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

  • Mendolia, Silvia

    ()

    (University of Wollongong)

  • Walker, Ian

    ()

    (Lancaster University)

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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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7301.pdf
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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: published in: Health Economics, 2014, 23 (9), 1146-1158
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7301
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  1. 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.
  2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "Healthy Habits: The Connection between Diet, Exercise, and Locus of Control," IZA Discussion Papers 6789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
  4. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
  5. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  6. Marjon van der Pol, 2011. "Health, education and time preference," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 917-929, 08.
  7. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser, 2005. "What Explains Differences in Smoking, Drinking and Other Health-Related Behaviors?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2060, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  11. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  14. Alissa Goodman & Barbara Sianesi, 2005. "Early education and children's outcomes: low long do the impacts last?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 513-548, December.
  15. Martins, Pedro S., 2010. "Can Targeted, Non-Cognitive Skills Programs Improve Achievement? Evidence from EPIS," IZA Discussion Papers 5266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Roche, Kathleen M. & Ahmed, Saiffudin & Blum, Robert W., 2008. "Enduring consequences of parenting for risk behaviors from adolescence into early adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 2023-2034, May.
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