Motives for risk-taking in adolescence: A cross-cultural study

Marion Kloep, N Guney, F Cok, OF Simsek

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    Most research on adolescent risk-taking has been conducted in Western societies, but it is as yet unknown whether motives to engage in risk behaviours show cultural variety. This study sets out to investigate differences in perceived motives to engage in perceived risks in Turkish and Welsh samples of young people (N=922) between 14 and 20 years of age. For this, a measurement scale to assess motives for risk-taking was constructed and validated cross-culturally. The scale was based on Kloep and Hendry's [(1999). Challenges, risks and coping in adolescence. In D. Messer, and S. Millar (Eds.), Exploring developmental psychology (pp. 400–416). London: Arnold] theoretical framework and the results of a study by Güney and Çok [(2006). Adolescent risk-taking: Calculated risks, Turkish experience. In Paper presented at the 10th Bi-annual conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Antalya, Turkey]. Results show that different motives are associated with different risk behaviours, confirming Kloep and Hendry's expanded model. There were small, but significant, national differences, implying that motives to take risks—as opposed to actual risks taken—could be similar across adolescent populations, independent of culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135 - 151
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Adolescence
    Issue number1
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2009


    • risk-taking
    • risk measurement
    • risky behaviour
    • emerging adults
    • welsh adolescents
    • turkish adolescents
    • british adolescents


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