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Demographic Pattern of Unhealthy Lifestyles and Intervention Strategies Among Secondary School Students in Imo State


Background of the Study
 It is often believed that a healthy lifestyle is a valuable resource for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems, enhancing recovery, coping with life stressors and improving quality of life. However, almost everybody exhibits unhealthy lifestyles in one form or the other (National Institutes of Health-NIH, 2006). It appears, however, that secondary school students indulge in unhealthy lifestyles more than their out-of-school counterparts. According to NIH (2006), in-school male students are more likely than out-of-school male students to indulge in unhealthy lifestyles. This may however be primarily because of their condition of life, which involves tension and environmental factors that expose them to most of these unhealthy lifestyles more than out-of-school students, (Fineran, 1996; Visser & Moleko, 1998; Daga & Daga, 2004; Ezedum, 2004). The International Union for Health Promotion and Education -IUHPE (1999) was of the opinion that a sizable proportion of the ten leading causes of death was due to potentially modifiable social and lifestyle factors. The IUHPE also condemned unhealthy lifestyles in whichever pattern it is practiced. Unhealthy lifestyles, according to Eaton, Kann, Kinchen, Ross, Harkins, Harris, Lowry, Memanus, Chyan and Shanklin (2006), are those risky behaviours that can have adverse effect on the overall development and well-being of the individual. Springer, Selwyn and Kelder (2006) perceived unhealthy lifestyles as a general term used to describe adverse health behaviours adopted by individuals and groups. Unhealthy lifestyle is a concept that denotes potential negative impact to an asset or some characteristics of value that may arise from present process or future event. Reber (1995) conceptualized unhealthy lifestyles as a set of actions that jeopardize something of value. The object that is threatened may be a physical object, a social or culturally valued psychological entity such as self-esteem. For example, when an individual involves himself or herself in an action that involves risk that results to unpleasant outcome, it is referred to as unhealthy lifestyle. According to Adam (2003), unhealthy lifestyles are situations where something unpleasant happens to someone. It also means doing something that one knows has dangerous or unpleasant result. Robyn and Lam (1999) opined that, there is no clear consensus in the literature about the definition or the key elements that are encompassed in the concept of unhealthy lifestyles. While it is generally agreed that such lifestyles are associated with increased risks of mortality, morbidity, and disability, there is uncertainty about whether specific lifestyles are associated with acute adverse outcomes. Trimpop (1994) defined unhealthy lifestyles in either or both of the following ways: Firstly, in terms of lifestyles that have been shown or are believed to be associated with increased chances of mortality, morbidity or disability. Secondly, in terms of propensity to take risks in general, rather than a focus on specifically defined lifestyles. In the context of this study, unhealthy lifestyles as suggested by Robert and Peter (1990) are open to variety of interpretations. While it certainly connotes the possibility of some negative outcome, views differ on whether these risky actions are necessarily deliberate. For some, the term implies deliberate choice of exposure to danger; others extend the meaning of unhealthy lifestyles to include all actions that can have negative consequences even when playing it safe in-school secondary school students. Unhealthy lifestyle is defined as volitional involvement in established patterns of lifestyles that threaten the well-being of secondary school students and limit their potential for achieving responsible adulthood (Lindberg, Boggess & Williams, 2000). These are also commonly referred to as problem behaviours (Elliott, 1993); (Jessor & Jessor, 1997). Springer, Selwyn and Kelder (2006) perceived unhealthy lifestyle as a general term used to describe adverse health behaviours adopted in adolescence. Lindberg et al., (2000) further distinguished unhealthy lifestyles from unhealthy lifestyle outcomes- the consequences of the behaviour. For example, unprotected sexual intercourse is an unhealthy lifestyle, while teenage pregnancy is an unhealthy lifestyle outcome and is not examined in the present study.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages190 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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