Life-Oriented Behavioral Research for Urban Policy

pp 293-320


Risky Behaviors in Life: A Focus on Young People

  • Ying JiangAffiliated withHiroshima University Email author 
  • , Junyi ZhangAffiliated withHiroshima University

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This chapter describes risky behaviors in daily life, especially focusing on young people. Driving while intoxicated, speeding, and illegal drug use are examples of risky behaviors, which often compromise health, quality of life, or life itself. People perform some risky behaviors consciously while they do others unconsciously. This chapter first depicts some typical theories of risky behaviors, including Heinrich’s domino model, problem behavior theory, social development model, life history theory, and lifetime utility theory. Next, it illustrates young people’s risky driving by reviewing risk homeostasis theory, applications of theory of planned behavior, influences of social networks and other persons, avoidance driving, mood during driving and driving purpose, driving and nightlife, and self-driving cars. Literature review suggests that there are some common factors (not only psychological factors, but also life choices and various habits formed in daily life) affecting different types of risky behaviors, suggesting that risky behaviors tend to covary and effects of one risky behavior may spill over to influence other risky behaviors. These imply that measures to prevent a risky behavior should jointly target multiple risky behaviors based on an integrated approach over a long period.


Young people Problem behavior Social development model Life history theory Risky driving behavior Avoidance driving Self-driving cars Influences of family and peers