A further exploration of sensation seeking propensity, reward sensitivity, depression, anxiety, and the risky behaviour of young novice drivers in a structural equation model

  • Bridie Scott-Parker, Barry Watson, Mark J. King, Melissa K. Hyde
  • Accident Analysis & Prevention, January 2013, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.05.027

The relationship between risky driving behaviour in young drivers and personal characteristics.

What is it about?

Based on past research conducted by the authors (The influence of sensitivity to reward and punishment, propensity for sensation seeking, depression and anxiety on the risk behaviour of novice drivers: A path model), which revealed that the risky behaviour of young drivers is influenced by their sensitivity to reward, their propensity for sensation seeking, depression and anxiety, we wanted to explore the relationship between these variables and self reported risky driving behaviour over time.

Why is it important?

In general, anxiety, reward sensitivity, and sensation seeking predicted risky driving over time. Interestingly, the gender of the driver was important, with young male risky driving related only to sensitivity to reward.


Dr Bridie Scott-Parker
University of the Sunshine Coast

The findings give us insight into personal characteristics that are related to risky behaviour for young drivers. Interventions to improve mental health (such as anxiety) may have unintended benefits by reducing on-road risky driving behaviour. Furthermore, interventions which directly reduce the rewards experienced by young drivers for risky driving may be likely to reduce on-road risky driving behaviour.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Bridie Scott-Parker