Introduction: One of the main features of adolescence is the tendency to experience new experiences and to test various and sometimes high-risk behaviors, which have bad consequences for adolescents, families, and society, and some actions are needed to prevent these sequences. In this regard, identification of the causes of teenagers' tendency to high-risk behaviors is necessary. In the present study, the causes of teenagers' tendency to high-risk behaviors were investigated, by gender, from the teenagers' perspectives.
Method: In this qualitative study, data were collected using a semi-structured interview with 40 teenagers (20 female and 20 male) living in district 5 of Tehran, who were selected using purposive sampling. Then, the collected data were analyzed and the causes of teenagers' tendency to high-risk behaviors were identified by gender.
Results: According to the findings, the main causes of tendencies to high-risk behaviors among teenagers were categorized into two groups: individual factors (pleasure, curiosity, identity acquisition, false self-esteem, and exponential hero in male adolescents and the need to have someone to talk to, the need for love and affection, lack of self-confidence in female adolescents) and environmental factors (communication with peers, social networks, easy and inexpensive access to all kinds of drugs in male adolescents and having strict father or brother, Ignorance of family and school, and labeling in female adolescents).
Conclusion: Since a series of individual and environmental factors lead to the tendency to high-risk behaviors among adolescents, it is necessary to reduce teenagers' tendencies toward high-risk behaviors and social harm caused by these behaviors through conducting educational interventions and informing teenagers and parents.