n Gender and Behaviour - Gender, grade level, PEN scores and risk-taking behaviour of adolescent learners in South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



Risk-taking behaviour leading to critical accidents and deaths is widespread and a social problem world-wide among adolescents. The interplay of gender, school grade levels and PEN scores on risk-taking behaviour are mixed, without a research pattern and inconclusive hence this study anchored on the hypotheses that males and low graders will score higher on PEN and also engage in high risk behaviour than females and high graders respectively. Using a cross-sectional research design, four hundred and ninety one (491) participants were selected through simple random sampling from a High School in near Ventersdorp in South Africa. The sample consisted of 225 ♂ and 239 ♀ adolescents between 16 to 18 years. Data was collected using the EPQ-R short version scale and the Youth Risk Taking Behaviours Questionnaire. The findings of the study showed that there was a statistically significant difference for N, t (443) = 4.06, p< .000 with males (♂s) scoring higher than females (♀s), (x = 6.00 versus x = 5.06) and a significant difference for L, t (443) = -3.88, p< .000 with ♀s scoring higher than ♂s, (x = 10.07 versus x = 8.56). In addition, the t-test also showed ♀s scoring higher on risk-taking behaviour than ♂s, t (256) = -6.30 p< .000 (x = 145.96 versus x = 165.68). However,there were no significant differences between ♂s and ♀s. for P and E. In addition, 10th graders (x = 156.85, SD= 31.49) averagely engaged in more risk-taking behaviours than 11th (x = 147.15, SD= 19.91) and 12th graders (x = 155.90, SD= 21.92). Some conclusions were highlighted based on the results from the study and recommendations made in light of the study outcomes.

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