Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 18726

Special Issue Editor

School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Interests: social determinants of behavioral health (e.g., substance use, depression); interventions to reduce health and social disparities; health disparities
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Young people are not only the most affected by the crises facing our society but are also the next generation with the opportunity to build a better, more just society. At this crucial stage in their life course, youth acquire knowledge and skills, gain experience in social interactions, and develop habits and lifestyles that promote or compromise health—all within the context of a complex environment of interwoven personal, family, community, and systems factors. As young people transition from youth to adulthood, the most important factors affecting a successful transition are rooted in their current health and wellbeing, including the impact of their social, cultural, and physical environments.

Social research has long recognized that immediate surroundings, including family and school, are highly influential environments and the most important determinants of young people’s cognitive development, social–emotional skills, and health-related behaviors. Within these environments, role models such as parents, teachers, and important others help shape the ways youth behave, make decisions, and view their world. Interactions with peers also exert significant influences on young people’s health-related behaviors.

At the meso-level, youth health and wellbeing is substantially affected by factors such as their community’s built environment, their exposure to social media and mass media, and their interaction with various agents, including interest groups/clubs, faith-based organizations, social opportunities, and access to health care.

Higher-level factors such as national policy and dominant social norms and culture present either facilitators or barriers to young people’s development, thereby modifying the impact of socioeconomic status, gender, and race/ethnicity, which leads to disparities in health and wellbeing.

This Special Issue of Societies invites researchers to submit their original research articles, reviews, and conceptual papers on the determinative effects of environment on youth health and wellbeing. This issue seeks to present the most up-to-date scholarly work that unfolds and examines the mechanisms underlying the determinants of youth health and wellbeing across the spectrum of microsystems to macrosystems.

Contributions to this Special Issue must be in the form of an article, conceptual paper or review and address the topic of the Special Issue. All manuscripts must be submitted by 31st December, 2022. Guidelines for authors and manuscript preparation are available at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/societies/instructions

We look forward to receiving your contributions. 

Dr. Shiyou Wu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as conceptual papers are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • youth
  • health and wellbeing
  • social determinants of health
  • environmental determinants of health.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Examining the Association between Recent Maternal Incarceration and Adolescents’ Sleep Patterns, Dietary Behaviors, and Physical Activity Involvement
by Qianwei Zhao, Ning He, Flor Avellaneda and Danielle E. Parrish
Societies 2023, 13(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13040098 - 8 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1798
Abstract
Maternal incarceration has become an increasingly common life event among adolescents in the U.S., especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Evidence suggests that maternal incarceration is a risk factor for adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems. However, its collateral consequences on adolescents’ sleep patterns, dietary [...] Read more.
Maternal incarceration has become an increasingly common life event among adolescents in the U.S., especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Evidence suggests that maternal incarceration is a risk factor for adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems. However, its collateral consequences on adolescents’ sleep patterns, dietary behaviors and physical activity involvement remain unclear. This study uses the Fragile Family and Child Wellbeing Study dataset (N = 3262) to examine the prevalence of risk behaviors related to sleep, diet, and physical exercise among adolescents with maternal incarceration histories and assess the relationship between maternal incarceration and these behavioral health risks. Findings suggested that a significantly lower proportion of adolescents with maternal incarceration experiences consumed breakfast for at least four days a week than those without maternal incarceration experiences (41.78% vs. 52.76%, p = 0.009), a higher proportion of them consumed fast food for at least two days a week (57.35% vs. 48.61%, p = 0.035), had at least two sweetened drinks per day (71.92% vs. 62.21%, p = 0.018), and reported more days having problems staying asleep per week (1.70 vs. 1.26, p = 0.008). Regression analyses suggested that adolescents with maternal incarceration experiences were more likely to have problems staying asleep (B = 0.44, p = 0.012) than those without maternal incarceration experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
10 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Association between Community Attachment and Prescription Drug Misuse among American Indian Adolescents in Arizona
by Chao-Kai Huang, Shiyou Wu, Flavio F. Marsiglia and Ana Paola Campos
Societies 2023, 13(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13040079 - 23 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Prescription drug misuse (PDM) has become a major health issue in the U.S. over the past decade. PDM affects all ethnic and racial groups; however, there is a higher prevalence among American Indian (AI) youths, and there is scarce information on the risk [...] Read more.
Prescription drug misuse (PDM) has become a major health issue in the U.S. over the past decade. PDM affects all ethnic and racial groups; however, there is a higher prevalence among American Indian (AI) youths, and there is scarce information on the risk and protective factors driving this behavior. Using the Arizona Youth Survey 2018, we analyzed data from 2494 students who self-identified as AI (aged 13–18 years, 47.31% male). Logistic regression models were used to examine the association between community attachment with lifetime and the past-30-days PDM. Community attachment was negatively associated with AI youths’ lifetime PDM (OR = 0.78, 95% CI [0.65, 0.92]); however, it was not significant for the past-30-days users (OR = 0.91, 95% CI [0.72, 1.15]). For both lifetime and past-30-days users, a common protective factor was close friends’ negative perceptions of PDM, while a common risk factor included siblings’ prescription drug use and ease of access to substances. Lifetime users’ drug-free closest friends were also protective. The findings support similar community-oriented approaches showing a cumulative rather than immediate effect, and past-30-days PMD youths were strongly influenced by peers and family. PDM risk and protective factors can advance knowledge about AI youths’ social and cultural determinants of health and influence future prevention interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
13 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Adverse Childhood Experiences in Latinx Families: A Comparison between Intraracial and Interracial Families
by Xiafei Wang, Fei Shen, Yongjun Zhang and Shiyou Wu
Societies 2022, 12(6), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12060173 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2255
Abstract
Racial/ethnic minorities are prone to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), posing a concern over social justice. However, the influence of interracial family structure has been rarely discussed. Considering that 26% of Hispanic individuals form interracial marriages in the U.S., we need to examine whether [...] Read more.
Racial/ethnic minorities are prone to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), posing a concern over social justice. However, the influence of interracial family structure has been rarely discussed. Considering that 26% of Hispanic individuals form interracial marriages in the U.S., we need to examine whether interracial family structure matters for ACEs disparities in Latinx families. We hypothesized that there were differences in ACEs between intraracial and interracial families in the Latinx population. A Latinx sample was collected from the Fragile Family and Child Well-being Studies with 1113 children of two Latinx parents and 397 children of interracial parents (e.g., White mother/Latinx father, Black mother/Latinx father, Latinx mother/White father, Latinx mother/Black father). Negative binomial models revealed a higher overall ACEs score among children in interracial families (β = 0.54, p < 0.05). Compared to children with two Latinx parents, children in each interracial family group were prone to higher risks of different ACEs. For example, children with Latinx mothers and Black fathers were more likely to experience parental separation (OR = 2.33), household material hardship (OR = 1.64), physical abuse (OR = 6.01), and psychological abuse (OR = 3.49) than children in intraracial Latinx families. Based on our findings, we call for culturally responsive ACEs prevention and intervention that consider the unique stressors of interracial families, to promote the health and well-being of racial/ethnic minorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
10 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Do Families Exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences Report Family Centered Care?
by Brianna M. Lombardi, Lisa d. Zerden, Hyunji Lee and Krissy Moehling Geffel
Societies 2022, 12(6), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12060168 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Background: Youth from marginalized groups may be less likely to receive quality health care services. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are known to impact long-term health, but it is unclear if there is a relationship between ACEs and receipt of Family Centered Care (FCC)—one [...] Read more.
Background: Youth from marginalized groups may be less likely to receive quality health care services. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are known to impact long-term health, but it is unclear if there is a relationship between ACEs and receipt of Family Centered Care (FCC)—one indicator of high-quality health care. To assess this relationship, this study used a nationally representative sample of youth from the National Survey of Children’s Health 2016–2017 combined data set. Caregivers of children who had at least one health care visit in the last 12 months (sub-sample n = 63,662) were asked about five indicators of FCC including if they felt the provider: (1) spent enough time, (2) listened carefully, (3) helped family feel like a partner, (4) provided information requested, and (5) showed sensitivity to culture. Methods: Logistic regression analyses examined the association between ACE score and each FCC quality indicator, as well between ACEs score and the overall FCC dichotomous score. Results: ACE exposure did not significantly predict access to a health care visit in the past 12 months. However, children with higher rates of ACEs were significantly less likely to receive FCC. Other factors that significantly predicted lower FCC included child race and ethnicity, insurance type, language in the home, and access to a regular health provider. Conclusions: Providers and health systems must identify, implement, and advocate for effective trauma-informed and care coordination interventions that ensure quality health care services for vulnerable children and families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
10 pages, 429 KiB  
Article
Child Internalizing Problems in Ukraine: The Role of Prosocial and Antisocial Friends and Generalized Self-Efficacy
by Viktor Burlaka, Oleksii Serdiuk, Jun Sung Hong, Lisa A. O’Donnell, Serhii Maksymenko, Vitalii Panok, Heorhii Danylenko, Igor Linskiy, Valerii Sokurenko, Iuliia Churakova and Nadiya Ilchyshyn
Societies 2022, 12(5), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12050144 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
The current study examines the association between peer behaviors, self-efficacy, and internalizing symptoms in a sample of 1545 children aged 11 to 13 years old who attended middle schools in eastern Ukraine. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the role of [...] Read more.
The current study examines the association between peer behaviors, self-efficacy, and internalizing symptoms in a sample of 1545 children aged 11 to 13 years old who attended middle schools in eastern Ukraine. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the role of self-efficacy in the relationship between child internalizing behaviors (anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints) and exposure to prosocial and antisocial friends among girls and boys. Higher self-efficacy was linked with fewer internalizing symptoms for girls and boys. For both boys and girls, exposure to prosocial friends was not statistically associated with changes in internalizing behaviors. However, girls and boys who reported having more antisocial friends had significantly more internalizing symptoms. For girls, association with a greater number of prosocial friends and fewer antisocial friends has been linked with higher self-efficacy and fewer internalizing symptoms. For boys, having more prosocial friends was also linked with higher self-efficacy and fewer internalizing symptoms; however, there was no statistically significant association between having more antisocial friends and self-efficacy. The study discusses the cultural and gender aspects of child socialization in the context of antisocial and prosocial friends, and the development of internalizing behavior problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
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11 pages, 591 KiB  
Concept Paper
The Nexus of Holistic Wellbeing and School Education: A Literature-Informed Theoretical Framework
by Sultana Ali Norozi
Societies 2023, 13(5), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13050113 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3922
Abstract
The concept of wellbeing in education is complex and multifaceted, with inconsistent definitions, philosophical conceptualizations, and research approaches. This paper proposes a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting comprehensive wellbeing in school education, drawing insights from global in general and the Norwegian context [...] Read more.
The concept of wellbeing in education is complex and multifaceted, with inconsistent definitions, philosophical conceptualizations, and research approaches. This paper proposes a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting comprehensive wellbeing in school education, drawing insights from global in general and the Norwegian context in particular. The paper begins by reviewing the literature on wellbeing and wellbeing in educational policies to identify common threads in contemporary understandings and approaches to wellbeing, highlighting important issues in its conceptualization. The analysis shows the need for a holistic understanding of wellbeing, encompassing its multiple dimensions, which should be introduced and advocated in schools. The paper contributes to a more comprehensive and holistic concept of wellbeing that should be an integral part of school education. The discourse highlights the emergence of an alternative, commonly agreed theoretical framework for holistic wellbeing, drawing together different dimensions of wellbeing and interconnectedness and focusing on students’ strengths. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the framework for future research and practice. The framework offers a comprehensive and integrative approach to understanding and promoting wellbeing in school education, which can guide the development of interventions and policies that address the multiple factors influencing students’ wellbeing. The framework also highlights the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and a systems approach to wellbeing in education, which can promote a holistic and sustainable approach to education that benefits both students and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
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20 pages, 720 KiB  
Concept Paper
An Integrated Conceptual Model to Understand Suicidality among Queer Youth to Inform Suicide Prevention
by Denise Yookong Williams, William J. Hall, Hayden C. Dawes, Cynthia Fraga Rizo and Jeremy T. Goldbach
Societies 2022, 12(6), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12060170 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4913
Abstract
In this article, we apply and combine elements from four theoretical frameworks (i.e., Minority Stress Theory, Person-in-Environment and Risk and Resilience Framework, Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide, and Intersectionality) to explain the problem of queer youth suicide through our integrated conceptual model, Queer Prevention [...] Read more.
In this article, we apply and combine elements from four theoretical frameworks (i.e., Minority Stress Theory, Person-in-Environment and Risk and Resilience Framework, Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide, and Intersectionality) to explain the problem of queer youth suicide through our integrated conceptual model, Queer Prevention of Youth Suicidality Model (Queer-PRYSM). The need for this conceptual model is based on the current state of the literature, including mixed empirical findings on factors related to queer youth suicidality, no scholarly consensus on specific contributing factors regarding high rates of suicidality among queer youth (including queer youth subgroups), and the absence of a unifying theory to explain the queer youth suicide risk. To address these limitations in theory, evidence, and scholarship explaining suicidality among queer youth we present our integrated model with growing, current, relevant research with queer youth. Queer-PRYSM includes minority stressors specific to queer youth, mental health problems, interpersonal-psychological factors, socioecological factors (i.e., family, school, peers, and community), and intersectionality concepts. Queer-PRYSM is essential to understanding the relationship of distal and proximal risk and protective factors in queer youth suicide and developing evidence-informed suicide preventive interventions that can be incorporated into practice, policy, and system structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Health and Well-Being: Determinative Effects of Environment)
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