Searching for predictors of the risk decision-making process in social situations in the adolescence

  1. Padrón, Iván 1
  2. Rodrigo, María Josefa 1
  3. de-Vega, Manuel
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España


Revista de estudios e investigación en psicología y educación

ISSN: 2386-7418

Year of publication: 2015

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Pages: 69-79

Type: Article

DOI: 10.17979/REIPE.2015.2.2.1328 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Revista de estudios e investigación en psicología y educación


Cited by

  • Dimensions Cited by: 1 (19-01-2024)

Índice Dialnet de Revistas

  • Year 2015
  • Journal Impact: 0.060
  • Field: PSICOLOGÍA Quartile: C3 Rank in field: 63/115
  • Field: EDUCACIÓN Quartile: C4 Rank in field: 161/228


  • Social Sciences: C


(Data updated as of 19-01-2024)
  • Total citations: 1
  • Recent citations (2 years): 1
  • Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 0.11


This study examined how well self-reported sensation seeking, empathy and resistance to peer influence, and performance on the computer-based measure to evaluate risk-taking behavior (Balloon Analogue Risk Task, BART) predicted the risk decision-making process on the computer-based Social Context Decision Task (SCDT). Participants were 256 early, mid- and late adolescents and young adults, distributed by age and gender. Early adolescents scored lower on sensation seeking and empathy than late adolescents and young adults. Men scored higher on sensation seeking whereas women scored higher on empathy and resistance to peer influence. Regression models showed that riskiness on the BART was positively related to the percentage of risk elections and shorter decision times in the SCDT task, with the BART parameters accounting for variance in these measures beyond that accounted for by age, gender and Disinhibition. These results contributed to a more comprehensive multimethod assessment of the process of risk decision making in social situations.

Bibliographic References

  • Aklin, W.M., Lejuez, C.W., Zvolensky, M.J., Kahler, C.W., & Gwadz, M. (2005). Evaluation of behavioral measures of risk taking propensity with inner city adolescents. Behavior Research and Therapy, 43, 215-228.
  • Bjork, J. M., & Pardini, D. A. (2014). Who are those “risk-taking adolescents”? Individual differences in developmental neuroimaging research. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, 11, 55-64.
  • Blakemore, S. J., & Choudhury, S. (2006). Development of the adolescent brain: implications for executive function and social cognition. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 47(3‐4), 296-312.
  • Blakemore, S. J., & Robbins, T. W. (2012). Decision-making in the adolescent brain. Nat. Neurosci. 15, 1184–1191.
  • Bohlin, M. C., & Erlandsson, S. I. (2007). Risk behavior and noise exposure among adolescents. Noise & Health, 9, 55-63. 36981
  • Bornovalova, M., Daughters, S., Hernandez, G., Richards, J., & Lejuez, C. (2005). Differences in impulsivity and risk-taking propensity between primary users of crack cocaine and primary users of heroin in a residential substance-use program. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 13(4), 311-318.
  • Boyer, T. (2006). The development of risk-taking: A multi-perspective review. Developmental Review, 26(3), 291-345.
  • Brown, B. B. (2004). Adolescents’ relationships with peers. Handbook of adolescent psychology, 2, 363-394.
  • Byrnes, J., Miller, D., & Schafer, W. (1999). Gender differences in risk taking: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 125(3), 367-383.
  • Choudhury, S., Charman, T., Bird, V., & Blakemore, S. J. (2007). Development of action representation during adolescence. Neuropsychologia, 45(2), 255-262.
  • Crone, E. A., Bullens, L., Van der Plas, E. A. A., Kijkuit, E. J., & Zelazo, P. D. (2008). Developmental changes and individual differences in risk and perspective taking in adolescence. Development and psychopathol-ogy, 20(04), 1213-1229.
  • Davis, M.H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85, 1-17.
  • Finer, L.B., & Henshaw, S.K. (2006). Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 38(2), 90-96.
  • Geier, C., & Luna, B. (2009). The maturation of incentive processing and cognitive control. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 93, 212–221.
  • Krain, A.L., Wilson, A.M., Arbuckle, R., Castellanos, F.X., Milham, M.P. (2006). Distinct neural mechanisms of risk and ambiguity: a metaanalysis of decision making. Neuroimage, 32, 477–84.
  • Ladouceur, R., Bouchard, C., Rheaume, N., Jacques, C., Ferland, F., Leblond, J., & Walker, M. (2000). Is the SOGS an accurate measure of pathological gambling among children, adolescents and adults? Journal of Gambling Studies, 16, 1–24.
  • Lejuez, C., Aklin, W., Bornovalova, M., & Moolchan, E. (2005). Differences in risk-taking propensity across inner-city adolescent ever- and never-smokers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 7(1), 71-79.
  • Lejuez, C.W., Aklin, W., Daughters, S., Zvolensky, M., Kahler, C., & Gwadz, M. (2007). Reliability and validity of the youth version of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART-Y) in the assessment of risk-taking behavior among inner-city adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 36, 106-11.
  • Lejuez C.W., Aklin, W.M., Jones, H.A., Richards, J.B., Strong, D.R., Kahler, C.W., Read, J.P. (2003). The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) differentiates smokers and nonsmokers. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 11, 26-33.
  • Lejuez, C.W., Read, J.P., Kahler, C.W., Richards, J.B., Ramsey, S.E., Stuart, G.L., Strong, D.R., & Brown, R.A. (2002). Evaluation of a behavioral measure of risk taking: the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8, 75-84.
  • Monahan, K. C., Steinberg, L., & Cauffman, E. (2009). Affiliation with antisocial peers, susceptibility to peer influence, and antisocial behavior during the transition to adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 45(6), 1520.
  • Pérez-Albéniz, A., De Paúl, J., Etxeberría, J., Montes, M. P., & Torres, E. (2003). Adaptación de interpersonal reactivity index (IRI) al español.Psicothema, 15(2), 267-272.
  • Perez, J., & Torrubia, R. (1986). Fiabilidad y validez de la version española de la Escala de Búsqueda de Sensaciones (forma V). Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 18, 7–22.
  • Pleskac, T., Wallsten, T., Wang, P., & Lejuez, C. (2008). Development of an automatic response mode to improve the clinical utility of sequential risk-taking tasks. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 16(6), 555-564.
  • Roberti, J. W. (2004). A review of behavioral and biological correlates of sensation seeking. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 256-279.
  • Rodrigo, M. J., Padrón, I., de Vega, M. & Ferstl, E. C. (2014). Adolescents’ risky decision-making activates neural networks related to social cognition and cognitive control processes. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 8:60.
  • Romer, D. (2010). Adolescent risk taking, impulsivity, and brain development: Implications for prevention. Developmental Psychobiology, 52(3), 263-276.
  • Romer, D., & Hennessy, M. (2007). A biosocial-affect model of adolescent sensation seeking: The role of affect evaluation and peer-group influence in adolescent drug use. Prevention Science, 8(2), 89-101.
  • Schiebener, J., García-Arias, M., García-Villamisar, D., Cabanyes-Truffino, J., & Brand, M. (2014). Developmental changes in decision making under risk: The role of executive functions and reasoning abilities in 8-to 19-year-old decision makers. Child Neuropsychology, (ahead-of-print), 1-20.
  • Steinberg, L., Albert, D., Cauffman, E., Banich, M., Graham, S., & Woolard, J.L. (2008). Age differences in sensation seeking and impulsivity as indexed by behavior and self-report: Evidence for a dual-systems model. Developmental Psychology, vol. 44, 1764-78.
  • Steinberg, L., & Monahan, K. C. (2007). Age differences in resistance to peer influence. Developmental psychology, 43(6), 1531.
  • Tabachnick, B.G. and Fidell, L.S. (2007). Using Multivariate Statistics (5th ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Van Leijenhorst, L., Westenberg, P.M. & Crone, E.A. (2008). A developmental study of risky decisions on the cake gambling task: age and gender analyses of probability estimation and reward evaluation. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33, 179–196.
  • Windle, M., Spear, L., Fuligni, A., Angold, A., Brown, J., Pine, D., et al. (2008). Transitions into underage and problem drinking: Developmental processes and mechanisms between 10 and 15 years of age. Pediatrics, 121(Suppl4), S273-S289.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey. (2013). Vermont Department of Health, USA. Available at: (accessed January 4, 2015).
  • Zuckerman, M (1994). Biological expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking. Cambridge univ. Press, Nueva York.
  • Zuckerman, M.; Eysenck, S.B.G. & Eysenck, H.J. (1978). Sensation seeking in England and America: Cross-cultural, age, and sex comparisons. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 139-149.