Schools are overloaded with health promotion programs that, altogether, focus on a broad array of behavioral domains, including substance abuse, sexuality and nutrition. Although the specific content of programs varies according to the domain focus, programs usually address similar concepts: knowledge, attitudinal beliefs, social influences and skills. This apparent conceptual overlap between behaviors and programs provides opportunities for a transfer-oriented approach which will stimulate students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in one domain (e.g. skills for resisting tobacco use) to other domains (e.g. alcohol, sex). A requirement for such an approach is that behaviors share at least some determinants. This review addresses this issue by examining similarities between domain-specific determinants of smoking, drinking, safe sex and healthy nutrition among adolescents. Recent empirical studies and reviews were examined. The results show that the following determinants are relevant to all four behaviors: beliefs about immediate gratification and social advantages, peer norms, peer and parental modeling and refusal self-efficacy. Several other determinants have been found to relate to at least two behaviors, e.g. health risk beliefs and parental norms. These results can be used for the development of a transfer-oriented school health promotion curriculum. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.