Motywy podejmowania zachowań ryzykownych i ocena ich konsekwencji w opinii młodzieży szkolnej Łodzi
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Monitoring of risky behaviors in children and adolescents allows, at least to some extent, to establish the reasons of these health-compromising behaviors and to explain their underlying mechanisms, which in turn is a prerequisite of preventive actions. This was the aim of a survey sponsored by the Municipal Department of Health, and carried out in December 2001 by the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Łódź. Participants in the study were randomly selected 2053 secondary or primary school students aged 12–18. Motives of risky behaviors in the sample studied are differentiated and depending on the respondents’ age, gender, as well as their knowledge and beliefs about action of psychoactive substances. Young people with some personal experience in drinking, smoking and/or drug use more frequently attributed such behaviors to socio-cultural determinants. On the other hand, young people who in real life avoided the above-listed risky behaviors more frequently indicated that such behaviors were due to psychological problems. Age and gender were related to perceived health-related consequences of the risky behaviors studied. Personal experience, and especially current substance use, was associated with perceiving smoking, drinking or drug use among adolescents as less harmful.