Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Jun Hao



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Yeh Hsueh

Committee Member

Yonghong J Xu

Committee Member

Christian E Mueller

Committee Member

Brook Harmon


Risk-taking is inevitable, uncertain, and essential in early childhood. Researchers suggest four important factors that influence young childrens risk-taking behavior, namely, childrens temperament of sensation seeking, parents perception of risk, parental supervision, and society. However, there has been little effort to examine how the four factors collectively impact young childrens risk-taking behavior. The purpose of this study was to understand (1) what role the three factors (childrens sensation seeking, parents risk perception, and parental supervision) play in childrens risk-taking behavior; and (2) how their relations vary by society. The current study proposed a model (Figure 1) derived from Sandseters (2010) framework and tested the model in China and U.S.Participants were 106 parent-child dyads from China and 108 parent-child dyads from the U.S. Parents were surveyed to measure childrens sensation seeking, parents risk perception, and parental supervision. Childrens risk-taking was tested by a computerized task BART-Y. Eighteen parents participated in a follow-up interview.Path analyses revealed that the data fitted the model well for both countries. Childrens sensation seeking and parental supervision had a direct effect on childrens risk-taking. The findings of China suggested a mediating role of parental supervision between parents risk perception and childrens risk-taking. Findings of the U.S. suggested a mediating role of parental supervision between childrens sensation seeking and their risk-taking. A multi-group path analysis and MANOVA analyses suggested that the model varied by country including all factors. The findings highlight similarities and differences in early childhood risk-taking between China and the U.S., encourage further investigation of influencing factors, and suggest that prevention and intervention efforts should incorporate childrens temperament, parenting, and society to promote beneficial risk-taking and reduce harmful risk-taking in early childhood.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest