Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality

Reversal Theory Studies

Rebelliousness, Effortful Control, and Risky Behavior: Metamotivational and Temperamental Predictors of Risk-Taking in Older Adolescents

Authors: Kathryn D. Lafreniere, Rosanne Menna, Kenneth M. Cramer
Organization: Psychology Department, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Citation: Lafreniere, K.D., Menna, R., Cramer, K.M. 2013. Rebelliousness, Effortful Control, and Risky Behavior: Metamotivational and Temperamental Predictors of Risk-Taking in Older Adolescents. Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality. Vol. 1 (2013), pp. 17-26. DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2013.103.

Abstract:  Adolescence is frequently regarded as a time of increased vulnerability to engaging in risky behaviors such as binge drinking, unsafe sexual activities, and illicit drug use. The present study examined risk perception and risk-taking behavior in older adolescents from two different perspectives, by examining temperamental and metamotivational predictors of likelihood of engaging in risky activities. A sample of 76 undergraduate students aged 17 to 19 years completed a questionnaire package that included the Motivational Style Profile, Rebelliousness Questionnaire, the short form of the Adult Temperament Questionnaire, and the expected risk and expected involvement subscales of the Cognitive Appraisal of Risky Events. Findings indicated that rebelliousness and effortful control (i.e., ability to appropriately regulate attention and behavior) were strong predictors of expected involvement in risky behaviors, and that proactive rebelliousness was a particularly influential predictor of illicit drug use, risky sexual activities, aggressive and illegal behaviors, and risky academic and work behaviors. In addition, a number of significant correlations between temperamental variables and metamotivational dominance were observed, lending empirical support to reversal theory’s metamotivational constructs and their measurement.

Keywords: adolescence, rebelliousness, effortful control, temperament, metamotivational dominance

DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2013.103

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