CE Credit

High-Risk Behaviors In Young People: Screening and Intervention


Welcome to the training on High-Risk Behaviors In Young People: Screening and Intervention provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Credit hours: 2.00 CE


The goal of this module is to equip Texas Health Steps providers and others to recognize the origin, prevalence, signs, symptoms, and effects of high-risk behaviors and to respond with appropriate interventions that promote protective factors and help youth make healthy decisions.

Target Audience

Texas Health Steps providers and other interested health-care professionals.

Specific Learning Objectives

After completing the activities of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Summarize how physical, cognitive, and social development influences risk-taking behavior among adolescents, and distinguish between positive challenges and unsafe behaviors.
  2. Specify common high-risk behaviors and the risks they pose to young people.
  3. Apply the Texas Health Steps Periodicity Schedule to conduct routine screenings for high-risk behaviors.
  4. Integrate effective communication strategies to promote healthy outcomes and protective factors.

NOTE: For purposes of this module, the terms “young person,” “youth,” “teen,” and “adolescent” are interchangeable. The term “parent” also refers to guardians and adult caregivers raising a child.

Please note this module expires on 10/22/2021.

This module was released on 10/22/2018.

Accreditation Statement


Browser Requirements

Section 1: The Lure of High-Risk Behaviors for Young People

Section 2: Communication Strategies

Section 3: Motor Vehicle Crashes and Violence

Section 4:  Self-Injury and Suicide

Section 5: Substance Use

Section 6: Sexual Behavior

Section 7: Unhealthy Eating

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight provides obesity prevention, management, and treatment resources for health professionals, communities, and parents. 
  • Academy for Eating Disorders publishes many resources in multiple languages for health-care providers and others, including Eating Disorders: A Guide To Medical Care (2016). The guide is endorsed by the AAP, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, among other medical professional organizations. 
  • American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy website describes three types of mouth guards. 
  • Bright Futures.  AAP guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents. 
  • Calorie King allows online calculation of calorie-content of foods. 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BAM! (Body and Mind). A website with dietary recommendations, physical activity recommendations, and monitoring tools. 
  • Choose My Plate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary recommendations for the public based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (See below.)
  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides dietary recommendations for children 2 years and older and for adults. 
  • Exercise Is Medicine provides recommendations for physicians to include physical activity prescription as part of their clinical practice. 
  • Healthychildren.org from the AAP provides dietary recommendations, physical activity recommendations, tips to change home environment, and parenting skills advice.
  • Let’s Move! National fitness campaign offers dietary recommendations, physical activity recommendations and prescription, and tips to change home environment.
  • Mindless Eating, tips to change home environment. 
  • Oral Health Literacy: Tool Kit offers a list (beginning on page 53) of plain language terms that can be substituted for medical terms. 
  • We Can! provides dietary recommendations, physical activity recommendations, and monitoring tools. 
  • WebMD provides interactive content for children, teenagers, and parents. 

Section 8: Making Referrals

The medical definitions in this module were obtained or adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Mayo Clinic, Megan Meier Foundation, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Orthorexia.com, Oxford University Press, and ScienceDirect.