Reducing Adolescent Risk: Toward an Integrated Approach focuses on common influences that result in a number of interrelated risk behaviors in order to design more unified, comprehensive prevention strategies. Edited by Daniel Romer, this book summarizes presentations and discussions held at the Adolescent Risk Communication Institute of the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center. Concentrating on common causes for varied risk behaviors, a group of leading researchers and intervention specialists from different health traditions synthesize current knowledge about risks to adolescent health in several areas, including drugs and alcohol, tobacco, unprotected sex, suicide and depression, and gambling.   Primarily intended for graduate students, scholars, and researchers in psychology, sociology, social work, and public health, Reducing Adolescent Risk is also an extraordinary resource for policy makers in government organizations and foundations.

Decision-Making Competence and Risk Behavior1

Decision-making competence and risk behavior1
Andrew M.Parker, BaruchFischhoff

During adolescence, many teens face the need to make their own important decisions for the first time. Often, these decisions concern risky behaviors involving drugs and alcohol, crime, sex, and contraception. Because the stakes riding on these decisions are increasing, development of decision-making skills is especially crucial during this period.

Past research on decision making has shown systematic departures from rational choice, with both teens and adults. These departures include inappropriate attention to “sunk costs,” susceptibility to the way a question is framed, overconfidence, and many other well-documented effects (e.g., Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky, 1982). This research has been primarily experimental, focusing on general cognitive processes (Lopes, 1987). As a consequence, little attention has been ...

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