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Chronobiol Int. 2012 Dec;29(10):1376-82. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.728665. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Circadian typology and sensation seeking in adolescents.

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1
Department of Health Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain. anna.muro@uab.cat

Abstract

The relationship of circadian typology with personality has been largely studied in adults, but there are few studies exploring such relationship in adolescents. Adolescence has been associated with a greater tendency to eveningness preference, sleeping problems, poorer academic achievement, earlier substance use, or risky behaviors, and it is suggested that this association might be mediated by personality factors. Given the relevance of identifying the behavioral outcomes of young evening types to detect and prevent health problems, the present study aimed to explore, for the first time, the relationship between sensation seeking and circadian typology in an adolescent sample of 688 students (51.45% boys) from 12 to 16 yrs old. They answered the Spanish versions of the Morningness-Eveningness Scale for Children (MESC) and the Junior Sensation Seeking Scale (J-SSS), which includes four subscales measuring Thrill and Adventure Seeking, Experience Seeking, Disinhibition, and Boredom Susceptibility. Analyses showed that boys obtained significantly higher scores than girls on J-SSS total score and all subscales except Boredom Susceptibility, whereas evening-type adolescents of both sexes scored significantly higher than neither types and than morning types on J-SSS total score. These results indicate that evening-type adolescents show a greater desire for varied, new, complex, and intense sensations, and they are ready for experiencing more risks than morning types. The implications of this study suggest the need of being aware of individual differences in the SS trait in evening-type adolescents, as well as taking into account the wide variety of behaviors associated with it, either prosocial or antisocial, to design better preventive health and academic programs.

PMID:
23130757
DOI:
10.3109/07420528.2012.728665
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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