Age Patterns in Risk Taking Across the World.

Abstract

Epidemiological data indicate that risk behaviors are among the leading causes of adolescent morbidity and mortality worldwide. Consistent with this, laboratory-based studies of age differences in risk behavior allude to a peak in adolescence, suggesting that adolescents demonstrate a heightened propensity, or inherent inclination, to take risks. Unlike epidemiological reports, studies of risk taking propensity have been limited to Western samples, leaving questions about the extent to which heightened risk taking propensity is an inherent or culturally constructed aspect of adolescence. In the present study, age patterns in risk-taking propensity (using two laboratory tasks: the Stoplight and the BART) and real-world risk taking (using self-reports of health and antisocial risk taking) were examined in a sample of 5227 individuals (50.7% female) ages 10-30 (M = 17.05 years, SD = 5.91) from 11 Western and non-Western countries (China, Colombia, Cyprus, India, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the US). Two hypotheses were tested: (1) risk taking follows an inverted-U pattern across age groups, peaking earlier on measures of risk taking propensity than on measures of real-world risk taking, and (2) age patterns in risk taking propensity are more consistent across countries than age patterns in real-world risk taking. Overall, risk taking followed the hypothesized inverted-U pattern across age groups, with health risk taking evincing the latest peak. Age patterns in risk taking propensity were more consistent across countries than age patterns in real-world risk taking. Results suggest that although the association between age and risk taking is sensitive to measurement and culture, around the world, risk taking is generally highest among late adolescents.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1007/s10964-017-0752-y

Publication Info

Duell, Natasha, Laurence Steinberg, Grace Icenogle, Jason Chein, Nandita Chaudhary, Laura Di Giunta, Kenneth A Dodge, Kostas A Fanti, et al. (2017). Age Patterns in Risk Taking Across the World. J Youth Adolesc. 10.1007/s10964-017-0752-y Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15829.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Lansford

Jennifer Lansford

S. Malcolm Gillis Distinguished Research Professor of Public Policy

Jennifer Lansford is the director of the Center for Child and Family Policy and S. Malcolm Gillis Distinguished Research Professor of Public Policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Dr. Lansford's research focuses on the development of aggression and other behavior problems in youth, with an emphasis on how family and peer contexts contribute to or protect against these outcomes. She examines how experiences with parents (e.g., physical abuse, discipline, divorce) and peers (e.g., rejection, friendships) affect the development of children's behavior problems, how influence operates in adolescent peer groups, and how cultural contexts moderate links between parenting and children's adjustment.

Skinner

Ann Skinner

Research Scientist

Ann Skinner joined the Center in 2001 and is a Research Scientist with Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) and C-StARR.  She is also the Principal Investigator for a study examining the effects of the war on young people and their families in Ukraine.

Her research focuses on the ways in which stressful community, familial, and interpersonal events impact parent-child relationships and the development of aggression and internalizing behaviors in youth. She has extensive experience in data management of multisite projects and in supervising teams for school- and community-based interventions and data collection. 

Skinner is a former supervisor in the Junior Researcher Programme, where she led a group of junior international scholars exploring the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent and young adult development.  She is currently a 2022-23 fellow with the ICDSS COVID-19 Global Scholars Program.

Prior to her work with Parenting Across Cultures, Skinner was a senior school specialist and research analyst on the GREAT Schools and Families middle school violence prevention project at the Center, as well as Project CLASS.

Skinner has a Ph.D in developmental psychology from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, a master's degree in education, and B.A. in psychology, both from the College of William and Mary, with a focus on teaching students with emotional and learning disabilities. Before joining the Center, she worked as a special education teacher, trainer, and supervisor in the North Carolina public schools and at residential facilities for at-risk youth in Rhode Island and North Carolina.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.