Risk and Rationality in Adolescent Decision Making

  title={Risk and Rationality in Adolescent Decision Making},
  author={Valerie F. Reyna and Frank Farley},
  journal={Psychological Science in the Public Interest},
  pages={1 - 44}
  • V. Reyna, Frank Farley
  • Published 1 September 2006
  • Psychology
  • Psychological Science in the Public Interest
Crime, smoking, drug use, alcoholism, reckless driving, and many other unhealthy patterns of behavior that play out over a lifetime often debut during adolescence. Avoiding risks or buying time can set a different lifetime pattern. Changing unhealthy behaviors in adolescence would have a broad impact on society, reducing the burdens of disease, injury, human suffering, and associated economic costs. Any program designed to prevent or change such risky behaviors should be founded on a clear idea… 

Current theories of risk and rational decision making

There are few topics that are more important than risk and rational decision making, as the contributions to this special issue attest. If we contemplate the risks and consequences of smoking,

Current Theories of Risk and Rational Decision Making.

The Role of Deliberative Decision Making, Parenting, and Friends in Adolescent Risk Behaviors

It is suggested that both cognitive and social factors need to be considered to explain adolescents’ decisions to engage in risk behavior, and that deliberative decision making may be especially important in certain contexts.

Adolescent Vulnerabilities and Opportunities: Adolescent Risk Taking: A Social Neuroscience Perspective

It is widely agreed among experts in the study of adolescent health and development that the greatest threats to the well-being of young people in industrialized societies come from preventable and


Unwanted pregnancies that occur outside of marriage in adolescents are problematic because they have wider after-effects academically, financially, and socially. The occurrence of unwanted pregnancy

Decision-Making in Adolescents and Young Adults

This chapter will explain the foundational processes and theories used to conceptualize and study adolescent and young adult health-related decision-making while also reviewing the most recent findings in the field.

Effectiveness of a Theoretically-Based Judgment and Decision Making Intervention for Adolescents

The results suggest that efforts to teach core thinking strategies and apply/practice them through independent intervention modules may benefit adolescents when used in conjunction with content-based programs designed to change problematic behaviors.

Risk Taking in Late Adolescence: Relations Between Sociomoral Reasoning, Risk Stance, and Behavior

This study explored relations among late adolescents' sociomoral reasoning about risk taking, risk stance, and behavior. One-hundred and thirty-two participants (18–20-year-olds) were surveyed about

Risk-Taking Behavior and Suicidality: The Unique Role of Adolescent Drug Use

  • B. AmmermanL. SteinbergM. McCloskey
  • Psychology
    Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53
  • 2018
It is suggested that illicit drug use may have a stronger association with suicidal thoughts and behaviors than other risk-taking behavior and have implications for prevention and intervention programs for adolescents.



Reducing underage drinking: a collective responsibility.

Reducing Underage Drinking explores the ways in which many different individuals and groups contribute to the problem and how they can be enlisted to prevent it and proposes a new way to combat underage alcohol use.

Risk Involvement and Risk Perception Among Adolescents and Young Adults

The data suggest that adolescents engaged in risky behavior do not have a complete appreciation of their exposure to harm, and programs intended to prevent or reduce risky behavior need to take a multifaceted approach to persuasion about risk.

Adolescent drug use and psychological health. A longitudinal inquiry.

Adolescents who had engaged in some drug experimentation were the best-adjusted in the sample, and those who used drugs frequently were maladjusted, showing a distinct personality syndrome marked by interpersonal alienation, poor impulse control, and manifest emotional distress.

Adolescent sexual risk behavior: a multi-system perspective.

Teaching Decision Making to Adolescents: A Critical Review.

In a rapidly changing world where individuals have great autonomy, citizens must be able to make independent decisions effectively. This is especially true for adolescents who :ace such important

Risk-taking patterns of female adolescents: what they do and why.

Results indicated that participants engaged in a variety of risky behaviors ranging from traditional adolescent risk-taking behaviors, e.g. drinking and sex, to other behaviors not typically included in studies of risk- taking, e,g. interpersonal and financial risky behaviors.

Risk Taking in Adolescence: What Changes, and Why?

  • L. Steinberg
  • Psychology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2004
The present analysis suggests that the greater propensity of adolescents to take risks is not due to age differences in risk perception or appraisal, but to age Differences in psychosocial factors that influence self‐regulation.

Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: an experimental study.

The idea that adolescents are more inclined toward risky behavior and risky decision making than are adults and that peer influence plays an important role in explaining risky behavior during adolescence is supported.

Examining delinquency in adolescents differentially prenatally exposed to alcohol: the role of proximal and distal risk factors.

Regression analysis for the full sample revealed that higher adolescent life stress, higher self-reported drug use and lower parental supervision were significantly related to a wider range of delinquent acts.

Perceived consequences of risky behaviors: Adults and adolescents.

Adult and adolescent Ss were asked to list possible consequences of either accepting or declining opportunities to engage in various potentially risky behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, skipping