Personality traits and risk-taking behaviours of adolescents in Ventersdorp: the moderating roles of self-esteem and gender.
Background: Risk-taking behaviours have been found to be highly prevalent world wide and a major cause of increased risk of accidents and death among adolescents. Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between each of the personality factors, Psychoticism, Extraversion and Neuroticism (PEN) and risk-taking behaviours and attempted to find out whether self-esteem and gender do moderate the relationship between each of the PEN personality factors and risk-taking behaviours. Method:A cross-sectional research was conducted and four hundred and ninety one participants were selected through simple random sampling within Thuto-Boswa High School in Ventersdorp, South Africa. The sample consisted of 225 male and 239 female adolescents between 16 to 18 years. Data was collected using the EPQ-R short version scale, Youth Risk Taking Behaviours Questionnaire and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Questionnaire. Results:The findings of the study indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between personality factors, extraversion (r= .14), neuroticism (r= .013) and risk-taking behaviours. As predicted, self-esteem moderated the relationship between each of the PENpersonality factor and risk-taking behaviours (p< .040, ~= -.121).Therefore, as self-esteem increases, it lessensthe probability of high neurotic scorers of engaging in risk-taking behaviours. Gender also moderated the relationship between each of the PEN personality factors and risktaking behaviours (p< .000, ~= .342), with females (M= 165.68) engaging more in risk-taking behaviours than males (M- 145.96). Page 14 Conclusion: Personality factors, extraversion and neuroticism, have a statistically significant positive relationship with risk-taking behaviours, and self-esteem and gender do moderate the relationship between each of the PEN personality factors and risk-taking behaviours.
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