Teens Fatalistic Views Add to Risky Behaviors

POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 9:35am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm

It's generally thought that teens take risks because they think they're invincible, but a new study suggests otherwise.

Smoking, unsafe sex, and even drug and alcohol use are all examples of a survey of more than 20,000 teenagers found they apparently engage in such risky behaviors because they think they'll probably die young. About 15% of surveyed teens thought they had a 50-50 chance of living to age 35. Researchers found those who had this fatalistic view more likely to engage in risky behaviors that led to poor health outcomes, most notably the diagnosis of HIV.

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