There are several factors that cause so called "risky behavior" among teens:
- Peer pressure
- Employment levels
- Religion, politics, culture and society
The factors vary from country to country, and culture to culture - but it is also important to remember that, by definition, a teenager is a young adult who is still learning his or her way, and will obviously make some ill-informed and potentially risky decisions along the way.The causes of risky behavior among teenagers
In a sense, each of the factors I mentioned above are interlinked. But let me try and break it down for you..
Teens are obviously influenced by their peers - what one kid that's perceived popular does, the rest are sure to follow. If the latest "cool thing" is partaking in a risky activity (like planking in dangerous situations) or the old classic: Smoking cigarettes and God-knows what else... It all becomes acceptable to them.
Along these same lines, teenage years are when hormones kick in, and attention from the opposite sex begins to matter more than anything else.
In order to impress a love-interest, teenagers are willing to engage in all sorts of high-risk behavior: Getting into fights, climbing up lamp-posts, partaking in gang-culture etc...
Risky behaviour increases with ADHD
Another factor you should consider is the rise of conditions such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Diagnosis of this illness has skyrocketed in the past decade, and studies have clearly linked the condition with an increased likelihood in young people to partake in dangerous activity - especially when it comes to jeopardizing health and safety.
Teenage risk taking culture
A teenagers own culture and socio-economic background has a role to play too. What is deemed acceptable in the family/neighborhood/country impacts how a teen develops, and as cultures and society shifts - so too does a teenagers ability to perceive threat and danger from the world around him.
Finally, the media must also claim responsibility. Everything from casual-sex through to going to war can become plausible due to the way the written & visual media target teens.