High-risk behaviors are those that can have adverse effects on the overall development and well-being of youth, or that might prevent them from future successes and development
Risk-taking and rebellion go hand-in-hand.
This includes behaviors that cause immediate physical injury (e.g., fighting), as well as behaviors with cumulative negative effects (e.g., substance use). High-risk behaviors also can affect youth by disrupting their normal development or prevent them from participating in ‘typical’ experiences for their age group.
For example, teen pregnancy can preclude youth from experiencing typical adolescent events such as graduating from school or from developing close friendships with peers. Because high-risk behaviors can significantly impact the lives of youth and those around them, it is essential that parents, educators and other concerned adults become aware of the prevalence of these behaviors, the factors that increase their likelihood, and what can be done to lessen or prevent those risks.
Types Of High-Risk Behaviors
- Aggression and Fighting
- Alcohol Use
- Behaviors Related To Obesity
- Risky Sexual Behaviors
- Self-injurious Behaviors
- Substance Use
- Teen Pregnancy
- Unhealthy Dieting
Adolescence is a time of rapid change. In a span of just a few years, teens transition dramatically in almost all realms of their lives. Physically, they grow in leaps and bounds and start to appear like mature adults.
Cognitively, their thinking becomes more sophisticated. Socially, relationships are renegotiated, and teens develop the capacity to form deep intimate relationships with others.
At the same time, the roles that they occupy in society also change. Partly because teens start to look more mature, people surrounding them sometimes begin to treat them like adults — giving them mature responsibilities and adult expectations. While significant development occurs during the teen years, full maturity is by no means complete.
Adolescence is a unique period of the lifespan. It is full of changes and challenges, but also of growth and opportunities. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to high-risk behaviors so parents and other concerned adults need to support youth as they go through this period.
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