Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Adolescents engage in health risk behaviors (Grunbaum, 2001). Persons engaging in high‐risk behaviors during adolescence have disproportionally poor health as adults (Grunbaum et al., 2003; Resnick et al., 1997). Adolescents comprise a target group for health promotion and education programs to establish healthy lifestyle choices that transcend into adulthood. The purpose of this descriptive research study was to identify, analyze, and compare the health interests and health risk behaviors between male and female inner city, adolescent, charter high school students. The study served as a needs assessment before a health promotion and education program was implemented into the high school. This random sample study was conducted at an inner city charter high school with approximately 350 students aged 15 to 22. The American Medical Association’s Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services questionnaire was modified and converted to a web‐based survey. Frequencies were calculated and chi square tests were done for significance. Males and females shared the same top three health interests of anger/temper, stress, and future plans. Males engaged in more health risk behaviors involving weapons and violence, tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Females reported increased health risk behaviors involving diet and physical activity, family, sexual activity, and mental health and emotions. Local research studies are important to make an impact and change at a local level. Public Health departments along with school systems have the opportunity to develop health promotion and education programs that foster prevention and healthy lifestyle habits for adolescents, especially at risk youth.