Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Zhongguo Weisheng Tongji [Chinese Journal of Health Statisitcs], 25:2 (2008), 114-116.


Objective: To explore interrelationships among conceptually related groups of health behaviors in Chinese youth using the multivariate technique of canonical correlation to provide a multi-dimensional view of the component variables.

Methods: Responses on health behaviors from the 2003 Global School-Based Student Health Survey(GSHS) in China were grouped into four conceptual categories-health risks, psychological, behavior, and environmental and analyzed through canonical correlation using SPSS 13.0.

Results: Negative psychological state is reflected by high level incidence of being lonely, being worried, being depressed, considering suicide, and planning how to attempt suicide, while healthy behavior by low tobacco use, alcohol use, sedentary behavior and often eating breakfast. Other risk behaviors within the control of the individual include skipping school, being in a physical fight, and not using seat belts. And unhealthy environmental exposures include tobacco exposure, being bullied and suffering a serious injury. One with negative psychological states is more likely to have unhealthy behaviors, while one with more unhealthy environmental exposures has greater negative psychological risks.

Conclusion: Canonical correlation of various risk categories confirms that behavior is multi-factorial and results from the small contributions of many different sources. No single set of feelings or other behaviors explains the variability in risk behaviors among Chinese youth.