Why do risk taking behaviours differ in emerging adulthood when compared to adolescence? A qualitative investigation.
Evans, Ellie Llewellyn
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Emerging adulthood is defined as the time between the ages 18 and 25 (Arnett, 2000). It has been claimed that risk taking behaviour increases in emerging adulthood compared to adolescence (Arnett, 2005). However no qualitative research has been conducted in order to confirm why this, hence the current study aimed to investigate why risk taking behaviour in emerging adulthood differs to that in adolescence. The study used thematic analysis and found four themes; the awareness of consequences, the role of friends, including the sub-themes friend proximity and peer pressure. Themes of goal pursuit and value placed on time were also found, alongside the idea that participants had increased responsibility. Arnett's (2005) theories were not confirmed, as the data showed a decrease in risk taking behaviour.