Gender Divergence of Risky Behaviors among Youths in Mumbai Metropolitan Region


Healthy youths are always promoting economic development and lead the nation and society. Therefore government and families take care of youths through different policies. Youths are expected to achieve skills through education and health for future development. In Mumbai Metropolitan Region, youths are driving vehicles without license. Male are smoking more cigarettes, drinking alcohol and involved in sexual activities. The females are more in depression, fighting physically and malnourished. The logistic regression result for multiple risky activities are positively co-related to male, walk to college, travel by train and ownership of parent’s car. The policy of counseling to youths by experts is an immediate requirement. The role of city police is important for youths driving, smoking and physical fight. Youths should not be punished at initial stage for different risky behaviors. The youths must be given guidance for good carrier with non violence in life. Such policies will help to reduce youth risky behaviors at some extents.    

Keywords: Health, Psychology, development   

  1. 1.      Introduction

Youths represent India’s future in the socio-economic and political realms. Youths will determine India’s achievement of its goal of population stabilization and the demographic dividend [4]. Youths are important for the economic growth and development for India. The educated healthy and skilled youths always promote the economic growth with development. The policies of government such as skill development, employment and educational and health always promote the development of youths. The policies of government of India are much flexible and helpful to the development of youths. The youths are also expected to behave in a rational way and take advantage of policies for improving skills with knowledge. The youth’s safe behaviors are important in this direction. The youths behavior can directly or indirectly compromising the well being, health and even the future life course. In recent years, economists and psychologist have under taken research in the direction of youth’s behavior and psychology. Therefore the knowledge about risk behaviors of youth has expanded almost geometrically in recent years. It has become far more coherent and systematic than before. Youths in this phase are learning new ideas and experiment various things. They learn to drive vehicles, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. Such behaviors of youths are called as risky behaviors.

  1. 2.      Risky behaviors of youths in Mumbai Metropolitan Region

In Mumbai Metropolitan Region, youths are involved in different risky behaviors. Youths drive two and four wheelers for different purposes. They do not wear seatbelt while driving four wheelers and helmet while driving two wheelers. Most of the youths drive vehicles of friends and parents. The two and four wheelers are used for different purposes such as for going to tuition, college, nearest spot of picnic etc. They drive vehicles on highway without using helmet and seatbelt. It is routine activity for youths in region. They are not perfect drivers because they do not read different directions while driving. Sometime they talk and eat while driving vehicle. They have less skills of driving and they drive along with friends. They pay less attention on driving if they are with their friends. Their body is in growing stage and they do not adjust immediately with driving abilities. Most of the times, they drive vehicles without taking permission of parents. Most of youths regularly meet with different vehicle related accidents. They spend more time at college and tuition. But when they want to return home early then they drive vehicles fast. Most of the youths in region are from the upper rich class. Therefore parents and police do not take their risky driving seriously. But any injury while driving vehicles has severe effects on study and future carrier of youth. Such youths could be drop out and may end up with lower education. The lifetime consequences of vehicle related accidents are difficult to measure. Youths smoke cigarettes with their friends. Every day, they share cigarettes with each other at different times. The male involved in smoking is much higher than the females. Youths spend more time in educational institutions. They have different kinds of friends and they smoke with each other. The youths with high socio-economic background travel by auto rickshaw and their families have car for regular travel. Such youths are ready to spend more amounts on cigarettes. They want a company of friends at different points. The household size is small and parents are highly educated. They are working at higher positions with higher income in region. The time is highly precious and productive with such families. Parents do not have time to share with youths and solve different problems. It means the families have all luxuries but they do not share their love, feeling and problems with each other. The youths spend more time with friends and smoke cigarettes outside campus or at different places. Such smoking is injurious to health of the youths. In the present environment, most of the parties are arranged for youths in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. There are many days and events are celebrated by youths. Youths drink alcohol regularly and at different occasions. The males drink more alcohol as compare to the females. As the age of the youth increases, they develop the friendship with other youths with different habits. They arrange parties and events in hotels and restaurants. Youths those are working after college hours also drink more alcohol. They earn money therefore they think that they have right to enjoy their own life. Youths do not inform their drinking habits to parents. Most of the time, they get free wine at events and parties. Most of the parents do not know about inception of wine drinking behavior of youth. The highly rich youths have habit of alcohol consumption and they easily reach with their vehicles where the parties are arranged. But while returning home, they may meet with accidents. There are frequent incidences of car and two wheeler crashes and alcohol consumption in region. Alcoholic youths with driving vehicles are regularly caught by police in region. The damage to health of youth and car or bike is much higher due to accident. A police case of such incidence gets finally registered on parent’s name. Most of the youths drive vehicles without license and safety and meet repetitive accidents in region.

Youths in region have stress of study, job and carrier prospects. As the age of the youth increases the level of tension also increases. The present educational system has brought the credit based system in academics. The continuous evaluation of students is done by teachers due to credit based system. The youths suppose to study hard to get more credits under this system. Suppose the youths work in job market then they have more stress of study and future carrier. The parents do not spend time and money with such youths. The carrier guidance to youths is not easily available in region. Most of the parents have taken different kind of loans from banks and other financial institutions. Therefore youths need to contribute economically and work in job market. In Mumbai Metropolitan Region, physical fights among youths are observed due to different reasons. The males are involved more in the physical fight as compare to the females. There are different reasons related to minor and major fighting among youths. Sometimes for a minor reason, youths start fighting with each other. Most of the youths have car and bikes and they regularly drive it. They drive on highway and while driving they play race of vehicles. It may further leads to overtake of vehicles and physical fight with each other. Similarly they fight because of parking related matters with their friends. If the matter is serious then police case also gets registered. Such behaviors affect on study and future carrier growth of youths.

Most of the youths are involved in the opposite sex relation. Youth develop friendship with each others during college life. If the friendship is limited to study then it is good for future education. But some youths have intension to enjoy college life with friends. They move across the city and spend time with each other. Most of the youths are busy in romance at railway stations, beaches and public parks in region. At such places, they may come into contact of sexual relationship. They do not have knowledge of different contraceptives. Lack of use of contraceptive during sexual activity may leads to pregnancy at early age among girls. It further affects on the study and future education of girls. They end up with lower education or drop out. Some youths work after college hours and spend money and time on close friends. They arrange picnics with friends and visit to different places with friends. Some youths are malnourished in region. They are either malnourished because of lack of proper diet or food habits. Some youths are from very poor families and slums [12]. Parents are working in unorganized sector and get lower income. Most of the households have taken loans from banks. They face some financial stress due to large family size and lower income. Youths do not get the balanced diet and money for regular expenditure. If the distance of college and house is close then youth walk up to college. Due to lower food intake and lack of medical care, the youths are malnourished. Some youths have multiple risky behaviors in region. The youths are involved in drinking alcohol, smoke cigarettes, physically fight etc. They either walk up to college or travel by train. They spend time with friends either in canteen or in college campus. The youths with multiple risky behaviors regularly drive car of parents. Youths risky behaviors have lifetime consequences on study and carrier. The safe behaviors need to be promoted during the adolescent period.   

  1. 3.      Data

This study is based on primary data collection of youths in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The data was collected of 1002 youths in 18 to 25 age group from Mumbai Metropolitan Region. A detailed questionnaire was administered to youth and primary data is collected of Mumbai, Thane city and Thane district in Metropolitan Region. The primary survey of youths is conducted during January to February 2013. The youths were asked about different questions related to different risky behaviors. The data is collected of risky behaviors of youths, socio-economic background of youths. Incidence of different risky behaviors is compared according to sex of youths and region.

  1. 4.      Econometric model

Youth always maximize utility subject to constraints of income of parents and consumption. Consumption of various goods and services is subjected to risk and non risk to health.


Utility maximization of youth depends on consumption. Consumption comprises as the food and non food items. We are considering the only short term consumption. But it has long term implication on youth’s life.


The youth have both risky and non risky habits which finally add to total consumption bundle of goods. We assume that youths have risky behaviors and it affects on health of youths.  


All the risky behaviors of youth decide total consumption and utility.  




Utility from risky behaviors affect on the educational achievement. Highly educated youths do not have high risky behaviors. 


In the long term, educational achievements decide the future income and type of job. Low education leads to low income for youth. 

Ultimately, income in long term is depending on health and skills achieved through education. Youths are always attempt to earn maximum income in the long term.  

  1. 5.      Specific risky behaviors among youths

Youths specific risky behaviors can be modeled as follows.

5.1 Driving of two and four wheelers  

Youth drive vehicles of parents, friends and relatives. Such diving of vehicles is depending of number of factors. We have explained the personal and parent related factors in following equation.

Ud= (Pf+Ff)-A

Pf= (A, S, L, S, Vf)


L=(C, B)

S= (H, SB)

Ff=(Y, Vp)

Utility from diving is a function of personal and family factors minus any accidents. Accident to youth and vehicle reduces the utility from driving vehicles. Parental factors are related to youths driving of vehicles. At higher age, youth can drive different vehicles. Sex of the youth plays an important role. Boys are more likely to drive than girls. License of two and four wheelers that is car and bike is important in city. Safety while driving four wheelers is considered as wearing seat belt (SB). For two wheelers, helmet (B) is compulsory in city. For youths, vehicle of friend gives more utility. Family related factors are income and vehicle of parents which play an important role. It has more chance that the youth may drive vehicles.

5.2 Smoking of cigarettes

Youth try to maximize utility from smoking of cigarettes. Cigarette smoking in short term does not affect on health and vis-a-vis.   

Us= (Pf+Ff)-Hp

Pf= (A,S,F, D)

F= (Fa+Fc)

Ff= (Hs,Tp, Y)



 Personnel factors in smoking include as age of youth. Higher is the age of youth then more is a chance that the youth smoke. Male has more chance of smoking than female. Depression is positively affects on smoking. Youths have pressure of study and carrier. Family factors mainly include household size. If family size is small then chance of youth smoking is more. There is tradeoff between time of parents and total income. Higher is the income of parents then lower is the time with parents. Parents cannot spend more time with youths. Income of parents affects positively on smoking of youth.  

5.3 Alcohol consumption

Youth drink alcohol during different occasions. They are not regular drinkers of alcohol but they drink alcohol occasionally at parties. Drinking alcohol depends on number of factors.


Pf= (A,S,W)



Alcohol consumption increases with increase in age of youth. Male drink more alcohol as compare to the female. Working youths are more likely to drink as compare to not working youth. Family factors include the nature of house such as slums, colony, non slum etc. If youth stay in slums then chances of alcohol consumption is higher. If income of the parents is higher, then youths are more likely to drink alcohol.

5.4 Depression

Youths are depressed due to number of factors. We have assumed that depression is related to personal and family related factors.


Pf= (A,W)



 Depression among youths is related to age. Higher is the age of youth then higher is the depression. Youths those are working are more depressed as compare to the non working youths. Family factors include income and parents time. If parents spend enough time with youth then there is less depression among youths. At higher level of parent’s income, there is less depression among youths.  Medical expenditure is the additional cost for depression.

5.5 Physical fight

Physical fight leads to violence among youths. It is because of number of factors.

PF= (Pf+Ff)-(In+Mex+Po)

Ff= (Asc)

It is affected by personnel and family factors. Personnel factors include sex of youth and nature. If the nature is aggressive and if it is a male then physical fights are more. Family factors include household assets such as bike and motor cycle. Injuries are negatively related to fight because it requires medical care. If there is police case then it affects negatively on study.



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About the Author

Sanjay Rode

Sanjay Rode*

* Assistant Professor, S.K.Somaiya College, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India.


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