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Health-Risk-Behaviors (HRBs) are considered significant antecedent conditions of adolescents' poor health and mortality. Prevention of any adverse health outcome requires an in-depth understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with its development and maintenance. Among other potential causal pathways, the "neuroticism- HRBs-adverse health" link has been supported in previous studies. Trait neuroticism has been associated with poor health and HRBs, but several moderators were also observed, which might transform neuroticism into a desirable phenomenon, that is, healthy neuroticism, that leads to better health. Conscientiousness is one such potential moderator; however, the moderating effect of conscientiousness in the neuroticism-HRBs link has not been explored extensively among adolescents, especially in India; therefore, no conclusive evidence is available. Thus, the present study was planned to explore the moderating effect of conscientiousness in the relationship between neuroticism and HRBs among adolescents. The study was conducted in India and its cross-sectional sample, procured through a multi-stage stratified random sampling, consists of 648 (364 males) adolescents (Mage  = 16.08). Participants provided relevant information on standardized questionnaires. Moderated regression analysis was applied to test the stated hypotheses. Individuals high on neuroticism and low on conscientiousness reported more indulgence in health-risk behaviors than individuals high on both neuroticism and conscientiousness. It indicates that a higher level of conscientiousness may reduce the negative impact that neuroticism has on HRBs. The findings imply that the assessment of conscientiousness and strategies to increase the same should be part of interventional programs to achieve adolescents' wellbeing. © 2022 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Parwinder Singh. Conscientiousness moderates the relationship between neuroticism and health-risk behaviors among adolescents. Scandinavian journal of psychology. 2022 Jun;63(3):256-264

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PMID: 35060640

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