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Authors

Adam A. Torres

Department

Psychology

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

This study examines personality characteristics as predictors of risky behavior, utilizing the widely accepted Big Five personality dimensions as indicators. The Big Five dimensions include: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Researchers utilized a 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey that investigates different types of risky behavior and for our purposes we utilized: delinquency, smoking & drinking, disorderly eating, and engagement in risky sexual behavior. Previous research has shown varying relationships between personality dimensions and risky health behavior. In addition, some problem behaviors have been investigated more thoroughly than others. Utilizing anonymous questionnaires, researchers surveyed 272 college undergraduates. For each risky behavior we predicted specific outcomes on each personality dimension. Some predictions are in line with previous research whereas others aimed to clarify those dimensions marked by the most variation. Researchers found agreeableness to be correlated with most delinquent behavior. Researchers also found gender differences in extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability, as well as various health risk behaviors.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mary Pritchard