PERSONALITY TRAITS AND COPING STYLES AS MEDIATORS IN RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR: A COMPARISON OF MALE AND FEMALE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which differences in risky sexual behavior (RSB) between males and females is mediated by their personality traits and coping styles. Participants were 180 first-year undergraduate students who were evaluated with the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ; Cloninger, 1987); the Multidimensional Coping Inventory (COPE; Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989); and a Risky Sexual Behavior Questionnaire (RSBQ). Findings showed that while the majority of the males had engaged in RSB at least once during the previous year (80%), the majority of the females had not engaged in such behavior (62%). In addition, the males scored significantly higher than did the females on the novelty-seeking personality dimension (i.e., the tendency to respond with intense excitement to novel stimuli), as well as on the problem-focused and the avoidance coping styles. Path analysis revealed two mediators in the relationship between RSB and gender: novelty seeking and the avoidance coping style.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.2.149

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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