Biological, Familial, and Cultural Processes in the Development of Risk-Taking Behavior
Building on the ongoing NICHD-funded Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) longitudinal study, this pilot award examines the development of risk-taking behavior from childhood to early adulthood in diverse cultures. Using a subsample of adolescents in Durham, N.C., from three cultural groups (African, European and Latino Americans) the study collects and analyzes biological samples to investigate the relationship between adolescent risk-taking behavior and the biological, social-psychological and familial processes present during this transitional time.
This study also explores how cultural norms, parenting practices and greater risk opportunities influence risk-taking behavior during adolescence. The study provides a comprehensive inquiry into how risk-taking behaviors develop and diminish from childhood to early adulthood, and addresses the issue of preventable morbidity and mortality in adolescence. It also tests the procedures that could lead to a future grant proposal to collect biological data in the other PAC cultural settings.