Does the Family Structure Affect the Health Risk Behavior of Adolescents in Brazil?


  • Rayen Heredia Peñaloza Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica e Estratégica do Estado do Ceará - IPECE
  • Vitor Miro Couto Silva Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Edward Martins Costa Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Guilherme Dniz Irffi Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Ahmad Saeed Khan Universidade Federal do Ceará



Family structure, Adolescents, Risky behavior, Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, Propensity score matching


The purpose of this study was to estimate the varied effects of family structure on the health risk behavior of Brazilian adolescents and to analyze this effect according to the levels of education (elementary school and high school). The analysis used data from the National Student Health Survey (PeNSE) for 2015, which provides information about health behavior among 13- to 17-year-old Brazilian students. The sample was subdivided into Elementary School (through 9th grade) and High School (through 12th grade). Estimations were made using the propensity score matching (PSM) method and the risky behaviors considered for the estimation were consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drugs. The results suggested that being raised in a single-parent household negatively affects the health risk behavior of adolescents when analyzed according to substance abuse, mainly regarding consumption of
alcohol and cigarettes.