The current study focused on risk-taking behaviour among young adults who spent a long period of time outside their home country as backpackers, a growing phenomenon among this age group. Using concepts from Jessor’s problem-behaviour theory (1991), we examined different risk and protective factors as predictors of risk-taking behaviours among young people on backpacking trips abroad. Our analysis included personal factors and environmental resources (social support and community participation). We also examined the potential of social support and community participation to moderate the effects that personal factors have on risk-taking behaviour. After at least one month abroad, 316 young backpackers answered a quantitative questionnaire. Our findings suggest that risk-taking behaviours are predicted by lower education level, longer period abroad, and lower levels of sense of mastery, family support, and community participation. Additionally, the findings indicated that peer support and community participation moderated the relationships between personal traits and risk-taking behaviours. The results are discussed in terms of their potential to guide efforts to limit risk-taking among young backpackers by strengthening their sense of mastery, by urging the continuation of family support, and by encouraging participation in the local community during their travels abroad.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the participants who volunteered to participate in the study.
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- community participation
- risk-taking behaviours
- social support
- young people