Jackson CA, Haw S & Frank JW (2010) Adolescent and Young Adulthood Health in Scotland: interventions that address multiple risk behaviours or take a generic approach to risk in youth. Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy; Scottish Government - Chief Scientist Office. Adolescence and Young Adulthood (AYA) Working Group. http://www.scphrp.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/adolescent_and_young_adult_health_in_scotland.pdf
Scotland is widely recognised as the ‘sick man of Europe', and the challenge of addressing health inequalities in children is as great as in adults. A recent UNICEF report places the UK as a whole at the bottom of a table of child wellbeing in rich countries. Given the impact that experiences in the formative years have on life trajectories and health and wellbeing in later years, there is an urgent need to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Scotland.
As a response to this challenge, the Adolescent and Young Adulthood Working Group of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) identified the use of interventions to address multiple, or generic, risk behaviour in young people as a priority area to focus on. The aim of the environmental scan was to explore, through scoping the literature, potential benefits and risks of adopting a generic approach to equitably reducing or preventing risk behaviour in adolescents and young people. The specific objectives were to: (i) identify and summarise the current Scottish government policies relevant to young people; (ii) review and summarise existing surveys and cohort studies relevant to adolescent and young adult risk behaviours; (iii) describe the overlap between risk behaviours in adolescents and young adults; (iv) identify public health interventions applied during adolescence and young adulthood which reported on multiple risk behaviour outcomes or took a generic approach to risk (focusing on cigarette smoking, alcohol, illicit drug use and sexual risk behaviours); and (v) identify potential interventions for development by the Adolescent and Young Adulthood Working Group.