and alcohol use. Public Health. 2019;174:74-82.
Brandt, L., Schultes, M. T., Yanagida, T., Maier, G., Kollmayer, M., & Spiel, C. (2019). Differential associations of health literacy with Austrian adolescents' tobacco and alcohol use. Public Health, 174, pp. 74-82. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2019.05.033.
Brandt L, et al. Differential Associations of Health Literacy With Austrian Adolescents' Tobacco and Alcohol Use. Public Health. 2019 Jul 16;174:74-82. PubMed PMID: 31323600.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Differential associations of health literacy with Austrian adolescents' tobacco and alcohol use. AU - Brandt,L, AU - Schultes,M-T, AU - Yanagida,T, AU - Maier,G, AU - Kollmayer,M, AU - Spiel,C, Y1 - 2019/07/16/ PY - 2018/11/16/received PY - 2019/05/20/revised PY - 2019/05/28/accepted PY - 2019/7/20/pubmed PY - 2019/7/20/medline PY - 2019/7/20/entrez KW - Adolescent KW - Alcohol drinking KW - Health behavior KW - Health literacy KW - Smoking SP - 74 EP - 82 JF - Public health JO - Public Health VL - 174 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Tobacco use and alcohol use have their origin in adolescence, and risky use of these substances is amongst the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality. Health literacy (HL) encompasses the skills that are decisive to make appropriate health decisions in this context. Given the paucity of evidence on the link between HL and adolescents' health behaviors, the present study examined overall HL and different components of HL and their associations with smoking and alcohol use among 13 to 17-year-old Austrian students. STUDY DESIGN: Data were obtained from a national survey carried out in Austria (N = 4219; 56% females) as part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative cross-national study. METHODS: We tested two structural equation models, one including the overall HL scale as the predictor and one with the three subscales of HL 'finding,' 'understanding and appraising,' and 'applying' health-related information as predictors of smoking and alcohol use. RESULTS: Although overall HL was related to all indicators of adolescents' smoking and drinking, the three HL components had differential effects on these behaviors. The easier it was for the participants to 'understand and appraise' and 'apply' health-related information, the less frequently they had smoked and drunk alcohol and the less was the amount of alcohol they had consumed. Contrarily, the easier it was for the participants to 'find' information, the more they had smoked and drunk alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that availability of health-related information may be insufficient on its own to prevent or reduce risky substance use. This is of particular importance for the development and improvement of primary prevention programs targeting adolescent populations. SN - 1476-5616 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31323600/Differential_associations_of_health_literacy_with_Austrian_adolescents'_tobacco_and_alcohol_use L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0033-3506(19)30186-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -