Risk taking and coping strategies among Israeli adolescents

Hasida Ben-Zur, Yafat Reshef-Kfir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research sample consisted of 140 Israeli 10th- and 11th-graders who completed questionnaires about risk-taking behaviours and coping strategies. The study assessed the associations between risk behaviours and perceptions of benefit and risk in these behaviours as measured by a questionnaire based on the Risk Involvement and Perception Scale (Siegel, A. W., Cousins, J. H., Rubovits, P., Parsons, J. T., Lavery, B., Crowley, C. L. (1994). Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 2, 89-98); and the associations between risk measures and problem-focused, support and avoidance coping strategies as assessed by the COPE scale (Carver, C. S., Scheier, M., Weintraub, J. K. (1989). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267-283). The data were analysed using correlations and multiple regressions. The main results showed that high involvement in risk behaviour was positively related to the perception of benefit in risk behaviour, but perception of risk was not related to involvement in risk behaviour. Most significantly, the use of avoidance coping strategies was related to high involvement in risk behaviours. The results suggest that perception of benefit and the use of avoidance coping strategies may constitute significant factors in the decision to take risks, with implications for intervention programs aimed at adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Adolescence
  • Avoidance coping
  • Perception of benefit
  • Perception of risk
  • Risk behaviours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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