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New York University Health Promoting Behavioral Frameworks Discussion Post

New York University Health Promoting Behavioral Frameworks Discussion Post

Question Description

I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need support to help me study.

Peer responses. Each 50 words. APA format

Peer #1 Laura

Studies report rising challenges in addressing risky behaviors that adolescents engage in. Some of these risky behaviors include physical fights, consuming alcohol, cigarette and marijuana use, and poor health and nutritional choices on a regular basis (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Unfortunately, these precarious behaviors lead to adverse, health outcomes into adulthood. Some of these adverse consequences instigate ongoing, chronic disease processes, increased individual and societal health care costs, frequent hospital utilization, poor quality of life, and mental health challenges (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). As such, positive, health-promoting behavioral frameworks have been developed to improve the health and wellness of adolescents. Interventions that have shown to be the most beneficial involve integrated approach from ecological, family-based, and behavioral frameworks (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). One risky behavior that can lead to chronic health disease processes is poor physical and nutritional activities. In an ecological framework, physical activity interventions could be implemented in educational institutions. Accordingly, employing policies that incorporate environmental changes within the school are essential. Policy changes that promote more physical activity throughout the day, increasing educational resources regarding the benefits of healthy living, and introducing healthier food options in cafeterias are beneficial strategies. Evidence shows that school-wide interventions that employ an ecological framework can improve nutritional behaviors in adolescents and reduce obesity in adulthood (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Additionally, family-level changes can support ecological framework strategies when implementing additional healthy living strategies at home. Providing educational and instructional resources to help parents support and model healthy behaviors consistently improve physical activity and nutritional choices that adolescents make. Intervention models that help parents understand the skills and methods to prepare accessible food choices improve the dietary intake of adolescents, as well as the whole family (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Further, combining a family systems theory that incorporates teaching parents behavioral and motivational skills can lead to building improved behaviors, like increasing physical exercise as a family. As such, family-level interventions that combine positive parenting strategies and improve healthy nutritional and physical activities can lower risky behaviors associated with chronic disease (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Moreover, behavioral interventions can be an important framework to lower risky behaviors. Behavioral interventions focus on setting goals, improving self-efficacy on viable behaviors, and developing positive, psychosocial behaviors that encourage healthy life choices. As such, as motivational factors are identified, appropriate interventions can be implemented. Increasing self-efficacy in girls motivates higher levels of physical activity. Whereas, increasing intrinsic motivation led to improved physical activity in boys. Accordingly, targeting healthy living interventions through behavioral, intervention strategies that increase perceived competence and intrinsically motivate adolescents toward practical goals can improve overall health (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). As such, as a mental health worker, I want to influence each framework, including the ecological, family-level, and behavioral interventions within the community. Specifically, for family groups, I would direct my suggestions to combining a family systems theory that incorporates components of both positive parenting techniques with resources that teach motivational and behavioral skills training (Hale et al., 2014). Providing resources that demonstrate how to calmly and positively approach risky behaviors that an adolescent is exhibiting is foundational to motivation and intrinsic changes. Likewise, improving adolescent-parent communication, reinforcing refusal skills, and developing problem-solving approaches lower risk behaviors, improve family relationships, and the enhance positive family dynamic. Studies demonstrate that families can play a critical role in reducing risky behaviors and influencing a positive change. Providing training models and resources that promote personal responsibility and model positive behaviors can develop a positive foundation, and maintain a sustainable lifestyle (Hale et al, 2014).


Hale, D. R., Fitzgerald-Yau, N., & Viner, R. M. (2014). A systematic review of effective interventions for reducing multiple health risk behaviors in adolescence. American Journal of Public Health, 104(5), e19–e41.

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Peer 2 Elizabeth

the common ones that many are familiar with are also stated on the raising website. They are unprotected sexual activity, sexting and other risky uses of social media, tobacco smoking, alcohol use and binge-drinking, illegal substance use, dangerous driving, illegal activities like trespassing or vandalism, fighting, and truancy (raisingchildren, 2019).

Being an educator for almost 18 years, I am feeling a little defeated this year with at risk youth. Moving from the classroom into the role as Dean of Students at a K-6 elementary has been amazing. We redefined the role of Dean of Students by also making me the Social Emotional Teacher. We have changed from traditional practices to restorative practices, when looking at discipline. We involve the whole family. This year has been challenging as I work with 10-12 year old’s dealing with very difficult home lives. As I have exhausted all of my tools available to these students, I still feel defeated. I know what I am doing, the teachers, counselors, and other staff members is making a difference, but it just doesn’t feel like enough. The one thing I can’t change is their home life. I can give support to the parents, tools, counseling, and parenting classes, but I can’t force them to actually do it! So, yes the behavioral, and family systems would be extremely beneficial.

I would recommend families to look at what is in their family that they can control and what they can’t. The family unit where the child resides needs to look at what is being watched on television, if caregivers are using drugs and alcohol themselves, look at how often the child is left alone, go to family counseling, have the child go to counseling, get the child active in something they are interested in, and have families re-evaluate their values and if they are working for the family or not. The old saying “it takes a village”, is absolutely true. It takes comprehensive community to help the child, the home, school, and community can be part of the solution for the at-risk youth.

“Although there is agreement within the research community that comprehensive approaches using evidence-based programs to address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of high-risk youth and communities are needed, there are still few descriptions of what these approaches actually look like in practice” (Kingston et al., p. 3).

I really liked that part of the article because I believe that each situation is unique. I have had students that I worked with that I have seen the most growth in the students who had families change the home environment, and parents really learn how to best serve their child rather than continue what they have been doing at home. I always tell parents that they are their child’s first teacher. I think we really need to focus on helping the parents, while helping the adolescent. Now, that being said, I am not saying that all parents are bad and that it’s their fault. But my experience has been the most challenging students have had trauma and parents struggle to understand how to help and they leave it up to the school system.

So, I sit and re-evaluate what as a school district we can do better to help the at risk youth.


Risky behaviour in teenagers: how to handle it. (2019, September 25). Raising Children Network.

Kingston, B. E., Mihalic, S. F., & Sigel, E. J. (2016). Building an evidence-based multitiered system of supports for high-risk youth and communities. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 86(2), 132–143.

Peer 3 Clea

Adolescents are faced with many risky behaviors that they can choose to participate in or walk away from. Those behaviors include: having sex, sexting, drug and alcohol use, smoking and obesity. There are many factors that contribute to a child being involved in these things, many of which stem from their home environment. When a child sees an older sibling behaving in a sexual manner, or they see them drinking/doing drugs, they see how it affects their life. Some of those kids only see the “positive” effects from watching their siblings,like it makes them forget reality, appear like they have a lot of friends, etc. If a younger sibling sees these things it makes it more tempting to also participate in, it becomes their normal. That is also the case if they see their parents participating in these activities as well.

When a child engages in these risky behaviors their home environment either has very little parent involvement or their parents are completely over-bearing and exhausting, not giving the child a space to grow and learn. Parenting is hard work, and constant, so for some “parents gradually withdraw from monitoring behaviors, thereby providing youth relatively unrestricted access to opportunities to engage in risk behaviors and allowing involvement with deviant peers who further promote engagement in risk behaviors.” (Galambos, Barker, & Almeida, 2003; Pettit, Laird, Dodge, Bates, & Criss, 2001).

In regards to providing help for these kids I feel that all too often the majority of these kids get overlooked. For example, in a school setting there really is only so much you can do to help that child. You can do “self-monitoring, goal-setting, and cognitive and behavioral skill building” (Bandura, 1986, 2004). However, without parent support and involvement and an effort on their part it doesn’t seem very effective. Yes, there are some kids that have true resilience and self-determination to break the cycle but they are very few and far between when it comes to at risk behaviors in students without parent involvement. However, if the parent is involved and truly wants to help their child, the above strategies become way more effective and can help a child break these negative behaviors.

This assignment has left me feeling very frustrated with the kids that need a parent. I have a 5th grader who completely falls into the risky category, he has already smoked pot, he’s routinely fighting or getting hurt by his brothers and he doesn’t understand that his normal is not healthy. Parents aren’t involved and older brothers (7th and 8th graders) already have had sex, smoke pot regulary, get in fights, hang out with a bad crowd, have run away, etc. Without the parents support and recognition of this problem, and him seeing that this is his life trajectory I’m not exactly sure how he doesn’t get lost in the system. There is much to be done in the school setting to really make a difference.


Gubelmann, A., Berchtold, A., Barrense-Dias, Y., Akre, C., Newman, C. J., & Suris, J.-C. (2018). Youth With Chronic Conditions and Risky Behaviors: An Indirect Path. Journal of Adolescent Health, 63(6), 785–791.

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

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