The Association Between Sensation Seeking and Well-Being Among College-Attending Emerging Adults

Russell D. Ravert, Su Yeong Kim, Seth J. Schwartz, Robert S. Weisskirch, Byron L. Zamboanga, Lindsay S. Ham, M. Brent Donnellan, Melina M. Bersamin

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Sensation seeking is a known risk factor for unsafe and reckless behavior among college students, but its association with well-being is unknown. Given that exploration plays an important psychosocial role during the transition to adulthood, we examined the possibility that sensation seeking is also associated with psychological well-being. In a large multisite US college sample (N = 8,020), scores on the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking were positively associated with risk behavior, psychological well-being, and eudaimonic well-being. When sensation seeking dimensions were examined separately, well-being was found to be associated with high novelty seeking but with low intensity seeking.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of College Student Development
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychology

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