Observing the Relationship Between Attachment and Risk-Taking in Young Adults.
(2017) Observing the Relationship Between Attachment and Risk-Taking in Young Adults., no. 53.
The adolescent period is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates, 2-3 times that of childhood. This is the result of increased risk-taking in health compromising activities that adolescents participate in, as they distance themselves from the family, and experiment with different risk-taking activities in order to define their own individual identity and move toward gaining independence. Therefore, it is important that the factors for the increase in adolescent risk-taking, and the factors that promote and inhibit risk-taking, be addressed to reduce morbidity and mortality rates. Previous research in the developmental psychology literature has focused on Bowlby's (1969) theory of attachment and the relationship it has with engaging in health compromising risk-taking. Findings have consistently indicated a significant relationship between parent-child attachment and risk-taking in adolescents. However, research into the relationship between individuals entering the end of adolescence and risk-taking is lacking, as by this age, participation in risk-taking activities should reduce as internal working models and identity become fixed toward the end of adolescence, they no longer need to experiment with various health compromising risky activities in order to define their identity. We should be able to determine whether it is attachment that is influencing their risk-taking tendencies, and not the need for adolescent exploration. Therefore, this thesis will investigate whether a relationship is present between attachment in 18-20-year-old young adults and their engagement with risk-taking activities. Keywords: Adolescence, Attachment, Risk-taking, Parent-child Relationships, Risk, Behaviour