Self-esteem, propensity for sensation seeking, and risk behaviour among adults with tattoos and piercings

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Background: In recent years, increasing numbers of adults and adolescents have opted to undergo tattoo and piercing procedures. Studies among adolescents with tattoo and piercing have usually explored the relationship between one factor and the decision to have tattoos and/or piercings. The aim of this study was to determine relationships between body cosmetic procedures and selfesteem, propensity for sensation seeking, and risk behaviours among adults.

Materials and Methods
: The subjects were divided into two groups, i.e., those with (n=429) and those without tattoos/piercings (n=237), and self-esteem, propensity for sensation seeking, and risk behaviour were compared between the two groups using self-report questionnaires. To analyse differences in self-esteem and the propensity for sensation seeking, general characteristics were statistically adjusted. In addition, general characteristics, self-esteem, and propensity for sensation seeking were statistically adjusted to determine differences in the propensity for risk behaviour between the two groups.

: Significant differences were observed in age, marital status, income level, occupation, values or sensitivity to fashion, and educational level between the group with and that without tattoos/ piercings. There was no significant difference in self-esteem, whereas there were significant differences in the propensity for sensation seeking and risk behaviour between the two groups.

: Continuous attention to, and interest in, the increased incidence of tattooing and piercing are necessary, especially in terms of public interventions for health education and health promotion, as these forms of self-adornment are associated with behaviours that pose a risk to health.

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