When it comes to parenting, giving children shorter leash may assist parents in guiding their children and may make parents regain control.
But when kids grow into adolescents at ages between 13 and 18 years old, even a longer leash may no longer work.
Risky behaviors, which are usually driven by the desire to try new things and are sometimes detrimental to overall well-being, are a pattern commonly seen in adolescents.
Experimenting with drugs and having unprotected sex are one of those opportunities adolescents take the chance of trying regardless of the consequences, whether presented or consciously thought but set aside.
According to a study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, adolescents may likely ignore information than rethink risky decisions. This explains why information drive against illegal drugs, reckless driving, binge drinking and unprotected sex tend to have limited success.
"It's not that they are cognitively incapable of processing the issues. They are simply driven to seek new experiences and try out new things," says lead author Wouter van den Bos, researcher in the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
"If we really want to get through to young people, we need to take these insights into account when designing interventions," says coauthor Ralph Hertwig, Director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
"A promising alternative to information campaigns would be to give adolescents the opportunity to experience the consequences of their risky behavior—in virtual environments, for example," adds Hertwig.
The study is published in Scientific Reports
See: Binge-Drinking Adolescents May Alter The Brain of Their Future Offspring!