Looking for reasons why your teen snuck out the window at midnight or why your daughter was drinking alcohol at a friend’s party? The answer isn’t simple. A teenager’s behavior depends on a large number of factors, such as personality, role models, hormones, and their school, home and community environment. They are often attracted to risky behaviors and dangerous activities that lead them to results that range from head scratching to heart-rending. Researchers have come up with a few reasons for teens’ dangerous tendencies, which include incompetent brain development and increased feelings of hopelessness. It is very important to help teenagers who are taking risks, which are endangering them in the early stages of life only. Talk to them about healthy risk-taking and encourage them to explore new things that they have not yet encountered, but with due caution. Given here are a few theories as to why do teenagers push their limits and take risks. Exploring them will help you address the issues in a much better way and take the right remedial action.
Reasons For Teens Taking Risks
Pre-frontal Cortex Development
The pre-frontal cortex is a piece of brain that is located right behind the forehead and forms the center of excessive reasoning. This little piece governs various things, such as making choice between right and wrong and giving thought to the consequences of a decision. This place controls our emotional and sexual urges. Since the pre-frontal cortex is the last part to develop in a brain, teenagers are not able to think practically and understand the ultimate consequences of their decision. In addition, they are less capable of acting as per the consequences, if understood and hence, end up in tricky situations.
One reason that most health professionals agree upon, in relation to teens taking risks, is the order in which they develop their sense of self and feelings of identity. At this stage, teenagers are likely to absorb something new very quickly. They use their experience, both positive and negative, in helping them decide what is important and who they want to be in relation, to their environment, peers, family, and so on.
A study conducted at the National Institute of Health states that teens are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors such as speeding, if they are accompanied by the same-gendered teens in the car. Although this is only one study, it justifies that teens tend to take more risks when they are with friends. This is termed as the “cool” factor or intimidation factor that a teen is trying to find identity in the peer group. Though peer pressure makes a bad impression, when peer pressure is positive, it can help teens achieve healthy goals also.