Every parent of a teen knows, the teen years can be a rollercoaster ride. Parents find themselves telling their teens to slow down while driving, don’t engage in risky behaviors, and stay away from alcohol and drugs. But why do teens engage in this behavior? A new study says: it’s for the thrill of it.
A study published in the journal Cognitive Development found that teens, especially 14 year olds were the most likely to take risks because it is an escape. "The reason that teenagers take risks is not a problem with foreseeing the consequences. It was more because they chose to take those risks," Stephanie Burnett, of the University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, explained in a university news release.
This is the first evidence from lab-based study that adolescents are risk takers.
Advice to parents? Begin the dialogue early, when your child is in elementary school. Clearly discuss your expectations and lay out the consequences of engaging in any risky behaviors. The sooner you begin having these age-based conversations the better.