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The Effect of Non-Cognitive Traits on Health Behaviours in Adolescence

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Author Info

  • Mendolia, Silvia

    ()
    (University of Wollongong)

  • Walker, Ian

    ()
    (Lancaster University)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7301.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Health Economics, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7301

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Related research

Keywords: personality; locus of control; self-esteem; health behaviours;

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References

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  1. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  2. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Hamilton, Hayley A. & Noh, Samuel & Adlaf, Edward M., 2009. "Perceived financial status, health, and maladjustment in adolescence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1527-1534, April.
  14. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Stefanie Schurer, 2012. "Healthy Habits: The Connection between Diet, Exercise, and Locus of Control," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
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  16. Marco Caliendo & Deborah Cobb-Clark & Arne Uhlendorff, 2010. "Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 979, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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