A Biopsychosocial Perspective of Adolescent Health and Disease

  • Jessica M. SalesEmail author
  • Charles E. IrwinJr.


Although considered to be a normative part of adolescence, risk-taking behaviors are nonetheless concerning because these actions often endanger adolescents’ current and future health and well-being. A variety of factors, including biological, psychosocial, and environmental, have been found to be associated with various adolescent risk-taking behaviors. The biopsychosocial model of risk-taking provides a framework in which social environmental factors as well as existing biological and psychological predispositions interact to influence risk-taking behavior. In this chapter, we (1) briefly review the studies or theories of risk-taking that focus predominately on one factor (i.e., biological, psychological, and environmental) as it related to risk-taking behavior; (2) describe the multidimensional biopsychosocial model of risk-taking; (3) provide empirical evidence supporting the utility of the biopsychosocial model for better understanding various adolescent health-endangering behaviors; and (4) suggest future directions for the utility of the biopsychosocial model of risk-taking for advancing our understanding of adolescent health.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Risky Sexual Behavior Parental Monitoring Sexual Debut Sensation Seek 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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