NEXT is a 7-year longitudinal assessment of a representative sample of U.S. adolescent and young adults starting at grade 10. The goals of the NEXT longitudinal study include: to identify the trajectory of adolescent health status and health behaviors from mid-adolescence through the post high school years; to examine individual predictors of the onset of key adolescent risk behaviors and risk indicators during this period; to identify genetic, personal, family, school, and social/environmental factors that promote or sustain positive health behaviors; to identify transition points in health risk and risk behaviors and changes in family, school, and social/environmental precursors to these transitions, and to examine the role of potential gene-environment interactions in the development of health status and health behaviors.
Assessments are conducted annually for seven years beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. African American youth are oversampled to provide a better population estimate and to provide an adequate sample to examine racial/ethnic differences in longitudinal predictors of health, health behaviors, and health behavior change. Self-reports of health status, health behaviors, and health attitudes are collected by in-school and online surveys. Anthropometric data, genetic information, and neighborhood characteristics are gathered on all participants as well. The study also incorporates a School Administrator Survey and other data files to obtain related information on school-level health programs and community-level contextual data.
A subsample of students participate in more extensive assessments of factors affecting cardiovascular health including: physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep patterns; adolescent diet and nutrient intake; and biological markers for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Driving performance is evaluated in 150 young adults.
The NEXT Generation Health Study is supported by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Maternal and Child Health Branch of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA/MCHB).
Bruce Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H.
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