Risk taking is a multidimensional construct. It is currently unclear which aspects of risk-taking change most during adolescence and if/how sex hormones contribute to risk-taking tendencies. This study applied a longitudinal design with three time-points, separated by 2 years, in participants aged 8–29 years (670 observations). The Balloon Analogue Risk Task, a delay discounting task, and various self-report questionnaires were administered, to measure aspects of risk taking. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated mostly nonlinear age-related patterns in risk-taking behavior and approach-related personality characteristics (peaking in late adolescence). Increased testosterone and estradiol were found to increase risk-taking behavior and impulsive personality, but decrease avoidance-like personality. This study demonstrates that risk taking is most pronounced in mid-to-late adolescence and suggests that sex hormones accelerate this maturational process.
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2018|