Study: Outlook on life influences teens' decisions

June 29, 2009 2:59:58 PM PDT
A new study challenges conventional wisdom that says teens engage in risky behavior because they think they are invincible. Now, a survey of some 20,000 children finds many may take risks because they think they are going to die young. Researchers say this fatalistic outlook leads to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior.

The study in the journal Pediatrics says teens may take chances because they feel hopeless and figure not much is at stake. This has researchers suggesting family physicians should start talking to youngsters about their outlook on life.