Risk perception and risk-taking behaviour during adolescence: the influence of personality and gender



This study investigated the influence of personality characteristics and gender on adolescents’ perception of risk and their risk-taking behaviour. Male and female participants (157:116M, aged 13-20) completed self-report measures on risk perception, risk-taking and personality. Male participants perceived behaviours as less risky, reportedly took more risks, were less sensitive to negative outcomes and less socially anxious than female participants. Path analysis identified a model in which age, behavioural inhibition and impulsiveness directly influenced risk perception, while age, social anxiety, impulsiveness, sensitivity to reward, behavioural inhibition and risk perception itself were directly or indirectly associated with risk-taking behaviour. Age and behavioural inhibition had direct relationships with social anxiety, and reward sensitivity was associated with impulsiveness. The model was representative for the whole sample and male and female groups separately. The observed influence of age on social anxiety and its association with risk-taking behaviour may be key for reducing adolescent risk-taking behaviour.

Keywords: risk perception, risk-taking behaviour, adolescence, personality, gender, age
Date made available22 Jul 2015
PublisherUniversity of Birmingham
Temporal coverage2012 - 2013
Date of data production20 Mar 2016

Cite this