Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Adolescent Hopelessness and HIV

By Gary Bell

July 15, 2009

A new report published in Healthday News on Jun 29, 2009, has found that almost 15 percent of American adolescents believe that they will die before age 35, a belief that may be strongly linked to unsafe behavior. Greater than one in seven youths have a pessimistic view about their future mortality and are more likely to take risks. The findings, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, are based on a three-year study of attitudes and behaviors among 20,594 teens from the 7th through 12th grades. The teens were asked about their views on personal mortality as it related to behaviors such as attempting suicide, using illegal drugs, sustaining fight-related injuries that required medical care, engaging in unprotected sex, being arrested by the police and contracting HIV or AIDS.

Other important findings included:

  • Race and wealth were important variables. While 10 percent of white teens expressed this pessimism, 21 percent of Hispanic teens and 26 percent of African American youth harbored this fatalistic view.
  • Adolescents who predicted a short lifespan were more likely to engage in risky behavior, and teens who engaged in risky behavior (throughout the first year of the study) "were more likely to develop a pessimistic view of their future."

Clearly, more needs to be done to both assess these attitudes early on, especially for minority and low income children, and to make every effort to develop programs that help to instill a sense of optimism and hope. Without this new focus, we will continue to raise a generation of children who feel that "they have nothing to lose."

To contact Gary, click here.

See Also
Transition to Hope

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:
BLOG:
Transition to Hope


This year marks Bell's 14th as the executive director of the Philadelphia-based BEBASHI (Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health), founded in 1985 as the nation's first AIDS organization serving African Americans with HIV. Bell has been widely praised, not only for increasing funding and accountability at a time when HIV donations have plummeted, but also for launching such innovative programs as a women's initiative, prison-discharge planning, and, most recently, a diabetes intervention.


More About Gary:
Profile

Subscribe to Gary's Blog:

Subscribe by RSSBy RSS ?

Subscribe by Email


Recent Posts:

View All Posts


A Brief Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by TheBody.com's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheBody.com itself.

Advertisement