Psychosocial predictors of emerging adults' risk and reckless behaviors
Past researchers have identified a range of psychosocial predictors of problem behaviors during adolescence, but have been less active in addressing this same issue in relation to the 18-25-year age group. The current study investigated risk and reckless behaviors in emerging adults using self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. Several of the major limitations associated with past research were overcome by sampling widely, making clear conceptual distinctions, avoiding confounds between predictors and criteria, developing more direct measures of key constructs, and controlling for demographic variables and for social desirability. In this sample of 375 emerging adults, risk behaviors were found to be reliably predicted by sensation seeking, but not by antisocial peer pressure, whereas the reverse pattern of association was more true in relation to reckless behaviors. Gender differences, especially in relation to the impact of social desirability considerations, are explored.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence