tend to cluster together, several participants and discussants noted, with young people who experiment with substance use being more likely to engage in risky sex, for example. However, it is equally important to note that there are significant variations among and between groups of youth (e.g., by culture and ethnicity) in the way risk behaviors cluster and that various risk behaviors have both common and unique correlates.

It seems likely that other variables, such as personality and innate temperament, cultural norms, and brain development, may also play a part in determining how individual adolescents behave, and these factors are discussed in the following chapters. One hypothesis put forward several times was that some young people are predisposed by a range of factors to take more risks than others. It is their own combination of traits and the contexts in which they live that point them toward particular risk behaviors and shape their outcomes. A number of participants cited this view as reason for supporting early interventions that have the potential to counteract risk factors, perhaps even before it is clear which young people will struggle.

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