Sensation seeking and impulsivity as predictors of high-risk sexual behaviours among international travellers

Yok Fong Paat, Luis R. Torres, Danielle Xiaodan Morales, Satish M. Srinivasan, Sheralyn Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Disease transmission across borders may occur during the context of international travel and is a critical public health arena for study. This study examined the associations between personality factors (sensation seeking and impulsivity) and international travellers’ engagement in high-risk sexual behaviours during their trip(s) abroad. Overall, we found that the profile of high-risk and non-high-risk international travellers were statistically significantly different (i.e. high-risk international travellers had a higher tendency for sensation seeking and impulsivity; had a greater number of lifetime sexual partners; were more likely to be male, non-White, younger, non-married or not in a committed relationship, gay, lesbian or bisexual; and had lower educational attainment). Variables that positively predicted participants’ high-risk sexual behaviours were measures of impulsivity, number of sexual partners, gender (i.e. being male), and educational attainment. The participants’ age, however, was negatively associated with their high-risk sexual behaviours. Our study concurs with previous research findings suggesting that sensation seeking and impulsive behaviours are related to the practice of high-risk sexual behaviours. Findings from this study can be used to create more translational research in tourism for frequent international travellers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2716-2732
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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