We know things about young people that we didn’t know even a little while ago. Peer group pressure is more internal than external, thrill-seeking is still thrill-seeking but more driven than previously thought and more important for young people than for children or adults. Young people really can think logically and systematically, although unfortunately not always at those moments when it is most needed.
Recently, two things have contributed to what we know about adolescents. Firstly, through more research we now better understand the nuances of what is happening for young people, and secondly, changes in society have contributed to a change in the nature of risk-taking.
So bearing this in mind we will take a look at the latest research about physiological and psychological development, with an eye on the only thing that really matters; how to help young people stay safe. We will look at big picture responses such as legislation, as well as explore what strategies, including communities and programs, can do to successfully keep young people safe.