Few studies have considered the importance of personality characteristics in influencing young girls' tendency to participate in health-compromising behaviors. The present study examined relations between 60 fifth grade girls' (mean age = 10.72 years) self-reports and maternal reports of the Five-Factor Model of personality (FFM), pubertal development, and girls' participation in risky behaviors one year later (mean age = 11.74 years). Results indicated that unconscientious and disagreeable girls were susceptible to participation in risky behaviors. These relations remained significant even after controlling for assessments of girls' pubertal development. An interaction between girls' openness to experience and pubertal development was found; girls who were open and who developed early were at risk for engaging in health-compromising behaviors. Findings are discussed in terms of their potential for helping health promotion efforts identify girls' most at risk for adopting unhealthy behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology