Risk perception in adolescence: construction and validation of new scales - If compared to other periods of life, adolescence is characterized by a tendency to implement more likely behaviours that can be harmful to health. The implementation of such behaviours stems from a complex system of assessments, in which the perception of risk is an important, though not exclusive (Petrillo, 2008), factor. To measure adolescence risk perception a question have been used to detect self-reported perceptions and another question for hetero-reported ones. In order to get less general and more suitable measures for this type of target five scales were constructed, referring to different spheres of behaviour (diet, exercise, consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, sexuality), through which subjects were asked to evaluate six possible negative outcomes for themselves and their friends, derived from each behaviour. The scales were administered to 1.107 students of Naples, almost equally distributed by gender (male 40.6% and 59.4% females) and with an average age of 15.7 years. The exploratory and confirmative factor analysis, conducted on each scale of perceived risk, self and hetero reported, showed monodimensional structures, with satisfactory psychometric properties.
Key words: personal risk perception, risk perception of peers, adolescents, healthy behaviour, unrealistic optimism, detection scales
Parole chiave: percezione del rischio personale, percezione del rischio dei coetanei, adolescenza, comportamenti salutari, ottimismo irrealistico, strumenti di rilevazione