Risk Taking Behaviour

Risk Taking Behaviour


Most teenagers take risks as a part of growing up. Taking risk is a normal part of development and common risk taking occurs in sports, travel, relationships etc. Risk taking can also have deleterious consequences when pushed too far or when health is affected. Common risk-taking behaviour of concern includes binge drinking, driving when drunk or with peers, smoking, drug taking, risky sexual behaviour, disordered eating, law breaking. Unhealthy risk-taking (called health-risk behaviour) contributes to accidental injuries, drug overdose and dependence, mental health disorders, unplanned teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other adverse social, emotional and physical health outcomes in adolescence and adulthood. Over the past twenty five years there have been dramatic changes in health risk behaviour of adolescents, with consequent impact on lifelong health. This issue is of concern not only for those who care for adolescents and young adults, but for the broader society, with wide ranging social, political and public health implications.


The early life and childhood factors that might influence risk taking behaviour in adolescence are not known. The Raine Study is uniquely placed to observe the transition from adolescence into adulthood and associated health -risk behaviour. These unique data indicating early predictors of risky behaviour in adolescence and young adulthood may help determine how and at what ages interventions may be effective.


Research Team

Associate Professor Rachel Skinner MBBS FRACP PhD

The University of Sydney


Dr Monique Robinson PhD

Adjunct Professor Dorota Doherty PhD

Jeff Cannon BSc (Hons)

Dr Dorota Doherty

Angela Jacques


Professor Martha Hickey

Dr Jennifer Marino

The University of Melbourne, Victoria


Dr Susan Rosenthal

University of Columbia, USA





  • 2010-2012 NHMRC 634509, R Skinner, M Hickey, D Doherty, E Mattes, S Rosenthal, A Smith, S Cooper, Childhood determinants of risky sexual behaviour in adolescence: A prospective cohort study, $371,025.