This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Sensation Seeker Attention Scale (SSAS): A Measure of Sensation Seeking by Adolescents




Britton, Warner

Type of Degree



Rehabilitation and Special Education


The purpose of the present study was to construct a Sensation Seeking Attention Scale (SSAS) as a predictive measure of negative sensation seeking by adolescents. Four hundred and thirty-five high school students completed the Scale as a predictive measure of the sensation seeking construct and its relationship to a measure of negative/anti-social school behaviors and grade point average. The analyses of the SSAS yielded two unique factors, entitled Positive Sensation Seeking and Negative Sensation Seeking. Initially, two statistical analyses were performed. A data reduction analysis of the total 60 SSAS items yielded 15 factors. A subsequent second-order factor analysis of ten factors derived from the first 15 identified two distinct factors indicating which items to include on the positive and negative vi sensation seeking portions of the scale. Lastly, ANOVAs compared scores on the negative sensation seeking items to office behavioral referrals to test the hypothesis that the students with school behavior problems will achieve higher scores on the negative sensation seeking items than students with no significant problems. A second ANOVA indicated an inverse relationship between a high score on the SSAS negative items and grade point average. Both hypotheses were supported at the .001 level of significance. The current study lends support for the differential identification of individual adolescents with a likelihood for negative sensation seeking evident through school behavior problems and a low grade point average. Intervention strategies based in part on the results of the study are discussed. Limitations of the present study and topics for further research are presented.