Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay

Adolescent can be defined as developmental stage between childhood and adulthood where through this crucial period they will have rapid changes in physical, emotion, cognitive change and also behavior. The adolescent stages can be divided to early adolescence (10-12 years), middle adolescence (13-15 years) and late adolescent (16 above) (Feldman, 2005). According to Western psychologists, “adolescence primarily as preparation for adulthood and this period as a time of potential crisis brought on by the uncertainties of the physical and social transitions between life stages (Bucholtz, 2002, p.528).Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay

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In this period they have many pressures exerted by family, peer, school and society. It also the most important period where it will determine and make teenager the person he or she is. One of the psychology scholar G.Stanley Hall noted that adolescent also called as period of storm and stress because adolescent being a time of emotional . He also argued that the concept of adolescent relates to the psychological problems associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood in modern societies (Demos, 1969).

At-risk behavior

The term ‘at-risk’ has been used widely in education, psychology, health and other field of study. The term of ‘at-risk’ always associated with many work like youth at risk or at-risk student. Most research support the definition of youth at risk as a student between aged 13 to18 years old who exhibits one or more of these criteria: a) Poor academic performance. b) Misbehaviour and discipline problems. c) Socioeconomic/family stressors and d) Negative attitudes toward school.

According to Dunn, 1987 (as cited in Redick, Sharon, Vail, 1991) Youth at risk are defined as children and adolescents who are not able to acquire and use the skills necessary to develop their potential and become productive members of society (p.12).Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay In educational literature, the word at-risk has been used to describe including disadvantaged, culturally deprived, low ability, dropout, low performing, not acquiring skills and discipline problem.

Cuban (1989) mentions that the educator defined the problem of low achievement among at-risk in two ways: students who perform poorly in school because of their own poor achievement and students do so because of inadequacies in their family background. In contrast, psychologists and counsellor often use the term in describing children and youth with potential of developing emotional and behavioural problems (as cited in Kimberly 2000).

Risk factors of at- risk behavior

Youth can be at-risk for a variety of reason. Youth are at- risk because of environment in which they live, grow and learn or because of their own behaviour or by other individual. There are a great number of factors that put youth at-risk for not succeeding educationally or in life. Most have been influenced by unpleasant circumstances, such as poverty, low self-esteem, drug or alcohol abuse, poor health or nutrition, poor academic performance, inadequate opportunities for success in school, loss of hope for the future, and the lack of life goals (Redick, Sharon, Vail, 1991).Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay

Numerous studies have shown that many researchers replete on various factors that lead to at-risk behaviour. They frequently used the term of ‘risk factor’ in many published journals and books. Risk factors are defined as those conditions that are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcome (problem behaviour). According to Clark (1995) (as cited in Werner, 1990; Bogenschneider, Small & Riley, 1992) ‘risk factor are individual or environmental hazards that increase youngsters’ vulnerability to negative developmental outcomes’. Rutter, 1979 (as cited in Clark, 1995) said that ‘as the number of risk factors increase, the probability of problem behaviour increase’ (p.3). There are four risk factors that contribute to psychosocial problem among at-risk youth. The term psychosocial refers to the interplay between biological, physiological, emotional, cognitive, social, environmental and maturational factors.

individual

The risk factors consistently found across studies include low educational aspiration and low self-esteem ( ).Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay Poor school motivation appears to be the single most important marker for identifying adolescents likely to be at high risk (Resnick and Burt, 1996). Adolescents who engage in delinquent behaviour typically have a poor school record (McCord, 1992). These adolescents are more likely to show poor school attendance and drop out of school without a high school diploma, which consequently decreases their chances for labour-market participation ( ). A low degree of commitment to education also appears to be related to drug use in adolescence ( ) and early sexual activity ( ).

It has been suggested that engaging in problem behaviour might be a way to cope with a low sense of self-worth, dissatisfaction and low confidence in own abilities (Jessor et al., 1995). Low self-esteem appears indeed to be a significant predictor of mental health problems (Baldwin et al., 1989) and externalizing problems such as drug use (Stacy, Sussman, Dent, Burton, and Flay, 1992).Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay

Adolescence is a venerable and unstable time of adjustment in which a child transcends into adulthood (Casey, 2008). During adolescence there are examinable changes in various areas of life. These changes occur physically as the adolescent goes through puberty, as well as psychological changes where high emotional reactivity emerges, and social development is at its height (Casey, 2008). Adolescents are more likely than adults or children to engage in risky behaviour that can subsequently lead to death or illness by drunk driving, carrying weapons, using illegal drugs, and engaging in unprotected sex, which in turn can lead to STD’s and teenage pregnancies (Eaton, 2006). The prior is proof that adolescents do engage in risky behaviour. …show more content…

The improved cognitive control and regulation of emotions with maturation of the pre-frontal cortex proposed by Yurgelun-Todd suggests that there is a linear increase developmentally from childhood to adulthood (Casey, 2008). In opposition to this theory various other theorists as well as the National Center for Health Statistics suggest that a non-linear increase occurs from childhood to adulthood. Immature prefrontal function cannot account for adolescent behaviour alone, but rather there are studies that may account for the nonlinear changes in behaviour and development seen during adolescence (Casey, 2008). Adolescent Risk Behavior Essay

 

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