Skip to main content
Problem Behaviours: An Extension of Problem-Behaviour Theory
Health over the Life Course Conference (2009)
  • Piotr Wilk
  • Evelyn Vingilis
Start Date
16-10-2009 11:00 AM
End Date
16-10-2009 12:30 PM

Various risky and health compromising behaviours have long been identified as public health problems with major economic burdens to society. Although much research has focused on individual problems, in the past three decades, researchers have been providing evidence of the interrelatedness of problems and causal factors. Problem-Behaviour Theory (PBT) (Jessor, 1987, 1991) is one theory that recognizes the interrelatedness of problem behaviours: causal factors influencing one behaviour may be the same as those influencing another. This theory has been used to explain problem drinking, smoking, risky driving and other problem behaviours and health-enhancing behaviours, self-rated health and health care utilization. Despite the wealth of studies examining PBT, much of the risk and protective factors research within PBT has been cross sectional. The purpose of this investigation is to utilize the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) to explore the relationships between risk and protective factors and problem behaviours within the context of PBT over the life course. The NPHS allows analyses to be conducted on a nationally representative sample of households in Canada that is collected in a prospective manner; it allow for risk and protective factors to be examined over time and for different age cohorts. A limitation of the NPHS is that not all potential risk and protective factors are available in the survey instrument. Yet a substantive number of survey questions address risk and protective factors of PBT, making an examination of this theory a viable research proposition. We will examine problem behaviours over time with Latent Growth Modelling (LGM) techniques.

Piotr Wilk is the Community Health Researcher/Educator at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, with a research focus on the health and well being of children. Dr. Wilk is currently conducting research on how the socio-economic conditions in which children are born and grow up affect their health and developmental trajectories. Dr. Wilk also focuses his research on health of Aboriginal children by examining the role of contextual predictors related to family characteristics and community/neighborhood characteristics. He is also involved in teaching advanced graduate courses in social statistics and quantitative research methods.

Citation Information
Piotr Wilk and Evelyn Vingilis. "Problem Behaviours: An Extension of Problem-Behaviour Theory" (2009)
Available at: