The effects of the LEQ’s life skills domains as it relates to the engagement in health risk behaviour among grade 8 learners in a selected high school in Paarl
Marais, Janene Elizabeth
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Adolescence can be understood as the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. During adolescence individuals tend to experiment and discover who they are in terms of their unique social identity and are more susceptible to health risk behaviour engagement. Health risk behaviour place individuals at risk for numerous health complications. The most common forms of health risk behaviours are smoking, drinking, illicit drug use, risky sexual behaviour, violence and physical inactivity. Life skills development has been proven to reduce many health risk behaviours in adolescents. The Life Effectiveness Questionnaire (LEQ) is a psychometric instrument which has been developed to measure life skills. Social Cognitive Theory posits that people are not driven by inner forces nor are they controlled by external stimuli, rather there is a reciprocal triadic relationship where the environment, cognition and personal factors influences learning through observation. When in the presence of their peers, adolescents are more likely to engage in health risk behaviour because of peer influence and immediate rewards. This study aimed to study the effects of the LEQs life skills domains as it relates to the engagement in health risk behaviour among Grade 8 learners in a selected high school in Paarl. This study used a quantitative methodology with a cross-sectional design employing written surveys. The sample consisted of 104 Grade 8 learners. The data was collected using self-reported questionnaires. One was the LEQ (Appendix 5 and 6) which measures life skills and the other was the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) (Appendix 7) which measures the prevalence of health risk behaviour engagement. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences V24 (SPSS). The results suggested that there is still a high prevalence of health risk behaviour engagement among Grade 8 learners with increases evident in some of the health risk behaviours.