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December 2018

Addressing Risky Health Behaviors Among Vulnerable Youth Through the School Environment: Location, Location, Location

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(12):1119-1120. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3344

Outside of family and home, school is arguably the best-positioned social institution to affect adolescent health. Youth spend a significant amount of time engaging with their school’s environment, which can contribute to health and developmental outcomes beyond academic achievement.1,2 Furthermore, schools can serve as central pillars in neighborhoods, providing social linkages between students and families and other aspects of the community. Social norms communicated among peers and adults within the school environment can affect decisions made by students, ranging from participating in extracurricular physical activities to engaging in risky health behaviors.3,4

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