Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 17–27

The Contingent Effects of Risk Perception on Risk-Taking Behavior: Adolescent Participative Orientation and Marijuana Use

  • Che-Fu Lee
  • Yang Su
  • Barbara P. Hazard

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022872614097

Cite this article as:
Lee, CF., Su, Y. & Hazard, B.P. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (1998) 27: 17. doi:10.1023/A:1022872614097


Viewing marijuana use as a risk-taking behavior, we find that the perception of high risk related to regular use of marijuana has no simple direct effect on that risk-taking behavior. Rather, the effect of risk perception is contingent upon the extent of youth participation in activities such as going to parties, going to bars, attending concerts and visiting friends. The perception of risk suppresses marijuana use most effectively in the context of activities where such a risk-taking behavior is most prevalent. These findings are congruent with recent literature on actions of risk-taking that takes into account the subjective meaning orientation as a moderator between perception and action. These lead us to conclude that a behavioral-specific approach can augment the conventional approach to common factors underlying the youths' proneness to problem behaviors.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Che-Fu Lee
    • 1
  • Yang Su
    • 2
  • Barbara P. Hazard
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, and Research Fellow at the Life Cycle Institutethe Catholic University of AmericaWashington
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityUSA
  3. 3.the Catholic University of AmericaUSA

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