Religious Affiliation Influences on the Health Status and Behaviours of Students Attending Seventh-Day Adventist Schools in Australia
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Students attending Seventh-day Adventist (Adventist) schools in Australia have been shown to have better health status and behaviours compared to secular norms, yet these schools cater for a high percentage of non-Adventist students. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of religious affiliation (Adventist/non-Adventist) on the health status and behaviours of students attending Adventist secondary schools in Australia. The sample included 1734 students who responded to a health and lifestyle survey that captured demographic details, self-reported height and weight, self-reported health status, mental health and select health behaviours. Students who identified themselves as Adventist reported significantly better health behaviours than the non-Adventist students in several behavioural domains, especially among the male students. However, this did not translate to a difference in health status. Further research is needed to understand the causal mechanisms responsible for the potential health advantage of Adventist students, which may include family or church religious influences.
KeywordsAdolescent health status Adolescent health behaviours Religious affiliation Seventh-day Adventist
T.L.B and K.R.P received funding from the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the administration and data collection of the survey. The funder had no involvement in: study design, data analysis and interpretation of data, the writing of the paper or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. No honoraria were involved in study authorship.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Authors Bevan Adrian Craig, Darren Peter Morton, Lillian Marton Kent, Alva Barry Gane and Paul Meredith Rankin declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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