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Child Dev. 1993 Dec;64(6):1842-55.

Cultural bases of risk behavior: Danish adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia 65211.


Risk behavior was investigated among 1,053 Danish adolescents aged 12-20. Driving a care while intoxicated was rare even among the oldest adolescents, but riding a bicycle while intoxicated was reported by the majority of adolescents aged 14-20. Driving a car at high speeds was widespread among the oldest adolescents (aged 18-20), but still lower than rates reported for same-age American adolescents. Rates of sex without contraception were higher than expected, in spite of early and extensive sex education, while rates of illegal drug use other than marijuana were extremely low. Participation in risk behavior was analyzed in relation to sensation seeking, city size, and various family variables. Results are discussed in the context of the theory of broad and narrow socialization, in which a cultural and multidimensional understanding of socialization is emphasized.

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