The Contribution of Sensation Seeking and the Big Five Personality Factors to Different Types of Delinquency [2017]

The present study examined the role of sensation seeking (SS) in different types of delinquent behavior across sex, controlling for the Big Five personality dimensions. The sample of Croatian adolescents comprised 117 boys and 137 girls. As predicted, SS was the central explanatory variable beyond the Big Five dimensions in both the boys’ and girls’ normative antisocial behavior, minor delinquency, and overall delinquency. In only the girls, SS was also a risk factor for serious and violent delinquency along with extraversion and emotional instability. In both sexes, the explanatory power of SS decreased as the severity of the offenses increased. The results underscore the significance of SS in normative and minor types of adolescent delinquency and indicate a different etiology of normative adolescent delinquency from severe and violent delinquency. The results also suggest a different constellation of personality risk factors for boys and girls for each different type of delinquency.

Tajana Ljubin-Golub, Ivana Vrselja, Mario Pandžić

Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol 44, Issue 11, 2017