Risk-taking orientation and injury among youth workers: examining the social influence of supervisors, coworkers, and parents

J Appl Psychol. 2005 Sep;90(5):1027-35. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.1027.


Despite youths' susceptibility to social influence, little research has examined the extent to which social factors impact youths' risk-taking orientation and injury at work. Drawing on social influence and behavioral intention theories, this study hypothesized that perceived supervisory influence, coworker risk taking, and parental risk taking serve as key exogenous variables of risk-taking orientation at work. Risk-taking orientation was further hypothesized to serve as a direct predictor and full mediator of work injury. The effect of parental risk taking was also hypothesized to be mediated through global risk taking, which in turn was posited to predict risk-taking orientation at work. Longitudinal results from 2,542 adolescents working across a wide spectrum of jobs supported hypothesized linkages, although there was some evidence of partially mediated mechanisms. Coworker risk taking was a relatively strong predictor of youths' risk-taking orientation at work.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Organization and Administration
  • Organizational Culture
  • Parents / psychology
  • Personality
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safety
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Workplace
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*