Betel Nut Chewing Behavior among Adolescents in Papua Province, Indonesia

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James J. Watopa


Chewing betel nut is a Papuan tradition and widely accepted. The nut contains a psychotropic substance called arecoline that is a stimulant. This study used a descriptive cross-sectional method. Its objective was to find what are the dominant factors regarding the behavior among adolescents in Papua province. Data were taken from 293 respondents from eight different academies in Papua. It was found that individuals aged 17 to 29 showed significantly higher consumption of betel nut than other age groups. One dominant factor influencing high school students in chewing betel nuts was the cultural factor. The habit of chewing betel nuts was influenced by level of education, religion, and tribe. In addition, there were significant differences between participants from Adventist schools and non-Adventist schools in terms of chewing betel nuts. This study can be used to help young people in Papua province understand the negative effects of chewing betel nuts on health and social life.


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