Teens and risky behavior: More complicated than it seems? – latimes.com

Posted: October 2, 2012 by wjfkee in Uncategorized

Teens and risky behavior: More complicated than it seems?

teenager bungee jumping

Teens may not seek risk for its own sake: their oft-cited love of danger may actually be a symptom of their tolerance for uncertainty, scientists said Monday. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

By Eryn BrownLos Angeles Times

October 2, 2012, 6:15 a.m.

 

When teenagers engage in dangerous behavior, adults usually chalk it up to some innate fondness for risk — the thrill of an unsafe situation.

But in fact, adolescents may be more risk-averse than adults, a new study has found.  Their willingness to engage in risky behavior may have less to do with thrill-seeking per se than with a higher tolerance for uncertain consequences, researchers reported Monday.

“Teenagers enter unsafe situations not because they are drawn to dangerous or risky situations, but rather because they aren’t informed enough about the odds of the consequences of their actions,” said Agnieszka Tymula, a postdoctoral researcher at New York University and coauthor of a report detailing the study, in a statement.

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