Executive functions (EF) continue developing throughout adolescence, with immaturity in EF theorized to underlie risk-taking. 129 older adolescents and young adults (aged 17 to 22 years) were assessed using a battery of cool and hot EF tasks, and a behavioral measure of risk-taking propensity. Minimal age-related differences in EF performance were evident, confirming they were largely functionally mature by mid-adolescence. Inconsistent with the predictions of imbalance models of adolescent development, weaker EF was not associated with greater risk-taking propensity. The findings suggest that during later adolescence and early adulthood, not all forms of risk-taking are associated with EF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology