Accidental injury, risk-taking behaviour and the social circumstances in which young people live

About this database
This database contains the studies included in a systematic review conducted at the EPPI-Centre in 2005/6.

It is a broad-ranging review, covering topics as diverse as drugs, alcohol, transport and sport. It contributes a new perspective to the evidence base on risk-taking and injury by assessing explicitly the extent to which risk-taking contributes to accidental injury, and by locating this within the social circumstances in which young people find themselves. As well as examining the evidence for the above, it also contextualises its findings within current Government policy in a range of areas. It concludes that, while there is a large literature on a ‘culture of risk-taking’ among young people, the evidence to support the view that this translates into significant numbers of injuries is limited. Moreover, this review also challenges the idea that ‘risk-taking’ is a helpful umbrella term to describe the motivations underlying a range of activities. While young people undoubtedly undertake actions that result in injury, this review suggests that a move away from individual behavioural explanations towards a focus on structures and material resources is likely to be a much more productive approach to understanding overall patterns of accidental injury.

The systematic review is currently at peer review and should be published online soon.

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This database is hosted by the EPPI-Centre which is part of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, London.