Perceiving, Managing and Negotiating Risky Behaviours from Adolescence to Early Adulthood

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
Kristy MUIR , University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Young people's transitions from adolescence to adulthood are individualized, risk taking is normalized, and individual choices, behaviours and actions can have significant implications for future social and economic outcomes (Beck, 1992; Giddens, 1991). Yet young peope's choices and behaviours are also set within and influenced by their peers, families and communities (Bronfenbrenner, 1986, 1977). While previous research has examined risk taking behaviours of young people and the influences and drivers of these, we have a limited current understanding of how, why and under what circumstances young people from different family, community and economic contexts negotiate and make decisions about risky behaviours and who and what they draw on to make these decisions. Based on an Australian Research Council grant, this paper uses Australian Bureau of Statistics data and interviews with 70 young people from different social, economic and community contexts across Australia to understand how young people define, perceive, manage and experience risk taking behaviours and the supports and resources they draw on in making their decisions. Using an ecological framework, this paper aims to identify areas of support at the kitchen, community and policy tables that may assist young people in negotiating risk as they move through adolescence to early adulthood.