This study examined gender and racial differences in adolescents' risk perceptions of major diseases and motor vehicle injury and whether these perceptions agree with national mortality rates and parental health history. Adolescent (N = 135; 55% African-American) boys and girls reported on their chances compared to other adolescents of developing specific diseases or experiencing a motor vehicle injury and their knowledge ofparental health history. Logistic regression models revealed that girls' risk perceptions were similar to boys' ratings even though females are at less risk than males per national figures. Caucasian adolescents inaccurately perceived that they were at significantly greater risk than African-American peers for motor vehicle injury, stroke, cancer, and heart attack. Adolescents' knowledge of a father's diabetes was predictive of greater perceived vulnerability to diabetes.
- Perceived vulnerability
- Risk perceptions