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Inj Prev. 2011 Feb;17(1):50-4. doi: 10.1136/ip.2010.028126. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

Adolescent development and risk of injury: using developmental science to improve interventions.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. sjohnson@jhsph.edu

Abstract

In adolescence, there is a complex interaction among physical, cognitive, and psychosocial developmental processes, culminating in greater risk-taking and novelty-seeking. Concurrently, adolescents face an increasingly demanding environment, which results in heightened vulnerability to injury. In this paper, we provide an overview of developmental considerations for adolescent injury interventions based on developmental science, including findings from behavioural neuroscience and psychology. We examine the role that typical developmental processes play in the way adolescents perceive and respond to risk and how this integrated body of developmental research adds to our understanding of how to do injury prevention with adolescents. We then highlight strategies to improve the translation of developmental research into adolescent injury prevention practice, calling on examples of existing interventions including graduated driver licensing.

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