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Social Stress Facilitates Risk in Youths

Jamieson, Jeremy P. ; Mendes, Wendy Berry

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2016, Vol.145(4), pp.467-485 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Social Stress Facilitates Risk in Youths
  • Author/Creator: Jamieson, Jeremy P. ; Mendes, Wendy Berry
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Risk-Taking ; Risk-Perception ; Youth ; Psychophysiology ; Social Stress
  • Is Part Of: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2016, Vol.145(4), pp.467-485
  • Description: This research examined the influence of social stress on risk processes in youths. Study 1 ( N = 89) randomly assigned male youths to perform either a stressful social-evaluative or nonstressful control task followed by a risk-perception measure. Compared to controls, social stress participants perceived less risk in their environment. Study 2 ( N = 188) extended findings by testing effects of social stress on risk perception in males and females, and across 3 age groups: teenagers (15–19), young adults (25–40), and older adults (60–75). Replicating Study 1, teenagers experiencing social stress perceived less risk than age-matched controls. However, adults assigned to experience social stress reported greater risk perception compared to their age-matched controls. Effects of social stress also extended to risk-taking behavior. Stressed teenagers engaged in more risk-taking behavior relative to controls, and showed increased reward and lowered cost sensitivity during decision-making. These findings offer basic and translational value regarding factors that influence how youths evaluate risk.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0096-3445 ; E-ISSN: 1939-2222 ; DOI: 10.1037/xge0000147