Problems of 14–18 Years Old Youth and the Trends of Organisation of Prevention Activities: Lithuanian Case


The World Health Organization (since 1998) recognises that many modern diseases and disorders (including social problems) are caused by risky behaviour. Youth risky behaviour is generally defined as a behaviour that directly or indirectly threatens the young person’s well-being and health. This is usually understood as smoking, abuse of alcohol and psychoactive substances and early initiated and unprotected sexual relations. However, the risky behaviour also includes basic things such as the failure to comply with diet regimen, sedentary lifestyle, not wearing the safety belt in the car and failure to wear a helmet whilst cycling or rollerblading. Adolescence itself is a risky span of the human life, as it is associated with moving from childhood into the adult world and intensive search for the personal identity. To ensure a consistent development of personality, adolescent risky behaviour prevention include harmonisation of education processes to help teenagers to develop responsible behaviour skills by reducing the risk factors and increasing protective factors. The article aims to overview the factors that influence youth risky behaviour and the factors that determine the planning and organisation of preventive activities for the pupils in the higher classes of the schools of general education. The study was completed in the form of a questionnaire that was conducted in the schools of the Lithuanian Republic in 2016. The results of the study describe trends of the prevention policies applied in the system of education, considering the national context of the individual Member States of the European Union.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools? An evidentiary review and recommendations. American Psychologist, (63), 852-862.

  • Astor, R. A., Benbenishty, R., Estrada J. (2009). School violence and theoretically atypical schools: The principal’s centrality in orchestrating safe schools. American Educational Research Journal, (46), 423-461.

  • Auškelis, R., Dulinskaitė, I., Valantiejienė, S. (2010). Lietuvoje įgyvendinamos prevencinės programos. Tarptautinėje praktikoje taikomos prevencinės programos ataskaita [Preventive programs implemented in Lithuania. The report on the preventive programs which are applied in international practice]. Vilnius: Specialiosios pedagogikos ir psichologijos centras. Available from Internet:

  • Auškelis, R., Bieliūnė, S., Ignatavičienė, K., Stupurienė, V., Šiautkulis, R., Valantiejienė, S. (2016). Prevencinių programų įgyvendinimas Lietuvos bendrojo ugdymo mokyklose 2015-2016 mokslo metais [Implementation of the preventive programs in the Lithuanian schools of general education in 2015-2016 academic years]. Vilnius: Specialiosios pedagogikos ir psichologijos centras. Available from Internet:

  • Bankauskienė, I. (2013). Psichoaktyviųjų medžiagų vartojimo prevencija: samprata ir modeliai [Psychoactive substance abuse prevention: the concept and models] Vilnius: Narkotikų, tabako ir alkoholio kontrolės departamentas.

  • Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W. (2007). School-based Programmes to Prevent Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use. International Review of Psychiatry, 19 (6), 607-615.

  • Christofides, E., Muise, A., Desmarais, S. (2012). Risky dislocures on facebook: the effect of having a bad experience on online behavior. Journal of Adolescent Research, 27 (6), 714-728.

  • Compas, B. E. (2004). Processes of risk and resilience during adolescence. In: Lerner R. M., Steinberg, L. (eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 263-296.

  • Costa, F. M. (2008). Problem-Behavior Theory - A Brief Overview. Available from Internet:

  • Costello, D. M., Swendsen, J., Rose J. S., Dierker, L. C. (2008). Risk and protective factors associated with trajectories of depressed mood from adolescence to early adulthood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76 (2), 173-183.

  • Dowdell, E., Burgess, A., Cavanaught, D. (2009). Clustering of Internet risk behaviors in a middle school student population. School Health, 79 (11), 547-553.

  • Duberstein, L., Boggess, S., Williams, S. (2000). Teen risk-taking: A Statistical Portrait. Urban Institute. Available from Internet:

  • Eaton, D. K., Kann, L., Kinchen, S., Shanklin, S., Flint, K. H., Hawkins, J., Harris, W. A., Lowry, R., McManus, T., Chyen, D., Whittle, L., Lim, C., Wechsler, H. (2011). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States. The orbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61 (4), 1-162.

  • Erikson, E. H. (2004). Vaikystė ir visuomenė [Childhood and society]. Vilnius: Adomo Jakšto spaustuvė.

  • Farmer T. W., et al. (2013). Conceptual Foundations and Components of a Contextual Intervention to Promote tudent Engagement During Early Adolescence: The Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Success (SEALS) Model. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 23 (2), 115-139.

  • Feldstein, S. W., Miller, W. R. (2006). Substance use and risk-taking among adolescents. Journal of Mental Health, 15 (6), 633-643.

  • Gaigalaitė, G. (2007). Valgymo sutrikimų rizikos paplitimas tarp moterų [The occurrence of eating disorders risk among women and its determinants]. Kaunas: Lietuvos kūno kultūros akademija.

  • Green, K., Krcmar, M., Walters, R. H., Rubin, D. L., Hale, J., Hale, L. (2000). Targeting adolescent risk-taking behaviors: the contribution of egocentrism and sensation-seeking. Journal of Adolescence, 23 (5), 439-461.

  • Guan, S., Subrahmanyam, K. (2009). Youth Internet use: risks and opportunities. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, (22), 351-356.

  • Guzman, M. R., Bosch, K. R. (2007). High-risk behaviors among youth. NebGuide. Families, Adolescence & Youth. Available from Internet:¬cationD.jsp?publicationId=786.

  • Lithuanian Education Management Information System (ITC Education Management Information System) (2017). [Accessed 17.04.2017]. Available from Internet:

  • Irish, L. A.(2011). Development, reliability and validity of the health risk behaviors inventory: a self-report measure of 7 current health risk behaviors. Open access thesis and dissertations. [Accessed 11.02.2017]. Available from: .

  • Jessor, R. (1998). New Perspectives on Adolescent Risk Behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1995). Official Gazette, 60, (1501).

  • Keeler, H. J., Kaiser, M. M. (2010). An Integrative Model of Adolescent Health Risk Behavior. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, (25), 126-137.

  • Kolpakova, O., Liubimova, A., Levina, O. (2012). Understanding risky online behavior of 14-17 years old Russian children. Available from Internet:

  • Lenhart, A. (2009). Teens and Social Media. Available from Internet:

  • Law on Education of the Republic of Lithuania (2011). Official Gazette, 38, (1804).

  • Livingstone, S., Helsper, E. (2008). Parental mediation and children’s internet use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52 (2), 581-599.

  • Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P. (2004). Toward a broader education. In: Walberg H. J., Wang M. C., Zins R. J. E., Weissberg, P. (eds.), Building school success on social and emotional learning. New York: Teachers College Press.

  • Milam, A.J., Furr-Holden, C.D.M., Leaf, P.J. (2010). Perceived School and Neighborhood Safety, Neighborhood Violence and Academic Achievement in Urban School Children. The Urban Review, 42 (5), 458-467.

  • Norkus, A. (2012). Sveika gyvensena Lietuvos studentų populiacijoje: edukacinis diagnostinis aspektas [Healthy lifestyle in the Lithuanian student population: the educational and diagnostic aspect]. Šiauliai: Šiaulių universitetas.

  • Olsson, A., Fahlén, I., Janson, S. (2008). Health behaviours, risk-taking and conceptual changes among schoolchildren aged 7 to 19 years in semi-rural Sweden. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34 (3), 302-309.

  • Pickett, W., Schmid, H., Boyce, W. F., Simpson, K., Scheidt, P. C., Mazur, J., Molcho, M., King, M. A., Godeau, E., Overpeck, M., Aszmann, A., Szabo, M., Harel, Y. (2002). Multiple risk behavior and injury: an international analysis of young people. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 56 (8), 786-793.

  • Reeves, M. A., Kanan, L. M., Plog, E. M. (2010). Comprehensive Planning for Safe Learning Environments. New York: Taylor and Francis Group.

  • Ruangkanchanasetr, S., Plitponkarnpim, A., Hetrakul, P., Kongsakon, R. (2005). Youth risk behavior survey. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University.

  • Sakalauskaitė, E., Tutkuvienė, J. (2009). Kūno įvaizdis: veiksniai ir sąsajos su fizine būkle [Body Image: Factors and Parallels with the Physical Status]. Laboratorinė medicina, 4 (44), 15-19.

  • Schmidt, H., Voigt, K., Wikler, D. (2010). Carrots, sticks, and health care reform - problems with wellness incentives. The New England Journal of Medicine, 362 (20).

  • Sychareun, V., Thomsen, S., Faxelid, E. (2011). Concurrent multiple health risk behaviors among adolescents in Luangnamtha province, Lao PDR. BMC Public Health, 11 (36).

  • Sklad, M., et al. (2012). Effectiveness of school-based universal social, emotional, and behavioral programs: do they enhance students’ development in the area of skill, behavior, and adjustment? Psychology in the Schools, 49 (9), 892-909.


Journal + Issues