Development of Risk-Taking Tendency Tool for High School Students

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 MPH Student, Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Education Organization, Kerman, Iran

4 Professor, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Adolescence is the age of increased sensation-seeking and risk-taking. To prevent such behaviors, the adolescent tendency to engage in high-risk behaviors must be measureable. This study aimed to develop a questionnaire about risk-taking tendencies among Iranian students.Methods: This study was conducted using cluster sampling of the tenth-grade students in three cities in Kerman province, Iran. The students were assured that the questionnaires would remain anonymous and unlinked. Construct validity was assessed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and comparison of known groups. Corrected item-scale correlation and Cronbach's alpha were calculated to evaluate reliability.Findings: A total of 551 high school students participated in this study. Of these, 57 were excluded after checking the “non-existent drug” item (10.3%). Girls accounted for 49.2% of the sample. Of the 33 initial questions, 13 were removed due to factor loading of less than 0.5. Two factors were extracted using the scree plot (“drug abuse tendency" and "other risky behavior tendency"). The tendency toward high-risk behavior was significantly higher in male students than in female ones (P < 0.001). This indicates the known group validity of the questionnaire. The Cronbach's alpha of the above-mentioned factors were 0.93 and 0.83, respectively.Conclusion: The questionnaire measuring the tendency toward high-risk behavior among students showed acceptable validity and reliability.


  1. Steinberg L, Icenogle G, Shulman EP, Breiner K, Chein J, Bacchini D, et al. Around the world, adolescence is a time of heightened sensation seeking and immature self-regulation. Dev Sci 2018; 21(2).
  2. Gardner M, Steinberg L. Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: An experimental study. Dev Psychol 2005; 41(4): 625-35.
  3. Karaman NG. Adolescent risk-taking: Comparison between adolescents and adults opinion. Paideia 2007; 17(38): 357-64.
  4. Kann L, Kinchen S, Shanklin SL, Flint KH, Kawkins J, Harris WA, et al. Youth risk behavior surveillance-United States, 2013. MMWR Suppl 2014; 63(4): 1-168.
  5. Boyd CJ, Veliz PT, McCabe SE. Adolescents' use of medical marijuana: A secondary analysis of monitoring the future data. J Adolesc Health 2015; 57(2): 241-4.
  6. Momtazi S, Rawson R. Substance abuse among Iranian high school students. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2010; 23(3): 221-6.
  7. Ziaaddini H, Sharifi A, Nakhaee N, Ziaaddini A. The prevalence of at least one-time substance abuse among Kerman pre-university male students. Addict Health 2010; 2(3-4): 103-10.
  8. Geramian N, Gharaat L, Taheri SA, Mohebpour F, Nahvizadeh M, Farajzadegan Z, et al. Development of a questionnaire to assess drug abuse among high school students of Isfahan Province, Iran: An Action Research. Int J Prev Med 2014; 5(Suppl 2): S146-S153.
  9. Zadeh Mohammadi A, Ahmadabadi Z, Heidari M. Construction and assessment of psychometric features of Iranian adolescents risk-taking scale. Iran J Psychiatry Clin Psychol 2011; 17(3): 218-25. [In Persian].
  10. de Haan L, Kuipers E, Kuerten Y, van Laar M, Olivier B, Verster JC. The RT-18: A new screening tool to assess young adult risk-taking behavior. Int J Gen Med 2011; 4: 575-84.
  11. Costello AB, Osborne JW. Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation 2005; 10(7): 1-9.
  12. Nakhaee N, Ziaaddini H, Karimzadeh A. Epidemiologic study on drug abuse among first and second grade high school students in Kerman. Addict Health 2009; 1(1): 31-6.
  13. Nakhaee N. Questionnaire design and analysis. Kerman, Iran: Gera Publications; 2013. [In Persian].
  14. Brener ND, Kann L, Kinchen SA, Grunbaum JA, Whalen L, Eaton D, et al. Methodology of the youth risk behavior surveillance system. MMWR Recomm Rep 2004; 53(RR-12): 1-13.
  15. Gousheh A, Ziaaddini H, Baneshi MR, Nakhaee N. Drug Use among Residents of Juvenile Correctional Center in Kerman, Iran, and its Relationship with Personality Dimensions and Self-concept. Addict Health 2014; 6(1-2): 22-9.
  16. Beavers AS, Lounsbury JW, Richards JK, Huck SW, Skolits GJ, Esquivel SL. Practical considerations for using exploratory factor analysis in educational research. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation 2013; 18(6): 1-13.
  17. Basto M, Pereira JM. An SPSS R-menu for ordinal factor analysis. J Stat Softw 2012; 46(4): 1-29.
  18. Cook KF, Teal CR, Bjorner JB, Cella D, Chang CH, Crane PK, et al. IRT health outcomes data analysis project: An overview and summary. Qual Life Res 2007; 16(Suppl 1): 121-32.
  19. Croisant SA, Haque LT, Rahman M, Berenson AB. Gender differences in risk behaviors among high school youth. Glob Adv Health Med 2013; 2(5): 16-22.
  20. Hibell B, Guttormsson U, Ahlstrom S, Balakireva O, Bjarnason T, Kokkevi A, et al. The 2011 ESPAD report: Substance use among students in 36 European countries [Online]. [cited 2012]; Available from: URL:
  22. de Boer A, Peeters M, Koning I. An experimental study of risk taking behavior among adolescents: A closer look at peer and sex influences. J Early Adolesc 2017; 37(8): 1125-41.