The Role of External Influential on the Risky Behaviors of Adolescents

The article by Tynan, Somers, Gleason, Markman, & Yoon investigates the role of external influential factors on the risky behaviors and goal-oriented habits of adolescents in 9th and 12th grades. The authors identify the various factors that influence adolescents’ behaviors including biological, peers, family and political factors.


  • Parental Monitoring

One of the variables considered for the study include parental monitoring; according to the authors, when parents are less involved in monitoring and observing the adolescents, there is a resulting increase in risky behaviors such as smoking, sexual engagement, drug use, and criminal activities.

  • Parental Involvement

Parental involvement, another key factor, in the adolescents’ homework and extracurricular activities do not only improve the performance of such a child, but also decrease aggressive and poor behaviors such as smoking and drinking.

  • Parental Communication

Parental communication which entails parents discussing moral and sexual topics with the children will influence the adolescent development. Tynan, Somers, Gleason, Markman, & Yoon also highlights that peers are key influences in adolescent behaviors; those who interact with friends that indulge in bad activities such as smoking also end up doing the same.

The study was conducted among 272 participants from two races; Caucasians and Arab-Americans. The authors involved 124 males and 148 females. The goal-oriented behaviors were measured in terms of grades of the students through their GPA while the risky activities were measured using different variables including religion participation, parental engagement and communication, social media, and parents’ participation in adolescents’ extracurricular activities.


In Quintana and Vera’s theoretical concepts, it was noted that parental involvement has a lot of influence in children’s understanding of ethnic prejudice; this is a similarly an important factor in influencing the goal orientation behaviors. It was clear that peers play a key role in the influence of risky behavior indulgence.


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