Risk and rationality in adolescent decision making : implications for theory, practice, and public policy.

Auteur(s)
Reyna, V.F. & Farley, F.
Jaar
Samenvatting

In this report, we analyze adolescent risk-taking from a behavioral decision-making perspective, with respect to the following questions: •Why is adolescent risky decision making important? •What is rational, adaptive, or good decision-making for adolescents (i.e., normative approaches)? •What are the main explanatory models of adolescent risk taking? •What are the key data (i.e., those data that illuminate prediction, explanation, and intervention)? -How do adolescents perceive risk (e.g., the myth of invulnerability)? -What changes occur in risky decision making with development? •What are the main approaches to risk reduction and avoidance? •What are some key implications of current data for different approaches to risk reduction and avoidance? Specifically, we briefly describe some important social consequences of adolescent risktaking, for example, that one out of four people with HIV/AIDS became infected as teenagers. Using a behavioral decision-making framework, we describe traditional normative characterizations of good decision-making. Recent challenges to this characterization of good decision-making are also described. One of the main explanatory models of adolescent risk-taking is the behavioral decision research perspective. This perspective explains decision-making in terms of identifying options, assessing probabilities, weighing values, and integrating them in order to make a choice--all quintessentially cognitive activities. An expanded version of this perspective adds emotional, social, and developmental considerations in decision-making. Other explanatory linear models (e.g., health belief or expectancy-value models) have been supported empirically and capture such constructs as attitudes, beliefs, social norms, behavioral intentions and self-efficacy (e.g., the efficacy of refusal skills). Interventions have been developed from these models, and those that combine multiple components have achieved limited success in changing behavior. The most recent explanatory model of adolescent risk-taking, fuzzy-trace theory, uses assumptions about dual processes in memory and reasoning, especially gist-based fuzzy intuition, to explain how risky decision-making develops from childhood to adulthood. (Author/publisher)

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Publicatie

Bibliotheeknummer
C 38597 [electronic version only]
Uitgave

Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Vol 7 (2006), No. 1 (September), 44 p., ref.

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