Racial/Ethnic Differences in Chronic Disease Predictors Among American High School Students. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Few studies have attempted to define clusters of chronic disease predictors with additional focus on racial/ethnic differences. The purpose of this study was to highlight differences in predictors of chronic diseases among American high school students by identifying subgroups using latent class analysis (LCA). METHODS: The chronic disease predictor variable used in the analysis was created from 5 modified items in the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance that were identified to be critical to healthy lifestyles in Healthy People 2020. Descriptive, bivariate, multinomial logistic regression and LCA were performed using SAS 9.4 and Mplus in 9th to 12th grade students, using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N=13,677). RESULTS: Three distinct classes emerged for US high school students and were characterized as high, moderate, and low risk of chronic disease (38%, 33%, and 29%, respectively). Black and Asian students had a higher chance of being in the high-risk class of chronic diseases. IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL HEALTH POLICY, PRACTICE, AND EQUITY: Emphasis should be placed on sociocultural and socio-environmentally structured prevention programs for at risk/students, ensuring that policy formation reflects the language, identity, and needs of the populations at risk. CONCLUSIONS: The behavioral similarities of the classes identified highlight the need for continued research, novel interventions, and culturally sensitive strategies and policies in US high schools.

published proceedings

  • J Sch Health

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Alexander, J., Gilreath, T., Grant, M., & Curran, L.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Alexander, Janae||Gilreath, Tamika||Grant, Morgan||Curran, Laurel

publication date

  • December 2022