Adolescence, as every teenager, parent, and youth professional knows, is a time of risks. With greater freedom and independence, young people face new choices involving automobiles, addictive substances, and sexuality
The statistics are frightening, but they are not unknown to young people. For decades, adolescents have been bombarded by facts about the risks they face. Yet efforts to scare young decision makers with numbers and percentages have met with limited success (Reyna & Farley, 2006).
There is even evidence that some risk- awareness-raising programs, such as DARE, actually increase the behaviors they are designed to prevent (see Lilienfeld, 2007). To reduce adolescent risk taking, a different approach is needed: one that recognizes how adolescents reason.