The relationship between risk-taking behaviour and perceived stress in male, affluent adolescents and the protective effects of perceived parenting style and resilience potential
King, Jennifer Sarah
International research has recently identified youth from a high socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds as the “new at risk group,” who engage in increased risk-taking behaviour as a means to relieve stress. In South Africa, there seems to be little research on both the stress levels and risk-taking behaviours of affluent adolescents, or the variables that play a role in minimising these concerns. The primary objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between perceived levels of stress and levels of risk-taking behaviour in male affluent adolescents. Males have been identified as the population most likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour, thus this study focused on this demographic. In light of international research, which identified parenting style and resilience as two important protective factors that minimise risk-taking behaviour, these variables were also investigated. Thus, the study additionally examined the relationships between perceived parenting style and level of risk-taking behaviour; perceived parenting style and resilience potential and between resilience potential and perceived stress. In addition, it explored the role of resilience potential and parenting style as possible moderating variables in the relationship between stress and risk-taking. Parametric correlation analysis and linear regressions were calculated to determine the association and relationship between the variables. In addition, moderated multiple regression analysis were conducted. Participants in the study were 59 male adolescents who attend a prominent private school in Johannesburg. Correlation analysis indicated that there is a significant positive association between authoritative (father and combined) parenting styles and resilience potential (r = .368, p = .004; r = .364, p = .005, respectively). Additionally, regression analysis indicated a significant, positive relationship between these same variables; results pertaining to fathers authoritative style indicated a strong relationship, F1,57 = 8.923 where p = .004 < .05, t1,57 = 5.017 where p = .004 <.05, β = .727, while a moderate relationship was indicated for combined authoritative style, F1,57 = 8.721 where p = .005 < .05, t1,57 = 2.672 where p = .005 <.05, β = .501. A significant negative association was found between resilience potential and perceived stress (r = -.574, p = .000). Furthermore, a significant, weak, negative equation was found between perceived resilience potential and perceived stress, F1,57 = 24.325 where p = .000 < .05, t1,57 = -4.932 where p = .000 < .05, β = - .331. Correlation analysis indicated a low to moderate, positive correlation between perceived stress and risk taking behaviour (r = .369, p = .004), while regression analysis indicated a significant, weak to moderate, positive regression equation between perceived stress and risk-taking, F1,57 = 8.977 where p = .004 < .05, t1,57 = 2.996 where p = .004 < .05, β = .37. Thus, the results of this study indicate that father’s authoritative parenting and combined overall household authoritative style is associated with increased resilience potential. Increased resilience potential is in turn associated with reduction in perceived levels of stress, which resultantly is associated with reduced risk-taking behaviour.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree Master of Arts in Educational Psychology by Coursework and Research Report (PSYC7051) in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg 2017
King, Jennifer Sarah (2017) The relationship between risk-taking behaviour and perceived stress in male, affluent adolescents and the protective effects of perceived parenting style and resilience potential, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/26459>