The period from adolescence to adulthood is a significant period of transition. Many modifiable health risk behaviours including alcohol and other drug use and sexual risk behaviours as well as health issues related to mental health, injury and sexual health emerge during this time. These health risks and behaviours have an important impact on young people’s current health and their future health as adults.
A complex set of factors influences young people’s engagement in risk behaviours including:
- individual characteristics (e.g. age, sexuality, and mental health),
- social network (e.g. peer group, family),
- new media (smartphones and social networking websites), and
- broader aspects of the social environment (e.g. cultural influences).
The TRYP project aims to understand how these complex factors influence the emergence of health risks and how to intervene to reduce associated harms.
Stage 1 - Formative work
The first phase of the TRYP project involved focus groups and interviews with young people to explore acceptable strategies to recruit and engage young people and their peers in research about risk behaviours. Young people identified a range of recruitment strategies including social media platforms and places where they hang out. Young people also gave us specific feedback to increase the acceptability of participating in research about sensitive health topics and to engage their friend networks.
Stage 2 - Pilot study
Based on the feedback in Stage 1, we will conduct a pilot study in 2019 to test a novel approach to recruiting young people’s peer networks. Findings will be used to inform a future larger study exploring how complex factors such as the peer network influences young people’s health risks and behaviours over the period from adolescence to adulthood.
2018 – current