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Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors

Provide a description of two adolescent risk-taking behaviors. For each behavior, provide 2-3 sources of influence. Then describe general strategies for mitigating negative risk-taking behavior and explain why you selected these strategies. Justify your response with citations.

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One adolescent risk taking behavior that has unfortunately gained popularity in recent decades is dangerous dieting leading to development of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binging, compulsive overeating, and Pica (consuming nonfood items such as chalk, paper, cleaning products, etc.) are all examples of eating disorders. All are defined by abnormal eating habits and an unhealthy relationship with food. They affect an individual's physical, mental, and emotional health, at times ultimately resulting in death. Adolescents are especially susceptible to eating disorders because of hormonal changes, peer influence, and struggles with formation of identity.

One significant source of influence for teens engaging in dangerous dieting behavior is peer influence. Young girls and boys are sensitive to the opinions, ideas, and suggestions of their peers, often to the point that they will disregard their own instincts in order to fit into a social group. Pacts to severely limit food intake among young girls (middle and high school) have been documented in research on eating disorders in teens.

The influence of the media is also a significant contributor to adolescent eating disorders. Idolization of ultra thin models and television/movie stars can become an obsession for young people who may already be suffering from low self esteem, or are members of a social ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an analysis of several adolescent risk-taking behaviors including self-mutilation and dangerous dieting. Strategies for addressing these issues are provided, including citations in APA format.