One of the causes of juvenile delinquency is impulsiveness?teens don’t think before they act. It could be because their brains haven’t finished developing yet.

But no matter what the reason is, a new study reveals that teens who drive without a license are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes. A survey of more than 5,000 teens across the country revealed that about 6% of students in grades 9 through 11 reported driving unsupervised without a license. 20% of 14- to 18-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2006 did not have a license.

Researcher Flaura Koplin says, “According to our survey, unlicensed teen drivers engage in unsafe driving behaviors more often than their legally driving peers. Unlicensed teens are more likely to report not wearing a seat belt, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and driving without a purpose, behaviors known to be associated with fatal crashes.”

Teens are more likely to have problems with impulse control if their parents smoke.

A new study shows that adolescents may have more in common with their smoking parents than previously thought. These adolescents and their parents may share a tendency to act impulsively, a trait that could be linked to their decision to become a smoker.

Researcher Brady Reynolds found that cigarette smoking mothers chose the immediate reward more often than nonsmoking mothers. Is this genetic and do they pass these traits on to their kids? Reynolds’ research did not address whether or not this impulsive behavior is due to genetic factors, home environmental factors related to cigarette smoking, or perhaps smoking during pregnancy.

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The good thing about teens (and the rest of us!) is that we can change?something we all need to remember during this holiday season.

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