Depressive and socially anxious symptoms, psychosocial maturity, and risk perception: associations with risk-taking behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External organisations

  • College of Medical and Dental Sciences, The University of Birmingham


Risk-taking behaviour and onset of mental illness peak in adolescence and young adulthood. This study evaluated the interconnectedness of the domains of risk-taking behaviour, mental health (symptoms of depression and social anxiety), psychosocial maturity, risk perception, age, and gender in a sample of 306 adolescents and young adults. Participants between the ages of 16 and 35 completed online self-report measures assessing risk-taking behaviour, depressive symptoms, socially anxious symptoms, psychosocial maturity and risk perception. Socially anxious symptoms, psychosocial maturity, and risk perception were directly associated with risk-taking behaviour. Correlations between depressive symptoms, socially anxious symptoms, and psychosocial maturity were found. Psychosocial maturity proved a better predictor of risk-taking behaviour than age in this cohort. The findings indicate that mental health impacts upon risk-taking behaviour and that consideration should be given to psychosocial maturity in attempts to reduce adolescent and young adult risk-taking behaviour.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0202423
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2018


  • depression, social anxiety, mental health, risk-taking, psychosocial maturity, risk perception, adolescence, young adulthood