Social Influence Processes on Adolescents Health Behaviours
Pp. 67-77 (11)
This chapter presents the family, school and leisure activities as the main settings for
adolescent development and discusses the influences of social processes on health behaviours in these
settings. The main processes are described through the social psychological constructs of social norms
and social support, and observational learning, an approach informed by social cognitive theory, one of
the most influential theories used in health promotion. The chapter discusses legislation and
international conventions as more formalized norms. The role of such norms in promoting healthy
behaviours among adolescents is demonstrated by findings from an international study on the effect of
national legislation on smoking in schools. The influences of these social processes in the main
developmental settings for adolescent health behaviour are analysed in terms of systems theory,
particularly ecological systems theory, and the reproduction of social inequality.
Health behaviours, social processes, settings, social norms, social support, observational
learning, social cognitive theory, legislations, ecological systems theory, reproduction of social inequality,
Health-behaviour in School-aged children study (HBSC).
University of Bergen, Norway