What can and must be done in order to reduce risk behaviour in adolescents

Reflection and Educational Models

For student residence halls, prevention of risk behaviour of adolescents means an advantage, especially as regards their cooperation with parents and their ability to obtain expert support in the implementation of activities aimed towards reducing the interest for using drugs among adolescents. In our effort to protect health, we share the responsibility with parents, where the care in the prevention of risk life begins, and with professional institutions and experts who provide support with their knowledge and experience. Our advantage is our ability to organise various activities of interest and projects which improve the quality of life of an individual. Students can fill the time which is not meant for school work with activities, sharing experiences, socialising, creative work and learning from each other. These activities positively influence their attitude towards work and their sense of responsibility.

Of a particular importance here is the role of the group where individuals, group members, bring their different views of life, values, their different expectations and experiences. It is an environment where an individual can find reliability and opportunity for learning. In interactions with peers, they can compare their expectations with those of their peers and accept differences.

Prevention of risk factors and processes which contribute to risk means that we aim to prevent those risk factors on which we have influence. By doing this we also prevent negative chain reactions which can additionally affect an adolescent. By implementing these safety measures adolescents are given opportunities to take part in organised activities which improve the quality of their lives and at the same time present a primary prevention of their mental well-being. Prevention is achieved by improving the abilities of the individual and the group, by improving self-esteem, self-respect and well-being.

Risk behaviour, whether conscious or unconscious, includes a danger which should not be overlooked. It is important that the tutor recognises risk behaviour, that he/she is understanding but also strict. Understanding is important because such behaviour can result from difficulties which the student cannot express in any other way, and strictness is important because adolescents should know that prohibitions apply also for them. They need to be aware of the tutor’s interest but also of the limitations that have been set.

The tutor has a very important role. He/she acts as a ‘leader’ through whom all communication in the group and among groups takes place, a stimulator, liaison, animator, counsellor and expert whose task is to identify, recognise and prevent risk factors. Besides theoretical knowledge, he/she must have knowledge and skills which allow them to act in a timely and appropriate manner. 

Keywords: students, parents, prevention, boarding house, behaviour. 
mag. Jože Slana