Childhood unpredictability, schemas for unpredictability, and risk taking

Lisa Thomson Ross1, Elizabeth M. Hill2
1College of Charleston, United States
2University of Detroit Mercy, United States
Cite this article:  Thomson Ross, L., & Hill, E. M. (2002). Childhood unpredictability, schemas for unpredictability, and risk taking. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 30(5), 453-474.

Volume 30 Issue 5 | e1185 | Published: August 2002 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2002.30.5.453

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The present paper describes a conceptual model of possible antecedents, markers, and consequences of unpredictability schemas, and outlines empirical support for the model. Early experiences, especially those pertaining to one's family, are the basis for the development of an unpredictability schema. To date, an unpredictability schema has been measured indirectly with scales that tap a variety of interrelated beliefs. Measures of such beliefs show associations with risk taking. An unpredictability schema, thus, may be an overlooked factor in risk-taking behavior. The present model takes a multidisciplinary approach and makes two major contributions. First, it integrates psychological constructs that have not previously been linked. Second, it clarifies existing relationships among background characteristics and riskrelated outcomes. Implications for prevention and intervention programming are discussed.
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