Test of Impulsivity in Adolescence

Adolescence is a very important developmental stage between
childhood and adulthood. It brings numerous changes, as well

as new impulses and experiences (Pfeifer & Allen, 2019). The

influence of parental figures is gradually replaced with the in

fluence of peers. Their influence can be positive – for instance,

mutual motivation towards the achievement of good study re

sults. In adolescence, however, teens are prone to various neg

ative impulses such as risky behaviour, frequently encouraged

by negative peer pressure (McCoy et al., 2019). This period is

also related to greater susceptibility to problematic behaviour,

which is frequently also associated with a greater rate of im

pulsivity (D’Acremont & Linden, 2005; Leshem & King, 2020).

There are a number of scholars looking into the phenomenon

of impulsivity and its antecedents and consequences from

various perspectives (Cross et al., 2011; Marvin et al., 2020).

Eysenck and Eysenck (1985) define impulsivity as a constitu

ent of tendencies supporting the seeking of spontaneous and

thoughtless exciting experiences. It also seems that in some

cases it may be a constituent of psychoticism. According to

Cloninger et al. (1993), impulsivity is a super-factor in search

ing for the novel (new excitement, experiences, acts) which

is not restricted by rules or limitations. Webster and Jackson

(1997) argue that impulsivity is normally distributed in the

population and individuals manifest a certain degree of it.

Individuals with a high rate of impulsivity tend to prefer small

immediate benefits to larger but delayed ones, and they are not

able to save their reward for later (Kalina et al., 2015).

A common feature in individual definitions of impulsivity is the

idea that impulsivity is a personality trait included in various

personality theories that may be summed up as a propensity

to act without thinking (Dolejš & Skopal, 2016). Impulsive indi

viduals tend to conduct various activities that are not planned

or premeditated and at the same time are risky either for the

individual himself/herself or for others.

Impulsivity is also a contributory factor to certain mental dis

eases. In DSM-5 and ICD-11 (APA, 2013), impulsivity is listed as

a separate category of control disorders that includes disorders

such as kleptomania, pyromania, addiction to playing games,

and gambling. Apart from this taxonomy, a link has been found

between impulsivity and a propensity for risky behaviour or a

tendency to indulge in risky activities such as the abuse of ad

dictive substances and vandalism (Dolejš & Orel, 2017).