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Young and Invincible Adolescent Participation in Reckless Behaviour Essay

Most teenagers in their adolescent stage often push the boundaries of tolerable behaviour. Some engage in extremely reckless behaviour such as drug abuse and dangerous driving. Although it is paramount for parents to support and show love to their teens, they should advise their children on the dangers and effects of reckless behaviour. Shader (2004) writes that adolescence bears a heightened reckless potential in comparison to other periods of development and the tenacity of the potential varies with culture and time. While there have been several studied on the various forms of reckless behavior, the efforts to determine the underlying factors to all reckless behaviour variation and its prevalence only among the adolescence have been limited.

The conclusion of the data was based on the information from questionnaires used in sampling youths in various social settings such as school, family, peers and community. In addition to dispersion and central tendency measure, the research assessed variability and normality in data. Furthermore, correlational analysis of multiple variables was conducted based on the model of the theoretical framework. The results of the correlation analysis were then used to make conclusions on existing patterns. The research tested a structural model of equation to assess the degree of how the theoretical framework fits the data.

Research Question

Are adolescents, within a higher than average Indigenous populated community, participating in reckless behavior?

Significance of the Study

(The aim of the study is to increase the possible effectiveness of intervention approaches)

Today dynamic society lacks guidance necessary for adolescents to pursue their goals. It is therefore important to analyze the risks associated with adolescent reckless behaviours as regard goal attainment. The study aims to increase the possible effectiveness of intervention development, by determining which risks are being taken and by whom, which would deter reckless behaviour participation and promote beneficial development.

The interventions necessary for modern adolescents may include a combination of traditional disciplinary interventions and multidimensional adolescent development issues. This may possibly bridge the gap between research, theory and actual practice through a detailed evaluation and analysis of current empirical trends of adolescent reckless behaviours and by incorporating the intervention approaches.

Although more research is needed, the study aims to serve as a stepping stone on determining the relationships that support viable framework, thus providing a platform for the development of additional efficacious interventions.

Problem Statement

(The community is responsible for supporting adolescents in their transition to adulthood)Regardless of the social and economic circumstances, adolescents need assistance, discipline, instruction, pastoral care and support as they transcend to adulthood. The help comes from various stakeholders such as good schools, safe and supportive neighborhoods, solid families and the culture surrounding.

Statement of Purpose

(To determine the extent to which Indigenous adolescents participate in reckless behaviour)The purpose of this study is analyzing the relationships associated with reckless behaviors among adolescents. It was hypothesized that the problems lie within adolescent behaviour in relation to the individual, school, family and peer groups. The study is consistent with development science, empirical and theoretical works on reckless behaviour which has emerged as a highly multivariate, multidisciplinary, process focused and person-centered topic.

The dynamics of reckless behaviour of adolescents is discussed through theoretical models. The study examines adolescents associated with reported risk behaviours and the degree to which contextual factors influence risk behaviours. Therefore, this research seeks to determine if Indigenous adolescents participate in reckless behaviour.

Study Limitations

(Focus on a single environment and use of computer aided techniques were the sources of limitation)

Cross-sectional studies are less expensive and less likely to manifest participant attrition as compared to longitudinal studies (Fagan, 2004). However, the use of data from cross-sectional studies limits the extents to which deductive subjects can be interpreted due to its variable measurements. Ideally, these limiting effects hinder efficient evaluation of the subjects. The effectiveness of the study was compromised since the study considered a section of subjects in a single environment which are likely to differ from other adolescent cohorts. Teese and Bradley, (2008) highlight that assessment issues are likely to be problematic in research on reckless adolescent behaviours. The report from the adolescents themselves had no possibility for biasness because of their tendency to underrate or exaggerate their reckless activities. Computer-aided study techniques of interviews often produce inaccurate responses.

(Types of reckless behaviour)

Previous studies have employed various terms in an attempt to describe potentially dangerous activities, including criminal, problematic, risky, and delinquent (Teese & Bradley, 2008). The ideal descriptive term is reckless behaviour since it bears stronger connotations of potentially negative consequences. Thus, numerous conclusions have asserted that reckless behaviour ranges from minor criminal activities, drug abuse, irresponsible sexual behaviour and alcohol consumption. These reckless behaviours lead to serious personal injuries, legal system arrest and conviction, unwanted pregnancies and death in extreme circumstances. Additional risks common among older adolescent groups include gambling and economic calculations where the risk is based on loss or gain of monetary benefits (i.e. sports tipping, unsecured monetary loans, credit cards, etc.).

(Definition of reckless behaviour)

Although the definition of reckless behaviour is a gray area, the considerations in this paper intend to apply to reckless behavior that may hinder adolescents in becoming well-adjusted members of society. Recklessness may be defined as seeking thrill activities that may result in adrenaline rush. Rafting and parachute jumping are recreational activities accepted by society but still present potential extreme consequences, such as injury and death. The danger present in these circumstances is recognized but minimised deliberately. There has been a slight difference as a result of reckless behavior, such as illicit drug use and criminal activity, foreseeable risks are not taken into consideration (Steinberg, 2007).

(Causes of reckless behaviour)

According to Shader (2004) it is difficult to determine the exact number of adolescents affected by mental or physical health disability. However, research evidence (Arnett, 2007) provides that Indigenous adolescent groups, especially young people, are likely to suffer of exclusion, discrimination and stigmatization. Furthermore, the society singles out Indigenous adolescents as passive victims and as a result, this population suffers shame and guilt and may become less stable within society. Studies on health behaviour models suggest that stigmatization and discriminations trigger decisions to engage in reckless behaviour among Indigenous adolescents. Consistent with other behaviour models (Pearson, 2001); poor emotional health and stress may lead to reckless behaviours.Theoretical Rationale

Scholars have presented well-articulated theories to explain reckless behaviour among the adolescent groups (Erikson, 1968; Jessor, 1994; Price & Dalgleish, 2013). The models incorporate numerous factors and are based on the developmental theory that states that adolescent behavior is the result of the person and their environment. For example, some behaviors, such as sexual activities and alcohol consumption, are socially legal for adults, but are considered unhealthy and illegal for adolescents. As established by Price and Dalgleish, (2013) an adolescent will engage in illicit behaviour because one wishes to attain an adult status. The theory posits that some of the reckless behaviours, such as excessive alcohol consumption and truancy, cease after adolescence.

(Adolescents engage in reckless behaviour to acquire adult status)

Price and Dalgleish’s (2013) theory was tested using a longitudinal study of college and high school students on numerous social, environmental and personality variables in association with five types of irresponsible behaviour. These were sexual activity, problem drinking, use of marijuana, drug use and general deviance such as stealing and vandalism. According to the study, these activities were considered a syndrome rather than having occurred in isolation.

Parental ideology and control were also incorporated into the model to recognize broad and narrow socialization ideas (Price & Dalgleish, 2013). The model, in contrast to the developmental theory, argues that problem initiation of adolescence reckless behaviour plays a developmental role on the desire to be an adult. It makes sense when adolescents engage in alcohol consumption and sexual activity when they are approved for adults but proscribed for adolescents. Thus, the desire to indulge in such activities signifies the adolescent’s wishing to attain adulthood. However, stealing, lying and vandalism that also form part of the syndrome of reckless behaviour are socially unacceptable for adults. (Sigmund Freud’s assertion that reckless behaviour is triggered by biological instincts)

Furthermore, Shader, (2004) observes that the psychological theories pioneered by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) recognize childhood as the most formative period in human development. Sigmund believed that personality dynamics strongly depend on the superego, sexual instinct identification and the ego. Central to the theory, it assumes that human beings possess powerful drives that must be satisfied. Freud believed that human beings are biological creatures with the drive to serve and satisfy their motives (Tyson & Tyson, 1984).

Contrastingly, the society dictates that most of these drives are undesirable and must be controlled. Also, Freud asserts that individuals are unaware that the biological instincts are the driving forces behind behaviours (Tyson & Tyson, 1984). In a developmental analysis, Anna Freud (1895-1982) added that adolescence signifies an important life period of turbulence due to the prevailing sexual conflicts from puberty (Sandler, 1980). However, critics argue that this theory focuses too much on sexuality and oblivion which are part of the causes of reckless behaviours.


Collecting data through quantitative questionnaires is a popular methodology because they are practical, cost effective, allow for the ability to reach out to a large group of people, and the results can be analysed more scientifically and objectively as compared to other forms of research (Sarantakos, 1993, p. 158). Previous researchers of adolescent behaviour (Teese & Bradley, 2006; Fagan, 2004; Birleson, 1980; and Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment, 2014) have succeeded in using self-administered, close-ended questionnaires to collect relevant data.

The dynamic and rapid technological advancements have made it possible to administer web-based questionnaires through services such as Survey Monkey and Survey Gizmo, eliminating paper and limiting contact with participants. A web-based questionnaire may be a cost-effective tool for obtaining survey responses (BUSM, 2010). Between 2003 and 2007, when Boston University first offered the option of completing a web questionnaire, the proportion of respondents who chose to complete a web questionnaire doubled (BUSM, 2010).


60 Students from an independent college ranging in age from 15-18 years old (males and females) will voluntarily participate in this study. Consent will be obtains from all students and parents. Final numbers will be based on disposition to participate.


The materials for this study include an information sheet, consent form, and a web-based questionnaire to measure variables. These variables will be measured by a modified adaption of Achenbach and Rescorla’s (2001) Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18 (YSR). The instrument is made up of 38 close-ended questions instead of the original 112 mixed response. The questionnaire was modified from its original format, which requested names and parental information, to maintain the participants’ anonymity. The adapted instrument will be scored on a five-point Likert scale (1=Never, 2 = Not Often, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often, 5 = Always) instead of the original three-point scale to offer more detailed answers.

The Youth Self Report (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) is a prominent and widely used measurement for the assessment of emotional and behavioural problems among youth ages 11 to 18. It has been validated by Harvard University for use in social research (Ebesutani, C., Bernstein, A., Martinez, J.I., Chorpita, B. F., & Weisz, J.R., 2011, p. 338).


In addition to the above measurements, three secondary moderators will be considered. In this study, moderators of age, gender, and cultural identity will be included. Participants will be asked if they would like to identify themselves as Indigenous. This is an important section because the data received has the potential to contribute to the future development of gender and culturally competent intervention programs. It is expected that there will be a high number of responses for cultural identity because the college has a large number of Indigenous students. However, this is a limitation because participation is voluntary and there is no way to ensure the participant’s response is truthful.


Research Design

The proposed study employs an ex-post facto (after the fact) research design, which is a systematic empirical inquiry, in which the primary investigator does not have control of the variables because their manifestations have already occurred (Sarantakos, 1993, p. 8).

The study plan will involve the gathering of information on behaviour and characteristics among adolescents. There will be no manipulation of the variables by the researcher; instead any determined correlations will be ex post facto in nature in that they will originate from similarities in results in the measurement scores.

An on-line questionnaire will be available to a sample of the adolescent population. Information sheets and consent forms in sealed envelopes will be given to the select school to be handed out during period 1 the following day by classroom teachers. The primary investigator will have no contact with the participants.

Adolescents who agree to participate (with parental consent) will have a link to the questionnaire on the information sheet. The questionnaire may be completed at each student’s convenience, within a 14-day period from the date of distribution. The questionnaire will take approximately 10 mins and will pose a series of statements about social interactions/relationships, aggression, emotions, academic achievement, reckless behaviour, and additional questions that were adapted from the Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18 (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). As the questionnaires are submitted, the web-based program automatically collects and stores the data in a secure environment.

Data Analysis

Interferential analyses are proposed for this study:

Correlations will be conducted to determine if there is a relationship between characteristics and reckless behaviour.

Chi-square analyses will be conducted to determine if there are common characteristics among participants who are taking part in reckless behaviour.


The research was conducted in order to establish the ability of using web questionnaires as a quantitative method in analysing adolescent behaviours as opposed to the traditional use of support-administered questionnaires. For data gathering purposes with focus on adolescent behaviours, the research utilized the use of web questionnaires as quantitative approach with a tally of 60 students consisting of both males and females in the age bracket of 15-18 years old from an independent college. The students that have been selected in this study filled out a web-based questionnaire to evaluate survey responses to adolescent behaviours.

The variables of the survey were determined using the Youth Self-Report Ages 11 -18 then scored on a five-point Likert scale (1= Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often, 5 = Always) which included an extension of two additional points as opposed to the original three-point scale ADDIN EN.CITE <EndNote><Cite><Author>Flesch</Author><Year>1951</Year><RecNum>1</RecNum><IDText>How to test Readability</IDText><DisplayText>(Flesch, 1951)</DisplayText><record><rec-number>1</rec-number><foreign-keys><key app=”EN” db-id=”v2wravw5fezpf8eweeu5pzeg9e5s5xf2w0a0″ timestamp=”1413939135″>1</key></foreign-keys><ref-type name=”Book”>6</ref-type><contributors><authors><author>Flesch, R.</author></authors></contributors><titles><title>How to test Readability</title></titles><dates><year>1951</year></dates><pub-location>New York </pub-location><publisher>Harper &amp; Brothers </publisher><urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote>(Flesch, 1951). The collected data was then correlated to find a distinct relationship between the characteristics of the Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18 and reckless behaviour in adolescents with express emphasis on chi-square analyses.

The credibility of the findings and conclusions is dependent on the research design quality, data collection and management and the final analysis of the data collected. In justifying the means in which the study results were to be obtained, discussed in the subsequent chapters are the procedures and methods used based on description of data obtained, how the data obtained is to be processed/analysed, its interpretation and final correlation of collected data to come up with a credible conclusion. The research will cover; research design to be utilized and methods, data collection materials, respondents to be analysed and the data analysis process.

Data was collected in the form of an online web-based questionnaire and was analysed after a cumulated period of 14 days after administration of online questionnaires to individual students. No contact was made between the primary investigator and the students, but they were rather handed sealed envelopes containing consent forms for their parents by their teachers. Those who were inclined to participate after acquisition of parental consent were to use a link provided in the information sheet sealed in the envelope that guided them to the online questionnaire platform ADDIN EN.CITE <EndNote><Cite><Author>Grills</Author><Year>2003</Year><RecNum>2</RecNum><IDText>Multiple informant agreement and the anxiety disorders interview schedule for parents and children.</IDText><DisplayText>(Grills &amp; Ollendick, 2003)</DisplayText><record><rec-number>2</rec-number><foreign-keys><key app=”EN” db-id=”v2wravw5fezpf8eweeu5pzeg9e5s5xf2w0a0″ timestamp=”1413939135″>2</key></foreign-keys><ref-type name=”Journal Article”>17</ref-type><contributors><authors><author>Grills, A. E.,</author><author>Ollendick, T. H. </author></authors></contributors><titles><title>Multiple informant agreement and the anxiety disorders interview schedule for parents and children.</title><secondary-title>Journal of the American Academy of Child &amp; Adolescent Psychiatry</secondary-title></titles><periodical><full-title>Journal of the American Academy of Child &amp; Adolescent Psychiatry</full-title></periodical><pages>30-40</pages><dates><year>2003</year></dates><urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote>(Grills & Ollendick, 2003). The platform was designed to give a 14 day open window for questionnaire completion since distribution date with an approximated questions estimated to take around 10 minutes that included a series of variables; emotions, aggression, reckless behaviour, academic achievements and other questions adapted from the Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18.

The questionnaire interface is designed in such a way that upon submission of data by a student, there is automatic collection of the information for storage in a secure memory bank. As opposed to the original Achenbach and Rescorla’s (2001) Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18 containing 112 questions, this study encompassed only 38 closed ended questions ADDIN EN.CITE <EndNote><Cite><Author>Achenbach</Author><Year>2001</Year><RecNum>3</RecNum><IDText>The Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms &amp; Profiles.</IDText><DisplayText>(Achenbach &amp; Rescorla, 2001)</DisplayText><record><rec-number>3</rec-number><foreign-keys><key app=”EN” db-id=”v2wravw5fezpf8eweeu5pzeg9e5s5xf2w0a0″ timestamp=”1413939135″>3</key></foreign-keys><ref-type name=”Book”>6</ref-type><contributors><authors><author>Achenbach, T.</author><author>Rescorla, L. </author></authors></contributors><titles><title>The Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms &amp; Profiles.</title></titles><dates><year>2001</year></dates><pub-location>Burlington</pub-location><publisher>University of Vermont, Research Centre for Children, Youth and Families </publisher><urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote>(Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). The adapted variables were then scored on the five point Likert scale on the basis of (1=Never, 2 = Not Often, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often, 5 = Always). Inclusive in the study, a total number of three secondary moderators namely; age, gender and cultural identity were considered for the main purpose of future intervention programs. No definite number of students analysed is available although originally, a total of 60 students between the ages 15-18 years old consisting of both males and females were voluntarily involved in the study.

Chapter 2: Review of Literature

The widespread reckless behavior among adolescent groups is troubling because these behaviors can have long-term consequences on development, including underemployment, long-term substance abuse, school dropout’s unplanned parenthood and sexually transmitted infections (Lipsey & Derzon, 1998). A large number of youths in the adolescent stage are negatively affected by reckless behavior with elevated variations such as life expectancy, successful transition to adulthood, physical health and psychological adjustment.This chapter illustrates the variations of reckless behaviors in adolescents through literature that examines the factors influencing multiple types of reckless behavior and provides specific development variation. The data presented suggest that prevention policies and programs focused on risk reduction for recess behaviors should limit the multiple types of reckless behaviors of adolescent.

Literature Risk and Adolescents

The course and initiation of reckless behaviors vary across questioned behavior. For example, on average, delinquent behavior involvement increases in the early stages of adolescent, peaks at 17 and rapid decline is observed thereafter (Lipsey & Derzon, 1998). Substance use sharply elevates through adolescence and arrive peak level amid 18 and 24. For example, in the United States, first sexual intercourse is averagely estimated at 16 years for females and 17 years for males (Gullone, Moore, Moss, & Boyd, 2000).

(First order factor cannot account for varying reckless behaviour)

Essentially, reckless behaviour is less prevalent in late childhood and increases towards adolescence (Bradley &Wildman, 2002). A longitudinal study of the adolescence in different societies, Kauffman, Bradbury and Owings, (1992) examined the deviant behaviour and structural nature of marijuana use, alcohol consumption, trouble at school and the use of illicit drugs among children of 11 – 12 ages. The research provided evidence that numerous reckless behaviour- delinquency, school troubles and substance use could not be accounted for using the first order factor.

(Different view about the propensity of reckless behaviours across age)

While Kauffman et al., (1992), argue that reckless behaviours strengthen as the youth age from 8 to 12 years, Keeping et al., (1989) suggests that the reckless behaviour may become less correlated and heterogeneous as the adolescent groups’ transit to adulthood. Lau & Yuen (2013) contrast the argument by Kauffman et al., by arguing that reckless behaviour syndrome remains intact into adulthood.

(Reckless behaviour equally contributed to irresponsible behaviour in both early and late adolescence)

According to the results from the longitudinal study on the covariance at ages of four and from early adolescence to adulthood, academic orientation, drug use and social nonconformity were noted among early adolescents (Kauffman et al., 1992). On the other hand, sexual involvement, drug use, social non-conformity, academic orientation and criminal activities were noted among late adolescent. Thus the most commonly defined factor in adolescence is social non-conformity. However, early adulthood and late adolescence, sexual involvement and drug use were the strongly related reckless behaviour factors. Finally, drug use was the strongly related factor of reckless behaviour in adulthood, then social non-conformity, criminal behaviour and number of sexual partners.

(Reckless behaviours in adolescence later externalize into adult behaviour)

The probable reason for the variation in reckless behaviour in adolescents may be due to reckless behaviour sequencing and pattern of development. According to the cascade model of development (Dodge, Malone, Lansford, Miller, Petit, & Bates, 2009), reckless behaviours in one domain are likely to cascade into other types of problems in a bidirectional association.

The model illustrates this assertion by explaining that reckless behaviours in adolescence is a prediction of future academic problems, that later externalizes in adult behaviour (Dodge et al., 2009; Doolan, Najman, Mills, Cherney, Strathearn, 2012). In conclusion, reckless behavior highly contributes to academic problems in the present and later life of an adolescent.

As explained by Jessor’s (1994) theory of reckless behaviour, the primary cause of external problems in the adolescent stage is non-conformity which takes place in the personality of youths and social environment in the adolescent stage. The theory posits that non-conformed individuals are particularly tolerant to deviance and less associated to religious and educational institutions.

Unconventional environment is defined as a large number of persons sharing similar attitudes; which places a high adolescent association with a variety of reckless behaviours (Lipsey & Derzon, 1998). Jessor’s presents perceived environment, personality, social environment, genetics/biology as the five domains necessary in explaining adolescent reckless behaviour.

Common vs. Specific Risk Factors

This section examines key reckless behaviour contributors during adolescence across family, peer groups, community and school.

Domains of Risk

Peer Risk

(Individuals with inability to control impulses are more likely to engage in reckless behaviour)

The inability to control impulses due to immaturity is one of the factors that explain risk taking in adolescent groups. According to Fletcher, (2011) the association underlying antisocial behaviour, substance dependence and conduct disorder is genetically mediated along the externalizing spectrum. Additionally, vulnerability of traits to lack of restrains manifests as poor control of impulse. The framework posits that individuals with inadequate ability to control their impulses are highly expected to engage in reckless behaviour.Pearl, (1972) explains that, peer group is a common salient social context in adolescence. The significance of adolescence peer groups is that it enhances multiple processes, including duration individuals spend with peers. The stated susceptibility and significance of peer relationships provides that deviant peers are more likely to commit reckless behaviours than youths without deviant peers. However, Indigenous adolescents often suffer from shame and guilt, thus are less likely to involve in peer risks. Adolescents who are overprotected by their family peers are likely to follow the course of the family members.

Familial Risk

(Family history strongly predicts subsequent reckless behaviour during adolescence)The characteristics of a family may influence reckless adolescent behaviour. Scholars argue that if an individual is raised in a reckless-behaving family, he will grow up into the same as a response to adapt to a hostile environment (Ellis, Shirtcliff, Boyce, Deardorff & Essex, 2011). Inadequate parental and low maternal involvement expectations are associated with the use of drugs, sexual debut and delinquency.

Essentially, adolescents with lenient parents exhibit elevated levels of reckless behaviour. Moreover, youths whose parents condone violent behaviour, drug use, and smoking are most likely to follow suit. In essence, family history strongly predicts subsequent reckless behaviour during adolescence and some of the risks may be genetically instigated.

School Risk(Less association with educational institutions contributes to reckless behaviour)

Youths spend considerable time in school settings and their performance and perception in school provides significant implications of reckless behaviour. Edmonds (1979) states that poor performance in school predicts drug use, early sexual activity and delinquent behavior. Youths with problems of conduct are likely to perform poorly at school which may lead to reckless behaviour.

Contrastingly, attachment and success in school are related to reducing involvement in reckless behaviour, providing that strong bonds with school may protect against various behavioural characteristics. Indigenous adolescents suffer from guilt and shame and are more likely to drop out of school. As elaborated by Edmonds, (1979) less association with educational institutions contributes to reckless behaviour such as drug use and irresponsible sexual behaviour.

Community Risk

(Community disorganization exposes adolescents to reckless behaviours)

The low socio-economic and disorganization of neighborhoods in the community influences various types of reckless behaviour. Low socioeconomic indicators such as poor housing, poverty and overcrowding are related to drug use, delinquency and risky sexual behaviour. However, no research has provided a clear relationship between disadvantaged socioeconomic status and reckless behaviour. Subsequently, disorganized neighborhoods associated with dense population, physical deterioration and residential mobility expose adolescent groups to high risks of illegal drug trafficking and high crime rates (Matthews, 2000).

Matthews further explains that models of health behaviour assert that psychological problems expose Indigenous adolescents to violence, sexual activities and drug use. This is due to discrimination and stigmatization in the society which influences their perceptions and vulnerability. Thus, they are likely to engage in problem behaviour as predicted by their health cognition.

Relation among Developmental Variation, Risk Domain and Cumulative Risk(Risk factors affect development variations in reckless behaviour)

Family environment and genetics seek to provide etiological explanations of reckless behaviour unquestionably and generalize the multiple pathways and complexity of adolescent behaviour. Risk factors affect behaviour problem in multiple ways. For instance, positive perceptions on sexual activities may precede and affect sexual debut directly.

Likewise, deviant peers association have a direct impact on one’s behaviour as risk factors indirectly impact reckless behaviour. For example, disorganization of the community provides transition difficulties of pro-social values from families to offspring (Fagan, 2004). Thus, residing in disorganized neighborhoods results in poor family management which is a precursor for reckless adolescent behaviour.

Conclusion(Ensure research collaborations focus on various domains of reckless behaviour)

The greatest potential health complications of adolescent results from behaviours they willingly engage in such as delinquency, reckless driving, risky sexual behaviour and substance use. The literature discussed provides evidence on how these reckless behaviours develop during adolescence. Consequently, there is strong evidence associating multiple risk factors to reckless behaviour. Though not all, risk factors such as disadvantaged socioeconomic status may result in reckless behaviours.

Unfortunately, practice and research has treated adolescent reckless behaviours as independent, with minimal consideration of their interconnections. Perhaps, the absolute danger is that problem behavior research is classified into several domains. Thus, these classifications do not provide in depth details on the interrelationship between these risk factors and reckless behavior. In conclusion, there is urgent need to ensure research collaborations focus on various domains of reckless behaviour and promote positive adolescent development.

Chapter 3: Research Design Method

Protection of Human Subjects

All research activities involving human subjects within this project were reviewed and approved by the Charles Sturt University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Charles Sturt University subscribes to the basic ethical principles in the conduct of research involving human subjects as set forth by the Australian Research Council. The HREC ensures the protection of human subjects in research. The HREC has the responsibility and authority to review, approve, disapprove, or require changes in research activities involving human subjects. This policy applies to all research studies conducted at Charles Sturt University, regardless of whether the project is funded externally, internally, or receives no funding support.

Instruments Used in Data Collection

The study adapted Achenbach and Rescorla’s (2001) Youth Self-Report for Ages 11-18 to assess the adolescent behaviour in students aged between 15-18 years ADDIN EN.CITE <EndNote><Cite><Author>Achenbach</Author><Year>2001</Year><RecNum>3</RecNum><IDText>The Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms &amp; Profiles.</IDText><DisplayText>(Achenbach &amp; Rescorla, 2001)</DisplayText><record><rec-number>3</rec-number><foreign-keys><key app=”EN” db-id=”v2wravw5fezpf8eweeu5pzeg9e5s5xf2w0a0″ timestamp=”1413939135″>3</key></foreign-keys><ref-type name=”Book”>6</ref-type><contributors><authors><author>Achenbach, T.</author><author>Rescorla, L. </author></authors></contributors><titles><title>The Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms &amp; Profiles.</title></titles><dates><year>2001</year></dates><pub-location>Burlington</pub-location><publisher>University of Vermont, Research Centre for Children, Youth and Families </publisher><urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote>(Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). The YSR Report is a commonly used self-report measure for the youth which is utilized for the assessment of behavioural and emotional problems between the ages 11 to 18 thus making it accurate in this study case. In the study’s case the YSR Report utilized three forms of measurement i.e. social interactions and relationships, aggressive behaviour, emotional behaviour, academic engagement and reckless behaviour.

Each of the 38 close ended questions were scored on a five-point Likert scale (interpreted as 1=Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often, 5 = Always) for each of the categories assessing adolescent behaviours in students between the ages of 15 and 18 ADDIN EN.CITE <EndNote><Cite><Author>Vreugdenhil</Author><Year>2006</Year><RecNum>4</RecNum><IDText>The ability of YSR scales to predict DSM/DISC-C psychiatric disorders among incarcerated adolescents</IDText><DisplayText>(Vreugdenhil, van den Brink, Ferdinand, Wouters, &amp; Doreleijers, 2006)</DisplayText><record><rec-number>4</rec-number><foreign-keys><key app=”EN” db-id=”v2wravw5fezpf8eweeu5pzeg9e5s5xf2w0a0″ timestamp=”1413939135″>4</key></foreign-keys><ref-type name=”Journal Article”>17</ref-type><contributors><authors><author>Vreugdenhil, C.,</author><author>van den Brink, W.</author><author>Ferdinand, R</author><author>Wouters, L</author><author>Doreleijers, T.</author></authors></contributors><titles><title>The ability of YSR scales to predict DSM/DISC-C psychiatric disorders among incarcerated adolescents</title><secondary-title>European Child &amp; Adolescent Psychiatry</secondary-title></titles><periodical><full-title>European Child &amp; Adolescent Psychiatry</full-title></periodical><pages>88-96</pages><dates><year>2006</year></dates><urls></urls></record></Cite></EndNote>(Vreugdenhil, van den Brink, Ferdinand, Wouters, & Doreleijers, 2006). A combination of the total scores obtained from responses and the 38 close ended questions of the web-based questionnaire to come up with a standardized score demonstrating that high scores illustrated high risks for deteriorated adolescent behaviour.

Social interactions and relationship experience were demonstrated as responding to ‘sometimes’ at a base of 3 on the Likert scale to the question “I hang around with kids who get into trouble and I get teased a lot.” Aggressive behaviour were defined at a score of 5 on the Likert scale as getting into many fights, students being mean to others and destroying things that belong to others.

In terms of emotional behaviour a minimal number scored a 5 with a majority being clustered at point 3 on the Likert scale in terms of feeling lonely, feeling confused and feeling guilty. Coming to academic engagement, very few students scored a 5 with reference to cheating in academics, not finishing the work they started and having difficulty paying attention. Most of the scored responded on a scare of 2 to the above considerations.

When it came to analysis of reckless behaviour credibility of collected results was questionable as most of the answers analysed scored 1 on the Likert scale with a response to experimentation with drugs, breaking of rules both at home and school and finally drinking alcohol without parental approval. Social demographic variables that included age, gender and cultural identity were instrumental in establishing perceived outcome of behaviour in a student with specified emphasis on the cultural identity of a student to have a link with how they tackle situations.

The idea of risk ought to imply probability, not certainty. There should be at least a chance that risk will not materialize, that the undesirable behaviour or outcome will not occur. In respect to youth behaviour, the fact that an individual may display problems, does not mean the event has already happened, nor a certainty about the future course of events in a person’s life.


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