Even while risk-taking decreases throughout youth and maturity, high school still presents a higher chance of impulsive and risky behavior. What connection is there between these actions and academic achievement? It’s not good, as you might expect, but there is some fascinating study being done on the subject and a ton of information that has to be gathered to understand more. The CDC names the following as dangerous student health behaviors as part of its Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS): alcohol and drug use, sexual risk behaviors and violence, teen pregnancy, tobacco use, and youth violence.
In a recent study, the American Journal of Health Economics examined the relationship between a few of these behaviors—specifically, drinking and smoking—and the demanding math and science graduation standards in high school. Their findings imply that a rigorous curriculum can be a useful technique to reduce alcohol consumption among high school students, particularly among men and students of color. With the age of 15, adolescents can make decisions as proficiently as adults, with the exception of situations when they are around their peers, going through emotional overstimulation, or feeling pressure from others, according to Thomas Armstrong, author of The Power of the Adolescent Brain.
They make less trustworthy decisions under those circumstances. Is this connected to the idea that the brain’s reward center motivates and regulates adolescent behavior? Perhaps. Teenagers may find it difficult to make wise decisions as their brains continue to develop since the decision-making section of the brain doesn’t fully develop until about the age of 25. However, prior to the discovery of this information, it was widely held that a teen’s adolescence years were controlled by raging hormones.Now, new research from Dr.
Dan Romer at the University of Pennsylvania raises the possibility that adolescents are actually hardwired to seek out risk in order to gain experience. According to Dr. Romer, if brain function were to be the cause of risk-seeking, teens would make risky decisions much more frequently. In other words, during adolescence, their major goal is to explore and experiment in order to figure out where they fit in the world.