...socio-cultural explanation for the extreme sports craze is based on the substantial media coverage it receives. ESPN’s X-Games, the Gravity Games in Providence, R. I., and the almost non-stop advertising for extreme sports all impact the psychological motivations for engaging in these sports. Consumer theories suggest that teens involved in these sports may not necessarily be motivated by the physical aspect of the activity, but rather by the appearance of a high-risk life style.
Despite the presence of various explanations as to why teens are more and more interested in this type of play, the fear of potential injuries takes precedence over its value. Risk perception is a problem with all injuries. In general, humans are not very good at perceiving risk for things they control; teens, due to their relative inexperience, are especially poor at it. MRI and PET scan research has shown that adolescent brains are more similar to those of children than adults. Based on this finding, a dominant belief is that this age group may not yet be capable of avoiding experiences that put them at risk of serious injury. Hospital records are used as data supporting this notion.
Skateboarding injuries have increased in direct proportionality with the increase in popularity of the sport. Ankle and wrist fractures, sprains, soft tissue injury and concussions are the most commonly reported physical injuries. Sports and recreational activities are the number one and three leading causes of injuries in teens—bicycles, skates and scooters are implicated in nearly a quarter of all recreational injuries for the early adolescent age group. The group at highest risk for sport and recreation injury leading to an emergency room visit is 10-14 year old boys.
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