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Adolesc Med. 2000 Feb;11(1):141-55.

Sport participation, risk taking, and health risk behaviors.

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Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, MI 49008, USA.


Adolescents participate in sports for a variety of reasons. Some seem to enjoy participating in what some might consider very-high-risk or "extreme" sports activities. For some adolescents risk taking becomes pervasive and can be detrimental to normal health and development. The majority of adolescents will do well in the context of athletics, and the many positive benefits of regular physical activity and sports participation should be appropriately emphasized. However, a subset of adolescents may be at greater risk for adverse consequences. This article reviews the reasons for participation and attrition from sports, the phenomenon of thrill seeking in sports, certain risk-taking behaviors of athletes, and studies comparing health risk behaviors in athletes and non-athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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