I came across this great article about the relationship between teen risk taking behaviors and anxiety. Developmentally, teenagers face a number of social and emotional challenges that are anxiety-provoking transitions. A few examples are starting to separate from their parents, getting accepted into a peer group, and figuring out who they really are. Research shows, albeit counterintuitively, that there is a surge during teenage years in anxiety and fearfulness. Despite their enhanced capacity for anxiety, teens are novelty seekers and risk takers in ways that most children or adults aren't capable of.
Another important point in this article was the use of stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall in teens. What we have learned should make us think twice about providing adolescents with stimulants. Because these drugs may worsen anxiety and make it harder for teenagers to do what they are developmentally supposed to do which is to learn to be unafraid when it is appropriate to do so, the ever rising use of stimulants in young people, can be detrimental in allowing fear responses to develop naturally as they move into adulthood.