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Risk-Taking Behaviors: Annotated Bibliography

Risk-Taking Behaviors: Annotated Bibliography


 This annotated bibliography was designed and constructed for a covert naturalistic observation research paper. The observed behaviors that were studied include risk-taking behaviors in female and male adolescences at an ice-skating rink. Risk-taking behaviors often occur in early to late adolescence. As adolescences develop, they are more likely to give into peer pressure and this plays a major role in risky behaviors. Teenagers find themselves wanting to discover, explore, and engage in risky behaviors because during the adolescence period, there is an increased interest in peer relationships and teens seem to become more susceptible to peer influence. During the adolescent years, the brain is still developing and undergoing maturation so, many adolescents may not be as effective at suppressing distress during peer social rejection. Also, during puberty adolescents will experience emotions that are more intense, and this makes them more sensitive to social influences. Adolescents do not want to feel left out by their peers, so they tend to engage in risky behaviors to prevent feeling excluded. Adolescents were found to engage in risky behaviors even more when friends were present. In this paper we will explore the reasons as to why teenagers are more prone to risk-taking behaviors and what role if any, peers play directly or indirectly in the development of risky behaviors among friends.

Risk-Taking Behaviors: Annotated Bibliography

Reniers, R. L. E. P., Murphy, L., Lin, A., Bartolomé, S. P., & Wood, S. J. (2016). Risk Perception and Risk-Taking Behavior during Adolescence: The Influence of Personality and Gender. PLoS ONE, 11(4), 1–14.

Risk taking behaviors in teens seems to be highly influenced not only by peers, but by gender. Often times most people think that boys are more likely to be the risk takers, but after a study was done, it was found that both genders were likely to engage in risky behaviors. Male teens who thought risky behaviors were not actually that risky, were reported as taking the most risks when compared to others. Male adolescence were also less sensitive when it came to social anxiety and negative outcomes. When taking risks, most teens look to receive a beneficial outcome as a reward to participating in risky behaviors, even though the outcome could be a harmful or negative consequence of that behavior. During puberty teens are not able to self-regulate and they tend to have a heightened reactivity to emotions, thus, leading to a high vulnerability to negative consequences of risky behaviors. Adolescents spend a significant amount of time with friends and peers and are therefore consequently likely to be influenced by them (Reniers, Murphy, Lin, Bartolomé & Wood, 2016). Rapid development of the brains reward system contributes to an increased need in risk taking during this developmental period with adolescence. Males were found to focus more on the rewards of making a risky decision and were found to be more impulsive than females. Female adolescents were more sensitive to both the uncertainty of risk-taking behaviors and punishment. Those who are more sensitive to punishment were more anxious in a social setting and less likely to engage in risky behavior.

Biolcati, R., Mancini, G., & Trombini, E. (2018). Proneness to Boredom and Risk Behaviors During Adolescents’ Free Time. Psychological Reports, 121(2), 303–323.

Most teens when bored, go looking for something to do. Boredom is an emotional state that can lead adolescents to become involved in some type of risk-taking behaviors (Biolcati, Mancini & Trombini, 2018). Boredom is a common experience during the adolescence years. Boredom can lead to negative consequences because teens look for additional stimulation, which in turn can heighten the need to engage in exploratory behaviors and sensation seeking. Both boredom and leisure time have a complicated relationship when it comes to adolescents’ risk taking behaviors. During the adolescence stage there is a high risk of experimenting with unhealthy and troublesome behaviors especially during leisure time or times of boredom. Adolescents were found to binge drink, do drugs and engage in sexual behaviors and other stimulants with friends. Within this study it was found that the boys ended up engaging in riskier behaviors way more than girls did. Risk taking behavior in teens has seem to become normalized. Boredom proneness in adolescence is strongly linked to risky behaviors and do involve some type of drugs or alcohol. Personality vulnerabilities are high at this stage of development and are associated with high risks or risk taking behaviors.

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