Sensation Seeking and Substance Use: A Cross-Lagged Panel Design


Sensation seeking has received considerable attention as a predictor of drug and alcohol use. However, many studies of the sensation seeking-substance use relation have used cross-sectional designs and are unable to make definitive claims about the causal direction of the relation. This study addresses this issue in a longitudinal, cross-lagged panel design. Participants were assessed for the level of sensation seeking and substance use in 9th/10th grade and at ages 19-21. The results indicated that sensation seeking and substance use appear to mutually influence each other. This opens up new areas for research in the personality-substance use literature.

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