Report: Pessimistic Teens Risk Dying Young

ST. PAUL, Minn.
Published: June 28, 2009

Nearly 15 percent of teenagers surveyed by the University of Minnesota say they expect to die at a young age. The research suggests that teens engage in risky behavior, including drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe practices, because of their negative outlook on life. Their behavior increases their chances of a “self fulfilling prophesy.”

The study surveyed more than 20,000 teenagers and was conducted by author Dr. Iris Borowsky, a researcher at the University of Minnesota. According to Borowsky, the results challenge the common perception that teens engage in unsafe behavior because they believe they are invincible.

Almost 15 percent of teenagers surveyed said they have a 50-50 chance (or less) of living to be 35 years old. This belief may lead them to be reckless.

The pessimists are more likely to die at an early age due to their risky conduct. According to the research, teens expecting to die young are seven times more likely to get HIV or AIDS than their optimistic peers.

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Click here to view the full report, Likelihood of Early Death Health Status and Behavioral Outcomes for Youth Who Anticipate a High.

For additional information, click here.

Posted in: News

Tagged with: Mental Health

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