Students Learn How Risky Behavior Can Be a Positive Activity

Students Learn How Risky Behavior Can Be a Positive Activity

UNI Professor Nicole Skaar came to speak to students about risky behavior and how it may have a possible positive rewards on Wednesday Dec. 10, during SMART lunch.

“With what Erikson says, you’re trying to figure out who you are. You’re trying to earn your own self. You want to experience all of these adrenaline rushing, crazy things you wanna do,” Skaar said.

To start off the presentation Skaar began by asking students what they thought was risky behavior. She then brought up Erkison’s theory of Identity vs. Role Confusion, as referred to in the quote above. Next she brought up an accurate account of how adults have always said taking risks is bad and to “Just Say No.”

“Part of adolescence is taking risks. Research in psychology supports it. Guess what? You guys are going to take risks anyway,” Skaar said.

Skaar then spoke about how she thought that if adolescents needed to take risks and that they should speak about taking risks in a positive way.

“At this point I don’t think I have enough research to say I promote risky behavior, but I wanna talk about it in a different way,” Skaar said.

Next Skaar went on to discuss the different types of risk taking. There is prosocial risk behavior and health risk behavior. Examples of each would include trying out for a new sport as prosocial risk behavior or doing drugs as a health risk behavior.

As a part of her research she mentioned a study conducted in the southwest including the health risk behavior of marijuana use.

When asked about why she wanted to learn about risky behavior in adolescents, she talked about how she had thought about how to define intelligence and realized that she was interested in emotional intelligence of adolescents.

This interest led to her studying the risky behavior of teens that she now gives lectures on.