Title

The effect of non-cognitive traits on health behaviours in adolescence

RIS ID

76952

Publication Details

Mendolia, S. & Walker, I. (2013). The effect of non-cognitive traits on health behaviours in adolescence IZA Discussion Paper - Series No. 7301 (pp. 1-30) Germany : The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). ( Report )

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between personality traits in adolescence and health behaviours using a large and recent cohort study. In particular, we investigate the impact of locus of control, self-esteem and conscientiousness at age 15-16, on the incidence of health behaviours such as: alcohol consumption; cannabis and other drug use; unprotected and early sexual activity; and sports and physical activity. We use matching methods to control for a very rich set of adolescent and family characteristics and we find that personality traits do affect health behaviours. In particular, individuals with external locus of control, or with low self-esteem, or with low levels of conscientiousness are more likely to engage in health-risky behaviours.

Publisher note:

IZA Discussion Papers often represent preliminary work and are circulated to encourage discussion. Citation of such a paper should account for its provisional character. A revised version may be available directly from the author.