Behavioral and psychosocial influences of risk perception among Hungarian adolescents

Bettina F. Piko, Frederick X. Gibbons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The main goal of the present study was to assess adolescents' risk perception, namely, their estimates of the likelihood of smoking and alcohol-related illnesses and accidents. Methods: The survey was conducted among high school students in Szeged (N = 560, aged between 14-19 years; mean: 16.7; S.D. 1.4 years). The self-administered questionnaire contained items on sociodemographics, risk perception, health risk behaviors, and certain psychosocial variables. Results: Being a male was associated with risk perception only in terms of alcohol-related illnesses. Smokers, alcohol users, and those who engaged in reckless transportation, evaluated themselves as being at higher risk for substance related illnesses and accidents compared to those who did not report such behaviors. Those who tended to use a seat belt, however, estimated the same amount of risk for an accident as did those who tended not to use them. Social attitudes tended to positively, whereas personal attitudes tended to negatively influence perceptions of health risks. The role of social comparison and self-efficacy, however, depends on the nature of behavior. Conclusion: Besides behavioral influences, psychosocial variables also play a role in adolescents' risk perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008



  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol
  • Psychosocial influences
  • Risk perception
  • Smoking
  • Transportation behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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