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Anthony Sorem


In the college setting, many adolescents choose to engage in potentially self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and body piercing, despite the associated risks. It is hypothesized that the tendency to participate in these behaviors is correlated with personality characteristics. Personality tests measuring sensation seeking, locus of control, and impulsiveness, along with three scales measuring the tendency to participate in three self-destructive behaviors: smoking, drinking, and body decoration, were administered to 102 college-aged students. Results showed that most of the self-destructive behaviors were negatively correlated with subscales of the sensation seeking measure. One possible explanation of these results would be the conservative, Catholic, campus culture of the university. However, more research is necessary to substantiate this type of group difference.

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