The Risk-Taking in Children: Reasons and Effects

Adolescents tend to have more risky behavior than adults, which is why they are usually considered ungovernable or even dangerous. There are many examples of such behavior, which often leads to conflicts and negatively influences children’s well-being. In my opinion, while children are prone to risk, it is not their fault and does not necessarily lead to wrong consequences. Such a tendency is part of their normal development and is connected with their desire to explore the world and find their place in it. In that way, it would be much more convenient to accept risky behavior as a normal element of teenagers’ lives and see how it facilitates their development process instead of impeding it.

At first, I think that the tendency to risky behavior does not mean that children and adolescents are less smart or wrong in any other way. However, it is a fact that youth are often engaged in dangerous and destructive behavior. For example, people tend to harm themselves at the age of 10-25 more than at any other age (Cornell University, 2013). Teens are more prone to commit crimes and be engaged in road accidents. They are often victims of wrong behavior, such as bullying or inappropriate things by themselves. Also, drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances are often more alluring for adolescents, and this age often becomes the age of initiation into addictive behavior. Those wrong behavioral patterns are consequences of bad risk-taking practices, but in my opinion, they can be prevented and solved by a more conscious approach to risks.

Adolescents are more impressionable than adults, and I think it is the reason for their behavior. They are inherently curious, wanting to know more about the world, and thus ready to try anything. Teenagers are more prone to reward than adults, and therefore they are easier to be motivated by something which proposes something pleasant for them (Bergin & Bergin, 2019). In that way, they seek behavior that can provide a wide range of various feelings and thus motivate them to do that repeatedly.

I think that risk-taking is an integral part of the life of all people, and adolescence is the best time to learn how to do it properly. As children and teens are more likely to risk, they also tend to learn something new based on the consequences of their actions (Teaching Resources for Health and Physical Education, 2016). When one engages in risky behavior, one may either obtain a reward or suffer losses. Based on the ratio of reward to losses, one can judge whether to engage in the behavior or not. For example, in the case of drug usage, the reward is a short-term good feeling, while the losses are extensive and medically proven dangers to health and life. Thus, the risk does not cost itself in that case, as addictions are much more costly for life than the reward they can bring. Under careful education, such a risk-taking tendency can be actually good, as it allows cautious risk evaluation and adoption of the behavioral patterns beneficial for a teenager and society.

Thus, while children love to take risks more, in general, than adults, it is not something inherently wrong. Instead, such behavior provides opportunities to learn a lot about the world and understand how to behave rightly in various situations. By analyzing rewards and losses, which are consequences of all risks, teenagers can see which behavior is better for them and their surroundings. When risky behavior is uncontrolled, it can lead to wrong consequences such as addictions and improper actions. However, if one teaches a teenager to evaluate their risks and seek the most rewarding behavioral patterns, such a risky approach would help them become a better person.


Bergin, D. A., & Bergin, D. A. (2019). Child and adolescent development in your classroom. Cengage Learning.

Cornell University. (2013). A social neuroscience takes on adolescent risk taking [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Teaching Resources for Health and Physical Education. (2016). Adolescent risk taking and safety [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "The Risk-Taking in Children: Reasons and Effects." September 6, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The Risk-Taking in Children: Reasons and Effects." September 6, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "The Risk-Taking in Children: Reasons and Effects." September 6, 2023.