Healthy or Unhealthy Lifestyle: A Thematic Analysis of Iranian Male Adolescents’ Perspectives

Armin Zareiyan


Introduction: Identifying what adolescents perceive as their lifestyle and exploring the factors persuading their decisions to engage in or avoid healthy or unhealthy lifestyle behaviors could improve the ability of healthcare professionals to develop innovative preventive strategies and modify negative health behaviors in adolescents. Hence, the literature on adolescent health‑related issues reported by adults showed a rarity of information from adolescents themselves.
Materials and Methods: A qualitative study using the thematic analysis approach was conducted. Data were collected by  semi‑structured, digitally recorded interviews from 32 male adolescents. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and after collecting the data, the thematic analysis process was started and conducted in six phases.

 Results: After data collection, the interview texts were transcribed, and approximately 800 initial codes were extracted. The initial codes were reevaluated to yield 48 main themes. Hence, the final thematic map was created as having 5 overarching themes and 12 subthemes, showing that interviewees emphasized unhealthy lifestyle.

 Conclusions: The components of unhealthy lifestyle seem important to them because they consider that they could lead a healthy lifestyle through elimination of negative behaviors.


Adolescent; Iran; lifestyle; qualitative research

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