Chapter 9: At-risk behaviours of adolescents in military schools in Lagos State by Aderinola B. Abidoye & Olufunke O. Chenube


In the last decade, the term “at-risk” has made frequent appearances in educational, psychological, medical, social work and economics literature. Its origin is obscure and its use in various contexts indicates a lack of consensus regarding its meaning (Adegoke, 2003). Psychologists, social workers and counsellors use the term to
denote a population of persons suffering emotional and adjustment problems. However, at-risk behaviour in this paper connotes a set of presumed cause and effect dynamics that places the adolescent in danger of negative future events (Adegoke, 2003). Risky behaviours put individuals at risk of physical or emotional harm which include substance misuse, cultism, bullying, antisocial behaviours, truancy and unprotected sexual activities. Adolescence is characterized by profound biological, developmental, psychological and-social changes (Olayinka &
Omoegun, 2007). Adegoke (2003) described the adolescence period as the most fascinating and complex since it marks the transition in the lifespan of a man. This period can be turbulent for most young people because of peer influence and pressure. There are a number of negative consequences associated with youth at-risk behaviour; school dropout, delinquency and crime, youth violence, future poor health, injury or death, unintended pregnancy and STDs, including HIV infection. To determine whether a specific behaviour or activity represents risk-taking, it must be viewed in the context of possible motivation and the potential dangers that may result.