Influence of sensation seeking on general deviance and specific problem behaviors from adolescence to young adulthood

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1991 Oct;61(4):614-28. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.61.4.614.


Indicators of a Sensation Seeking latent construct were assessed during adolescence and used to predict changes in repeatedly gathered measures of a latent construct of General Deviance. A community sample of 595 male and female Ss was assessed 3 times over a 5-year period from late adolescence to young adulthood. Most Ss reported use of licit drugs, about one half had tried illicit drugs, and a substantial minority had engaged in other delinquent or criminal activities. The General Deviance construct was stable over time, although specific cross-effects were found. Sensation Seeking was moderately correlated with General Deviance at all 3 levels but did not predict directly the General Deviance construct over time; the effects of Sensation Seeking on later deviant behavior and attitudes were specific rather than general.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal*
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Motivation*
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk-Taking*