Temperament As An Explanation Of Adolescent Risk

2763 Words Nov 12th, 2014 12 Pages
Temperament is defined as “a characteristic mode of behaviour or reaction of a person or an animal” (Coleman 2009). Temperament effects many aspects of life and is a broad concept that cannot be directly measured, so many researchers have attempted to measure indirectly e.g. in gambling behaviour (Caspi 2001). Although considered innate, it has been shown that it can change to some degree (Moffet et. al 2011). An important aspect of temperament in relation to risk-taking behaviour is that of self-control.
Temperament as an explanation of adolescent risk-taking has some evidence to support it. To look at risk-taking behaviours, Caspi (2011) studied the temperament’s effect on gambling. They observed a sample of three-year-olds to classify them into five temperament categories. They later conducted face-to-face interviews with the same group at 21 and 32 years old. They found that children who were classified as “under controlled” at age 3 were two times more likely to display disorganised gambling behaviour compared to the well-adjusted group. These findings were independent of intelligence and socio-economic status. Moffet et al. (2011) did a longitudinal observational study on children from birth until 32 years old, looking at’ self-control’. This was to assess whether children’s self-control levels predicted health issues, wealth outcomes, and criminal convictions. They found that the differences in level of self-control did predict these outcomes, and that…
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