Risk-Taking Behavior

A. Haydon, A. L. McRee, C. T. Halpern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Increased risk taking during adolescence is the result of dynamic and continuous interactions that occur across multiple levels of influence. After first describing behavioral theories traditionally applied to adolescent risk taking, this article uses a developmental science framework to explore individual (biological, psychological, and cognitive), interpersonal (family, peers), community (school, neighborhood, media), and political/legal contributors to adolescent risk behavior. We emphasize that, rather than being uniformly destructive, risk taking can serve important developmental functions during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Adolescence
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780123739513
StatePublished - 2011


  • Adolescent development
  • Decision-making
  • Developmental science
  • Dual process models
  • Egocentrism
  • Family
  • Impulsivity
  • Media
  • Neighborhoods
  • Peer influence
  • Problem behaviors
  • Psychosocial conventionality
  • Puberty
  • Risk taking
  • Sensation seeking

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