Concerti has been mounting about the increasing numbers of adolescents who engage in risky behaviours. This qualitative study aimed to identify adolescents' perception of risk and explored the factors that adolescents felt Influenced their decisions about engaging in risky behaviours. The results indicated that adolescents perceived risk to be something where the outcome was uncontrollable. In contrast, challenges were thought of is having a known end point that was difficult to achieve. They considered themselves to be well-informed about health risks facing them, yet mentioned occasions when they lacked the ability to state that they did not want to engage in certain "risky" behaviours. The implications of the findings for future interventions are discussed. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of The Association for Professionals in Set-vices for Adolescents.