Changes in Negative Urgency, Positive Urgency, and Sensation Seeking Across Adolescence

Pers Individ Dif. 2016 Feb 1;90:332-337. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.11.024.


The development and potential co-development of traits related to impulsivity and sensation seeking across adolescence has garnered substantial attention within the extant literature. Some prior research suggests that facets show distinct patterns of change across adolescence and that intraindividual changes in these traits may be unrelated. However, the extant literature is somewhat hampered by measurement issues and inconsistent findings. Using an accelerated longitudinal design in a sample of adolescents (n = 1018; ages 11-16), changes in negative urgency, positive urgency, and sensation seeking were examined. The three facets showed similar trajectories across time (i.e., increasing during early adolescence before leveling off). Across all facets, there was strong evidence of correlated change, suggesting these traits are, developmentally, strongly related phenomena.

Keywords: Adolescence; Impulsivity; Longitudinal; Personality change; Piecewise latent growth modeling.