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English (U.S.)
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Why Do Some Teenagers Engage In Risky Behavior (Essay Sample)


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Why Do Some Teenagers Engage In Risky Behavior
One common feature among teenagers around the world is that they engage in risky behavior. According to Laurence Steinberg (2014), “rates of risk taking are higher during the late teen years than during any other period of development.” To a majority of adults, teenagers are irrational, poor decision makers, and downright disrespectful. However, scientists seem to have a different theory and try to explain why teenagers seem to always put themselves and their lives in the line of danger. Compared to other age groups, teenagers seem to want to experiment more and to engage in more risky activities. According to Steinberg (2014), “adolescents are more likely to commit crimes, experiment with alcohol and other drugs, deliberately hurt themselves, and have unprotected sex.” The above are things adults consider normal and therefore, seem to have already developed a certain attitude towards teenagers. However, what many fail to realize is that there are valid reasons which can help to explain why teenagers seem to always want to do the unthinkable and often the irrational. While illuminating on these reasons, this article seeks to shed light on why teenagers engage in risky behavior.
According to Magliano (2015) a professor of psychology, teenagers have evolutionary advantage over the other age groups. On most occasions, adults believe that teenagers are poor at evaluating risks and assessing results or consequences. However, according to Marom et al. (1993), adolescents and young adults are indeed just as good as adults in assessing situations and evaluating the risks and consequences involved in the activities they are taking part in. However, the brain develops differently and Boyles seems to echo the same sentiments as Magliano. According to Boyles (2007), “the brain systems involved in decision-making mature at different times.” She continues to explain by stating that “the way the brain develops creates a period of risk-taking vulnerability that is greatest around puberty.” At this point, teenagers become more interested in their emotions and how best they can grow their social groups

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