Risk Taking Behaviours and Decision Making in Risk Situations in Juvenile Delinquents

Thesis Title: Risk Taking Behaviours and Decision Making in Risk Situations in Juvenile Delinquents

Student Name: Saima Hanif

Supervisors: Arooj Arshad & Saima Ghazal, PhD

Degree: MSc

Year: 2016-2018

Department: Institute of Applied Psychology

University: Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan

Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245


The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between risk taking behaviors and decision making in risk situations of juvenile delinquents and to find out whether risk taking behaviors predicted decision making in juvenile delinquents or not and how delinquents and non-delinquent individuals differ regarding risk taking behaviors and making decisions. The sample was consisted of (N = 98) participants that included (n = 48) juvenile delinquents and (n = 50) non- delinquent individuals with the age range of 11 to 18 years (M = 16.14, SD = 1.06). Sample was taken from the District Central Jail Lahore, academy and backward areas of Garhi Shahu Lahore. Data was collected using demographic information questionnaire, Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire Cross-Cultural 50-item version (ZKPQ CC 50; Zuckerman & Kuhlman, 1993) and The Classical prisoner’s dilemma (Flood & Dresher, 1950). The data was processed using the pearson product moment correlation, binary logistic regression analysis, and t-test and chi square test of independence. The results revealed that there was significant positive correlation between risk taking behavior and decision making. Risk taking behaviors such as neuroticism and impulsivity were found to be significant predictors of decision making in risk situation in juveniles. Juvenile delinquents had more risk-taking behaviors than non- delinquent individuals. There was a significant difference in decision making strategies between juvenile delinquents and non-delinquents which showed that juvenile delinquents were more likely to not to confess their crimes. The study will help juvenile delinquents to overcome those psychological factors that lead to delinquency, risk taking behaviors and poor decision making, help out to cope with social conditions that contribute to the criminal tendencies and would be helpful for making correct decisions in risky situations.

Keywords: Risk taking behaviours, decision making, juvenile delinquents.

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